Irish premier in Athens for meeting with Samaras

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny was expected in Athens on Thursday for a meeting with Greece’s government leader Antonis Samaras.

The two are expected to discuss recent developments in the eurozone and the key priorities in the remaining weeks of Ireland’s EU presidency which wraps up in the end of June. Greece is scheduled to take over the EU’s rotating six-month presidency in January.

Reports Thursday said Samaras anticipates some Irish support over Greek demands for a VAT decrease on food catering services – a move that is hoped to spur long-elusive growth in the recession-hit country.

Ireland, which looks set to return to the markets by the end of the year, also signed up to a memorandum, but strongly opposed calls for a higher tax on businesses.

Meanwhile Kenny on Wednesday defended his country’s tax code as European leaders gathered in Brussels to discuss corporations that dodge taxes.

Ireland has recently faced questions over its corporate tax rate after US senators branded the country as a “tax haven.” Ireland had reportedly offered Apple a lower tax rate than than the country’s average corporate tax rate.