Sinn Féin meeting with Troika – “Ireland needs a new deal”
Speaking in advance of a meeting with Troika officials today in the Department of Finance, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said the current EU/IMF deal was a bad deal for the Irish people.
Deputy Adams said Sinn Féin had warned against the deal, highlighting the fact the Irish people could not afford it and that a better deal was possible and should have been negotiated by the new government elected in February.
The Sinn Féin leader and the party's Vice President Mary Lou McDonald said they intended to raise a number of issues with the officials today including the payment of private bondholders in Anglo, the sale of state assets and the need to create jobs.
Deputy Adams said:
“We do not believe this deal is a good deal for Ireland. The Irish people cannot afford it. The government had an opportunity following their election in February to negotiate a new deal, something they claimed they would do in their election promises. Instead they tinkered around the edges.
“We are raising a number of important issues with the Troika officials today. Firstly we want to discuss the government's decision to handover almost €2 billion in Irish taxpayers' money to unguaranteed bondholders in Anglo by January, with more to be paid in the coming years. This is a government choice, it is not in the Memorandum of Understanding but has severe implications for the state's debt level and our people.
“Secondly we want to discuss the government's attempts to privatise state assets. This is a commitment in the programme for government which Fine Gael and Labour have attempted to lay at the Troika's door. The MoU does not explicitly say that state assets have to be privatised, but that they are to be reviewed and that there is to be consultation with a view to possible privatisations. We want to know why the government decided on a €2 billion figure, what it intends to sell off and where the Troika stand on this issue.
“Thirdly, we will put it to the Troika that remaining states wealth reserves in the NPRF, alongside investment from the European Investment Bank, must be used to fund a job creation programme. We have said from the start that the way out of this crisis is through jobs and growth and that the MoU and the Government are frustrating this growth.
“Ireland needs investment to recover and it is Sinn Féin's position that the money in the NPRF, alongside funds from the EIB should be used to do this. We will put all these issues to the Troika today.”