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Does the Greek crisis show the danger of electing Sinn Féin?

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

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Everyone’s talking about…

There’s a political element to the government’s hardline stance on Greece during the crisis talks on its bailout. Enda Kenny bluntly said “no” to any Irish support for debt relief and no one in government is particularly impressed with Syriza’s negotiation – or lack of negotiation – tactics.

Belgium EU Summit Alexis Tsipras and Enda Kenny Source: Francois Mori

Ministers are trying to strike a balance between expressing great sympathy for the Greek people while at the same time hammering their far-left government for failing to properly engage in negotiations in recent weeks. They’re also not shy about reminding people that Sinn Féin has closely aligned itself with Syriza and believes the chaos in Greece will remind voters of the dangers of electing an alternative to Fine Gael and Labour at the next election.

Speaking in the Dáil last night, Tánaiste Joan Burton emphasised this again:

Gerry Adams wanted Ireland to tell the institutions to go home and take their money with them. We can now see where that approach has got Greece. 

Stability or chaos? That’s the choice that the government believes faces voters at the next election and, from its point of view, the Greek crisis offers a perfect demonstration of what happens when you opt for chaos.

It’s still very hard to tell what’s going to happen in Greece, but expect to be reminded of this photo quite a bit as the general election here approaches.

The agenda…  

  • 9.30am: The banking inquiry sits all day with the second secretary general of the Department of Finance Ann Nolan and her predecessor, Donal McNally up at 9.30am and 11.30am respectively. At 2.30pm former finance minister Charlie McCreevy is the first political heavyweight to come before the inquiry. 
  • 10am: The incoming chair of the Charities Regulatory Authority Paddy Hopkins is before the Justice Committee. 
  • 12pm: Enda Kenny takes his second round of Leaders’ Questions this week. 
  • 4.04pm: The final stages of bill dealing with water charges compliance measures – the Environment Miscellaneous Provisions Bill – will be debated in the Dáil.
  • 6pm: As politicians speak inside, the Non-Payment Network holds a protest against water charges outside Leinster House.
  • 7pm: The Seanad debates Lorraine Higgins’s Harmful and Malicious Electronic Communications Bill, which aims to crack down on cyberbullying
  • 9pm: The Dáil debates and votes on the Sinn Féin motion to reverse the cut to the lone parent allowance before adjourning at 10.30pm

Inside Leinster House

“‘Tis like Greece,” was one deputy’s response to an ATM outage at Leinster House yesterday morning. It was soon back up and running. Meanwhile, a brief power outage at Leinster House during Leaders’ Questions in the afternoon prompted one quick-witted junior minister to shout this across the chamber.

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What the others are saying 

  • Health Minister Leo Varadkar has told the Irish Times that the health service needs as much as €1 billion to meet existing demands and even more to cope with a growing and ageing population.
  • Meanwhile, in the Irish Independent, health policy analyst Sarah Burke says that the coalition’s current plan for universal health insurance would effectively cost more than any other model of universal health care.
  • Labour senator Lorraine Higgins has received an apology from an internet troll who threatened her and her family, the Irish Daily Mail reports.

In case you missed it 

On the Twitter machine 

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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