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Ó Caoláin - Prodi remarks on two-speed Europe confirm Sinn Féin analysis of Nice Treaty

5 January, 2004

Sinn Féin leader in the Dáil, Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin, has said the recent comments by the Commissioner Romano Prodi and by the German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder about a two-speed Europe reinforce Sinn Féin's argument during the Nice Treaty referendum that the Union was heading in that direction and that smaller countries would lose out.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said: "Bertie Aherns protestations at comments from Romano Prodi and Gerhard Schröder ring very hollow. Sinn Féin has over a number of referendums on the future of the Union voiced our concerns at the negative development of a two-speed Europe where bigger nations will increasingly dictate the pace of progress across a broad range of issues. During the Nice Treaty debates Bertie Ahern and his Government were constantly dismissing our party for scare mongering.

"However, it is clear from these latest comments from two of the most powerful and influential people in the European Union that Sinn Féin's analysis of the situation was correct. The Irish people were sold a pup when the Taoiseach forced a second Nice Treaty referendum.

"No amount of spin by Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen or Dick Roche can disguise the fact that the European Union is becoming increasingly centralised with power being concentrated in the hands of a few big states with smaller countries like Ireland being left with little or no influence or control over their own destinies." ENDS

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