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Taoiseach’s response to Dell scandal is a travesty – Ó Caoláin

14 October, 2009 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has described as a travesty the response of Taoiseach Brian Cowen in the Dáil today when Deputy Ó Caoláin challenged him on the approval given by the European Commission for a €54.5 million grant from the Polish government to Dell to facilitate the removal to Poland of 1900 jobs from the multinational’s Limerick plant.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“When I challenged the Taoiseach on the floor of the Dáil today on the scandal of the European Commission approval of a Polish government grant of €54.5 million to facilitate the removal of 1900 jobs from Ireland, the response I received from the Taoiseach was pathetic.

“He cravenly thanked Dell for their sojourn here, saying the maintenance of their manufacturing facility ‘for such a length of time’ was a major achievement. There was not a hint of criticism from the Taoiseach of Dell’s decision. There was no recognition that the European Commission has encouraged this dumping of workers.

“The Taoiseach’s statement that Dell’s pullout was ‘also was part of ensuring that Dell would maintain a presence, albeit much reduced, in the mid-west’, was a piece of double-speak worthy of George Orwell’s 1984.

“The Taoiseach completely failed to address my core question which was the folly of EU policy which facilitates such practices by multinationals, playing one disadvantaged region off against another and driving wages down within the EU overall.

“Dell did very well for itself when in Ireland. This company was able to pay its Chief Executive and its Chairman €3 million annually on the profits it made in Ireland and worldwide. The motivation behind displacing 1,900 Irish workers was to maximise profits by transferring the work to lower paid workers within the EU. It is an absolute travesty that the Taoiseach should try to discharge the European Union from any responsibility in this.” ENDS

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