Irish PM: Greek austerity ‘crucial’ for EU

A vote scheduled for next week in Greece?s Parliament on a new austerity package aimed at propping up the country?s debt-wracked economy is «crucial» for the European Union’s future, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny was quoted as saying late Thursday in Brussels.

“The vote in the Greek parliament next week is absolutely crucial to the conditions that will apply for a new program for Greece if that is to happen,» Kenny told reporters, according to Dow Jones. «The decision is absolutely crucial for the future of Europe.”

Kenny was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of center-right politicians ahead of Thursday evening’s European Union summit.

Kenny added that he had made it «crystal clear» to his European colleagues that Ireland will not be pushed into raising its corporate tax rate and that, therefore, there has been no deal on lowering the interest rate on Ireland’s bailout loan. The Irish prime minister also struck a positive note on the Irish economy and exports in particular. «We expect them to grow very strongly again this year,» he said.

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