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Ireland says successfully completes final bailout review

Ireland's Finance Minister Michael Noonan smiles as he arrives at the Government Buildings before presenting his budget to parliament in Dublin October 15, 2013. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland has successfully passed its lenders' final review of an 85 billion euro bailout, paving the way for it to complete the aid deal in December, its finance ministry said on Thursday.

"This is a significant day that many thought, and some feared, would never be reached," Finance Minister Michael Noonan told reporters.

The country of 4.6 million has endured five years of austerity and is now a much-needed success story for the European Union, which wants to show that the discipline of tax hikes and spending cuts can work.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin and Sam Cage Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)