Ireland's Prosperity is All Your Fault, Economist Tells Credit Unions
David McWilliams, Irish economist and T.V. personality, speaks to conference participants.
Dublin, Ireland—Addressing an audience
1,850 on the final day of the World Credit Union
Conference, popular economist David McWilliams
told international credit union leaders that
Irish credit unions are to blame for the widening
of the country's middle class.
In a time when unemployment was at an all-time
high and most people didn't have the resources to
plan for the future, credit unions provided to
people of modest and no means what was needed
most—access to capital, McWilliams said.
Without capital, people can only live for today
and can't plan. If you don't plan, you can't
postpone. Access to capital allows people to
postpone current expenses for future social
advancement, he said.
Irish Minister of Finance Brian Cowen closed
morning's session acknowledging the contribution
the credit union movement has made and continues
to make to Irish society. He welcomed the fact
that the Irish movement is currently developing a
strategy to meet the challenges of a changed
economic and social environment. He also
recognized that this conference had played a key
role in supporting this process. The Minister
congratulated the World Council on its
development work, especially in Afghanistan to
ensure that the Afghan people have access to
credit to improve their lives.
The World Credit Union Conference, hosted by
World Council of Credit Unions and the Irish
Credit Union League, brings together credit union
leaders from 48 countries in every region in the
world. Held this year in Dublin's Burlington
Hotel, the conference attracted nearly a third
more participants than the 2005 conference held
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 60,500 credit unions in 109 countries serve 223 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.
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