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Is Ireland ready for Greece to leave the eurozone?

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

Updated 10.05am 

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Everyone’s talking about…

Greece will officially default on a €1.6 billion loan to the IMF at 11pm tonight but in a somewhat savvy political move, Syriza has managed to turn most people’s attention to Sunday’s referendum on the latest proposal from the Troika.

Greece Bailout Alexis Tsipras prior to a live television appearance last night Source: Associated Press

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wants his fellow countrymen and women to reject the referendum this weekend, arguing on national TV last night that it would give him a mandate to return to the negotiating table and get a better deal from international creditors.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny last night urged his Greek counterpart to return to the negotiating table right now. Ireland’s maintains its hardline position, arguing there should be no debt relief for Greece. Speaking on his way into cabinet this morning, Kenny said Tsipras’ late request for a one-month extension to Greece’s bailout programme came too late.

It came at the very very last minute but the opportunity is still there to go back to the table and work it out and I hope that that can happen.

Some senior government figures now believe that Greece’s exit from the eurozone is all but certain, but the sort of contagion effect we worried about just a few years ago doesn’t appear to exist any more.

That doesn’t mean Ireland would be entirely shielded from the effects of a ‘Grexit’ and officials from the NTMA and the Central Bank were last night briefing senior ministers, including the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, ahead of this morning’s cabinet meeting.

An interesting week lies ahead.

The agenda…

  • 10.30am: The cabinet meets this morning at Government Buildings. 
  • 11am: The Non-Payment Network will announce details of its latest protest against water charges which takes place outside the Dáil tomorrow evening. 
  • 1pm: The new National Postcode System, Eircode, will be discussed by the Communications Committee with Loc8′s Gary Delaney appearing. 
  • 2.15pm: The Environment Committee is taking submissions on the proposal to establish an Electoral Commission. 
  • 3.15pm: It’s the first Leaders’ Questions of the week in the Dáil. 
  • 3.30pm: The banking inquiry meets in private session ahead of a bumper week which includes appearances from former finance minister Charlie McCreevy tomorrow and Brian Cowen on Thursday. 
  • 4pm: The long-awaited report on improving the Direct Provision system for asylum seekers will be launched. 
  • 7.30pm: Sinn Féin’s private members’ business this week calls for a reversal of the cut to the lone parent allowance. 
  • 9pm: The Dáil will hear statements on a defence white paper that is coming before cabinet today before adjourning at 11pm.

Inside Leinster House

The Independent Alliance unveiled over half a dozen new candidates for the general election at Leinster House yesterday. But it didn’t quite go to plan when Shane Ross clashed with the Oireachtas ushers and was told to take his new recruits outside the gates.

CIqPy2kWcAAA8dZ Source: Hugh O'Connell/TheJournal.ie

What the others are saying

  • Irish authorities are worried about the threat of ‘lone wolf’ terrorists, according to a defence white paper that will go before cabinet today, the Irish Times reports.
  • The same paper says that the Tánaiste will seek a €5 increase in child benefit in the next budget. 
  • The Herald reports on allegations from a former Sinn Féin councillor Jonathan Dowdall about why he left the party. 
  • In the same paper, consumer columnist Sinead Ryan reveals she was approached by Shane Ross to run for the Independent Alliance.

In case you missed it

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

On the Twitter machine

Excellent emoji game from John Lyons’ ma

She learned from the best.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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