02 MAR 2011
By Thomas Molloy | Irish Independent
ENDA Kenny got a foretaste of what awaits him in Helsinki this week and Brussels later this month after a leaked discussion document produced by the European Commission spelt out the likely cost of any agreement to extend the scope of the European Union's bailout fund.
The document, written by aides to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council president Herman van Rompuy, is effectively a shopping list of German and French demands ahead of next week's meeting in Brussels, while showing some flexibility on corporation tax.
Among Germany and France's top demands is legislation in each country to limit national borrowing; demands for a common corporate tax base; calls for higher retirement ages; an end to centralised pay bargaining; as well as an end to early retirement schemes for civil servants.
The document suggests Enda Kenny and other European leaders will have to make compromises in these areas before Germany, France and other countries which are paying for the bailout, agree to boost the scope and capacity of the €440bn emergency fund for bailing out countries cut off from the bond markets.
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