Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Government tactics at recent EU Council meeting deeply reckless

29 October, 2008 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Speaking this evening during a Dáil debate on the recent EU Council meeting in Brussels Sinn Féin's EU Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD criticised the government for "sending out mixed messages about Ireland's membership of the EU at a time of economic uncertainty" describing such tactics in the face of trying to sidestep public opinion on the Treaty with veiled threats as "deeply reckless".

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"The main discussion at the European Council related to the ongoing economic and financial situation and the need to get serious about regulating financial markets. It is clear that there is an emerging consensus that the Stability and Growth pact will not be applied in current circumstances. However this was ignored by the Council who has continued with their mantra that budget policies must continue to be in line with the revised Stability and Growth pact.

"Some in the establishment have argued that the economic crisis demonstrates the pressing need for the Lisbon Treaty to go ahead. I believe that the opposite is the case. The current crisis demonstrates the failure of the free-market policies that lie at the heart of the EU and which would be accelerated by the Lisbon Treaty.

"The economic and financial crisis should give all EU members pause for thought, and should spark a Europe-wide debate on the Treaty response which is required to protect citizens and to call a halt to deregulation and liberation policies, which have caused huge problems right across the EU. And indeed were central to the defeat of the Lisbon Treaty not just in Ireland, but in France and the Netherlands as well.

"It is now almost seven months since the Irish people rejected the Lisbon Treaty. The reasons for this are clear. Unfortunately Fianna Fáil and the Greens have to date shown little appetite for addressing the concerns of the Irish people choosing instead to prepare the ground for a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

"The Taoiseach has stated that by December it is his aim to have identified the necessary steps that need to be taken next year. The steps forward remain obvious. The Lisbon Treaty has been rejected by the people of this state therefore it cannot be ratified. Instead of trying to find a loophole the Taoiseach should insist that the Lisbon Treaty is set aside and a new treaty negotiated.

"Over the last six months the government has ignored the wishes of the people and they have done so at their own peril. What needs to be done is clear. They need to listen to what the people have said and act." ENDS

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