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It was all smiles and kisses when Kenny met Merkel in Berlin yesterday but their post-meeting press conference was less joyous. Michael Sohn/AP/Press Association Images
Firepower

Taoiseach says ECB can provide 'ultimate firepower' to solve euro crisis

Enda Kenny met with German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin yesterday and there was plenty to discuss.

THE TAOISEACH HAS said that European Central Bank (ECB) funding should be used to provide “the ultimate firewall” in a bid to solve the ongoing crisis of confidence in the eurozone.

Enda Kenny made the comments during his first official visit to Germany yesterday where he met with chancellor Angela Merkel and the country’s finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

He said that for a small country like Ireland “contagion is a real issue”, according to Bloomberg.

He went on to say: “In the current environment, only the ECB has the capacity to provide that necessary, unlimited firewall against financial panic.

I recognise of course the very divergent views about this within the European Union.

Indeed, his views are not echoed by Germany which is staunchly against any intervention by the European Central Bank to commit funds to erect a firewall against further contagion in the eurozone.

Derek Scally writes in today’s Irish Times that from the body-language exhibited at yesterday’s joint-press conference in Berlin, relations between Merkel and Kenny had chilled somewhat over the fact that Germany was not more willing to offer flexibility to Ireland in the implementation of its EU-IMF programme.

During the press conference, Merkel is reported by Bloomberg to have told reporters that “the ECB doesn’t have the possibility to solve the problems”.

Her comments came amid growing evidence of a split with France over the role of the ECB with the French appearing keen for the bank to be allowed provide the firepower necessary to combat contagion in the eurozone and prevent turmoil on the global stock markets.

Martin says there’s weeks to save the euro amid reports of French-German split >

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