For the first time, the International Monetary Fund has appointed a resident representative in Dublin to oversee its bailout program, reports the Irish Times.
Peter Breuer, the representative, is based in the Central Bank’s office on Dame Street. He is not on the staff of the bank or the Department of Finance.
A German national who joined the IMF in 1998, Breuer was previously assigned to the monetary and capital markets department. He moved from Washington to take up his post in Dublin last month.
The European Commission has also assigned an official to Dublin, Nigel Nagarajan.
Nagarajan has been counsellor and head of economic and financial affairs at the EU delegation to the US in Washington. He previously worked in the commission in Brussels on economic and monetary union, exchange rates and international economic issues.
Up to now, the IMF, EU and European Central Bank, the troika that funded Ireland's bailout, have operated exclusively by sending in staff on short-term visits.
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan insisted that the appointment of resident representatives were a “normal feature” of support programs.
Noonan said the IMF had representatives in more than a dozen countries in Europe, mostly in areas where it was providing financial support,and the EU had adopted a similar approach, beginning with a strong of office in eastern European countries.
He added that the representatives would liaise between the IMF and the European Commission respectively and Irish authorities, build relationships in broader society and help the EU and the IMF “deepen their understanding of conditions on the ground."
“They support the authorities by explaining the views of the IMF and the EU and by keeping the EU and IMF abreast of economic and social developments in the country,” Noonan told Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath.