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EU threat to impose further cutbacks must raise alarm bells for Irish people – Morgan

19 May, 2010

Speaking today in reaction to the EU Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn’s warning that he may seek further cutbacks from the Government this year as the European authorities take new steps to clamp down on a massive rise in public debt in the euro zone, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Finance Arthur Morgan said Ireland’s economic future is now being decided by events far beyond our borders.

Deputy Morgan said:

“Mr Rehn’s admission that he was examining whether the Government should adopt new austerity measures should be raising alarm bells for the people of this State, especially in the wake of the crippling austerity package that the Commission and the IMF are inflicting upon the Greek people.

“Ireland’s economic future is now being decided by events far beyond our borders. The policies and interventions of the Commission are insensitive to their social impact. Structural readjustment will fall disproportionately upon those who depend on social and public services. In a State where we are fast approaching half of million people unemployed, can we afford to let the most vulnerable people bear the brunt of Commission’s interference?

“The neo-liberal free market agenda has failed the people of Ireland and the people of the European Union. We have seen in the last two years that what the people need is investment, stimulus and innovation, not harsh cuts in public services and social welfare.

“Why should we socialise the losses of the financial sector? Why should we inflict pain on our people for the failings of capitalism and liberal markets? The European Commission and Ollie Rehn, need to take a hard look at how European economic governance has worked so far; in fact they need to look at how it has failed the people of Europe abysmally, rather than instructing the Minister for Finance to inflict another crippling Budget on the Irish people.” ENDS

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