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Tax rate will stay

In an interview last week on FOX Business Network's Connell McShane, Cowen said low corporate taxes are a "fundamental plank" for the Irish economy and that raising corporate taxes was off the table completely.

Raising corporate taxes was "not a consideration of this government at all. We want to create an enterprise friendly environment," Cowen told FBN.

Cowen said that the government expected growth to return to the troubled Irish economy in the second half of this year while 2011, "will be our first full year of growth."

Asked about the woes currently being experienced by Greece and how this might relate to Ireland Cowen told McShane: "We've set out what's known as the stability and growth pact that involves obligations to reduce deficits down to less than 3 percent of GDP. We've got an agreement to move from our deficit down to 3 percent by 2014, 2015. So Greece has a slightly bigger problem.

Asked about a possible European Monetary Fund, Cowen was cautious.

"I recognize the idea of a European Monetary Fund. That's a proposal that has to be considered. It's a concept that we are prepared to examine, but I think we need to wait and see the details before we can join with others in supporting it. I think the important point is we're trying to find means by which we provide stability to the (euro) currency."

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