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Kenny must raise debt conference with EU chiefs - Adams

27 January, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to raise the issue of a European debt conference when he meets European Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker next week.

Mr Adams criticised the Taoiseach for rejecting the demand for a European debt conference, particularly in light of the elections in Greece and of this State’s debt burden.

Gerry Adams said:

“It makes absolutely no sense for a State with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 111% to say no to a debt conference.

“The citizens of this State should not have to depend on Greece to propose something which is so obviously in the interests of this State and its citizens.

“The negotiating track record of the Taoiseach and the Government in the EU and on Ireland’s debt has been utterly pathetic.

“They have committed to repaying every cent of the toxic Anglo debt, and have completely surrendered on the recapitalisation of the pillar banks.

“They have refused to negotiate in any serious way at an international level in the best interests of the Irish people.

“Instead they have inflicted widespread hardship on Irish citizens and damage to this society.”

“The latest CSO statistics indicate that the number of children in poverty has risen to 140,000 and that this government will miss anti-poverty targets, with more than a third of young people in the State experiencing enforced deprivation.”

Mr Adams said Sinn Féin had never accepted that Irish citizens should have to pay private bank debt but that the Government refused to negotiate in any serious way at EU level in the best interests of Irish citizens.

Addressing Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil this evening, Mr Adams said:

“Fine Gael and Labour rolled over on this issue while Sinn Fein’s call for ‘burden sharing’ is now EU policy.

“Sinn Féin will continue to push for the EU to honour its obligations for unfairly forcing this debt on Irish people.

“The Government also have had the option to apply for retrospective re-capitalisation of bank debt in AIB and Bank of Ireland. So far they have not done this.”

He said Sinn Fein supported the growing calls for a European Debt Conference that would make debt sustainable and fair, and called on the Taoiseach to “reflect” on his rejection of the idea.

He asked Mr Kenny to “raise the issue of a debt conference in your meetings next week with Presidents Tusk and Juncker” and also to raise the issue of retrospective recapitalisation of the pillar banks.

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