Monday, 27. April 2015 - 09:04
11. 11. 12. - 11:00
Ireland's Premier Enda Kenny flew into Vienna, Austria, from Budapest, Hungary, today for a meeting in advance of Ireland taking over the EU presidency in January.
He said it was the seventh time that Ireland had held the office and that there were many challenges, but that they planned to make education, economic growth, unemployment and especially youth unemployment their key points.
In a joint press conference with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann he said he saw his country as an example of how Greece might come out of it's debt crisis.
He said that Ireland had met the savings targets of the Troika and made sweeping cuts as well as a liberalisation of it's employment market, adding; "We are a model for other countries that need to come out of crisis."
He said the near collapse of the Irish banking system in the financial crisis of 2008 had hit them hard: "People thought that the income from taxes in the construction sector would be enough, but that bubble burst. But we were the first to recapitalise our banking system." He added thought that this had created a big hurdle in the form of a national debt that was 105 percent of BIP.
He said that since then Ireland had reduced it's budget deficit through cuts, and that next year the economy would grow again at 1.5 per cent.
He also warned against slowing the economy through too many cuts, saying "Austerity on its own is never the answer." He said it would be much better for governments to look at ways of extending credit to small and medium sized businesses.
He added that Ireland was a competitive country that could stand on its own two feet, within the solidarity of the "EU family".
He added: "The Irish are a pragmatic people and as a maritime nation we also understand how to live and work abroad."
Kenny also said that data protection was on the agenda during the Irish presidency and also youth unemployment, and that they were to visit a youth centre to meet youngsters in Austria to look at how the Austrians had managed such high employment. He said Austria had only 4 per cent unemployment whereas in Ireland it was 14 per cent, but it was "heading in the right direction."
He cited the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which benefited Irish farmers and the many organic and Alpine farmers in Austria as one of the ways that the crisis could be eased.
He said: "CAP is undervalued, and is not appreciated for its possibility to provide jobs, economic recovery and more self sufficiency in foodstuffs."
The two political leaders were asked if they wanted to see Greece remaining in the EU and both said yes, but with more time allowed for it to meet its obligations.
Kenny said: "Yes, we want them in the EU, there are challenges that the Greek people and the Greek government have, and it may be that they need more time to deal with those challenges that they face."
Faymann added: "I fully agree", adding that the Greek parliament was heading in the right direction but he also felt it needed more time.
Kenny added that crisis hit states needed to keep the trust of the EU, and to be taken seriously by the public, which was the only way out of the crisis.
Mad About Mammoths At Vienna Museum
A unique exhibition in the Austrian capital Vienna has proved a massive hit after bringing together for the first time some of the most famous frozen woolly mammoth remains.
Spate of Crimes throughout Vienna and Lower Austria Solved
Four men have been arrested after committing 113 break-ins, 21 thefts and causing at least 260,000 Euros worth of damage.
Dad Punished Child, 2, With Boiling Hot Shower
A two-year-old girl is in an artificial coma and fighting for her life after her father threw her into a scalding hot shower leaving her with severe burns at the family home in the Austrian capital Vienna.
Police And Firemen Get Cold Turkey
Flipping the bird was given a new meaning in Austria this week when a truck filled with plucked turkeys overturned, closing a busy motorway in the process.
Halloween At The Zoo
Pumpkin pie might be the order of the day for people this Halloween but now zoo animals are also getting in on the act.
Baby Naked Mole Rats Born In Vienna
With their pink hairless bodies and fangs for front teeth, these baby naked mole rats were never going to win any cuteness contests at Schonbrunn Zoo in the Austrian capital Vienna.
Jihad Girls Gunpoint Retraction Of Desire To Go Home
Austrian anti-terrorism police believe that an interview given to a French magazine allegedly with one of the two teenage girls who fled to Syria to join in the jihad was probably carried out at gunpoint.
MEP caught In Brit papers Fraud Probe Jailed
A corrupt MEP caught by a British newspaper offering to propose amendments to EU laws in exchange for 100,000 euros a year has been given a three-year-jail term.
Vienna Jihad Girls Want To Come Home
The two Austrian teenage girls who became ‘poster girls’ for the jihad in Syria are now desperate to come home after getting completely disillusioned with their new lifestyles.
Viennese Jihad Girl May Have Been Killed
Austrian police say that one of the two attractive young teenage girls who fled the country to go to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels may have been killed.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days