Green light as Varadkar and Martin to meet with Eamon Ryan

The Green Party have submitted a six-page document to the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael negotiating teams, in response to the "policy framework" document distributed to the Greens and other parties.
Green light as Varadkar and Martin to meet with Eamon Ryan
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan

Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar are to write to Eamon Ryan in hopes of meeting next week as government formation plans take "positive shape".

The Green Party have submitted a six-page document to the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael negotiating teams, in response to the "policy framework" document distributed to the Greens, Labour and Social Democrats last week in an effort to tempt one or more of them into forming a government with the other two parties.

The Green's response was described as “comprehensive and constructive and substantive” to provide “the foundations for meaningful discussions”, by Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

Party leaders Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin will now be seeking a meeting with Green's leader Eamon Ryan next week.

Fianna Fail and Fine Gael's negotiating team held conference calls on Friday, in which they prepared their input into the response to the Green document, which will be compiled into a joint letter from Varadkar and Martin to Mr Ryan.

"I expect if that's accepted, then the leaders will meet and hopefully agree a timeline for formation talks," a Fianna Fáil source said.

In fairness what they put forward, their queries are reasonable, and they're seeking some clarification on issues.

Mr Ryan's party have made it clear that a 7% reduction in carbon emissions is a “red line” to enter government formation talks.

"It's up for discussion, that's the nature of these talks," the source added.

"Things like retrofitting and public homes on public land, we've been pushing for that too, so we see no difference there.

"I don't think anything they've put forward would be miles away.

"The Greens have responded positively, we hope others do as well."

The 72 seats held by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are likely to be bolstered in government by the support of the regional independent group, who have made their willingness to join a coalition clear.

However, the possible coalition partners may have hit their first bump in the road, after convener of the regional independent group, Denis Naughten said the demand to slash Ireland’s carbon emissions is unachievable

“I welcome the fact that they [the Green Party] have published that particular document, and hopefully it can help to move things forward," he said.

But personally, and from my own experience as Minister for Climate Action, the 7% annual reduction in carbon is unachievable.

Labour and the Social Democrats are also to send a number of queries to Fianna Fail and Fine Gael about their policy framework document.

It is understood both parties have queries over the cost of the policy promises, and how Fianna Fail and Fine Gael plan to avoid austerity post-Covid-19.

The two smaller parties held respective teleconferences to discuss the document over the last few days, and, like the Green Party will submit their requests for further detail over the next week.

It is understood that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are optimistic that a government can be formed by late May.

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