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Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny took to the stage of the European Parliament in Strasbourg to outline his priorities at the helm of the EU Presidency.

Chief among these was the issue of the Irish economy. Kenny is keen to use Ireland’s unique position as a platform to put its bailout commitments in order.

Addressing the European Parliament, he said:
“We are determined to exit the EU-IMF programme before the end of this year. We face many challenges up ahead, and our economy is still fragile, but I believe that 2013 will be the year in which Ireland exits its programme and shows real leadership to Europe.”

EU council chief Herman van Rompuy decides tomorrow on whether or not to put the next EU budget on the agenda of February’s EU summit.

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