Belfast Telegraph

Gilmore 'unhappy' over report leak

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has declared his unhappiness over the leaking of a sensitive European report about Ireland's economy that was circulated around the German Parliament.

The Labour leader also insisted a mini-Budget will not be held this year, despite claims in the document that further fiscal tightening will be required in Ireland.

Mr Gilmore said: "I am not happy at the way in which this document was leaked. The matter has been raised this morning (Thursday) with both the German finance ministry and with the European Commission (EC) and I intend to pursue the issue myself to ensure that the way in which this document was handled is not repeated."

The report, compiled by the EC, was leaked in the Bundestag on Wednesday - just hours before the EC approved a further 5.8 billion euro in funding for Ireland following the latest Troika review.

It is understood to include remarks that Ireland may not meet targets set by its Troika debt masters - the IMF, EC and European Central Bank. It also suggested the Government was forced into revising its state asset sale programme, scaling its initial target to generate two billion euro up to three billion euro.

Separate documents on budgetary and bailout measures in Dublin were leaked in Berlin just over three months ago in November, sparking outrage that European politicians were privy to the information before Ireland.

Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald described the latest incident as an example of the Government's ineffectiveness and failure. She said: "We have a ridiculous situation where German parliamentarians have seen the documents before we in Ireland have."

The Dublin Central TD accused the Fine Gael-Labour coalition of allowing Europe's largest economies to dictate Ireland's future. She added: "You're very happy that Germany and France would have a first view, a first opinion and final decision making in respect of the governing of this state."

Mr Gilmore pointed out that the leaked report also included positive comments about Ireland's recovery programme. He added: "It does say a number of things that were very positive about this country. It said the Irish economy was to return to growth in 2011 and that our deficit was well below targets."

The EC said it was deeply concerned about the leaking of the report. In a statement, a spokesman insisted the commission strives to ensure staff uphold its strict rules on confidentiality and accuracy.


From Belfast Telegraph