Friday 19 January 2018

McDonald: we could have followed Greek bailout path

Mary Lou McDonald
Mary Lou McDonald
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Sinn Féin vice-president Mary Lou McDonald has backed controversial Greek ruling party Syriza and said it would have been "extremely interesting" if the Irish Government had followed a similar path when seeking a bailout.

Greek people have been left without banks for almost two weeks and pensioners are being forced to queue in dangerous temperatures to withdraw their welfare payments from ATMs.There are growing fears that food and medical supplies will run out in the coming weeks as the country's prime minister Alexis Tsipras struggles to secure a third bailout for Greece.

But speaking on RTÉ Radio One yesterday, Ms McDonald accused Taoiseach Enda Kenny of bowing to the European institutions and suggested the Government should have followed Greece's path to recovery.

"Wouldn't it have been extremely interesting to see, had this administration taken a more forthright, a more courageous proper negotiating position with the institutions, how they would have gotten on," Ms McDonald said

She said Syriza was not solely responsible for the problems facing Greece and accused the central EU powers of orchestrating a "masterclass in political vindictiveness" against the struggling nation.

"Tsipras found himself with no ally at a governmental level, including our own heroes of the hour," Ms McDonald said.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said the financial crisis facing Greece was a clear example of what would happen if Sinn Féin was in power.

Mr Ryan said the actions taken by Syriza would "kill a country" and the party was not dealing with "real world" politics. He accused Mr Tsipras of damaging Greece by "taking six months to mess around in negotiations", adding: "No one knows what they stand for and no one trusts them."

Irish Independent

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