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EU Commissioner's comments "hurtful and irresponsible" – Mac Lochlainn

13 September, 2011 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Sinn Féin spokesperson on European affairs Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD has condemned comments attributed to EU Energy Commissioner, Günther Oettinger as reported in the online edition of the German newspaper, Der Spiegel.

Der Spiegel reported comments from Commissioner Oettinger suggesting that "deficit sinners" such as Ireland should have their national flags flown at half mast outside EU buildings "as a detterent".

Deputy Mac Lochlainn has written a letter of protest to the EU Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, demanding an apology from Commissioner Oettinger.

He said:

“This is an outrageous proposition for anyone to make, but for an EU Commissioner to have made it is truly shocking and an insult to the Irish people. At a time when the EU’s fundamental principle of solidarity is being questioned daily, these sort of comments really are disgraceful.

“I have written to the EU Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, reminding him that the real deficit crisis in Ireland was caused by private banking debt being passed on to the Irish people and now incorporated into our sovereign debt. This move clearly benefitted the banking sector in the core European countries and in turn the economies of these countries.

“I am demanding that Commissioner Oettinger immediately apologise for his irresponsible and hurtful comments.”

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