Speaking from Strasbourg Martina Anderson commented that one issue concluded during the Lithuanian Presidency was the Irish exit from the Bailout Programme. However, it may have exited the bailout programme but the Irish government has incorporated the programmes and mind-set of austerity into its own strategy for years to come, so there was no need for the Troika to remain.
Martina Anderson said:
“Sinn Féin has long advocated saying goodbye to the Troika, and we would encourage all other member states who are suffering from the deep social and economic wounds being inflicted by it to resist the imposition of unjust austerity on the most disadvantaged in your society and show them the door as soon as possible.
“Although the Troika has left Dublin the government has adopted its austerity policies and incorporated them into domestic strategy. And in case the government should think of stepping outside of that policy, the state will remain under supervision by the EU for several decades to come.
“Exiting the bailout will change little for middle and low income families, for the unemployed, for the sick and elderly or for the hundreds of thousands who have been forced to emigrate.
“It will do nothing to stop the decimation of public services and the deterioration of living standards for the vast majority of people. Irish people will be paying for the greed of speculators, developers, bankers and political failure for generations to come.
“But a very positive story to come out of this Lithuanian Presidency and one in which I was privileged to play a part, was the agreement reached on the Tobacco Products Directive.
“As a Shadow Rapporteur on this file, I witnessed the resolve and hard work put in by the Lithuanian Presidency to agree on legislation which will have tangible effects for the health of future generations and I congratulate them for this.” CRÍOCH