February 12th, 2020
Eamon Ryan has confirmed that the Green Party today held discussions with the big three parties over the possible formation of the next Government.
Following “positive” discussions with Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil, and Fine Gael today, Mr Ryan said that all three are willing to engage with his party’s eco-friendly mandate.
“We want to see serious and committed action to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss and we need to do that in a way that improves people’s quality of life and protects our economy,” Mr Ryan said. He did not provide any further detail on the discussion with the parties.
The Greens have now quadrupled their seats to 12, giving the party speaking rights and much greater sway in the formation of the next Government.
The Greens will also meet the Labour Party, the Social Democrats and Solidarity/People Before Profit later in the week, three parties that more closely align with the Greens on climate and biodiversity policy.
Other parties are meeting Sinn Fein this week to discuss the possibility of forming a more left-leaning Government. Based on the numbers, however, such a bloc would need the support of the majority of elected independent TDs to reach a majority in the next Dáil.
PBP’s Richard Boyd Barrett earlier this week conceded that it will be difficult to form a purely left coalition based on the numbers available but that his party is keen to continue discussions to “break the cycle” of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.
“Things are changing very fast in Irish politics; the landscape is shifting and we think change is possible – a different type of Ireland is now possible,” Mr Boyd Barrett told journalists outside the Dail this week.
A potential key stumbling block in negotiations is disagreement between the parties on the left in relation to the carbon tax. Both the Social Democrats and the Greens want to see funds generated ring-fenced, although they do have different ideas on where the money should go.
PBP are adamantly against any further increases in the tax and are in favour of more heavily taxing the profits of large fossil fuel corporations. Its position lines up closely with Sinn Fein as it is also against increasing the tax.