Sunday, 21 October 2012

Debt deal stands despite Angela Merkel's remarks - Pat Rabbitte

Speaking on the This Week programme on RTE radio this afternoon, Pat Rabbitte said the Chancellor's comments were specifically about Spain.

He said he was concerned about the comments and for that reason he said the Government was in contact with the German Chancellor's office over the last couple of days.

He said he interpreted positively the Chancellor's statement yesterday where she commits to strong support for Ireland to improve the sustainability of the Irish bailout programme.

Minister Rabbitte said he would rather Chancellor Merkel had not made the comments.

However he said the Germans were heading into a general election and he said it was not possible to stop European leaders conducting their domestic political affairs as they think appropriate.

Earlier Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said he did not regret using the words “game changer” to describe the outcome of the European summit in June.

He insisted it remained a “game changer” in terms of separating sovereign and banking debt.
Mr Gilmore said it was a change in European policy that had been recently upheld at last week's European Council meeting.

However, he said he is concerned by the comments of Angela Merkel on Friday.
The German chancellor ruled out the retrospective recapitalisation of banks - a core objective of the Government's bid to reduce Ireland's debt burden.

Mr Gilmore said there needed to be a distinction made between the comments of one European leader at a press conference and the agreement between 27 EU member states including Germany.
He said there was practical work to be done and there was on-going contact between the Irish and German administrations at official, political and diplomatic levels.

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