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I'd love to be leader until 2021 – Kenny

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny wants to remain in power until 2021, he has announced.

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Kenny rejected claims that he would take a top EU job.

He said his priority was getting Fine Gael back in government at the next elections.

"The mandate given to me was to take our country out of an unholy economic mess and get it working," he added. "That's what we've got to do."

The Taoiseach agreed many people had been "squeezed" and signalled that the Cabinet would look at tax cuts this year.

"Any relief that can come will be considered carefully by Government," he said. "We recognise the frustration and the anxiety in people. But you can't do it unless you have the capacity to do that in the Budget. We reflect on all of those things."

Mr Kenny also revealed the Government was continuing to lobby for European help to recover some of the crippling cost of bailing out the banks.

He said that the recovery remained in a fragile state because of the high level of national debt. "People are prepared to put their shoulders to the wheel to deal with the problem," he added. "But we need continued assistance to ensure that that sets us on the road to prosperity."

STRESS

Mr Kenny further claimed that the Government was confident that Irish banks would pass EU stress tests later this year.

And he also praised the economic progress that the country had made so far as "quite remarkable".

"There is no complacency in Ireland," the Taoiseach said. "What we have to do politically is to ensure that people can actually say, 'It's actually turned, and I can feel it in my own local economy'.

"But we still have a journey to go in that regard."

hnews@herald.ie


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