Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Kenny in talks with EC boss Barroso

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and Enda Kenny held talks in Brussels (AP)

Enda Kenny has held talks with the President of the European Commission on the economic crisis.

Measures to tackle Europe's financial downturn were on the agenda during discussions with Jose Manuel Barroso. The pair, who met in Brussels, also focused on identifying means of generating jobs and growth.

Mr Barroso unveiled proposals to solving the eurozone debt crisis on Wednesday, which included recapitalising European banks, measures to enhance EU economic growth and a tougher surveillance of national budgets.

The meeting between Mr Kenny and Mr Barroso took place ahead of the EU summit on October 23, when the entire package would be put before the heads of states or governments.

A Government spokesperson said: "Discussions focused on what needs to be done to address the economic crisis in a comprehensive, balanced and credible way, including identifying means to generate jobs and growth."

Dublin Labour MEP Proinsias De Rossa said he agreed with Mr Barroso's proposals but was disappointed he did not mention the social impact of the crisis. He called on Mr Kenny to remind Mr Barroso that Europe is about building a social market economy and not creating a comfortable place for market speculators.

After the meeting, Mr Kenny said he gave a good report of Ireland's success in correcting its finances.

"I was happy to report to the president that Ireland is indeed headed in the right direction, that confidence is returning and that commentary internationally from business, economics and from a political perspective sees a country that imposed discipline on itself and is meeting the conditions by the Government working with the people," he said.

Mr Barroso said Ireland is making good steady progress. He said: "There are clear signs that this is paying off. Interest rates have come down and growth has resumed."

The meeting took place as a review team from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union and Central Bank examine Ireland's finances, options for Budget 2012, and prepare to report on progress almost a year on since the 85 billion euro bailout. Mr Barroso described it as "a very timely and constructive meeting".

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