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Mary Lou McDonald MEP debates EU Constitution architect Valéry Giscard D'Estaing on Future of Europe

12 February, 2009

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald will tonight debate with EU Constitution architect Valéry Giscard D’Estaing on the future of Europe. Speaking ahead of this evenings debate Ms McDonald said that the future of Europe “must be decided by the peoples of Europe and not determined by political cliques or vested interest. Europe must advance the interest of its peoples with the democratic support of its peoples.”


The Dublin MEP said:


“The domestic, European and global economic recession will mean that for huge numbers of people economic hardship and uncertainty will be their only concern. The government estimates that we will have 400,000 unemployed. Many economists are suggesting that a more realistic figure will be 500,000. Mortgage repossessions, illegal evictions, pay cuts, pension levies, cuts to vital front line services will continue to be implemented as the government pursues its agenda of making ordinary working people pay for the failures of ministers, bank directors and developers.


“The government is hoping that this economic hardship, uncertainty and fear will enable them to scare voters into accepting the Lisbon Treaty. They will say that Irelandwill be isolated, marginalised, excluded and that at a time of economic crisis rejecting the Lisbon Treaty would make a bad situation worse.


“Of course the great irony is that many of the same bad policies pursued by this government over the past two decades are contained and copper fastened within the pages of the Treaty they now want you to endorse.


“Indeed if the Lisbon Treaty was bad before the onset of the economic crisis, it is even worse now. It is a Treaty written in a different time, in different circumstances.


“It is a treaty based on the flawed economic agenda of wholesale free market dominance and deregulation. An agenda that has been comprehensively discredited.


“Today, as we face into the longest and deepest economic crisis faced by this country since the 1940s if not since the foundation of the state, we need new policies at both a domestic and European level.


“The failure of domestic and European economic policies, introduced during the last fifteen years, is now plain to see. 


“In Irelandwe need a new government with a new approach to economic matters. In Brussels we need a new Commission and Council ready and willing to develop new solutions to the problems of our time. Most importantly we need a new Treaty for these new times; a treaty that promotes economic growth, protects workers rights, promotes public services, encourages greater environmental sustainability, and works in partnership with the developing world to ensure that in this time of great global crisis the gap between the overdeveloped and underdeveloped world does not continue to grow.


“Europe’s future, our ability to meet the needs of our peoples and our ability to shape a democratic project driven by the peoples, will depend on our willingness to demand and deliver change.” ENDS



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