TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY will discuss Ireland’s bailout progress and its presidency of the European Union with US President Barack Obama at the G8 summit later today.
Government officials do not expect the recent controversy surrounding Ireland’s tax regime to be raised by G8 leaders with Kenny.
The government’s view remains that Ireland is not a tax haven despite the recent assertions of a US Senate committee report and revelations about the small amount of tax Apple pays because of its Irish operations.
Kenny will be arriving in Lough Erne later today where he will be involved in discussions with Obama, the presidents of the European Council and European Commission, and the UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
The main discussions will be on advancing and reaching agreement on the principles of a proposed EU-US trade deal which could be worth billions of euro to both regions’ economies.
The Irish government is expecting to be involved centrally in these discussions today as part of its presidency of the EU, which has less than two weeks left to run.
Kenny will also hold discussions with Obama on the margins of the summit where it is expected that the US president will be informed of Ireland’s progress with its bailout programme – which it hopes exit later this year – and its presidency of the EU.
The meeting is not classed as a bilateral one, but the Kenny will seek to emphasise Ireland’s success with its bailout as well as its presidency of the European Union, a spokesperson for the Taoiseach said this morning.
Its success with the latter was boosted by the significant agreement reached by EU trade ministers on the EU-US trade deal last week where an impasse over French concerns about the impact of a trade deal on its film and music industry was resolved.
Tomorrow, Kenny will be involved in a working lunch with G8 leaders and leaders from the developing world countries where the main issues of the summit – tax, transparency and trade – will be raised.
Kenny was formally invited to attend the summit when he visited Cameron at 10 Downing Street earlier this year and attends in a dual role as Taoiseach of Ireland and as head of the government holding the EU presidency.