Fine Gael TD Frank Feighan has welcomed the agreement reached by the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and other EU leaders in Brussels, saying the Government has secured a significant breakthrough on our banking debt.
“This is a major step forward for Ireland. Thanks to the agreement reached at the EU Summit in Brussels we are breaking the link between bank debt and the public finances; which is a hugely positive development. The Taoiseach has been pushing forward this approach on a consistent basis; our colleagues in Europe have now listened to the case the Government has been making,” he said.
“This is a huge shift in Ireland’s favour. The deal will be applied to Ireland retrospectively. In other words, we will be able to get a better deal than the crippling and catastrophic arrangement agreed by the previous Government, which saddled the Irish taxpayer with the huge cost of bailing out the banks.
“The details of the deal need to be worked out over the next couple of months, but further progress should be made in just over a weeks’ time when Michael Noonan and Europe’s other Finance Ministers meet on July 9th. Minister Noonan will be focussed on getting the maximum benefit for Irish taxpayers. This will help us get back into the markets next year as planned, and put us on a sustainable footing to return to growth. The legacy of the banking debt has been holding us back and hampering Ireland’s chances for the future. This will now be changed.
“The second very positive outcome from the Summit is the fact that a significant growth stimulus package has been agreed, worth €120 billion. We now have an opportunity to use some of these funds for jobs and investment here. The plan includes significant additional money for the European Investment Bank (EIB), which Ireland wants to use for a range of shovel-ready projects. The President of the EIB is due to come to Ireland next week, when the Taoiseach will progress these plans further. “There is still a lot of work to do, but we have made a major step in the right direction. A focus on growth coupled with a fairer deal on our bank debt will help Ireland to get back on the road to recovery and put the bad decisions of the previous Government well and truly behind us.”