Labour calls on Cowen to make statement to Dáil on bailout


REACTION:THE DÁIL should hear a full statement from the Taoiseach for the “momentous and historical” decisions agreed with the EU institutions and the IMF to have any “democratic legitimacy”, Labour deputy leader Joan Burton said.

She said the confirmation Ireland had formally applied for a financial rescue package was the “final epitaph for a Fianna Fáil Government that has plunged the country into the financial abyss and that has consistently and deliberately lied to the Irish people”.

Criticising Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan, she said his policies had been clearly proven wrong by last night’s decisions.

She believed that “clearly secret negotiations have been under way between the Government and the EU and IMF for some time”. But “the Dáil and the Irish people, have no idea what has been agreed or not agreed, or by whom. We do not even know who is representing Ireland in these negotiations.”

Fine Gael finance spokesman Michael Noonan predicted that the IMF would “want fundamental restructuring of expenditure”. He said the IMF “wouldn’t probably specify a cut in the minimum wage but they’d say you have to get your labour market working properly”.

He said he had seen the IMF operate in other countries and “they tend to start their process always by doing something very dramatic and I wouldn’t be surprised if the IMF has something dramatic to announce in the next while”.

He said that “at the conclusion of the talks there has to be a memorandum of understanding which sets out in detail everything that’s agreed”.