Taoiseach must ‘stop hiding’

Offaly Deputy Barry Cowen has expressed grave concern at the Government’s refusal to outline details of its strategy on a renegotiation of Irish bank debt.

Offaly Deputy Barry Cowen has expressed grave concern at the Government’s refusal to outline details of its strategy on a renegotiation of Irish bank debt.

Deputy Cowen was commenting after the Taoiseach Enda Kenny repeatedly refused to answer questions from the Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin about his phone call with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel last Friday.

“By passing the Stability Treaty we can focus energies on securing a new deal on our bank debt. However the indications now are that the Taoiseach appears to have dropped the ball. He has refused to outline any details of his conversation with Chancellor Merkel, what issues he raised with her and what her response was. People want to know has he requested a write-down of Irish bank debt, particularly in relation to the promissory note? Has he requested a restructuring of our debt?”

Deputy Cowen said the Taoiseach spent the entire referendum campaign avoiding interviews and debates and refusing to address people’s concerns. “Now he is avoiding answering the most basic questions about the strategy on renegotiating our bank debt. The time has come for the German authorities to be told directly that either there will be a radical move on euro level involvement in sovereign bonds or the European Union will be dragged into much deeper and longer term economic crisis.”

Deputy Cowen concluded, “It is time for Mr Kenny to stop hiding and start fighting for Ireland’s interests in Europe.”