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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 20 March, 2018

Is Greece about to kiss the euro goodbye?

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in Irish politics right now…

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Everyone’s talking about…

The Greek debt crisis is again dominating the agenda, with eurozone ministers meeting for more crunch talks today, as Tuesday’s deadline looms large.

Europe Greece Bailout European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, kisses the forehead of the chairman of the euro working group Thomas Wieser during a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels. Source: Virginia Mayo/PA Images

Yesterday, Greece rejected budget measures put forward by the Troika – with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras claiming the group is being harder on his country than they were on Ireland.

Greece faces a debt default if it can’t make a €1.5 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the end of the month.

The IMF has said the country’s proposed tax rises and spending cuts don’t go far enough and public expenditure needs to be curbed further.

As talks between Tsipras and EU President Jean-Claude Juncker broke up without agreement last night, the dollar slipped in value but the euro remained stable.

The two-day European summit in Brussels was supposed to focus on the ongoing immigration crisis in the Mediterranean, as well as Britain’s future in the EU.

However, most of its attention will now be centred on attempting to find a solution to avoid a Greek default.

Greece Bailout Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras waves as he arrives at Maximos Mansion in Athens on Tuesday. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Yesterday it emerged that a secret group at the Department of Finance was working on a contingency plan for Ireland exiting the euro.

This, obviously, never came to pass – but will Greece be a different story?

The agenda

  • The banking inquiry has just one witness today, outgoing Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan. He’ll be answering questions in two sessions, one starts at 9.30am and the other at 2.30pm.
  • Defence Minister Simon Coveney will be answering questions in the Dáil at 9.30am.
  • The Health Committee will discuss neural tube defects in pregnancy at 9.30am, before turning its attention to affordable childcare at 11.15am.
  • The Public Accounts Committee will look into the finances of the Department of Environment and its funding of local authorities at 10am.
  • The Good Friday Agreement Committee will discuss outstanding legacy issues in Northern Ireland at 10.15am.
  • The final Leaders’ Questions of the week will kick off at noon.
  • Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan and junior minister Seán Sherlock will attend a meeting on the Stormont House Agreement in Belfast today.
  • Former British government minister Ann Widdecombe will visit Leinster House today to meet members of the Oireachtas Human Dignity Group. She is in Dublin to speak at Ceiliuradh Cois Life, a fundraising dinner in support of the pro-life campaign.

Inside Leinster House

Gerry Adams had ANOTHER run-in with the Ceann Comhairle.

Source: Video

What the others are saying

  • A number of papers note that the banking inquiry was told a press release announcing the bank guarantee was drafted six hours before the end of the meeting on the night of 29 September 2008.
  • The Irish Times reports that Tánaiste Joan Burton is to meet with a number of TDs today to discuss their concerns about the cut to the lone parent allowance.
  • A number of publications also note that Gerry Adams has warned Arnotts could be sold in the same way as Clerys.

In case you missed it

On the Twitter machine

Phil Hogan is enjoying his visit home…

Originally published: 9am

Read: ‘The last thing the government wants to see is Greece get a better deal than they could’

Revealed: The Department of Finance’s secret ‘Johnny Logan working group’

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