Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Gormley calls for unity on economy

Green Party leader John Gormley has called on the main political parties to work together to solve the economic crisis

Green Party leader John Gormley has called on the main political parties to work together to solve the economic crisis.

The Environment Minister said it is too soon to call for a national government but said the opposition should join the Government to draft a four-year budget plan.

"I think the situation is now so grave that it's absolutely incumbent on all of the political parties - despite their political differences - to come together," he said.

Mr Gormley claimed the European Commission and global money markets want opposition parties Fine Gael and Labour to open talks with the coalition on plans to secure more than 3 billion euro of cuts next year alone.

He said there should be no pre-conditions for negotiations on Budget 2011 and the plan for the following three years.

"There's no blank cheque and I'm from a party which has specialised in consensus over the years and we believe that some of form national consensus is now required," he told RTE.

Earlier this week, Fine Gael's shadow Cabinet shot down any prospect of a national government to lead the country out of the economic crisis.

After party leader Enda Kenny last week ruled out a "Tallaght II" strategy, his entire front bench said it would not support Fianna Fail retaining power. In a statement, they said the current crisis was in a different context to the 1980s when the party propped up a minority government to get through the downturn.

Telecoms tycoon Denis O'Brien has also publicly called for a united front from political parties to steer Ireland out of its financial mess.

But the Fine Gael front bench claimed the idea was being pushed by many of those who want to keep Fianna Fail in office.