Bailout lenders say Ireland will meet 2012 targets

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BRUSSELS (AP) — Ireland's international rescue lenders say the country is on track to meet its fiscal targets for 2012.

The so-called troika says in a statement Thursday that "Policy implementation remains steadfast despite the challenging external environment, helping Ireland to start to regain market access." The troika is composed of the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Commission, which is the executive arm of the EU.

The troika says the country's revenues exceeded expectations for the first three quarters of 2012, offsetting cost overruns in the health sector and in social welfare due high joblessness. Unemployment in Ireland in August was 15 percent, according to Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency.

Troika inspectors visit Ireland regularly to make sure the country is meeting the conditions of its bailout.

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