Sunday 23 October 2016

Lengthy bailout agreement talks with Greece were a 'bruising experience' - Kenny


TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has welcomed this morning's historic agreement with Greece, but described the talks as "a bruising experience".

"This has been a pretty bruising experience over the last period, but what it has allowed for is the basis for a third agreement for Greece which will allow for the Greek economy to thrive and prosper and continue to remain a member for the eurozone," he said, speaking after a mammoth 17-hour meeting of eurozone leaders ended in Brussels this morning.

Mr Kenny said that Greece now had the "potential to grow their own economy".

He said that the involvement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the programme and the establishment of a €50bn fund were the main issues discussed last night.


Half of the proceeds of that fund will be used for investment, with the rest being used for debt reduction, the Taoiseach said.

He acknowledged that the agreement was "a challenging position for Greece", but said that it was "a challenge the prime minister has said he is up for".

The deal will now go to various national parliaments, including the Greek parliament.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will have a difficult battle ahead in convincing his party colleagues to accept the deal.

"It is hoped that this now can go through the Greek parliament with assistance from all sides and will form the basis of a third programme," Mr Kenny said.

He also spoke of a document, yet to be published, which will set out the need to rebuild trust between Greece and its creditors after six months of difficult negotiations and many breakdowns in talks along the way.

"So I welcome the fact that agreement has been reached after an all-night session," Mr Kenny said.

However, news of the deal to give Greece a third bailout did not go down well with some of Ireland's left-wing politicians.


Socialist TD Paul Murphy called on the Greek party Syriza to "revolt" in parliament.

"Tsipras has now agreed in Brussels. Syriza in parliament should revolt. Don't sign your own death sentence," he tweeted.

TD Joe Higgins (inset) said that the deal would mean "massive privatisation and austerity cuts".

"Workers, pensioners, unemployed and young people can mobilise against a bailout," he said.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has yet to react to the historic deal.

His Department said that it was waiting for word from the minister, who has been very much involved in the discussions of the past week.

Mr Noonan previously said that Greece needed to build up "trust" with the EU, "by implementing what they have now agreed to support".

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