Wednesday 13 December 2017

Aer Lingus takeover: Decision to sell is 'best way to secure future of airline' - Enda Kenny

Mr Kenny insisted voting Yes will not affect access to surrogacy in Ireland
Mr Kenny insisted voting Yes will not affect access to surrogacy in Ireland
Lise Hand

Lise Hand

The Taoiseach has strongly defended the government's decision to sell its stake in Aer Lingus, saying it would be "the best way to secure the future of the airline".

Rejecting criticism of the proposed deal, he said, "Throughout the whole whole process government has been very careful to secure the best deal for the country and I believe that we have achieved this".

 Mr Kenny insisted that in the deal with IAG "the government have actually secured stronger and more durable guarantees that currently exist in respect of Ireland’s future connectivity, particularly to London Heathrow and in the maintenance of Aer Lingus’ iconic brand and of its head office in Ireland.

He added," IAG has set out ambitious growth plans for the company and the government is confident that supporting IAG’s offer is the best way to secure Aer Lingus’ future in what is an increasingly competitive global airline market and thereby enhancing Ireland’s connectivity with the rest of the world."

Mr Kenny was speaking at the launch of a nationwide competition to find Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur which has an investment fund of €2m.

The Taoiseach and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton launched the competition in Dublin's docklands, and urged all people between the ages of 18 to 30 with a start-up or business idea to apply through their Local Enterprise Offices.

"We need young people with business ideas for tomorrow. Increasing entrepreneurial activity is a core theme of the 2015 Action Plan for Jobs with the aim of doubling the jobs impact of start-ups in Ireland over the next five years," said Mr Kenny, adding that the young Diaspora were being targeted to try and bring them home.

Meanwhile, there were stormy scenes in the Dáil this morning when the Opposition objected to the government introducing a new order of business to proceedings which would allow the Oireachtas to devote the entire day to debating the sale of the government's stake in Aer Lingus.

In lively exchanges, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin described the move as "slippery, slieveen and ramming the proposition through".

A vote on the €1,4bn sale will be taken in the Dáil tomorrow.

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