Europe News

Was Ireland's Budget Plan Leaked to Germany?

A scandal is brewing in Dublin Thursday night that could have huge implications for the euro zone and the independence of its member governments.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Michael Gottschalk | AFP | Getty Images

According to the Press Association, a copy of the Irish budget, due to be unveiled Dec. 6, was presented to the German Bundestag's budget committee for approval after a meeting Wednesday between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

The Belfast Telegraph quoted Kenny as denying the reports.

With unelected governments pushing through tough austerity measures in Italy and Greece with the backing of Germany, Thursday's news from Ireland and Berlin will add to the growing sense that Germany is now in charge of any euro zone nation that gets into trouble financially.

The Irish government denied the budget had been finalized, telling local radio it remains a work in progress. But details have been leaked including plans to raise value added taxes by 2 percent to help raise 670 million euros ($907 million) of extra funds for the Irish Treasury.

It is feared by officials in Dublin that details of the 2012 budget could have been leaked from Brussels, with one spokesman telling the Irish Times the government has expressed its concern to the European Commission.

Politicians from Ireland's Fianna Fail opposition demanded answers from the government, with one official telling reporters that if the story proves to be true "it would be a staggering and unprecedented breach of faith with the Irish Parliament and Irish people on budget plans."