Belfast Telegraph

Cowen denies EU bailout 'cover-up'

Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen has denied Opposition claims that his Government was involved in talks on a European bailout and tried to cover up negotiations.

Mr Cowen dismissed allegations he was not being straight with the public and insisted that Ireland had not opened discussions on an unprecedented aid package.

Under intense Opposition pressure and facing accusations that he had "raised the white flag", the Taoiseach said talk of financial rescue was belittling Ireland.

"There has been no question of the Government, as was being stated all over the weekend, in a negotiation for a bailout," Mr Cowen said.

"And those sort of pejorative terms do not assist, either."

Enda Kenny, leader of main Opposition party Fine Gael, warned that a team of European and International Monetary Fund officials were not due in Dublin to tell the Taoiseach to "keep up the work".

"This House was never given the full facts. This country was never given the full facts. The people were never given the full facts," Mr Kenny said.

"Now we know the truth. The white flag has been raised. The towel has been thrown in.

"They (EU and IMF officials) are coming here effectively to dictate the terms of a bail-out to the Irish state."

Mr Cowen last Friday rejected reports of talks on a bailout as officials in Brussels leaked details of meetings between Dublin and the EU.


From Belfast Telegraph