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Noonan: We’re not Greece... put that on a t-shirt

Finance Minister Michael Noonan joked today he is considering ordering t-shirts with "Ireland is not Greece" printed on them.

We won’t give them away, we’ll sell them,” Noonan told reporters after an event organised by business body IBEC in Dublin.

Mr Noonan added at the event that Ireland is “on track” with budget measures under its €67.5bn bailout agreement with the EU/IMF.

Ireland is now focused on differentiating itself from Greece which is trying to stave off a default - but markets are not necessarily getting the message.

The yield premium on Irish 10-year debt and German bunds, Europe’s benchmark, widened again today.

Meanwhile, speaking in Brussels before a summit meeting, Mr Kenny said he would raise the 1pc interest rate cut on the European portion of our €67.5bn bailout loans this week although the focus is on the Greek crisis.

“I’ve already brought it up at the EPP (European democratic leaders grouping which includes Mr Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel) meeting and in the context of the discussion which will take place this evening about the Greek economy yes I will bring it up in that context,” he said.

“It was well known that there was a request for Ireland to increase its corporate tax rate I made it crystal clear to the meeting and I make it clear again here that there will be no shift from Ireland in respect of Ireland’s corporate tax rate.

“And because of that fact, agreement has not been forthcoming.”

Earlier in the week, Mr Kenny became frustrated in the Dail after he was bombarded with questions as to why he had not personally contacted French President Nicolas Sarkozy over France’s strong resistance to the 1pc cut.