Wednesday 13 December 2017

Government 'not ready' to push through legislation


Donal O'Donovan

THE Government is not yet ready to push through new laws that Ireland must pass as its part in allowing changes to the European bailout mechanisms agreed by Enda Kenny and other euro leaders at a summit in July.

Theheads of government came together on July 21 and agreed a beefed-up rescue deal for the euro area. It includes greater scope and flexibility for the European bailout funds that have to be signed into law in all 17 countries using the euro.

The deal was hailed as a potential game changer for the crisis in the markets, but delays implementing the plan has undermined confidence.

Markets that initially reacted positively to the news have turned dramatically over the past week on the realisation it could be months before the measures take effect.

That sapping of confidence is a major frustration to European leaders who say democratic governments cannot rush legislative processes just to meet market expectations.

"It would have been fantastic if the agreement had been fully operational on the July 22, but this was of course impossible. The agreement must be fleshed out and then accepted and ratified in each member state," European Markets Commissioner Oli Rehn said yesterday.

He said it was the "necessary and legitimate" price for living in democracies.

Last night a spokesman for the Department of Finance confirmed that Ireland was among the counties yet to pass the new laws making the deal effective.

The spokesman said consultation between member countries on draft legislation was still going on. There is no plan to hold emergency Dail sessions to rush through the laws.

The legislation will be brought forward as a matter of priority once the Dail resumes in September, according to the department. A spokesman for Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the Government was monitoring the latest situation in the markets and was in contact with European partners.

Irish Independent

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