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Labour leadership blindly supporting austerity – McDonald

10 May, 2012 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil today Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD described Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore’s assertion that austerity will deliver growth as absurd.

Deputy McDonald said:

“The news from Germany yesterday was that opposition to austerity and the austerity treaty is growing. The peoples of France, Greece, Italy and Germany are opposed to austerity. Politicians in some of those countries are now prepared to take a stand.

“The Bundestag has needed to abandon its plans for ratification of the treaty because Labour's sister party has done the right thing and called the treaty what it is, namely, a bad deal.

“There are divisions within Fianna Fáil over the treaty but there are also divisions within Labour and Fine Gael’s grassroots. Labour’s deputy mayor of Galway city opposes the Austerity Treaty describing it as anti-democratic. Another Labour Councillor has described the Treaty as a step too far. The Fine Gael Mayor of Longford has said speaking as a business person he is urging people to vote no.

“No doubt there are Deputies within the Labour Party who equally recognise that the Austerity Treaty is a bad deal. Is it not time for the Tánaiste to join the growing opposition to austerity across Europe and within his own party?

“The political sands are shifting and Labour's sister parties in the European Union, the trade union movement and, most importantly, the citizens of France, Greece, Italy and Britain have recognised categorically that austerity is not working.

“There is little sense in the Tánaiste throwing out red herrings such as funding or the absurd argument that austerity will deliver growth when it has patently failed to do so. There is a clear political shift away from austerity across the continent. Labour leadership cannot continue to blindly support a Treaty that is so clearly against the interests of this State and her citizens.” ENDS

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