Enda Kenny says Ireland needs support on legacy debtTuesday 08 January 2013 22.00
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told a gathering of conservative German MPs that Ireland's economic recovery is still fragile and that the country needs support on legacy bank debt.
However, there were signals from the annual meeting of the Bavarian Christian Social Union party that there is still caution over granting Ireland explicit support on legacy debt.
The party has 44 MPs in the Bundestag, one of whom has brought several legal challenges against German bailout support for Greece.
Mr Kenny said this was his first time in Bavaria, but noted that Irish monks first arrived in the fifth century.
Afterwards, the party appeared to be impressed by Ireland hitting its bailout targets and the sacrifices made.
One delegate said it was a remarkable presentation, but there was still caution over explicit support for Ireland's bank debt.
The Taoiseach has been well received in Germany, winning a European of the Year Award last November, but this will be a tougher constituency to convince.
The CSU is notably more sceptical and critical of bailing out what it sees as profligate countries.
Furthermore, a report in Der Spiegel over the weekend suggested that Mr Kenny's charm offensive over Ireland's economy was "a gleaming facade obscuring a debt situation which could become unsustainable".
The magazine noted that Ireland's aspirations for the EU to alleviate the bank debt could be costly for Germans.
Ireland shares issues on EU agenda - Tánaiste
The Tánaiste has outlined Ireland's priorities for the EU presidency, saying many of the issues on the agenda are shared with Ireland's agenda.
These include advancing the issues of banking union, financial stability, separating sovereign and banking debt and advancing the compact for jobs and growth.
Eamon Gilmore said there are a number of free trade agreements to be advanced, including agreements with Japan, Singapore, Canada and the US.
The stalled EU budget talks will also be on the agenda.
This week is the first busy week of the Irish EU presidency, with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy arriving tomorrow.
President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and 27 European commissioners are due in Ireland on Thursday.