LEO VARADKAR HAS broken his silence after the government moved to play down comments he’d made to the Sunday Times. The paper reported that the Minister for Transport had suggested that Ireland may need another bailout and would be unable to return to the bond markets.
Varadkar has said this morning that the newspaper “hyped up” his words. The Sunday Times maintains that he made the comments directly to the paper and its news editor Richard Oakley tweeted earlier today:
So quoting someone’s direct comments precisely now amounts to “hyping” up a story? How do you hype up a direct quote?
The Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday insisted in the Dáil that Ireland will not require a second bailout. He was responding to a comment from Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin, who noted that it was another example of a cabinet member speaking out of turn. Martin said that “loose talk costs jobs”. The Irish Independent reports that Varadkar apologised to government colleagues for his remarks at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
RTE reports that Varadkar has denied that he’s been “confined to barracks” over the issue, and has said that the government position is clear and that Ireland will start borrowing from the financial markets again in 2012.
Today a senior British banker is reported as saying that Ireland will not be able to return to the bond markets until 2018. Harvinder Singh says it will be a lengthy wait unless a default or a new loan is agreed.
More on Ireland and the bond markets: Harvinder Singh says a “no default, no bailout” programme will be painful for the country>