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Barroso's backing us in our bank deal battle

IRELAND'S push for a deal on our banking debt has taken another twist -- this time for the better.

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso appears to have slapped down a threat by Germany, Finland and the Netherlands not to help separate our bank debt from our sovereign debt.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will now use Ireland's six-month presidency of the EU to push for a debt deal.


Mr Kenny, in Brussels yesterday to meet EU Commissioners in advance of Ireland's presidency, won backing from Mr Barroso, who urged EU leaders not to renege on their pledge to break the link between bank and sovereign debt.

Mr Barroso stressed that Europe's credibility was at stake in the debate over a summit deal in June to allow the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund to rescue stricken banks.

Mr Kenny said that he was very grateful for the "steadfast support" from the commission.