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Famous photograph of IMF reps walking to Irish Government buildings passing by a homeless man

IMF leaders back in Ireland to oversee bailout progress

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Famous photograph of IMF reps walking to Irish Government buildings passing by a homeless man

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the streets of Dublin – the Bailout Boys are Back in Town.

And this time they’ve decided the leave the monetary hitman known as The Hammer at home.

Agents from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank are back to check on Ireland’s finances.

The regulatory hit squad arrived in town on Tuesday for the latest three month check on Ireland’s €85billion bail-out.

But the infamous IMF chief Ajai Chopra – now known across Ireland as The Hammer – isn’t scheduled to travel with the group this time as his skills are needed to sort out the latest Greek mess.

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The Irish Independent reports that the bailout team will be in the Department of Finance and the Central Bank until Thursday of next week checking on the progress of the package.

Among the items on their agenda are spending cuts, including reductions in the public sector wage bill in the event of a shortfall in the saving from reform of the public sector.

Government Ministers have already warned that if those savings from efficiencies and reductions in staff numbers are not achieved this year, there will be more cuts.

On the eve of the visit, Department of Finance officials were adamant that the Government has met the targets set as part of the bailout programme for the first half of the year.

The department’s assistant secretary general Michael McGrath said government officials will work with the IMF-EU team when the review begins.

“We will engage with them and afterwards they will have to go through their own process,” he said.

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