Belfast Telegraph

Kenny urged to debate fiscal treaty

The Taoiseach has been hit from all sides of the opposition with increased calls to take part in a televised debate on the fiscal treaty.

Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein and Independent TDs heaped more pressure on Enda Kenny to argue his support for the deal.

With just over a week until the referendum, the Taoiseach refused to reveal whether he would participate in a live discussion, saying it should not be about boosting politicians' profiles.

"Referenda are matters for the people to make a decision on, they are not about giving profiles to different politicians," he said.

"I have no fear at all of public debate on this issue, but I'm not sure that we should turn this into a crisis situation."

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams said it was bizarre that he was willing to give a scripted state-of-the-nation style address on the treaty on Sunday night, but afraid to face down the opposition.

"Wouldn't it be more leaderly as the Taoiseach that you do come into a TV studio and inform the people and leave your policies open to scrutiny?," Mr Adams said.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett accused him of hiding from the issue and echoed Mr Adams' calls to inform the public of all the information in the treaty.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fail's Micheal Martin said the public could not understand the Taoiseach's reluctance to debate the issue. He asked if he had been approached by RTE to take part in a leader-to-leader showdown.

But the Taoiseach said he was unaware of any invitation from the state broadcaster.

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