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Putting in place 'national government' would not necessarily help in coronavirus battle - Varadkar

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Picture: Collins

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Picture: Collins

Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Picture: Collins

PUTTING a new coalition government in place would not necessarily help the battle against the coronavirus, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has insisted.

Mr Varadkar said the current Government was properly constituted and empowered to go on in office and meet all the challenges of the virus.

He said that a change of government could generate confusion for weeks with 20 or 30 new ministers being appointed, followed by new advisers, and the need to make new relationships with civil servants.

He said a change of government required all kinds of adjustments in the system and could “take weeks.”

“I’ve seen some suggestions that we have a ‘national government’ for a temporary period and then a new government. I think having that kind of disruption twice in the period of a few months is not wise quite frankly,” Mr Varadkar said.

The Taoiseach was speaking after a special Cabinet subcommittee meeting on the coronavirus crisis but before talke on the government issue with Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin. He said Fine Gael still believed that the majority of the opposition parties in the Dáil should get enough time to form a coalition - and his party would only enter government “in extremis if they were wanted and needed.”

The Taoiseach was due to hold talks with Micheál Martin last night and contacts will continue throughout this week between the various parties. But since the Taoiseach and most of his ministers will spend the latter end of the week abroad at St Patrick’s Day functions in the USA not much progress is expected until after March 17.

The Dáil is not due back until Thursday of next week, March 19.

Online Editors