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Poll reflects government attempt to bamboozle and bore Irish people into submission on EU Reform Treaty - McDonald

5 November, 2007

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has described the results in today’s Irish Times poll on the publics waning support over the last two years for the EU Reform Treaty as ‘not surprising.’


The Dublin MEP said:


“Today’s results will be of little surprise to the general public and observers alike. Post the rejection of the EU Constitution by the French and Dutch electorate in 2005 the European political establishment committed to engage in a ‘meaningful’ process of dialogue with member state citizens on the future of Europe.


“Despite similar promises made by Taoiseach Ahern to the Irish people, all we actually got by way of a debate were a couple of Dublin bus side advertisements and radio ads promoting this years 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.


“There has been no broad political debate with the Irish people on the future of Europe. Government has sought to bamboozle or bore citizens into submission when it comes to matters on Europe.


“Bertie Ahern was one of the key promoters of the failed EU Constitution. It was under the auspices of the Taoiseach’s own European Presidency in 2004 which oversaw its completion. Now he seems intent to secure for himself the job of President of the European Council when he steps down from Irish politics, a job that will not exist unless the Reform Treaty is passed.


“At no point during the discussions and recent signing off of the EU Reform Treaty text did the Taoiseach fight to secure Irish neutrality, the right to determine our own taxation or how we finance our public services and state enterprises.


“Opt outs of all these key issues in the national interest could have been secured if the government had put its weight behind such demands. As Ireland is likely to be the only country to hold a referendum on the Treaty the governments bargaining power in Europe to secure the best interests of the Irish people has never been greater.


“Instead Bertie Ahern has continued with his consistent approach to the Treaty which has been to sit on his hands, look away from his responsibility to the Irish people and kick back till his plum job in Europe is offered up.


“The massive increase of a Don’t Know vote to 62% is a result of Ahern’s laissez-faire attitude to the promised debate on the future of Europe and indeed his refusal to fight for the best interests of the Irish people.” CRÍOCH



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