Spending options and the economy to the fore as FF and Greens continue talks

Spending options and the economy to the fore as FF and Greens continue talks
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan

Government spending options, the economy and the state's finances are being debated in coalition formation talks between Fianna Fáil and the Greens today.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin is among the party's delegation, which is holding its second day of long talks with the Greens on attempts to form a government.

Department of Public Expenditure Robert Watt is this morning giving a presentation to the two parties, on finances and spending.

The agreement by civil servants to cooperate and help out in the government formation talks was made after appeals by the Greens.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has set out six themes for by-lateral negotiations with other parties.

The talks today come ahead of a one-day policy meeting between Fianna Fail's team and Fine Gael representatives next week, the first such meeting about possible coalition between both sides.

Nonetheless, there are mixed opinions among Fine Gael's parliamentarians. Some are cautious about entering government again after a bruising election while other figures say the party has a responsibility to serve the people if needs be. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also told a party meeting in Leinster House last night that he was still intent in leading his party into opposition.

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