Thursday 29 September 2016

Kenny rejects plea from Greece for one-month extension of bailout fund

Published 30/06/2015 | 02:30

Pensioners waiting outside a closed National Bank branch and hoping to get their pensions argue with a bank employee in Iraklio on the island of Crete
Pensioners waiting outside a closed National Bank branch and hoping to get their pensions argue with a bank employee in Iraklio on the island of Crete
An elderly woman is overcome with emotion outside a Eurobank in Athens yesterday
Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration outside the Greek Parliament in Athens yesterday
A man holds a banner supporting Greece during a protest in front of the European Union office in Barcelona, Spain. The banner reads "Greece yes, Troika no"

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has rejected a plea from Greece for help in securing a one-month extension of existing EU bailout funding ahead of its referendum on the next financial package.

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The appeal by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras comes ahead of a Greek default as bailout funding runs out.

Mr Kenny told Mr Tsipras to return to bailout talks and offered support towards finding a "mutually beneficial agreement, acceptable to all concerned".

And the Taoiseach pointed out Ireland experienced a very difficult economic period, worked through a bailout and "has great empathy for Greece and its people".

Mr Kenny blames Mr Tsipras for the collapse of the talks with the EU institutions, describing the move as "your decision to break off these negotiations".

The prime minister says a one-month extension of the Master Financial Assistance Facility (MAFA) will allow this weekend's referendum to be carried out "in a calm and positive climate that allows the Greek people to make this crucial decision without external pressure".

Mr Tsipras says bailout talks can then restart next Monday to reach an agreement "in line with the decision of the Greek people". He also says the Greek government is "fully committed" to remaining in the euro.

Last night, the Government's Economic Management Council met to discuss developments in Greece and the eurozone. The Taoiseach, Tanaiste Joan Burton, Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Public Spending Minister Brendan Howlin were briefed by Central Bank Governor Prof Patrick Honohan and the NTMA's Cathal Kelly.

"The meeting took note of the calm in the Irish financial markets," a spokesman said.

Irish Independent

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