The Taoiseach has said he will meet the French President in 'due course' to discuss a reduction in the interest rate on the International Monetary Fund/European Union funds.

Responding to criticism in the Dáil about the failure to agree a decrease in the rate, Enda Kenny said Nicolas Sarkozy had in the past suggested a meeting and that it would happen at the 'appropriate time.'

The Fianna Fáil leader accused Mr Kenny of adopting a 'hands off policy' in seeking a reduction in the interest rate.

Micheál Martin said the Government has given up on a rate reduction and criticised the Taoiseach for not raising the matter with British Prime Minister David Cameron and for not travelling to Paris to meet with Mr Sarkozy to discuss the matter.

The Taoiseach said since taking office he discovered the relationship between Ireland and its EU neighbours 'was nothing short of disgraceful'.

The Fianna Fáil leader said that charge was without substance and was reprehensible.