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Taoiseach: Bailout funds are not dependent on fiscal compact

Enda Kenny says the EU-IMF bailout supersedes the new European deal, and that Ireland’s access to funding is safe.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE TAOISEACH has said that the bailout programme between Ireland, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund supersedes the proposed new ‘fiscal compact’ deal signed with 24 other states.

Enda Kenny told RTÉ radio’s This Week programme that the arrangement Ireland was already in trumped the one which it hopes to ratify later this year before it comes into effect in 2013.

“Anything that happens in regard to the fiscal compact is superseded by that fact – that we’re in a fiscal programme,” Kenny insisted.

The supremacy of the bailout deal over the fiscal compact means that if the latter is put to a referendum, and Ireland votes no, it will still have access to European financing – even though the latter deal says funds from the European Stability Mechanism will only be available to participants in the fiscal compact.

If a country emerges from a programme – any country – the situation is that if they require any further funding, it would still be made available provided they met the conditions.

Separately, Kenny said Ireland would not be re-opening its embassy to the Holy See “in the immediate future”, but said the closure of the embassy – as well as those in Iran and Timor Leste – would be “reviewed in due course”.

Kenny denied the closure was deliberately linked to the fallout from the Cloyne Report – saying that suggestions to that effect “could not be further from the truth”.

The relationship between the government and the Church had become “far more real” and substantial under Kenny’s administration, he said, because of the work the State had done to safeguard children in all settings.

“There is now a very real relationship in terms of what we have to do with the Church, and I want that to continue,” he said.

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Kenny also repeated the assertions of Eamon Gilmore that Ireland would issue a diplomatic invitation to Pope Benedict if he wishes to attend the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin later this year.

“If I get an indication that he wants to attend that, the government will of course treat His Holiness with th erespsect that his office and status require,” he said.

Read: Independent TDs seek to force referendum on EU fiscal compact

Read: 80,000 expected to attend closing Eucharistic Congress ceremony in Croke Park

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Gavan Reilly

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