“Ireland will support a growth agenda, Ireland will support an investment agenda, but clearly there are issues in there with which we don’t agree,” said Enda Kenny.
“Obviously in the context of changes with the corporation tax rate and localised financial transaction taxes are not in the interests of this country.”
Just hours after freshly-inaugurated Mr Hollande met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the first time to discuss stitching growth measures into the fiscal treaty, one of his advisors unveiled the thinking on tax harmonisation.
His predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy and Ms Merkel, whose tight allegiance helped to promote the fiscal treaty and focus on stability, tried to force the issue on Ireland previously, but the Government has continually refused to bend.
Earlier, Mr Gilmore insisted the position on corporation tax was absolutely firm to ensure Ireland remains attractive to investors looking for a low rate.
He said it would also boost confidence in the euro and the country as a whole.
Although a line has been drawn in the sand over corporation tax, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said a Yes vote in the referendum and a commitment to ratify the fiscal treaty would send a positive signal to Europe that Ireland is serious about repairing the economy.
He said ratifying the deal, which aims to enforce stricter budgetary rules and increased control over money in and out of countries, would allow Ireland to become a key player in the eurozone.
Mr Noonan also drew laughter during a Bloomberg Ireland Economic summit when he gave his analysis of the limited economic links between Ireland and Greece, and the impact the latter’s leaving the eurozone may have.
“Apart from the Greek islands, I think most Irish people do not have a lot … if you go into the shops here, apart from feta cheese, how many Greek items do you put in your basket?” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Hollande’s advisor Phillippe Aghion said this morning that the new president will seek harmonisation across the board – in corporation tax and financial and banking regulation.
He told Newstalk radio that Mr Hollande expects solidarity from members of the eurozone that have signed up to the fiscal treaty.
Mr Aghion said it remains to be seen how well each country co-operates with European plans for growth.
“We need some solidarity in Europe,” he went on.
“There is a view if Europe helps you, you have to help Europe. It’s give and take. So I think we put the idea it would be good to have a minimum amount of solidarity if Europe is to survive.”
Despite a potential clash over corporation tax, the Government has continued its campaign for a Yes vote in the May 31 referendum on the fiscal treaty.
However, the opposition gained added support today in the form of UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, who argued ratifying the treaty would result in a loss of Irish sovereignty.
He said it was pointless holding a referendum at the end of the month given the current economic and political uncertainty in Greece and Spain.
Mr Farage pledged to support the No side with a leaflet campaign, insisting his help did not constitute foreign interference.
“You have the Government putting out its own leaflet which masquerades as being neutral,” said Mr Farage.
He was in Dublin as a delegate of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group, speaking out against the fiscal treaty.