Kenny should apologise to Greek PM for Noonan’s remarks – Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has asked Taoiseach Enda Kenny if he will apologise to the Greek Prime Minister, for Michael Noonan’s false claim that Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis was being replaced as his country’s chief negotiator with the EU.

In a media doorstep on his way into Monday’s Eurogroup meeting, Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan stated that Greece’s Finance Minister would no longer head Greece’s negotiations and would be replaced by the Deputy Prime Minister.

Minister Noonan’s claim that negotiations would now be headed by the Deputy PM Yiannis Dragasakis were strongly refuted by the Greek government.

Speaking to the Taoiseach in the Dáil today Gerry Adams said:

“Minister Noonan’s baseless comments, widely reported by the international press, brought a strong reaction from the Greek Government. The Minister’s remarks were clearly wrong.

“Taoiseach, will you be apologising to the Greek Prime Minister for this gaffe by your Finance Minister which continues to be widely reported in the media?”

The Sinn Fein Leader was speaking during statements to the Dáil in advance of a European Council meeting. Mr Adams also challenged the Taoiseach on the results of an EU Commission report on the economic situation here.

He said:

“The overall picture is of an economy driven by inequality. On poverty and children the Report reveals that almost a quarter of people live in households where nobody is working, or have just a few hours a week — the highest proportion in the EU.

“This figure was high before the crisis emerged, but it has doubled in just four years. This State also has the highest number of children living in jobless households. This has risen from 26% in 2007 to 34% in 2013.”

Mr Adams said the findings were a damning indictment of the Government’s approach to the unemployment situation. He also said the EU report was very critical of the high cost of Childcare, the Health system in this State and that it has raised serious concerns about Irish water and the situation with distressed mortgages.

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