Irish finmin says economy can withstand tough cuts

DUBLIN, Dec 7 (BestGrowthStock) – Finance Minister Brian Lenihan
said the Irish economy was recovering from a deep downturn and
on track for growth despite a tough austerity budget for 2011
that includes 6 billion euros in cuts and tax hikes.

“Amid the turmoil in the financial sector over recent
months, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that economic
activity in this country has stabilised,” Lenihan told
parliament in a budget speech on Tuesday.

“From a drop of 7.6 percent in 2009, GDP will record a small
increase this year. Recovery in the real economy is beginning to
take shape.”

A disastrous property bubble transformed Ireland from one of
Europe’s brightest stars to a regional basketcase, forcing the
government to seek an 85 billion euro bailout from the IMF and
the EU to cover its borrowing costs and shore up its banks.

Prime Minister Brian Cowen needs to get the 2011 fiscal plan
past parliament to access the first tranche of emergency aid and
despite a razor-thin majority he is expected to win passage in a
series of votes that start on Tuesday evening.

(Writing by Noah Barkin and Jodie Ginsberg)

Irish finmin says economy can withstand tough cuts