Speaking following today’s exchanges in Dáil Éireann, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin commented, “Even though he identified a reduced interest rate on Ireland’s borrowings as the number one issue for his government, the Taoiseach has now admitted that he hasn’t even asked for a meeting with the person he has identified as blocking the reduction.


“Last week Enda Kenny said that Ireland was being treated unfairly by France and that we are now no longer even asking for the full reduction which was being discussed in February.  Today he admitted under repeated questioning that at the March EU Summit President Sarkozy suggested that they formally meet, but that the Taoiseach didn’t think it was necessary and has refused to follow it up.


“The evidence also suggests that the decision by the Taoiseach to publicly hype his dispute with President Sarkozy on March 11th has caused damage.


“When pressed if he will raise the issue at next week’s EU summit, all he would commit to was to participate in any debate ‘if it came up’.  This hands-off approach is the direct opposite of his promise made four days before the election to personally lead a diplomatic offensive on the interest rate.


“Instead of personally handling the negotiations on the bailout interest rate, he devolved them to Michael Noonan.  Three months later, the issue isn’t even on the agenda of European Finance Ministers for any of their three meetings this week and next.”