It’s just over a decade since Ireland received its first €2 billion in a European Union-International Monetary Fund bailout. The country remains under “surveillance”, and will until at least 2031, when at least 75 per cent of the loans have been repaid.
As part of this process, a team of EU and European Central Bank staff met with Irish officials over video conference in March to take a snapshot of the economy 10 years on.
Produced in the throes of the pandemic, the report reveals some unexpected winners from Covid-19.
During the pandemic, Irish households have built up “historically unprecedented savings”, according to the report. The big bank balances are unevenly distributed, with the largest proportion concentrated in the wealthiest groups, as they could more easily switch to remote work. The savings built up due to people’s inability to spend on services and goods, “combined with various public income support”,
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