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Kenny did not call leaders following bank debt deal statement

The Taoiseach conceded that he did not contact the leaders of Finland, the Netherlands and Germany after their finance ministers issued a statement on the bank debt deal.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

ENDA KENNY HAS admitted that he did not contact the leaders of Finland, the Netherlands and Germany after their finance ministers issued a statement in which they seemed to roll back on a decision that the European Union’s rescue fund, once established, will deal with legacy debt issues.

The statement published by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, the Finance Minister of the Netherlands, Jan Kees de Jager and the Finance Minister of Finland, Jutta Urpilainen last month appeared to deliver a major blow to hopes that Ireland could secure a deal to reduce the impact of its crippling bank debt.

The Government downplayed the announcement with the Department of Finance stating that technical discussions in line with the June summit mandate continue.

Speaking in the Dáil today, the Taoiseach reiterated the importance of the decisions taken at that summit on 29 June.

The decision was not taken by those three finance ministers but at the highest level of EU governance, said Kenny.

He said the decision to include legacy debt in the rescue fund was taken by the 27 leaders of the European Union and that it is “imperative” it is signed off and implemented.

“Failure to do so causes frustration, cynicism and anger such as that seen on the streets in other European countries,” he added. “I am very happy to make this case strongly.”

The issue will be addressed at European Council meetings on Thursday and Friday, confirmed Kenny.

Responding to a question from Micheál Martin, Kenny argued that there were a number of processes in Europe to follow. Martin accused the Taoiseach of making strong statements on the prospective deal but only to home audiences – and not in Brussels.

“You seem to think I should ring around because you say so…I am interested in results,” countered Kenny.

Gerry Adams also put it to the Taoiseach that his interpretation of the 29 June agreement has been contradicted.

Germany, Finland and the Netherlands deliver blow to Ireland’s hopes for bank debt deal

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