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Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny Photo by: Google Images

Stimulus package to be presented to Irish government ahead of Treaty vote

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Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny Photo by: Google Images

European Union leaders will present a draft stimulus package to the Irish government before the country votes on the Fiscal Treaty referendum.

Government departments have already been told to draw up lists of capital projects with potential to create thousands of jobs for which funding would be sought from the expected EU stimulus package.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has told reporters that he is confident the stimulus package can be confirmed to accompany the Treaty which will impose strict conditions on his government’s budget.

“I am, absolutely confident,” said Kenny. “It is no secret that we have been at this now for six months.

“I welcomed the fact that new French socialist president-elect François Hollande has made it an issue.”

The Irish government expects the stimulus proposal to go before a summit of European leaders in Brussels on May 23rd.

Kenny’s deputy Eamon Gilmore says the Government’s priority is to make growth and employment a key part of the solution to the economic crisis.

“Just as we can’t build up our economy without also fixing the hole in our public finances, neither can we fully close that gap without creating jobs and growth,” he said at the weekend.

“And what is true for Ireland is also true for our fellow euro zone member states.”

A number of newspaper reports on Monday state that the draft EU agreement will be presented before voters have their say on the Treaty at the end of May.

Kenny told the media that the deal would involve matters relating to the future role of the European Investment Bank, euro bonds and creation of adequate firewalls.

He expects European leaders to return in June with a series of proposals, with particular areas of interest to Ireland.

Demands for a European growth strategy are expected to dominate the first meeting tomorrow between new French President Hollande and German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel’s CDU party was heavily defeated in local elections in Germany over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the uncertain political situation in Greece is set to dominate scheduled talks between euro zone finance ministers in Brussels on Monday evening.

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