Green Party agrees to enter formal coalition talks; Sinn Féin calls for 'break from the past'

A statement has been issued by the Green Party, confirming that Eamon Ryan's party will begin formal talks with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

with reporting from Digital Desk staff

Update

Sinn Féin have said that a government with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil together "is not what people voted for," in February's general election "no matter who they are propped up by."

Reacting to the Green Party's announcement this evening, Sinn Féin for TD Cavan/Monaghan Matt Carthy said: "Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have been working to a plan to exclude Sinn Féin from government and to ignore our mandate for some time."

He said: "Their record in government together over the past four years shows us exactly what they will do if they get into government again."

Mr Carthy said that "the threat of austerity" is central to framework document issued by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and that Ireland needs "a break from the past, not a repeat of it."

"That means a fair recovery, and this means rebuilding the economy and investing our way out of recession, delivering universal healthcare, delivering the biggest public housing programme in the State’s history, investing in our forgotten regions and delivering the type of real change required to tackle the climate emergency."

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael welcome Green Party confirmation for government talks

Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has welcomed the confirmation that the Green Party will now enter into formal negotiations on a programme for Government.

Mr Martin said as the country faces into a very uncertain future, it is critically important that Ireland has a solid and stable Government in place.

He said he wants the parties to protect people and ensure the country's economic recovery after Covid-19 is started as soon as possible and is built on fairness.

He said there is important legislation that needs to be passed to allow Irish businesses to access finance and there needs to be a government in place to do this.

In a statement today Mr Martin said: “I am also confident that together, with an agreed progressive Programme for Government we will have the opportunity to tackle, in a fundamental way, the biggest issues that are facing our people – Covid-19, the housing emergency, access to health services, child care and climate change.

We must also not forget that a hard Brexit in six months is still looming.

“For our part, Fianna Fáil will be approaching the forthcoming Programme for Government negotiations constructively and confidently, determined to deliver on the mandate we have been given.”

The Taoiseach has also welcomed the Green Party's decision to start negotiations.

Leo Varadkar said he looks forward to constructive discussions starting in the coming days and that Ireland needs a stable government to manage the remainder of the Covid emergency and to rebuild society and the economy over the next five years.

He said: “We look forward to the forthcoming Programme for Government negotiations and believe that together our three parties can develop a programme that will deliver for the Irish people.”

Green Party agrees to enter formal coalition talks with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil

The Green Party's parliamentary members have agreed to enter formal talks on forming a coalition government with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil after days of internal party debate about climate change demands in a deal.

A statement has been issued by the Green Party, confirming that Eamon Ryan's party will begin formal talks with the other two parties.

The move comes despite rows in recent days over Green demands for a 7% annual cut in greenhouse gas emissions in any government deal.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney played down the likelihood of any possible negotiations last week, telling the Irish Examiner that a Green demand for 7% cut in emissions could not be agreed if it decimated rural Ireland.

But Green Party members this afternoon have been told that the parliamentary party has now agreed to enter those formal programme for government talks.

The move follows rows over the 7% target as well as an internal dispute within the Greens among its TDs over entering the negotiations, following a list of 17 demands to both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

One parliamentary party source told the Irish Examiner:

“The 17 questions were about establishing a decent baseline. There was so much we care about not in there that will need to be in any document good enough for the members to accept."

This decision is expected to lead to a meeting between all three party leaders in the coming days.

But party leader Eamon Ryan will also still have to try and get any final deal with the other two parties-if one is agreed-approved by two-thirds of party members.

“The important thing is this is now happening. And that we get enough good things for young members, in particular," added a source.

In a statement this afternoon, the party said:

“The party will now work with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to develop a deal that respects our mandate with a view to presenting that agreement to Green Party members for approval.

“Green Party approval of any programme for government will require support of two-thirds of the Green Party voting membership.

“Any proposal must be transformative on climate action and commit to strong progress towards a more sustainable and fairer society.

If this is not the case Green Party representatives will withdraw from negotiations and pursue their mandate in opposition and work to hold the government to account.

“The Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan will now seek a meeting with the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael leadership to start the process.”

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