Fine Gael and Labour briefed on economy

Wednesday 02 March 2011 23.18
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Joan Burton - Challenging situation in the banking sector
Joan Burton - Challenging situation in the banking sector
Eamon Gilmore and Enda Kenny - Held meeting this morning
Eamon Gilmore and Enda Kenny - Held meeting this morning
Leinster House - Mary Mitchell O'Connor can expect a higher car insurance premium next year
Leinster House - Mary Mitchell O'Connor can expect a higher car insurance premium next year

Talks have taken place for a second day on the possible formation of a coalition government between Fine Gael and Labour.

Both sides were briefed today by officials from the Department of Finance and the National Treasury Management Agency.

Fine Gael's Michael Noonan said there were certain issues in the economy that the Opposition parties had not been briefed on before the General Election.

Labour's Joan Burton talked of a very challenging situation in the banking sector.

Both Fine Gael and Labour negotiators have described the talks between them as 'friendly'.

The teams - Mr Noonan, Phil Hogan and Alan Shatter for Fine Gael, and Ms Burton, Brendan Howlin and Pat Rabbitte for Labour - met in Government Buildings.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Labour leader Eamon Gilmore also met again this morning.

There is an expectation that a deal will be done in time for a Labour Party convention at the weekend, although both parties have pointed out that they have other options.

So far no approach appears to have been made by Fine Gael to any of the Independent TDs in the new Dáil.

Rookie error

Meanwhile, newly-elected Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O'Connor surprised staff at Leinster House this afternoon by driving across the plinth in the Dáil car park.

The plinth has a ramp at one side to facilitate wheelchair access, but steps at the other end.

Deputy Mitchell O'Connor's car appeared to be undamaged by the incident.