Tuesday 21 November 2017

Kenny resists FF leader’s rate cut jibes

independent.ie reporters

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has told the Dail he will arrange a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy "if and when it is appropriate" as France’s resistance to the 1pc interest rate reduction on our €67.5bn bailout loans continues.

Resisting pressure from Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin to speed up a rendez vous with Mr Sarkozy, Mr Kenny said while a cut is not on the agenda at the European Council meetings tomorrow and Friday, the issue will be dealt with by EU finance ministers.

Mr Martin said he found it astounding that Mr Kenny had not had a bilateral meeting with the man who is holding up the cut.

The Taoiseach said the agenda was set by the President of the Council and that officials were in regular contact with their counterparts about it.

Speaking to the media this afternoon, the Taoiseach reiterated that the meeting with Mr Sarkozy would happen when it was appropriate.

When pressed about a meeting, he said: “What do you want me to do? Ring up the Elysee and say I am here and I want to talk to you?”

Earlier, Labour TD Tommy Broughan asked if the Government would consider holding a referendum on the same day as the Presidential election, to let the people decide on the bailout agreement, as the Greeks had.

Sinn Féin's Peader Tobin asked if changes to the Lisbon Treaty to accommodate the new European Stability Mechanism would require a referendum.

Mr Kenny said the Attorney General was assessing the position, but her predecessor had said no Irish referendum would be required.

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