FG won’t block Cowen from attending summit

FG won’t block Cowen from attending summit
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny

Fine Gael now says it won't block Taoiseach Brian Cowen from attending an Asia Europe summit in Brussels next week.

A spokesman had earlier said the party's new tough policy on pairing arrangements would see them refuse to provide cover in Dáil votes for Mr Cowen when he attends the meeting in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday.

However the main opposition party now says because the meeting is of such high status, they will provide a pairing arrangement.

The new practice had already appeared to backfire on Fine Gael yesterday when Labour stepped in to allow Tánaiste Mary Coughlan attend an Enterprise Ireland visit to the US city of St Louis..

The Government struck a deal with Labour over voting arrangements and narrowly avoided heaping further pressure on the coalition’s slim majority.

Labour’s Ruairi Quinn claimed the meetings had significant job creation potential.

Mr Quinn, who will pair with the Tánaiste and not vote in the Dáil on Wednesday, said it was a one-off pact.

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