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Wednesday 24 September 2014

Kenny sticks to his guns on deadline for bank debt

John Leonidou in Limassol and Fionnan Sheahan

Published 12/01/2013 | 05:00

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny (right) before the European People's Party summit in Limassol, Cyprus.

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny is sticking to his deadline of securing deals on bank debt by March and June.

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Mr Kenny also said it was in everyone's interest for the next EU leaders' summit to reach agreement on the €1 trillion seven-year budget.

Meeting with fellow leaders in Fine Gael's EU political group in Cyprus, the Taoiseach said he was hopeful a deal could be struck.

"It's in everybody's interest that that should happen. That would then allow Ireland's presidency to discuss and negotiate with the European Parliament," he said.

The European Parliament has to approve the budget plan and it will be up to Ireland to guide it through scrutiny by MEPs.

Mr Kenny said a deal on the budget would allow movement on legislation, including reforms of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, which he described as "very necessary for the smooth running of the union for the years ahead".

The Taoiseach also stuck to his deadline of March for a deal on the Anglo Irish Bank promissory note and June for a clear signal on the recapitalisation of AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB.

"In respect of briefing leaders on where we are, we continue to negotiate with the ECB and I do hope that the matter can be concluded before the next payment date, due at the end of March.

"As you are aware, the Eurogroup will hold their discussion on the SSM (single supervisory mechanism) and banking union and have the conditions set out by June.

"That's a matter that will be taking lead position for Ireland by Michael Noonan and his colleagues," he said.

The meeting in Limassol of the European People's Party was also attended by European Council President Herman van Rompuy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Regarding the ongoing delay in agreeing a bailout for Cyprus, Mr Kenny said the Memorandum of Understanding had not been signed yet.

Irish Independent

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