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Kenny takes hard line on Greece

Ireland will not support debt relief for Greece, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said in Brussels yesterday.

That appears to put him at odds with Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who has said that while the Irish Government would not back debt write-downs for the country, it would be prepared to accommodate it in other ways to make its debt more sustainable.

Ahead of a meeting of European leaders in Brussels, Mr Kenny said it will be difficult to conclude talks on a Greek debt deal, saying he believed it would go into the weekend.

Asked if Ireland would, in principle, support a demand from the Greek authorities for debt relief, Mr Kenny replied: "No.''

Mr Noonan, as recently as last week, before the Oireachtas Finance Committee, suggested the Greek government could look for an extension of their loan maturities, such as Ireland did which would be a form of debt relief.