Saturday 17 March 2018

I'd take advice from you any day, says Turkish envoy

Ailish O'Hora

IRELAND got encouragement from an unlikely source yesterday. Despite our economic woes, the soothing words came from a Turkish minister who is heading up a delegation ahead of the country's future accession to the European Union.

"I'd take advice from you any day," the chief negotiator for Turkey's EU accession Egemen Bagis told European Affairs Minister Dick Roche at a meeting in Dublin's Iveagh House.

Mr Bagis assured Mr Roche that Turkey had gone through worse financial travails -- but was now one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

In 2000/2001 a growing trade deficit and weaknesses in the banking sector plunged the Turkish economy into crisis.

Mr Bagis said that at the time, interest rates among banks hiked to 8,000pc before strict fiscal discipline and bank restructuring pushed the economy in the right direction.

But he added his country could learn from other Irish experiences, including conflict resolution during the peace process, while referring to the dispute between Turkey and Greek-Cypriots over Cyprus.

He thanked the Irish Government for its support toward Turkey's accession.

However, when asked by the press if it were appropriate for Ireland to be giving advice to an accession country given our current circumstances, Mr Roche's demeanour changed.

"Well we're hear to talk, not to advise," he said while also defending Ireland's sovereign position.

Irish Independent

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