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Tuesday 24 October 2017

Taoiseach in talks with EU counterparts

Taoiseach Brian Cowen will travel to Brussels today for his final meeting with EU heads of state and government.

Violent clashes in Egypt, the economy and the euro will be discussed by the European Council throughout the day.

Elsewhere members will review the European Financial Stability Facility and hold talks on the European Commission's legislative proposals on economic governance.

Mr Cowen and his EU counterparts will also consider energy and innovation policy, with these two sectors being key to Europe's future growth and prosperity.

It is the last time the outgoing Taoiseach will attend the European Council before the February 25 general election.

Brendan Howlin, Labour Party spokesman on European affairs, claimed Mr Cowen is the caretaker Taoiseach of a broken government and has no authority to make decisions at EU summit.

"While the summit is formally to deal with energy issues, it will also discuss the ongoing Eurozone debt crisis and job creation proposals," said Mr Howlin.

"It is expected that, during lunch, the leaders will discuss Franco/German proposals on reform of the Stability Fund.

"All of these subjects are of potentially significant importance to the Irish people.

"Brian Cowen and other EU leaders should be aware that any position adopted by Mr Cowen will be subject to review by any new government which receives a mandate from the Irish people on February 25."

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