The decision on whether Paschal Donohoe remains finance minister after Taoiseach and Tánaiste swapped jobs rests “with the leaders of the coalition”.

A decision on whether Paschal Donohoe remains finance minister – after the posts of Taoiseach and Tánaiste were swapped – rests entirely with coalition leaders, three senior Fine Gael cabinet ministers have said.

The national coffers are currently managed jointly by Mr Donohoe for finance and Michael McGrath of Fianna Fáil, who is responsible for public spending, since the three-party coalition was launched in June 2020.

Micheál Martin will hand over the office of Taoiseach to Leo Varadkar on December 15, taking over the role of Tánaiste currently held by the Fine Gael leader.

Political sources – also supported by Mr McGrath – say this job change comes with a similar reversal of roles at Paschal Donohoe.

But there is evidence of pressure from Fine Gael for Mr Donohoe to remain finance secretary so he can continue to chair the group of 19 nations using the euro. He was elected to this post in July 2020, making him the most influential Irish person in EU finance management circles.

Early on Friday, Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar pointed out on the radio that Mr Donohoe was rated as a very good job in the Eurogroup and this was to Ireland’s advantage.

But three Fine Gael ministers – Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney, Social Protection Secretary Heather Humphreys and Universities Minister Simon Harris – said at the Fine Gael think-in ahead of the Dáil’s return that the three coalition leaders have yet to discuss the issue of rotating the two finance minister posts.

Mr Coveney said highlighting Mr Donohoe’s good work in the Eurogroup should not be seen as pressure to change what has already been agreed. He said nobody – apart from the three coalition leaders – knew about “these agreements”.

“In my opinion, I trust that the leaders will make a sensible decision on this issue,” said Coveney.

He avoided commenting on speculation that Micheál Martin could switch to his own foreign policy job following a major reshuffle in December, but stressed that he would like to remain in his current role.

Ms Humphreys also stressed that Paschal Donohoe had done an excellent job in the Eurogroup. “But here, too, those responsible have to decide, and that’s how it will be,” she said.

Simon Harris said Mr Donohoe’s praise should not be equated with pressure from Fine Gael.

He said he and his colleagues did not know what work-sharing arrangements had been made by the three leaders.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/decision-on-whether-paschal-donohoe-stays-as-finance-minister-after-taoiseach-and-tanaiste-swap-jobs-is-up-to-coalition-leaders-41976740.html The decision on whether Paschal Donohoe remains finance minister after Taoiseach and Tánaiste swapped jobs rests “with the leaders of the coalition”.

Fry Electronics Team

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