Enda Kenny rules out extension bid on fiscal targets

Monday 29 April 2013 22.00
Taoiseach Enda Kenny met Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in the Alhambra in Granada, Spain
Taoiseach Enda Kenny met Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in the Alhambra in Granada, Spain

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has ruled out seeking additional time from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to meet Ireland’s fiscal targets.

Speaking in Lisbon, Mr Kenny said Ireland would bring its budget deficit below 3% of national output by 2015.

He was responding to a question from a Portuguese journalist on whether Ireland would follow Portugal’s decision to seek a one-year extension from the Troika.

Mr Kenny said: "We have already had a one-year extension. Our fiscal plan sets out our intention to get our deficit to below 3% by 2015 - and we are going to stick with that plan".

Earlier, the Taoiseach said that he told an economic conference in Granada that the EU faced a credibility test when it came to implementing a banking union and breaking the vicious circle between states and banks.

The German Finance Minister attended the event and Mr Kenny said Wolfgang Schaeuble was "well aware of that".

The Taoiseach said: "Mr Schaeuble is very much of the view that we must move forward here. And we do hope that between now and June we can make further significant progress on that."

The key issue which needs to be agreed by EU leaders at their June summit is banking resolution, which would create a uniform means of winding up insolvent banks across the eurozone.

However, this is a controversial issue in Germany.

Mr Kenny did receive strong support from Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy yesterday and from Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho today.

Mr Coelho said decisions taken by EU leaders at their summits have to become effective in the terms that have been agreed.