Finance Minister Michael Noonan has been named the European Finance Minister of the year by the Financial Times magazine The Banker. In stark comparison, in 2010, Brian Lenihan was named the worst European finance minister by the “FT” when Ireland was facing a bailout.
The current awards celebrate ministers who are restoring the economy and even growing it in some cases following economic crises. As the magazine’s editor Brian Kaplen said, “Ireland endured one of the worst recessions in Europe after the financial crisis, with high unemployment, higher taxes, spending cuts and a property bust. It is doubtful whether many Irish voters feel particularly positive about their government.”
He continued, “But ‘The Banker’ also awarded Ireland’s Finance Minister Michael Noonan as the best in Europe for his efforts in bringing about Ireland’s exit from the International Monetary Fund/EU support programme and re-entering the capital markets. Most economists would concur with our decision.”
Mr. Noonan responded to the award by saying, “I am very pleased to have received this award. Ireland has made significant progress over the past 12 months and Ireland’s exit from the bailout was a highlight of 2013.”