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Varadkar says end of June is 'hard deadline' for forming government


 Photo: PA

Photo: PA

Photo: PA

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has said the end of June is becoming a "hard deadline" for the formation of a new government.

He said legislation is "starting to mount up" and warned that if a deal is not done by the end of next month "we have to look at alternatives and they’re very difficult as you can imagine".

Mr Varadkar declined to say if he was referring to the possibility of a general election saying: "I really don’t want to speculate on alternatives because I’m not planning for them."

Talks are ongoing between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party.

Mr Varadkar said he met his fellow party leaders Micheál Martin and Eamon Ryan today and that the negotiations are "progressing".

He said: "As is always the case in the talks process you can agree the less contentious things first.

"We’re probably at the point now where we’re going to need to find compromise on the things that are a little bit more contentious."

He said the goal is to agree the Programme for Government by the end of next week and to have it approved by the three parties' memberships in the following two weeks.

A government would be formed by the end of June to pass the necessary legislation.

He also said: "There is many a slip between cup and lip but I can guarantee that everyone’s working really hard on this this."

Mr Varadkar mentioned the need to renew the Offences Against the State Act, as well as pass legislation relating to the European Investment Bank (EIB) among a backlog off laws that are mounting up.

He said the Seanad must be fully constituted to pass such laws.

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A new government is required for this to happen so that whoever is Taoiseach can appoint the remaining 11 Senators.

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