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French and Greek elections – A massive blow against austerity

7 May, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has said that the election results in France and Greece are “a massive blow against the failed policies of austerity in Ireland and across Europe.” The Dublin Central TD said “A No vote in Ireland on May 31st will strengthen the hand of all those arguing for jobs and growth.”

Deputy McDonald

“Yesterday’s election results in France and Greece are a massive blow against the failed policy of austerity. People are sending a clear signal that austerity is not working and that a new approach based on jobs and growth must be found.

 “Claims by Labour leader Eamon Gilmore that the Fine Gael Labour Government share the new French President’s growth agenda are cynical in the extreme. Francois Hollande is opposed to the Austerity Treaty in its current form.  Eamon Gilmore is an enthusiastic supporter of the Treaty. Francois Hollande is standing up for French interests and demanding investment in growth. Eamon Gilmore is implementing a right-wing Fine Gael agenda of cuts, tax hikes and state asset sales

“Unemployment is at a record high despite massive emigration. At the end of April there were 436,000 signing on. Eurozone unemployment has reached an all-time high of 10.9%. The Eurozone recession is slowing our export growth. The domestic economy and one of our primary export markets are both in recession.

“At a time when the Irish and Eurozone economies desperately need investment in jobs and growth, the Government and their EU counterparts are proposing the very opposite.

“The Austerity Treaty is bad for jobs and for growth. If passed it will hamper any prospect of economic recovery.

“This weekend’s election results have shaken the pro austerity forces across Europe. However they have not been dealt a knock-out blow. On May 31st the people of this state must reinforce the message from France and Greece that austerity is not working.  A No vote in Ireland will strengthen the hand of all those arguing for jobs and growth.” 

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