Enda Kenny this morning
Your PFO letter has arrived.
Thank you for your letter of yesterday concerning the negotiations on Greece’s programme of financial assistance. As I have recalled to you at our meetings, Ireland itself experienced a very difficult economic period and worked its way through a programme of assistance and has great empathy for Greece and its people.
We will continue to support the objective of a sustainable and mutually beneficial agreement, acceptable to all concerned, which will, as you say, return Greece to growth within the Eurozone.
It had very much been my hope that, in line with the approach agreed at the Euro Summit of 22 June, and confirmed at the European Council on 25/26 June, agreement would have been achieved at the Eurogroup meeting on 27 June on the basis of the negotiations between your government and the institutions.
Unfortunately, your decision to break off these negotiations meant that this was not possible at that time, as set out in the Eurogroup statement of 27 June.
I hope now that it will be possible to return to negotiations as quickly as possible. For me, and I am sure for all our colleagues, the door remains open to dialogue in a spirit of solidarity and responsibility.
I am happy to acknowledge your stated commitment to Greece’s EMU membership.
Text of a letter Taoiseach Enda Kenny sent to Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras last night.
Mr Kenny sent the letter in response to a letter from Tspirias in which he requested support from Ireland for an extension of its bailout programme for one month.
Meanwhile, in today’s Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole writes:
““The Pride of Europe” is a makey-up story that is intended to take the place of the realities it displaces. It’s not a stand-alone narrative. It has an evil twin: Greece. It belongs to a particular genre of fiction: the morality tale. Ireland is the pride of Europe because it is the anti-Greece. We are good because we play along with the bigger stories of the euro zone crisis. Greece is evil because it stopped doing so.”
“One of those stories is that the crisis had nothing to do with reckless lending (by, for example, German state banks) and was created purely by reckless borrowing. The other, even more fantastical, is that so-called austerity (in reality a programme of sucking citizens dry to transfer their resources to private banks) produces economic growth.”
“These stories are as patently false as Enda’s fairy tale, but Ireland is the pride of Europe because it has gone along with them and Greece is the shame of Europe because it has not been able to sustain the suspension of disbelief.”