For me, it is all about people having jobs, and that is why I make no apology for having focused relentlessly on employment and job creation.
No politician in a European sense is happy with 26 million people unemployed. Nobody can be happy with 6 to 9 million young people unemployed. You have to give them hope and confidence and a sense of inspiration that the European process is actually about people, not about bureaucracy.
You're not going to be able to deliver jobs locally unless you sort out the nation's problems, and that's why the big and difficult decisions about Ireland's economy have been so crucial and so difficult for people to have to accept and have to deal with, but the reality is the people gave this government an unprecedented mandate.
We've got enormous potential, phenomenal potential on our doorstep, which requires politics that makes that work, and that's what we try to show here in Ireland: that while there's a lot of pain, the reward at the end of this is career opportunities, prosperity, and brighter days for everybody.
By 2007, an uncompetitive, bloated, over-borrowed and distorted Irish economy had been left at the mercy of subsequent international events without the safeguards, institutions, and mindset needed to survive and prosper as a small open economy inside the euro area.