Senators differ on need for immediate debate on Greece

Sympathy expressed with the plight of Greek people and support given for new bailout


Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael Senators differed on whether the House should have an immediate debate on the Greek situation.

Calling for a debate, Fianna Fáil Seanad leader Darragh O’Brien said that, as a citizen and an Oireachtas member, he wanted to know the Government’s position and have it confirmed in the House.

“I have seen the interviews and read the reports, but a debate is important,’’ Mr O’Brien said.

Neither the European Union nor the Syriza government had covered itself in glory, he said, adding that one could not escape the fact that the Greek people had been badly treated by both.

Mr O’Brien said it was only right and proper that there was a new bailout for Greece.

“No one wants to see Greek society descend into chaos,’’ he said. “We want to see the banks open and people being able to withdraw more than €60 a day if they have it.’’

Fine Gael Senator Paul Coghlan said the House wished the Greek people well and was concerned for them. An unnecessary referendum had been held in the sense that the question put to the people was off the table.

However, Mr Coghlan said he did not think an immediate debate would be helpful.

“We know the Greek parliament must pass certain measures by Wednesday evening, some of which refer to the last bailout on which they did not follow through,’’ he added.

“That is the fault of the previous Greek government.’’