Belfast Telegraph

Trust in economy 'being rebuilt'

Trust in Ireland's economic reputation is being rebuilt with the country held up as an example to other crisis-hit nations, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.

As a European summit closed, Mr Kenny said his finance chiefs would press on with talks with the French government and other states over an interest rate cut to bailout loans.

He warned there was healthy scepticism in Dublin over pressure to agree to a common corporate tax base in the EU in return for a cheaper rescue package.

"The reflection here of the leaders in Europe is that Ireland is certainly measuring up, that it`s regaining its trust, its reputation is being rebuilt," the Taoiseach said.

"People now have a clear view that Ireland can be held out as an example that when countries really do get into challenging situations, that this facility supported by Europe can work, provided government and people work together."

Mr Kenny said he had a "good conversation" with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the European Council meeting in Brussels, despite suggestions at a previous summit of a frosty relationship and demands for Ireland to raise corporation tax from the controversially low 12.5%.

"I think the reason that we don't have agreement to date is that there was a request for Ireland to increase its corporate tax rate - we aren't doing that," the Taoiseach said.

Mr Kenny said it was in everybody's interests that a new rate would be applied to parts of Ireland's 85 billion euro (£75 billion) bailout package.

Outside of the crisis in Greece and the second agreed bailout, negotiations at the council meeting also focused on countries agreeing to certain tax structures and a reference to the common corporate tax base.

"I have given my view on this very clearly - we have a very healthy scepticism on this," Mr Kenny said. But he added the Irish Government was willing to discuss the ideas put forward at the summit.

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