Sinn Fein and United Left Alliance TDs walked out of Ireland’s Dail (Parliament) protesting the Government’s refusal to debate the $961 million (€700m) payment to Anglo bondholders.
Tanaiste (Vice Prime Minister) Eamon Gilmore said they had failed to come up with any alternative remedies.
During the Dail session Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny defended the payment. He said a failure to honor this debt would hamper Ireland’s efforts to get a $13.7 billion (€10bn) interest rate reduction in the future. He also blamed the European Central Bank (ECB) for failing to allow Ireland to burn the Anglo bondholders.
He said he blames the previous government for negotiating this deal. Kenny said he has “no intention” of turning the country into “some kind of sub-Saharan state based on reckless decisions” by defaulting on this payment.
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The Taoiseach said “We are not going to scuttle this ship.”
He continued “I’d love to stand up here and say to you that it’s not necessary to pay this money. It has not been possible for this government to unravel the agreement made by your government with external parties.”
Sinn Fein’s President Gerry Adams said he would not stay in the Dail if there was no debate.
Following the Parliamentary session Gilmore told the Irish Examiner “They’re offering no alternatives…The reality here is that we have a serious difficulty.
"As a country, we are working to renegotiate the terms of the arrangements that were entered into by the last Government – that’s not something that can be done overnight."
Independent TD Shane Ross said the government had a choice over what to do but had “decided to go down exactly the same road as was went down by the last government”.
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