EU Commissioner holds key meetings
Published 09/11/2010 | 09:56
Opposition parties, employers and trade union leaders will hold separate meetings with EU Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn on the final leg of his two-day trip to Dublin.
Representatives of Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein were scheduled to meet with Mr Rehn after he met Finance Minister Brian Lenihan for discussions on next month's Budget and the Government's €15bn four-year plan on Monday night.
After the meeting, Mr Rehn called for political consensus on the measures, claiming it would be of great benefit to Ireland, while urging all parties, "irrespective of party political differences", to support structural reforms.
The Finnish-born politician will also address the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) on the economic governance debate in Europe, and discuss its implications for the EU, member states and citizens.
Mr Rehn was earlier accused of insulting Ireland's poor and vulnerable by refusing to meet the Community and Voluntary Pillar that represents the less well-off in social partnership.
Sean Healy, director of Social Justice Ireland, insisted that by refusing to meet, Mr Rehn was signing up to the Government's budgetary strategy.
He said: "It is totally unacceptable that the European Commission supports an approach which will see Ireland's weakest groups take the major part of the hit for the reckless actions of greedy bankers, incompetent regulators and an inept Government."