Government reduced to playing the bold child in Europe while jobs crisis continues – Mac Lochlainn
Speaking in a debate in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin spokesperson on European affairs Padraig Mac Lochlainn criticised the government’s ineffective approach to the European partners at a time when almost half a million Irish citizens are out of work.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn called on the government to “act and assert the will of the Irish people”.
“The spectacle of yet another Franco- German summit in recent days sends a clear message to the world about the current status of the European Union as a so called partnership of equal sovereign states.
“Ireland’s citizens have been forced to accept punishing austerity budget after budget over recent years. Along with the citizens of Greece and Portugal, we have been forced to bailout the banking system in the core, powerful European countries and have it labelled something else to the rest of the world.
“Our elected political leaders are reduced to playing the bold child who must sit on the stairs until their disappointed parents are satisfied that they have learned their lesson.
“All the while that this circus is going we have unemployment continuing at 14.4%. Almost half of those on the live register have been unemployed for a year or more. We have 80,000 young people on the live register and at least 40,000 of our people are expected to emigrate this year.
“Another way is possible. That way is about putting the needs of our people before the needs of bankers.
“It is time that we began the process of shaping a Europe that serves the people. And I believe it is time for the government to act and assert the will of the Irish people.
“Our sovereignty is not in the gift of others. We need to assert our sovereignty.
“I hope that this government will act but I travel more by hope than expectation.”