Taoiseach hoping for resolution to rate row

Friday 24 June 2011 22.28
Enda Kenny - Said he had good meeting with Nicolas Sarkozy
Enda Kenny - Said he had good meeting with Nicolas Sarkozy

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted that Ireland is regaining the trust of other European Union states and that its reputation is being rebuilt.

Speaking at the end of the two-day EU summit in Brussels, he said there was a clear view that Ireland can be held-up as an example that the EU/IMF loan facilities can work, as long as the Government and people work together.

On the possibility of a Greek default, Mr Kenny said he wanted to ensure that countries that were measuring up, such as Ireland, were completely protected from any fall-out.

The Taoiseach said he made this remark both at the EU Council and also to individual leaders.

Asked if he was reassured that this would be the case, Mr Kenny said: 'I am reassured of that.'

The Taoiseach said Irish and French officials will continue to try to find a resolution to the row over Ireland's bailout interest rate.

'I had a very good conversation with President Sarkozy and we agreed that officials on both sides should continue discussions. And we're very happy with that agreement,' he said.

Asked if a deal could be struck soon, Mr Kenny said: 'I hope that they (the discussions) can be brought to a conclusion. As you know I didn't set any date for the ending of that, but it's in everyone's interest.'

On the vote in the Greek parliament next week, he said leaders were told by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou that his government was absolutely committed to dealing with its challenges.

Mr Kenny said the conditions that would apply to a second bailout would be very strict, but the Greek government was going to have to deal with that.

However, the Opposition did not share the Taoiseach's positivity about the summit.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said Mr Kenny had failed to raise the Irish issue with his counterparts.

Mr Adams said: 'The Taoiseach's explanation of his failure to raise the Irish case at the EU summit and Michael Noonan’s appeal for Irish people to shop shows that the Government is out of its depth when it comes to dealing with the EU/IMF bailout crisis.'

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said: 'The only thing which is clear from the formal conclusions issued by the Council President is that the Government continues to relentlessly spin every small development.'