Tuesday, 19 April 2005
European Council Meetings.
Enda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
It is obvious the French referendum campaign will be hard fought and the result will be close. At the March meeting of the European Council, did the Taoiseach have discussions with other government leaders who must hold referenda in their countries, such as Denmark, the UK and so forth? What is the Government's view of the trend that may emerge? In the event that the referendum is defeated in France, although I hope that will not happen, will that interfere with the Government's intention to hold a referendum in this country?
Has the Government considered the consequences of the changes in the Stability and Growth Pact? There has been speculation on the possibility of higher interest rates as a consequence, which would have a disastrous effect on hundreds of thousands of mortgage payers. Has account been taken of this by the Government and is there a strategy to deal with higher interest rates should they occur? Is it the Taoiseach's view that although the European Central Bank warned of the possibility of higher interest rates, it will not happen?