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DEAL ON NEW GOVERNMENT BY THURSDAY; Party talks are 'constructive'.


FINE Gael, Fianna Fail and the Green Party could reach a deal to form a new Government by Thursday. Politicians had a "constructive meeting" over the weekend as part of the latest talks which continue today.

The discussions ended last night, more positively than they began, with hopes a deal can be reached this week.

A Fianna Fail spokesman said Micheal Martin, Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan had "made progress with many outstanding issues".

The pension age, policy over carbon emissions, agriculture and housing are believed to be among the final sticking points.

The three parties are also speaking to groups of independent TDs to try to secure their support, around 120 days since February's inconclusive General Election.

One of them, Michael Fitzmaurice, demanded that rural Ireland is not "sold out" in the drive to meet carbon emissions.

Fine Gael's Martin Heydon described the process to date as "lengthy".

He told RTE: "The negotiating team and staff have worked morning, noon and night over the last number of weeks.

"But there is still some really significant outstanding areas as well.

"I would be hopeful that we could get an agreement before next weekend but it's by no means guaranteed."

Fianna Fail's Marc MacSharry added: "What is important now is that the negotiations come to a conclusion.

"It has involved compromise so far, there are still some difficult issues outstanding, but we're very hopeful they can be dealt with.

"We're all hopeful, it's in everyone's interests, including the nation as a whole, that we have a programme for government that's capable of facing the enormous challenges we face."

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 8, 2020
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