Dublin, March 8 IANS | 9 months ago

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday spoke highly of the Irish bailout programme, saying that it is a "tremendous success story".

"For me as I just said, what's most important is that the Irish programme first and foremost can be seen as completed and that is tremendous success story that you were able to emerge from this bailout programme," Xinhua quoted Merkel as saying.

Merkel met Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in Dublin for a bilateral meeting. It was the first bilateral meeting between the two leaders since Ireland exited the bailout in December last year.

At a joint press conference after their meeting, Merkel said it was important that lessons were learned from the past, adding that Europe had to work closely on the banking union.

"We need to work together very closely on financial issues for example as regards banking union, there are still talks outstanding on the innovative details of that," she said.

"We shall have a single supervisory mechanism, we shall also conclude discussions a single recovery mechanism and the necessary rules for recapitalisation," she added.

Merkel said she has a positive outlook on discussions about the rules for bank debt recapitalisation.

"All of that is currently in the consultation process and I must say that I can only say that I have a positive outlook on the possible outcome," she said.

"We have achieved much, but we're not at the end of the road yet," she added.

At the press conference, Irish Prime Minister Kenny mentioned the issue of statelessness in relation to corporation tax in Ireland.

"In respect of corporation tax, ours is statute based, we are participating in the 15 different sectors that apply in the OECD," he said.

"The minister for finance, in the last budget, dealt with the issue of statelessness. We've pointed out very clearly that we can only tax where we can tax here and the stateless issue is now being dealt with," he added.

Merkel said a level playing field relating to tax is needed and that changes are needed in the next few years.

"We asked the OECD to develop clear rules for this and the G20 dealt with this," she said.

"I think things need to change in the next few years and they will change and we will have a level playing field on this, so I think we're on the same page and are on a good track."

The German chancellor came to Ireland for the congress of the European People's Party (EPP), which ended Friday. Former Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker was selected at the party congress as the EPP candidate for president of the European Commission (EC).

Juncker is going to run for the EC presidency in the May 2014 European Parliament election against Martin Schulz of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

(Posted on 08-03-2014)

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