Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has criticised the comments made by Enda Kenny today as the Taoiseach marked the beginning of Ireland's presidency of the European Union.
“The Irish presidency in 2013 will be about three crucial words: stability, jobs and growth,” Deputy Kenny said.
“There are real actions to back up those three words. We will be in the business of solution, a recovery country, driving recovery in Europe.”
Deputy Doherty said that the Taoiseach's words "ring hollow" however.
“As the presidency of the European Union begins, Enda Kenny has nothing new to say to the Irish people who are suffering under his government’s austerity programme.
“His fine words about hope, possibility and confidence ring hollow when we remember that last year he spoke about stability and progress and we have seen neither.
“The reality is that the economy is stagnant, we cannot afford to pay the banking debts and our young people are leaving in droves to find work abroad.
“Just weeks ago we had Minister Pat Rabbitte saying that we would not pay the €3.5bn promissory note in March, while today European affairs junior minister, Lucinda Creighton, rowed back and admitted that the Government has still to negotiate a deal with the European Central Bank.
“We need the government to stand up for the people and say that we cannot take any more, but there is little sign from this coalition of the strength and resolve necessary.”