European finance ministers meet at the start of the week, for once not weighed down with urgent bailout matters following Ireland’s announcement that it expects to leave its programme in December.
The Prime Minister Enda Kenny told his Fina Gael party conference in Limerick at the weekend that people’s “huge sacrifice” under austerity was paying off.
“Yes, there are still fragile times ahead. There is still a long way to go. But at last, the era of the bailout will be no more,” he said.
The country was forced into its 85 billion euro bailout after its main banks collapsed three years ago.
The emergency funds from the EU and IMF brought austerity measures in return – and many protests.
Although the government says growth and jobs have returned, more tax rises and spending cuts are promised in Tuesday’s budget.
If Ireland does exit its bailout it will be the first of four EU countries to come off emergency aid.