Kenny ‘being seriously talked about’ for European roles

Varadkar said he would be surprised if the Taoiseach left the Government

Enda Kenny (centre) has been repeatedly linked with the role of European Council president. Other front-runners are thought to include the prime minister of Finland Jyrki Katainen (left) and Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Enda Kenny (centre) has been repeatedly linked with the role of European Council president. Other front-runners are thought to include the prime minister of Finland Jyrki Katainen (left) and Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Sun, Nov 3, 2013, 14:17

Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has said he would be surprised if the Taoiseach left the Government to take one of two powerful European roles which come up next year.

Speculation has linked Enda Kenny with the role of European Council president which becomes available from December 2014 and also the role of European Commission president, where a new incumbent is required for next June.

Speaking today Mr Varadkar admitted Mr Kenny’s name was being repeatedly mentioned in Brussels by politicians and officials and said the three front-runners appeared to be Mr Kenny, the prime minister of Finland Jyrki Katainen and the Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

Mr Varadkar told The Irish Times that while he had not spoken to the Taoiseach about this matter he did not think that Mr Kenny would take up the offer.

“My impression would be that he wants to stay in Ireland and finish the job he has set out to do,” he said.

Mr Varadkar emphasised that Mr Kenny’s name was being “seriously talked about” in Europe and that the interest in his candidacy was more than just speculation in the Irish media.

Earlier he told RTE: “He is very much in the top three or four that people talk about. That’s down to his performance as president when we had the presidency and what is at least perceived in Europe if not in Ireland, is of a success story here in Ireland.

“He is definitely one of the ones who is being approached. Whether or not he would like to do it, I don’t know. I would think he wants to finish the job here.”

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