Taoiseach Enda Kenny says row over Greek bailout not needed

Friday 07 June 2013 23.59
Taoiseach Enda Kenny met Finnish President Sauli Niinisto
Taoiseach Enda Kenny met Finnish President Sauli Niinisto

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said decisiveness, clarity and courage is required rather than a row between the International Monetary Fund and Europe over how the Greek bailout was constructed.

Mr Kenny was speaking in Finland where European Commission Vice President Olli Rehn had accused the IMF this morning of trying to "wash its hands" on Greece and "throw the dirty water on Europe".

Mr Rehn's comments followed an IMF report that suggested that mistakes were made when the first Greek bailout was created and Greek debt should have been tackled.

Mr Kenny met Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen in Helsinki.

Mr Katainen has indicated that he could support the use of the eurozone's permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, to recapitalise banks.

He said: "As a principle, I think that in some cases the direct recapitalisation may be a good and well-functioning instrument."

However, he went onto say there was an absolute requirement for what he called "a very clear rule book for this before [we] start using it".

The Government is hoping that the ESM will take a stake in Irish pillar banks, such as AIB and Bank of Ireland, a proposal Finland has been lukewarm about.

Mr Katainen stressed that he was not talking about Ireland, or any other country, but talking about the general Finnish approach.

He had strong praise for the Government, stating the Coalition had done a "phenomenonal economic job".

He said "you have done what you promised", but he added that it had "not been easy" for ordinary citizens.