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End to dithering on terminal welcomed but sale of Aer Lingus described as "act of sabotage"

18 May, 2005


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Seán Crowe TD, has welcomed the fact that the Government has stopped dithering on the issue of the second terminal and has given the go ahead for the Dublin Airport Authority to build it. However he accused the Government of an "act of sabotage" over its declared intention to sell off a majority stake in the national airline.

Deputy Crowe said, "First of all I would like to welcome the fact that the Government has finally stopped dithering on the issue of the second terminal and at long last made a decision. It is also to be welcomed that the building of the second terminal and its ownership will remain in the hands of those most experienced and capable of running it on behalf of and in the interests of the Irish people - namely the Dublin Airport Authority. I firmly believe that they should be allowed to get on with the process of running it as well without the need to engage in a wasteful and time consuming tendering process.

"However, I am more concerned about the issue, which the Government has slipped in to this announcement with little or no advance fanfare. That is the privatisation of Aer Lingus. The decision to sell off a majority stake in the company is nothing short of an act of sabotage against a vital piece of national and strategic infrastructure. I can‚t help thinking that this particular announcement today is the price the workers at Aer Lingus and their families as well as the Irish taxpayer is going to be forced to pay to save the embarrassed blushes of the PDs, who didn't get their way on the second terminal.

"You only have to look at the debacle surrounding the sale of Eircom to see that the privatisation agenda of this Government in the short, medium and long-term only favours the speculative vultures who are only too ready to pounce on attractive state assets, which were built up over the years by the hard pressed taxpayer." ENDS

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