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Thursday 26 April 2018

Country at risk of loss of capital and jobs if Fine Gael-Labour coalition isn't returned to government - Taoiseach

Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Pic: Tom Burke
Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Pic: Tom Burke

Cormac McQuinn Political Correspondent

THE country is at risk of a flight of capital and jobs if the Fine Gael-Labour coalition isn't returned to government, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has warned.

Mr Kenny made the claim while hitting out at the alternatives including a government involving Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin.

"There are consequences to the alternatives and I do not want to see the flight from this country of either capital or jobs and a lack of investment coming in here," Mr Kenny said at an event in the offices of Pay Pal in Dundalk to launch his party's plans for jobs.

Warning of the potential for capital flight he used examples of other European countries.

"Greece is back in recession, Spain hasn't been able to form a government and there are difficulties in Portugal because they have rising interest rates.

"So we're in a very much stronger position than we were. We still have quite a distance to travel and we still have many challenges out there and the central point that we're putting forward is that you have to keep this recovery going in order to have the resources to invest in public services and personnel that we need to deal with our challenges ahead."

He argued: "Fianna Fáil were handed a good country in 1997 and in ten years they had wrecked it, wrecked it, wrecked the economy".

Asked if he's saying that any government that's not Fine Gael and Labour would lead to capital flight, Mr Kenny replied:

"I'm saying that one alternative is half the Fianna Fáil party want to join Sinn Féin.

"Sinn Féin has opposed everything that Europe stands for. Sinn Féin have opposed everything that will create further jobs in this country. So that's an alternative that is there and if people decide to vote for that, well there are consequences to that."

He said that the current coalition has "a proven track record" and that they had put the country in a "sound position" politically and financially.

"But it is the people's choice and I hope they reflect very carefully on the question that they must answer on the 26th and that is who do you trust to keep this recovery going?," Mr Kenny said.

Wicklow candiate Simon Harris joined Mr Kenny to announced Fine Gael's jobs plans.

The party says it will help create 200,000 jobs in the coming years and promise to make it more attractive for employers to hire people who have been out of work for more than 12 and 24 months.

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