Friday 28 October 2016

Government stance on Greek debt relief appears to shift after referendum

Published 06/07/2015 | 09:23

Dara Murphy said the investment was an endorsement of the region
Dara Murphy said the investment was an endorsement of the region

The Government's position on Greece getting a debt write-down already appears to have shifted in the wake of the dramatic Greek referendum.

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisted a fortnight ago the Coalition would not support debt relief for Greece.

But now European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy claims the Government was "always" supportive of debt relief.

"We've always had the view that debt relief, debt reprofiling would be part of an agreement," he said.

At an EU summit two weeks ago, Mr Kenny firmly ruled out backing a write-off of Greek debt.

A Government spokesman later clarified that the Taoiseach meant the Coalition would not support a debt write-down for Greece, but would back a "debt re profiling" - altering the repayment terms.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has repeatedly said that while the Government would not back debt write-downs for the country, it would be prepared to accommodate it in other ways to make its debt more sustainable.

Speaking to Newstalk's Lunchtime, Mr Kenny said that "the next move is up to the Greek government". 

"I know the finance minister has resigned, but the next move should come from the government.

"There wasn't any talk of write downs but there was talk of restructuring and reprofiling.

"I think the president of the Eurogroup made it clear, reprofiling was something that could have been looked at if negotiations ended successfully towards the end of the second programme."

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