Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Irish PM Enda Kenny outlines the need to stimulate Irish economy to Angela Merkel

Taoiseach Enda Kenny last night pressed German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the need for new measures to stimulate jobs and growth in the Republic of Ireland.

Mr Kenny met with Ms Merkel for around two hours outside Berlin, while the Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas and the Prime Minister of Latvia, Valdis Dombrovskis were also invited.

The discussion was part of a series of talks involving the German chancellor and other EU leaders.

Mr Kenny was unable to comment on the meeting in the official German government guesthouse, Schloss Meseberg, as he left to travel to Rome.

He is due to meet with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti this morning.

Prior to the German meeting, Mr Kenny said he would be highlighting that the Republic of Ireland was meeting its targets under the EU/IMF bailout deal.

"I am looking forward to updating the chancellor on the decisions Ireland has made and the progress we have made."

Mr Kenny said he would be reiterating to both Ms Merkel and Mr Monti that growth and jobs should be central to the European agenda.

After the meeting a spokesman for Mr Kenny described the talks as open and very positive. He said there needed to be a Europe-wide emphasis on jobs and growth.

It is understood that the issue of the fiscal compact treaty was raised, but Mr Kenny's spokesman said it was not the focus of the discussion.

The issue of whether Ireland may require a referendum or not was not discussed as attorney general Maire Whelan has not yet advised the government.

The discussions also centred on the progress Ireland has made to date with austerity.

Mr Monti has emphasised the need for the European Union to move on from austerity policies and look for ways to kickstart economic growth.

Mr Kenny's talks with the chancellor came just days after a long-delayed deal on a second bailout package for debt-riddled Greece.

The palatial Schloss Meseberg is the German federal government's official guesthouse, but it has also been used for other events, such as cabinet retreats and conferences.

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