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Ferris calls on government to honour commitment to Coillte

17 January, 2012 - by Martin Ferris TD

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Natural Resources Martin Ferris has called on the government to honour its election pledge not to sell off assets under the responsibility of the state forestry agency Coillte. He was responding to a report which claims that the IMF/EU ‘troika’ is pressing for an extended sale of state assets that will include not only a stake in the ESB but also parts of Coillte, Bord Gáis, and Dublin Port.

Deputy Ferris said: “I raised this issue over a year ago when reliable information was obtained indicating that the sale of Coillte forestry and land was under active consideration. Spokespersons for both the current government parties, including the current Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, joined me in rejecting any such sell off.

“I am therefore calling on them to honour their election pledge that Coillte, nor any of its land and forestry assets, would not be sold off. Such a sale to private interests would represent a shameful auction of a valuable and under-utilised natural resource. It would also of course fly in the face of the government’s own stated objective of retaining Coillte lands as part of a new public energy company.

“That the ‘troika’ is apparently insisting on an extended sale of state assets also confirms what Sinn Féin has said in regard to this issue, with reference to what the IMF and EU has attempted to do in Greece.” ENDS

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