Saturday 7 December 2019

Not a trickle out of Phil on Water

Mr Water Charges Phil Hogan seems immune to all the chatter back home. You can't even get a trickle out of him on it. The man who oversaw the establishment of Irish Water is no longer interested in the ins and outs of national politics. As an EU Commissioner, he's above all that now, dealing more with the loftier issues of the Union.

And so, journalists were a little disappointed this week in Brussels when the man himself refused to be drawn into the whole debacle.

He brushed off questions, stating simply that he looked forward to seeing what the Government would be unveiling yesterday.

The Punt got the impression he was bursting to vent, but he knew better. He's a statesman.

Ever the politician, he was keen to ensure that he could announce some goodies for the voters back home.

He revealed that the European Commission had adopted a partnership agreement with Ireland, paving the way for €3.357bn in investment funding up to 2020, which goes towards issues such as rural development programme and tackling the youth unemployment issue. It was for Corina Cretu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, to announce it, but Big Phil got approval to dish out the good news and switch on the funding tap, just as many will be guarding their own taps at home.

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