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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 Martina Anderson has condemned Israeli attempts to retrospectively legalise more than 4,000 houses in illegal settlements and hamper religious observance for Palestinians. 

Ms Anderson said; 

"Every day the Palestinian people struggle under Israeli oppression and denial of human rights. 

"This week the Israeli Knesset, is attempting to bring in two more pieces of repressive legislation; one seeking to retrospectively legalise 55 illegal settlements of more than 4,000 houses, and another seeking to prevent the use of loudspeakers for late night and early morning calls to prayer at mosques. 

"There is a need for international action against these oppressive moves, particularly from the EU. 

"The EU is on record as being totally opposed to the retrospective attempts to legitimise settlements which it regards as theft of private land. 

"While the EU has previously voiced concerns, with Israel now maintaining settlements on 47 per cent of privately owned Palestinian land, it is time for action. 

"We need to see more than mere condemnation from the EU and it could start by ensuring retailers and importers clearly label all goods coming from settlements." 

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Sinn Fein MEP has condemned the position of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble regarding granting debt relief to Greece following today’s Eurogroup meeting in Brussels.

Carthy, a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said: “The German position on Greek debt relief is completely unrealistic and counter-productive. Yet again we have threats and ultimatums from Germany, whose leaders have warned Greece it will be kicked out of the Eurozone unless it meets impossible targets and implements reforms that will worsen the rights and living standards of the Greek people.

“For more than a year the IMF has stated that without a debt write-down by creditors, it will be impossible for Greece to reach its debt reduction targets, meaning that the IMF could not participate in the bailout programme due to its own rules on lending to states with unsustainable debt. Last month US President Barack Obama joined the calls for meaningful debt relief for Greece.

“The German position ignores the reality that the debt is impossible to repay. Their position is entirely driven by domestic considerations – in other words, next year’s federal election in Germany.

“The situation is absurd - almost all of the €86 billion provided under the third memorandum, when provided, will go straight back out of Greece to repay the ECB and IMF, while Greece’s debt keeps growing. In fact between May and December, Greece’s debt has grown from €311bn euro to €330bn euro, or 180 per cent of GDP.”

Carthy also reacted to the so-called labour reforms being demanded of the Greek government in the current review of the bailout programme.

He said: “The IMF is also demanding the Greek government attack workers’ rights through further ‘labour reforms’ and privatisations before it would agree to contribute funds to the bailout programme. The labour reforms are the subject of ongoing negotiations between the creditors, including the European Commission and the ECB, and the Greek government. These creditors are refusing to allow the Greek government to implement fundamental human rights by re-establishing collective bargaining and collective agreements – a move that violates European legislation and practice.

"Are we supposed to accept that the EU can selectively exclude Greece from the rights of workers to negotiate and conclude collective agreements that are supposedly enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Social Charter? This position is appalling.

“Such treatment of Greece has been a major contributing factor to the rise of cynicism towards the EU across the continent. EU leaders tell us on the one hand that they are committed to a social Europe based on the realisation of human rights. On the other hand they threaten member states with expulsion if they refuse to attack fundamental rights that are supposedly protected by EU law. The leaders of the EU need to wake up and open their eyes to the impact their policies are having on citizens across Europe."

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has there is no room for transphobia or any form of discrimination in our society.

Speaking ahead of a photo exhibition which opens in Derry on Monday, Ms Anderson said; 

"In recent years great progress has been made to raise awareness of gender identity issues but unfortunately we still have too many incidents of transphobic hate crime. 

"I am proud to be the patron of Focus - The Identity Trust and welcome the fact that their exhibition of photos of people showing their opposition to transphobic hate crime is coming to Derry. 

"Derry City and Strabane District Council was the first local authority to back a motion opposing transphobic hate crimes and the city has a proud record of challenging transphobia, homophobia and all forms of discrimination. 

"I would encourage as many people as possible to go along and and view the exhibition in the Tower Museum from Monday, December 5 to Wednesday, December 7." 

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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called for "continuous, rigorous" inspections of the Margiris super trawler currently in Irish waters.

 The Ireland South MEP made the call as she welcomed news that the vessel had been boarded and inspected by Irish authorities. 

Inspectors from the LÉ James Joyce boarded the enormous ship on Tuesday to carry out searches for any illegal fishing activity. 

The Ireland South MEP said she hoped it would not be the last time authorities inspected the Margiris. 

"I am delighted to see that the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) is taking the presence of the Margiris in our waters more seriously this time around," she said. 

"When this highly destructive vessel was last in our waters it was not boarded and inspected once. 

"However, I would urge the authorities not to allow this inspection to be a one off.  While EU law may prevent us from banning these ships outright from our waters there is nothing stopping us from placing the Margiris under the most rigorous supervision while it is here. 

"The SFPA rarely have any concerns about enforcing the letter of the law when it comes to smaller Irish fishing vessels so I would urge them to display the same enthusiasm when it comes to these monstrous ships. 

"The damage they do to our indigenous fishing industry as well as our environment is well documented, so I would call on the SFPA to inspect this ship at every available opportunity and I make no apologies for suggesting that continuous, rigorous inspections may make them think twice about coming back into Irish waters next year."

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Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada is urging people across the country to support a petition calling for 24/7 community based mental health services.

The petition, currently open for signatures on uplift.ie, urges the government to deal with the issue of people suffering a severe mental health emergency out of hours having to present at A&E.

"One in seven Irish adults will experience mental health issues, that is the reality of how prevalent they are" she said.

"Last year in Ireland 769 people took their own lives and given that under-reporting of suicide is so widespread a conservative estimate would put the real figure at closer to 1000. That is the real cost of mental health issues.

"It is time the government faced up to the fact that we are facing a mental health crisis in Ireland and they have a duty to put the proper funding and support forward to address that.

“The State’s mental health policy A Vision for Change is ten years old and ten years on there is still an absence of 24/7 crisis care. 

"Staffing levels are 75% of what is recommended in their own document and staffing for child and adolescent services is at 50%.

"The government's own document commits it to setting aside 8.24% of the health budget for mental health services, a target it has never met and has failed to meet in next year's budget.

"The only thing consistent about the government's approach to mental health has been its failure.

"Earlier this year Sinn Féin brought a motion before the Dáil demanding implementation of 24/7 crisis intervention services within 12 months. A few weeks later we sought to amend a Fianna Fáil motion to call for a minimum of €37.5 million additional funding for mental health in 2017. Fianna Fáil sided with the government both times and allowed both to be defeated.

"The Dáil may be failing on this issue but people power can affect real change so I would urge as many people as possible to sign this petition, to share it on social media, to raise it with friends and family and crucially, your elected representatives.

"Mental health issues are not discriminatory; they affect people across all social classes, ages and genders. Nobody is immune.  The fact is that everyone reading this knows somebody suffering from mental health problems, whether they are aware of it or not.  

"Christmas is a particularly tough time time for people suffering from the likes of depression, isolation and loneliness, so I would urge people to let friends and family know that they are available to talk and if you yourself are suffering then I would ask you to simply say something to someone you trust.

"Even just talking about mental health is the beginning of a process in breaking down the stigmas around it, so get involved.  The consequences of doing nothing are far too high and risking effecting each and every one of us personally."

The petition is available at https://action.uplift.ie/campaigns/51?utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks&utm_campaign=mental
+health&utm_content=16.11.28CLAIREBYRNEKK+B