26 MAY 2011
By Fionnan Sheahan, Michael Brennan and Fiach Kelly | Irish Independent
Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday declared that the Government will not default on the country's debts as he admitted the euro crisis was of "serious concern".
Amid continuing volatility on the international markets over the future of the euro and questions over a Greek default, Mr Kenny made it clear Ireland will not default.
"This country will repay the debts that it owes. This country will repay the money that it owes," he said.
"We are not in a position here of heading for an Irish Government default," he added.
Mr Kenny dismissed any suggestion of the situation in Greece dictating the Government's position. He categorically ruled out seeking more time or trying to get a write-off of part of the debt.
"We will repay our loans. We will not restructure our debt. We're not looking for any further time, we are going to meet this challenge as we are already meeting under the conditions set up under the EU-IMF deal.
"That's not to say we will not continue to look for improvements to the package. When people use the word restructuring, they mean 'Am I going to have a longer period to pay this back or am I not going to meet my debt?' Ireland will meet its debt and Ireland will not be restructuring in that sense," he said.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan was in Paris yesterday meeting with his French counterpart Christine Lagarde.
Mr Noonan said he was not in Paris to negotiate on the bailout interest rate or corporation tax, and could not say if the French position had softened.
"I explained in detail to Christine Lagarde what the Irish position is on the corporate tax rate. No matter how strong the demand is on us, we can make no concession on the rate of corporation tax.
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