Tuesday 21 August 2018

Kenny sounds positive note after EU praise

Michael Brennan in Warsaw

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel and fellow EU leaders are "happy" with Ireland's progress under the €85bn bailout deal.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the EU leaders had been "very complimentary" when he met them at an EU gathering in Warsaw, Poland, yesterday.

"And in particular, the bigger countries who are contributing mainly to the financial bailout are happy to hear from myself as leader that their money is being well spent," he said.

Mr Kenny again pledged that the Government would be bringing in a Budget that would meet the cutbacks target set under the bailout deal.

He said it had not yet been decided if the target would be €3.6bn or as much as €4bn -- because it would depend on whether tax receipts and economic growth figures were strong enough.

If they are weak, the Government will have to cut more to ensure the deficit is reduced to the bailout deal target of 8.6pc of national income.

But at the Irish Embassy in Warsaw, Mr Kenny still sounded an optimistic note to the Irish business people who were present by highlighting recent jobs announcements from Twitter and Coca-Cola.

"People are looking at Ireland as being the first country that can emerge from a bailout situation with an enhanced reputation," he said.

Mr Kenny praised Irish construction companies such as SISK, SIAC and Roadbridge who have switched from building motorways in Ireland to building motorways worth "several billion" in Poland.


Meanwhile, Mr Kenny is to offer Ireland's peace process expertise to two conflict-ridden eastern European countries. He is going to have a key role in helping Georgia and and Moldova.

"We have come with a history of going through a process for 30 years of dealing with conflict in Northern Ireland, which was brought to a successful conclusion," he said.

Ireland will take the presidency of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe next year -- and expects to have around 15 officials working to make the most of it.

Irish Independent

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