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An overview of the European Commission’s agenda for the 2011 was given the AEJ by new Director of the Irish Representation Office Barbara Nolan when she hosted the annual Christmas in the Stephen’s Green & Hibernian Club on Monday, December 13. Among the items on the Commission’s agenda is the completion of the new fiscal programme. While there may be cuts in some areas, she said Irish Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn’s key portfolio of Research, Innovation & Science would be exempt. On the recent EU/IMF deal, she said the rescue package was not just about Ireland but about the survival of the euro into the future. It was difficult to envisage any alternative. “We stand or fall together,” she said.

Contrary to media reports, she said the level of interest being charged by the IMF on its loan was the same as the EU Commission when the figures were correctly calibrated. Ms Nolan thanked the members for the opportunity to host the luncheon and wished everyone a Happy and Peaceful Christmas.