Varadkar: It’s like the student union has taken over Greece

Minister says it is ‘hard to follow’ what is going on in Athens

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said it would be a tragedy for Greece to leave the EU. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said it would be a tragedy for Greece to leave the EU. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

 

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said it is like the Greek government has been taken over by a student union during the ongoing debt crisis.

Mr Varadkar said it was hard for people not involved in the negotiations to follow what was happening in Athens.

“It seems like the student union has taken over the government. First there’s an agreement, then there isn’t,” he said.

“Then there’s a referendum and then there isn’t. Then they’re saying to vote yes, then they’re saying to vote no, and then today they are saying it doesn’t matter if you vote yes or no because there’s a secret agreement that nobody’s heard of.”

Mr Varadkar said he hoped Sunday’s referendum in Greece would not bring about its exit from the euro.

“Greece is a great country, it’s the cradle of democracy and the cradle of European civilisation and I think it would be a tragedy for them and for Europe if they were to leave the European Union, ” he said.

“Quite frankly, as somebody who’s looking at it from the outside, who’s not involved in negotiations, it is hard to follow what is happening in Athens.”

Mr Varadkar said he was relieved Ireland avoided going through Greece’s current situation.

“ I’m just really glad, whatever about this Government’s failings, that we don’t have happening in Ireland what’s happening now in Greece.

“It’s just really hard to understand what’s going on in Athens and what the government there is doing.”

Mr Varadkar was speaking before he opened the new National Ambulance Service headquarters in Tallaght, Dublin on Friday.