The Labour party leader Joan Burton has said both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil should stop “play acting and shadow-boxing”, and give the country what it needs by forming a stable government.
The acting Tánaiste made her comments in Rome recently where she was attending St Patrick’s Day celebrations, the Labour party leader said she believes the two main parties should put their historic rivalry behind them and do what’s best for the Irish people. Ms Burton told The Irish Times: “This is a hiatus moment, the election is over and people are trying to figure out what the significance of the election is. I don’t think there is any great appetite for another early general election.” “If you look at the figures, the only set of figures which add up in a coherent way and which would lead to a five year term of government, which the country needs, really is a combination of the two largest parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil…
“This time the baton has passed to the two biggest parties who have to shape up to what the country requires. “To be honest, I think the arithmetic is leading in only one direction given that there is no hope of a minority government lasting. “Clearly this is a historic moment when two parties with great historic differences might find themselves coming together but that is the arithmetic of the election result. People need to look at a five year perspective, we’ve made huge progress from the difficult financial situation of 2011 but we still have a road to travel.”
Ms Burton said she believes the current negotiations by both parties with a number of Independent TD’s is just simply “play-acting and shadow boxing” since the recent election results which has made a Fine Gael and Fianna Fail coalition the only feasible option. The acting Tánaiste also said, at the moment, “there are a large number of people in the Dáil for whom the notion of government is anathema” since they only prefer to be in opposition. Ms Burton also believes a new Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil government will happen sooner rather than later and she expects negotiations to begin next month after the Easter Rising commemorative celebrations.
The Labour leader added that the future role of her party would be the opposition of any future government.