Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Diaspora, Seán Crowe TD, questioned the Taoiseach in the Dáil today, on the recent European Council meeting.
Speaking after his speech, Deputy Crowe said:
“I am extremely concerned over the lack of an agreement on the 7 year long-term EU Budget at the European Council last weekend. The Taoiseach stated today that he is confident that a deal will be done on the EU Budget soon, but I, with others, don’t share his optimism.
“There have been calls from some countries for major cuts in the Budget, but surely at this time we need even greater investment to stimulate economic growth and create jobs. While savings can be made by cutting into the bureaucracy, any reduction in the EU Budget cannot come at the expense of investment that is earmarked to stimulate the economies of EU countries.
“The failure to agree an EU Budget at this round of talks is a reflection of disagreement on the wider issue of how to get Europe out of this financial crisis. This is complicated by Britain increasingly distancing itself from the EU and Angela Merkel keeping one eye firmly on the elections in Germany next year. While these countries and their leaders stall, the crisis is worsening in Europe, especially in countries like Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Spain.
“Jobs are people’s key concern at the moment, yet there is still no understanding or agreement from EU leaders on how to stimulate investment and create growth that will lead to jobs in the countries struggling under harsh nonsensical austerity measures.
“The social costs of austerity are growing and right across Europe we are seeing people on low and middle incomes struggling to keep making adjustments so that they don’t lose their homes, their livelihoods, or their children to emigration. Yet EU leaders are content with pushing more austerity measures and further inflicting pain on the most vulnerable people in society.
“EU leaders seem to be living in a bubble and are completely unaware of the failings of austerity and how much it is affecting low and middle income households. We need a united EU that is fully committed to European solidarity and working together to resolve the crisis facing more and more of its people.”