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Taoiseach calls on the young to help business rediscover its energy

Marketing graduates must not be afraid of challenges, but should express their views and be different.

At a breakfast in the National Gallery, organised by the marketing development programme at the UCD Michael Smurfit School of Business, Taoiseach Enda Kenny (inset) said our economy can be driven by young people's energy.

The Government is open to ideas from graduates to help business recover. Young Irish people working at home and abroad have special qualities and the potential for change is "staggering".

They are bright, curious and show a sense of fun. The Taoiseach said emigration is nothing new to Ireland; sadly it's been with us for 250 years.

Bill Clinton says Ireland has the best demographics for the next 50 years with an educated workforce to be harnessed. The Taoiseach said Ireland's backing for the Fiscal Treaty was a credit to the country, the only EU member state brave enough to do so.

Rebuilding Ireland's reputation is a major goal for the Government. Part of the plan is to protect the corporate tax rate. The Taoiseach said stories from some countries "don't stack up". Despite pressure from some EU colleagues -- most notably France and Germany -- there's "no messing about" with Ireland's 12.5pc rate, by far the lowest in the eurozone: France, Germany, Spain and Greece are all on 35pc.

Negotiations with the Troika on Ireland's debts remain tough, but progress is being made, including the first steps in a return to the bond markets. The Taoiseach quoted Muhammad Ali: "It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out, it's the pebble in your shoe."