Creighton says Ireland 'a safe bet'

Thu, Jul 26, 2012, 01:00

Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton said the Government had been working hard for the last 15 months, but the Irish people had been making "serious sacrifices" for almost four years to try and get the country back on track.

"This is the first attempt to sell long-term bonds, it's just an initial toe in the water, to use that phrase, but it's a very positive indication of the acknowledgement of the international community of investors of how well Ireland is doing.

"They see us increasingly as a safe bet and we need to build on that progress now."

On Greece, Ms Creighton said she could only assume that Jose Manuel Barosso was in Athens as an effort to ensure that the current troika review is a successful one and that the funding that Greece will require in the autumn will be released.

"I expect that the president of the European Commission is there to convey the message that the other EU member states and the European institutions make serious efforts to begin meeting the programme targets. I don't believe that Jose Manuel Barroso is there to talk about Greek exit."

Asked about issues of contention between the coalition partners, such as the abortion question, the Minister said she would not talk about internal party matters.

"What I will say is that we have a group that is examining and drawing up a report and I expect that they will report in September and I think it's really unhelpful for Government Ministers to speculate about the outcome of that process. I have my views and I will express my views internally within Government. I expect that every member of my parliamentary party and indeed the labour parliamentary party will have an opportunity to do that. We will take a decision in September and I'm not going to speculate any further than that."

Asked whether Labour Party Minister Kathleen Lynch should therefore not have said openly that there was no choice for the Government [with regard to abortion legislation], she said: "No Minister should be speculating at this point in time in my view."