Saturday 20 January 2018

Taoiseach: 'Legacy deal won't be met by mid-2014'

Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D.

Fionnan Sheahan Group Political Editor

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny admits some countries see Ireland as "victims of our own success" in emerging from the bailout.

Mr Kenny said the country's level of debt is still a major issue but added that the EU's promise to give the country a deal on legacy bank debt "still stands".

The Taoiseach accepts a deadline he suggested for striking a deal on Ireland's legacy debt by mid-2014 "won't be met".

"I always said in the latter half of 2014. Now, look, I may be wrong here. When you sit around the table with 26, 27, 28 or 29 others, complications can arise," he said.

Mr Kenny says Ireland is recognised for its "very special circumstances" and the Government argues this must be taken into account.

Although he declined to say how much funding the Government was hoping to get back, he says the European Council decision of June 2012 to give a debt deal has been "re-endorsed on five or six occasions since".

"So while we had a small primary surplus this year that can start to fall, that's the point of political negotiation. We are the only ones who are in that particular spot, and that's why the decision recognised that in June of last year. And that decision still stands," he added.

However, he said there will be no movement until the planned European banking union is in place.

"I like to think the decisions the European Council makes in good opinion would be followed through. We haven't lost sight of that at all," he added.

Irish Independent

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