Irish debt must be restructured alongside Greek debt - Doherty

Sinn Féin TD accuses Government of taking ‘pathetic’ stance

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty at a press conference in Dublin on Tuesday following the Greek referendum result on Sunday. Photograph: Collins

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty at a press conference in Dublin on Tuesday following the Greek referendum result on Sunday. Photograph: Collins

 

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on finance Pearse Doherty has called on the Government to seek a better debt deal for Ireland.

Speaking on The Irish Times Inside Politics podcast Mr Doherty said that while Greece must take priority, “even at this late stage our Government should be trying to expand those discussions.”

The Donegal TD said he was “bamboozled” by statements from Minister for Finance Michael Noonan on Tuesday saying that Ireland would not be seeking changes to its debt arrangements.

He added that the Government had taken a “pathetic stance” on debt restructuring and had made a “major tactical mistake” by not supporting Sinn Féin calls for a debt conference earlier this year.

Mr Noonan said he didn’t “intend revisiting” the issue after a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels, adding: “We have done all that kind of thing already” .

During the podcast interview the Sinn Féin TD also spoke of the ties forged between Greece’s ruling government party Syriza and Sinn Féin. The new Greek minister for finance Euclid Tsakalotos addressed the Sinn Féin ard fheis earlier this year.

This week Mr Doherty was in Athens for the result of the referendum. He said the main emotion in Syriza HQ was one of “nervousness” as there had been fears that the younger generation wouldn’t come to vote. The 61 per cent No vote prompted “disbelief”, said Mr Doherty.

He hoped now for a compromise with the European authorities that would “save the blushes of everyone.”The Donegal TD said he felt there were signs now that the Irish Government might be changing their stance after the referendum result. Previously there had been attempts “to stick the boot into Greece.” He said they and other governments had been doing this because of “their inability to reach a just settlement on behalf of their people”