Belfast Telegraph

EU rescue plans 'don't need vote'

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has revealed up to 90% of the EU's plans to save the eurozone can be changed under treaties without a referendum.

Mr Kenny will be among 27 European heads of state at a crunch summit amid fears the continent is teetering on the brink of economic disaster.

There had been hopes the hastily-arranged gathering of leaders in Brussels would agree a deal to secure struggling eurozone members by shoring up banks and ramping up emergency funds. But the prospects for decisive action appear to be receding.

Mr Kenny told the Dail parliament that opening the gate to major treaty change would take time without a guaranteed outcome and stressed there is a possibility of limited treaty change.

"I'm saying the crisis is now and the flexibility exists within the existing instruments to deal with this crisis now and of the discussions that I heard on Sunday and that I participated in 90% of that can be dealt with without any treaty change," the Taoiseach said.

The Irish Government will be advised by the Attorney General if eurozone reforms need to be implemented through a referendum.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams accused the Taoiseach of agreeing a treaty change during an EU summit on Sunday after previously ruling it out. He said: "You're involved in negotiating a 50 to 60% write down in Greek debt yet you refuse to make the case for reductions in banking debt in Ireland."

Mr Kenny said agreements made by the EU leaders on Sunday would allow the eurozone to look at how governments do their business.

"There will be a report back in December about the possibility of limited treaty change, and I stress that, limited change," he added. "I've made my view perfectly clear about this. We have to deal with this current crisis now.

"This country is heading in the right direction and we do not want to lose any assistance or encouragement from our European colleagues to continue on the path of confidence and get out of this mess."

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