Sunday 18 March 2018

Taoiseach says Greece must engage 'constructively' if it wants to renegotiate debt

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has warned Greece that it must be willing to engage "constructively" if the country has any hope of renegotiating its crippling debts.

During a day of turmoil for Greece, Mr Kenny waded into the row over whether the country should secure a major renegotiation of its international bailout package.

In a clear warning that eurozone leaders are becoming impatient with Greece's gung-ho approach to solving its debt problems, Mr Kenny said the government must be prepared to "negotiate and engage constructively" with other member states.

Speaking in Brussels, Mr Kenny repeatedly cited Ireland's negotiation record with its EU counterparts which it said lent towards the country securing a restructuring of €50bn worth of bailout loans.

Mr Kenny's suggested that his message to his embattled Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras is to accept that any new deal must come with strict conditions.

Asked about the decision by the European Central Bank to stop funding Greek lenders, Mr Kenny said the move was a "message" that debt write down is not on the cards.

"Clearly, this is, if you like, a direction to the Greek government, that as we have said, this is not a case of having debt write-downs which the Prime Minister has confirmed he doesn't want," Mr Kenny said.

"But it is a case, of understanding,that getting support from Europe does require conditions to be adhered to," he added.

Mr Kenny was speaking following a series of separate meeting in Brussels with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and Ireland's European Commissioner Phil Hogan.

Online Editors

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