Irish finance minister to step down
DUBLIN: Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said on Thursday he will step down when a replacement for Prime Minister Enda Kenny is chosen next month, having presided for six years over the dramatic recovery of the Irish economy and banking system.
The announcement came a day after Kenny said he would quit, kicking off a succession contest that was confirmed as a race between two younger ministers after other potential candidates stepped aside and colleagues began to pick sides.
Noonan, 73, oversaw Ireland’s exit from a three-year European Union-International Monetary Fund bailout he inherited and its rebound to post the fastest economic growth of any member of the bloc for the past three years. “I believe now is a good time for a new Finance Minister to take up office,” said Noonan, who will also retire from politics at the next election. “Ireland is the fastest-growing economy in Europe, the budget is almost balanced and we are on the cusp of full employment.”—Reuters
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