Wednesday 25 April 2018

Taoiseach 'happy' about new Greek proposals to stave off bankruptcy

Enda Kenny with Italian leader Matteo Renzi
Enda Kenny with Italian leader Matteo Renzi
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Taoiseach Enda Kenny this morning said he is pleased that the Greece has set out new proposals in a bid to stave off bankruptcy.

Last night the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras offered new measures to creditors including a tax hike on shipping companies and scrapping tax breaks for its islands in a cash-for-reforms deal so the country can get a new bailout.

"I'm happy to note that Prime Minister Tsipras... Has now tabled their proposals," Mr Kenny said in Rome where he met with Italian leader Matteo Renzi.

"The structure is that these proposals will now be analysed by the institutions. A Eurogroup meeting will take place tomorrow.

"I have to say that every one of the leaders of the Eurozone (at a meeting) on Tuesday, wants Greece to be able to stay as a valued member and that this particular exceptional difficulty can be resolved.

"I'd like to think that while the time ahead will be difficult for Greece that it will have the support of European colleagues in getting back to a position of confidence, stability, investment and jobs," Mr Kenny added.

Speaking at the press conference in the Palazzo Chigi, Mr Renzi said he's "optimistic" about the upcoming talks now that the Greek proposals have been outlined.

Earlier Mr Kenny arrived at the impressive Prime Ministerial offices in a Maserati bearing an Irish flag.

The flash car was paid for by the Italian government.

A military band played Amhran na BhFiann and then the Italian national anthem with great gusto. Mr Renzi sang his county's anthem.

The pair walked up the red carpet and shook hands before retiring inside for the meeting where they discussed Greece, the Mediterranean migrant crisis, and bilateral trade between Ireland and Italy.

Mr Renzi praised the Taoiseach's"wisdom" and "leadership" at European Union meetings.

He said that meeting this morning was "very important" because "Ireland is a beloved county in Italy". He spoke of the shared past of Italian and Irish immigrants travelling to America to start new lives.

"The Irish like the Italians and the Italians like the Irish," Mr Kenny said.

He complimented the youthful Italian leader's "energy" at European talks.

He invited Mr Renzi to come to Ireland next year.

Enda Kenny's luxurious transport was provided for by the Italian foreign ministry who have a fleet of cars they use for visiting delegates.

A spokesman for the Taoiseach said that they had no control over what car he was driven around the Italian capital in and added that there was no cost to the Irish taxpayers.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section