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Irish Government in breach of the spirit of the EU Social Inclusion Strategy regarding immigrants

30 March, 2004

Sinn Fein South EU candidate David Cullinane has today accused the Government of this state of being in breach of the spirit of the EU Social Inclusion Strategy.

Speaking today, Mr Cullinane said:

"Last week, the EU Council was presented with a Joint Inclusion report which analysed the Social Inclusion Strategy. This strategy aims to protect the human rights of the most vulnerable and excluded within our society. The government of this state are in breach of the spirit of this strategy.

"One of the main priorities of the Joint Inclusion Report is to Œmake a drive to reduce poverty and social exclusion of immigrants and ethnic minorities‚. The government of this state have failed miserably in this regard. For example, asylum seekers are not only prevented from working and paying taxes, they are also excluded from social welfare payments and relegated to an extremely marginal position within this state.

"This government are proposing a referendum, which if passed, would deny the rights of Irish children born to non-national parents the right to equal citizenship. Sinn Féin believes that such a proposal is racist and inflammatory and should be opposed.

"This government is sending out conflicting messages. On the one hand it supports a Social Inclusion Strategy for the EU, whilst on the other, it has proposed a fundamentally flawed and overtly racist referendum.

"Sinn Féin believes that the citizens of the EU should be made aware of the two-faced nature of this government."ENDS

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