Department of Finance hires diplomats to ease tensions
THE Department of Finance has hired two diplomats from Ireland's Paris and Berlin embassies in a bid to ease tensions between Ireland and two of Europe's most powerful economies.
A spokesman for the department yesterday confirmed that a former counsellor at the Irish embassy in Berlin, Nicholas O'Brien, and a former first secretary at the embassy in Paris, Gerald Angley, have both joined in recent weeks.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan alluded to their hiring at a recent meeting of the Finance Committee, where he said they would be bringing "connections" with the Paris and Berlin administrations.
France has put itself against Ireland by repeatedly raising the issue of our corporate tax rate, while Germany has taken exception to the notion of a so-called 'eurobond' that would make it easier for troubled countries to access funding markets.
The pair's remit is "to improve the level of co-ordination between the Department of Finance and Irish embassies", according to the Department of Finance's spokesman.
"The Minister for Finance wants to make sure that the department and the embassies work closely together on current financial issues and that full use is made of the embassy's networks," he added.