Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar has said if the Government formation talks are to be successful, it may be sometime next week before they are finalised.

He contended any Programme for Government had to reflect Fine Gael policies, values and be attractive to the party's support base. 

Earlier today, the parties negotiating the programme for government held a plenary session where they were aiming to agree a significant number of policies.

Progress has been described as slow so far in the talks between the Green Party, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

These discussions could gain momentum if several policy papers that have been examined in detail over the last ten days or so are finalised.

Then the more contentious points could be addressed later in the week.

There remains issues, such as the scheduled rise in the pension age, the plan to correct the financial deficit in three years' time, and the role construction companies would play in building homes on public land.

Plus there is the major piece of work to agree the details of the initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 7% annually.

The parties are working towards getting this all done by the weekend or very soon after, even if some view this time-frame as optimistic.

Talks with a number of Independent TDs have been pencilled in for Thursday.

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