Enda Kenny calls on EU to honor commitment to ease Ireland’s bank debt

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Chancellor Angela Merkel speak to the media following talks at the Chancellery in Berlin on November 16, 2011 in Berlin, Germany.

Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny has demanded that European leaders stand by their promise to ease the country’s crippling bank debt.

Kenny is concerned by comments made at the weekend by EU economics commissioner Olli Rehn which may affect plans to renegotiate the terms of Ireland’s bank bailout.

The Fine Gael leader has warned of damage to trust between EU member states after Rehn claimed there were ‘different interpretations’ of what was agreed at an EU summit.

The Irish Times reports on Kenny’s claims that a deal agreed at the summit in relation to using the euro area’s bailout fund to recapitalise banks is ‘binding’.

The paper also says that Kenny has called on fellow leaders to demonstrate that they will follow through on the summit agreement.

The Irish PM said in Dublin: “In meetings of EU leaders one of the problems you find is the missing element is trust that if they make a decision they will stand by it.

“There is a need for transparency, for decisiveness, for clarity. There is no resiling and going back from a formal decision made by the leaders of the 27 countries of the European Union.

“I was happy that at that meeting in June there was a clear and unequivocal decision made not by ministers, not by civil servants, not by commentators but by the heads of government of the 27.”
Kenny is quoted by the Irish Times as saying the decision has two parts.

He added: “Firstly, to break the link between sovereign and bank debt to allow for recapitalisation directly of banks and secondly, that a review of Ireland’s position would be held to improve our capacity to meet our debts and that equal treatment would be given to the country.

“They’re the decisions that were made. They’re the decisions that stand.”

Irish government ministers are expected to raise the question of Ireland’s debt sustainability in Brussels on Wednesday when they meet European Commissioners as part of Ireland’s preparation to take up the EU presidency next year.

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