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Kenny seeks action on eurozone debt

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Enda Kenny has urged European leaders to take tough decisions to rescue the eurozone from debt crisis

Enda Kenny has urged European leaders to take tough decisions to rescue the eurozone from debt crisis

Enda Kenny has urged European leaders to take tough decisions to rescue the eurozone from debt crisis

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has urged European leaders to use an emergency summit in Brussels on Thursday to take tough decisions to rescue the eurozone from debt crisis.

Mr Kenny, under pressure to secure cheaper interest rates for Ireland's 85 billion euro bailout loans, said Greek financial turmoil and the potential contagion has to be dealt with.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy is to meet German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin later as intensive talks lay the groundwork for the meeting of European Union (EU) leaders.

Mr Kenny said he wanted heads of state to take steps to address concerns that the Greek debt crisis will spread to Spain and Italy. He said: "I do hope that what comes out of the meetings will be the start of a series of decisions taken by the eurozone leaders which will restore confidence, restore certainty, deal with the issue of the legitimate anxiety and concern about contagion spreading from the Greek situation, which simply has to be dealt with."

The Taoiseach has also said that he is hopeful the emergency summit will pave the way for a deal on reduced interest rates for bailout funds to Ireland.

Ireland's credit rating was downgraded last week to junk status by ratings agency Moody's, prompting criticisms from the Irish Government and EU president Jose Manuel Barroso.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams called for the Dail to be recalled from summer recess, which starts on Thursday, to debate the outcome of the summit.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin demanded to know what the Taoiseach would be seeking at the meeting while Mr Adams urged the Taoiseach to tell his EU counterparts that Ireland cannot afford to pay the interest on its bailout loans.

Mr Kenny said the crisis in the eurozone cannot be resolved overnight. "These are vitally important topics and the meeting will be an important one," Mr Kenny said. "But - and I think it is important to note this at the start - it will not be the be-all-and-end-all. The crisis in the euro area will not be resolved overnight. There is no one magic solution or silver bullet."

The Taoiseach said important proposals will be considered on Thursday but further steps will be needed before "we are out of the woods". Mr Kenny said he will be watching carefully and working to ensure what is agreed for Greece will not make Ireland's eventual return to the markets more difficult.

PA


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