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Plus ça change

Ireland came away with a far better bailout deal from Brussles last week than many might have anticipated. and the result was made sweeter still because the French did not press the issue of a hike in Ireland's 12.5 percent corporate tax rate as a quid pro quo.

Taosieach Enda Kenny and French president Nicolas Sarkozy had been at loggerheads on the issue but Kenny told reporters that the matter was over and that the French had been supportive of the new deal for Ireland without linking it to the rate issue.

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"It's over, c'est fini. I had a very cordial conversation with the French president," Kenny said.

"There is absolutely no change in our position in this regard and the matters that you mention were never even raised at the meeting in any shape or form."