Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda KennyGoogle Image
Irish leader Enda Kenny has again refuted claims by one of his government Ministers that Ireland will need another EU-IMF bail-out in 2012.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar caused chaos on the markets and panic amongst beleaguered taxpayers when he made the remarks to a Sunday newspaper.
He claimed Ireland’s economy won’t be strong enough in 2012 to allow the government to go back to the bond markets next year.
“I think it’s very unlikely we’ll be able to go back next year. I think it might take a bit longer . . . 2013 is possible but who knows?” said Veradkar in the interview.
The Dublin deputy has since claimed his comments were taken out of context but he has still been rapped across the knuckles by Prime Minister Kenny and Finance Minister Michael Noonan.
Both men have again moved to distance themselves from Veradkar’s remarks.
“People can have their views about the meaning of words, but let me clarify for you again: there will be no need for a second bailout for Ireland in 2012,” said Prime Minister Kenny.
Minister of Finance Noonan also denied any need for a second bail-out and claimed Ireland could be back to the money markets by the end of 2012, even in a small way.
“The programme is due to run until the end of 2013 and the start of 2014 and there is sufficient money in the programme to meet all eventualities; so categorically, there will be absolutely no bailout next year in Ireland,” stressed Noonan.
“But I do not think my Cabinet colleague should be reprimanded for remarks which he said were made from the perspective of the Department of Transport.
“I think what he said was reasonable in that in his department if you’re looking for public private partnerships to put in transport infrastructure, that it would be hard to get private sector money when Ireland is not in the markets.
“I think that’s the point he was trying to make rather than talking about the bailout in general.”
Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton also claimed that Varadkar’s comments did not represent Government policy. “The Minister for Finance has made it clear that we would want to get back into the market next year. We’re working towards the policy agenda to get back into the markets next year,” said Bruton at an EU meeting in Brussels.