The Minister for Finance Charlie McCreevy has warned that excessive pay demands could wreck the economy. The Irish economy is growing at nearly three times the European average, but Mr McCreevy said that any pay demands that breach Partnership 2000 could kill the Celtic Tiger.

Charlie McCreevy believes this year's budget surplus will be over £2billion - that is not taking account of receipts of more than £3billion from the sale of Telecom Eireann. However, Mr McCreevy has warned that pay demands could wreck the current growth in the Irish economy. He warned of people fooling themselves "into a paradise which we will have for a short period, which will wreck the Irish economy in the very near future."

When asked about the recent holiday villa controversy, Charlie McCreevy said he had no apologies to make and that he refused to be "terrorised" by political correctness.