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EU Election Manifesto 2014

Putting Ireland First - Éire Chun Cinn

Sinn Féin's bilingual election manifesto for the 2014 EU election was launched on Monday 12 May. Download Sinn Féin's EU Manifesto 2014 here.


EU Election News

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Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West has criticised a lack of empathy on the part of Commissioner Phil Hogan for the crisis being felt in the Irish tillage sector, particularly those farmers who have suffered due to severe weather conditions. 

Carthy said:


“Last September I wrote to Commissioner Hogan outlining the serious situation faced by tillage farmers with regard to a prolonged period of bad weather and resulting crop losses. Having visited affected farmers in my own constituency I witnessed, first hand, the devastation to harvests in the Midlands, North and Western parts of the country.


“The reply I received from Commissioner Hogan shortly before Christmas, a full 3 months after my letter, showed little empathy for the crisis being felt in the sector. Statistics given in the Commissioner’s letter were completely at odds with data being provided by Teagasc for the exact same period.


“He attempted to reconcile the situation by claiming that Irish farmers were receiving some of the highest prices in the EU, while Teagasc figures show that the average tillage farmer will return a negative net margin of €130/h.


“It wasn’t that long ago that the Commissioner was denying a crisis in the dairy sector, a delayed response that resulted in grossly prolonged hardship for the sector. Now he is calling for patience from a sector that relies on seasonal cycles to turn a profit. This is just not good enough.


“Continuing to ignore the crisis in this case could result in the tillage sector being completely wiped out in Ireland. It is an insult to be asking farmers to look at the present market situation with an “historical perspective”.


“It has now been 4 months since this crisis began and no action has been taken by either the European Commission or by the Irish government. Indeed the greatest cover Phil Hogan has is the failure of the Irish department to even seek crisis aid in this instance.

“The only good thing to come from this response was a commitment to work with the Irish Department of Agriculture to identify specific support measures at a national level.


“I again call on Minister Creed to immediately make use of flexibilities available to him under EU state aid rules to help Irish farmers out of this crisis.”
ENDS

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has criticised Israeli plans to defy international law and build 600 more homes on illegal settlements on Palestinian land.  

Ms Anderson said; 

"New plans to build 600 new homes on illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine must be opposed. 

"These illegal settlements fly in the face of international law. The UN Security Council recently passed a resolution calling for a halt to all settlement building but Israel is clearly defying that with this move. 

"Not only is this illegal but it is also hampering efforts to reach a peaceful two-state solution in the region. 

"I have raised the issue of illegal Israeli settlements in the European Parliament and will continue to do so. 

"The international community has a duty to act to challenge this ongoing Israeli aggression and to support the people of Palestine."

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Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called for the widest possible discussion of the options for Irish unity and the forms it might take.

He also said support for political parties in the North, based solely on the idea of opposition to Irish unity, is unsustainable in the long term.


Addressing the Towards a United Ireland conference in Dublin today Carthy said:

"Sinn Féin, or any other party or Movement, bring it about on their own.

"We need all those in favour a united Ireland to co-operate, despite differences on other matters.

"Sinn Féin is told by political opponents that our active pursuit of Irish reunification is divisive.

"They say there will be a united Ireland at some undefined time in the future, but that now is not the time.

"But unity will not happen through wishful thinking. It needs a realistic political strategy and actions.

"It needs people, political leaders, the media and civic society to talk about the issue. To discuss the possibilities and the options.

The leadership of those parties which claim to support Irish unity, acting together, could provide the leadership to deliver it."


Carthy said support for a referendum must be generated by mainstreaming the idea within political discourse.

He said:

"For most people, active engagement with a big idea only becomes a reality when there is something tangible to focus on.

"The agreement of a significant section of people, now described as unionists, is required to win a referendum.

"The North has been transformed in recent years, and that transformation is ongoing.

"The North is no longer the Orange state. Many of the certainties held for so long by the old unionist political establishment are gone.

"These changes will continue and are irreversible.

"In this context, I believe that it is essential that those who advocate unity, lay out their vision of what a united Ireland might look like.

"This is crucial in allaying fears within the unionist community of reverse discrimination or cultural marginalisation in a united Ireland."

Carthy said unionists know that society in the South is not the one that existed in the 1950s or even the 1980s:

"Old slogans about a 'priest ridden republic' are so patently out of date, that even the most virulent loyalists no longer use them.

"There are also significant demographic changes occurring in the North as a result of which those who identify themselves as British are declining, while those who identify as Irish or Northern Irish are increasing.

"I believe that political support, based solely on the idea of opposition to Irish unity, is unsustainable in the long term.

"People in the North need real answers to everyday social and economic problems and, as the North changes, wrapping everything up in the Union Jack will prove an increasingly threadbare position."

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the publication of the report of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry. 

Ms Anderson said; 

"I welcome the publication today of the report from Historical Institutional Abuse Investigation. 

"Victims and survivors of abuse and their families have waited too long for this report to acknowledge the horrendous hurt and wrong which was done to them. 

"I took the lead in instigating the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry when I was Junior Minister in the then Offie of First and deputy First Minster in 2012

"I did so against the advice of civil servants and because it was the right thing to do for victims. 

"I want to pay tribute to the courage and determination of all those victims and survivors who came forward and shared their harrowing stories. 

"What they need now is the full implementation of all of the recommendations of the panel in a manner that addresses the needs of victims and survivors, and that includes an onus on the PSNI to carry out a full and thorough investigation. 

"Today victims and survivors received confirmation of what they knew along; that the state failed to protect them as vulnerable children and they deserve and are entitled to an apology for that."

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Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has welcomed EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly’s decision to open an investigation into the links between ECB President Mario Draghi and the G30 group, which includes top private and public bankers and leaders of some of the world’s largest financial institutions.

 Carthy, a member of the Economic and monetary Affairs Committee, said: “This is an important move by the Ombudsman and comes in response to a complaint lodged by the Corporate Europe Observatory.

 “The complaint outlines serious concerns over potential conflicts of interest between Mr Draghi’s role as ECB president and his role in the G30 organisation, of which he is a full member. Other ECB members, including a member of its supervisory board, are also associated with the G30.

 “Incredibly, the former long-serving ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet, who is now the chairperson of the G30, has been nominated as the chairperson of the ECB’s Ethics Committee.

 “The most serious concern is that the ECB is now charged with directly supervising many of the financial institutions that are represented in the G30, including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and many more. There is no system in place to ensure an ethically appropriate level of distance between the ECB decision-making and supervisory processes and their friends in the G30 bankers’ club.

 “There is no way to ensure that the ECB members involved in the G30 do not provide confidential information on future policy decisions, for example, to private bankers in the G30.

 Carthy continued: “The ECB is charged with monetary policy and its quantitative easing policy and other initiatives it has taken in response to the financial crisis have often benefited private banks. There is no way to ensure that the private bankers and finance CEOs of the G30 do not influence ECB policy.

 “When the G30 speaks about the global economy and public policy on banking and finance, it speaks with one voice. So we have the ECB being directly associated with policy recommendations shaped by private bankers and finance giants.

 “The membership of ECB figures in the G30 is entirely inappropriate. It adds yet another layer to the total lack of accountability and transparency in the ECB, and it is clearly at odds with the supposed independence of the ECB.

“I welcome this Ombudsman investigation and hope that it helps to brings about increased transparency around the ECB decision-making processes that affect everyone in the EU.”