Government has no 'blocking rights'
The Government has no “blocking rights’’ in Ryanair’s bid for Aer Lingus, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said.
“The details of the offer made by Ryanair have not yet been considered collectively by Government,’’ he added.
The Government, he said, would be concerned in terms of competition, consumer facilities and other matters.
Mr Kenny said the Government would not be pushed into any corner to say there had to be firesale because tthe value of the Government’s 25 per cent share in Aer Lingus had been put at €175 million.
“The regulatory authorities will obviously give their view in respect of the competitive element of this,’’ he added.
He said a decision would only be made on the basis of the best interests of the country.
The Taoiseach was replying in the Dáil to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Independent TD Shane Ross.
Mr Martin said there was a very strong competition issue involved, and it was extraordinary that it had not been considered by the Government.
“It is central to this in terms of the impact on the country and also on consumers and the creation of a monopoly position,’’ he added.
Mr Ross said it would be very dangerous if the Government, by the sale of its 25 per cent stake, were to facilitate a position whereby any airline had the sort of dominance which the competition authorities in the EU had forbidden last time.