Business World

Sunday 18 February 2018

Taoiseach rejects Greek PM’s request to support country’s bailout extension

Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

THE TAOISEACH rejected a request from the Greek Prime Minister to support the country’s request for an extension to its bailout programme.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wrote to Enda Kenny yesterday appealing for the Irish government to support a one month extension to the country’s bailout programme.

Athens is seeking an additional month on its current bailout programme in order to hold a referendum on a new financial assistance programme for the country.

In a letter addressed to the Taoiseach, seen by, Mr Tsipras said that the ECB decision not to grant a bailout extension has led to serious liquidity problems for the country’s economy.

“I would like to underline that holding a referendum on these proposals is a sovereign democratic right of the Greek people, necessary to ensure ownership over the financial assistance program that will be eventually agreed with the institutions.”

He also stressed the country’s commitment to remain in the single currency.

“In this context, I would like to request that your Government re-examine its position on the issue and support the reconsideration of the request of the Hellenic Republic by the Finance Ministers of the Eurozone with a view to granting it.

“This decision will contribute to our common goal of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement, to secure fiscal, financial debt sustainability, that will return Greece to growth within the Eurozone.”

However this Taoiseach told Mr Tsipras that it had been his hope that agreement would have been reached at negotiations last week.

He told the Prime Minister that his government’s decision to leave the negotiations meant a solution was not reached.

“Unfortunately, your decision to break these negotiations meant that (achieving agreement) was not possible at that time.”

In his letter, sent today, the Taoiseach also told Mr Tsipras that Ireland had worked through its own bailout programme.

While he supported the Greek government’s commitment to remain in the Eurozone, he called on the country’s government to return to negotiations.

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