Noonan: Greek crisis will not directly affect Ireland

Noonan: Greek crisis will not directly affect Ireland
Finance Minister Michael Noonan

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has insisted that Ireland is unlikely to be affected by the Greek crisis because the two countries have no economic connections.

Minister Noonan made the comments as a caretaker government is formed in the troubled country, ahead of fresh elections.

Minister Noonan said that while there are people in the European Central Bank and the European Commission planning for all eventualities, it is not a certainty that Greece will leave the Euro.

And he suggested that a referendum on membership of the single currency may be needed there, to resolve what he described as a "democratic crisis".

Speaking at a Bloomberg event in Dublin, the Minister said Ireland is not on the frontline for contagion from Greece.

"Apart from holidaying in the Greek islands, I think most Irish people don't have a lot (of connections with Greece)," he said.

"If you go into the shops here, apart from feta cheese, how many Greek items do you put in your basket?

"For big, knock-on effects you need to have strong economic connections.

"And we don't have any economic connections, really."

The minister also reiterated his call for a Yes vote in the upcoming EU treaty referendum during this morning's address.

"As we build for the future it is essential that we put the appropriate budgetary frameworks in place," he said.

"It is it never too late to plan for the future and legislating to prevent future Governments from spending and borrowing excessively is sensible and prudent."

He also said that other key reasons to vote Yes related to Ireland's ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment, and to guarantee access to the European Stability Mechanism.

"A Yes vote gives certainty and the consequences of the treaty are easily understood," he said.

"A No vote is a leap in the dark – a dangerous leap that Irish citizens should not take."

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