Friday 20 April 2018

Taoiseach to hold G8 economic talks with Obama

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

US President Barack Obama will discuss the economic situation in Ireland with Taoiseach Enda Kenny when they meet at the G8 summit next week.

But Mr Obama will not be making an appointment to the vacant position of US Ambassador to Ireland during his visit.

Mr Obama will speak to Mr Kenny at the G8 summit in Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh.

"The president will be eager to get an update on how he sees the outlook in Ireland and the EU in general," a senior White House official said.

Mr Obama will also be making a speech in Belfast on Monday on the importance of the Northern Ireland peace process. The event at the Waterfront Hall will be attended by 2,000 people – the majority of them school students from the North. The speech will focus on continuing to build upon the peace process.

Ahead of the summit, British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday announced a package of measures to help the Northern economy.

Mr Cameron met with the North's First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in Downing Street yesterday.

The Taoiseach will be an invited guest at the G8 summit.

But his host, Mr Cameron, has said he will put tax evasion and aggressive avoidance at the heart of the meeting – at a time when Ireland is being accused of being a tax haven.

Mr Kenny will support any moves for an international plan for tackling tax avoidance at the G8 summit. But the Taoiseach is really hoping to get a chance to talk about Ireland's economic recovery and exit from the bailout when he speaks with eight of the world's most powerful leaders.

HAVEN

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte (pictured) once again denied yesterday that the country is a tax haven and said the accusations were only coming from "grandstanding" politicians in the United States.

Mr Kenny is unlikely to be asked about Ireland's tax regime. But if the matter does come up, he will emphasise the tax rate is only one reason multinationals invest in Ireland. The G8 leaders are expected to make a statement calling for tighter rules on where corporations pay their taxes and the sharing of information between countries.

The Taoiseach will be present as Ireland holds the EU Presidency and because Mr Cameron wanted him there as the event is being held on the island.

obama safari cancelled: p28 james downey

Irish Independent

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