Europe

Jose Manuel Barroso 'confident' in Irish economy

Jose Manuel Barroso
Image caption The president of the EU commission Jose Manuel Barroso was addressing an audience at Cambridge University

The president of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso has said that he is "fully confident" Ireland will overcome its economic crisis.

Speaking at Cambridge University, Mr Barroso said that the EU was taking the right decisions to support those member states which are in difficulty.

He said that the EU overall was "not in a bad position" in terms of debts.

Ireland was given a 90bn euros bail-out from the EU and IMF after it ran up a massive fiscal deficit.

Some analysts have argued that the bail-out terms are to punitive and that Ireland will eventually have to default on part of its sovereign debt.

But Mr Barroso said that he believed Ireland would overcome its problems, which had been caused by "unprecedented behaviour in the financial sector".

Mr Barroso said there had been 'strong temptations' for the European single market to splinter during the economic crisis of recent years.

He said the defence of the single market had been an "unsung success story".

"We managed to defend the single market and keep it open for business. Respect for the rules held firm," he said.

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