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Replacing Fianna Fáil with Fine Gael? Pointless

27 February, 2009 - by Pat Sheehan

Reiterating his Ard Fhéis call for a political alliance for change in Ireland, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said today that the replacement of the current coalition by another coalition with Fine Gael as the main party would be pointless.

The Sinn Féin President said:

“The time has come for a fundamental realignment of Irish politics, to break the grip of the two main conservative parties in Ireland — a throwback to the Civil War which does nothing to help tackle the economic crisis that the country now faces.

“I note recent comments by Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny. Mr Kenny offers nothing new of substance to the Irish people and merely highlights the fact that the replacement of the current coalition by another coalition with Fine Gael as the main party would be pointless.

“There is nothing in the policies Fine Gael has put forward to differentiate it from Fianna Fail. Despite what Fine Gael may be saying now they did not put forward a critique of the way the Irish economy and society were developing under the current government.

“Fine Gael proposed cutting taxes when the over-reliance of the state on taxes from consumption and property was clear.

“It led the attacks on public sector workers while failing to explain how their proposals for cutbacks would not undermine the delivery of front line public services.

“Enda Kenny’s party is not supportive of the social partnership process that has the ability to build a social solidarity pack to bring us through our current economic difficulties.

“Fine Gael has not demonstrated that it would work with the social partners, in particular the trade unions in getting the Irish economy back on track.

“It has supported government policies which undermined the ability of small Irish businesses to operate – moves such as the attempt to break up the ESB which has seen electricity prices soar and changes to capital gains tax which made it more profitable to speculate on property than to run a small business.

“In short Fine Gael does not have a political vision for the future.

“The Irish people need to be aware that if Fine Gael is helped back into government by parties on the left, things will be no better.

“What Ireland clearly needs is a united, progressive and democratic movement for change in our country — a movement that has an alternative, egalitarian vision to the prevailing politics of greed, inefficiency, waste and corruption. Sinn Féin is ready to join with those parties, community groups and the trade union organizations who seek a real political alternative.” ENDS

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