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30 Jan, 2020 14:27

Opposition Fianna Fail leader calls for Ireland to back EU reforms put forward by Macron

Opposition Fianna Fail leader calls for Ireland to back EU reforms put forward by Macron

The leader of Ireland’s main opposition party and the favorite to become prime minister after elections next week on Thursday called for Ireland to back more EU reforms put forward by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The opposition Fianna Fail and governing Fine Gael parties, who have swapped power since the state’s foundation a century ago, share broadly similar policies on the economy and Brexit. However Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, a former foreign minister, said that PM Leo Varadkar’s government had refused to step up and engage on EU reforms, particularly the “visionary reform” agenda of Macron.

“Fianna Fail believes that now is the time for Ireland to move on fundamental issues concerning the reform and strengthening of the EU,” Martin said in a speech.

Macron’s sweeping vision for eurozone reform has received a lukewarm reaction over the past three years. Ireland was among eight northern EU states that agreed a joint position in 2018 saying now was not the time for more reform while initiatives such as a banking union remained incomplete.