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EU Commissioner must step down after inflammatory remarks

11 October, 2004


Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has called upon the incoming European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security Mr Rocco Buttiglione to voluntarily step down from his designate post after making a number of discriminatory comments recently. Ms McDonald said that "people will not have any confidence in an EU Justice Minister who believes in injustice".

In recent weeks Mr Buttiglione reactivated plans to create detention centres in North African countries to deal with asylum applicants to EU member states. Sinn Féin, along with others opposed the plans. In recent days, Mr Buttiglione commented that homosexuality was a sin and marriage is so that women can have children.

Speaking today, Ms McDonald said:

"Mr Buttiglione's recent remarks are both outrageous and offensive. The very fact that Mr Buttiglione is an incoming European Commissioner with the portfolio of Justice, Freedom and Security will make citizens very uneasy. People will not have confidence in a EU Justice Minister who believes in injustice.

"I have been tracking the comments made by Mr Buttiglione over the past number of months and he has been consistent. At every available opportunity he seems intent on making inflammatory statements. Sinn Féin opposes Mr Buttiglione‚s views on the role of women, sexuality and the issue of asylum. What we require is a progressive European Justice Commissioner who can promote a socially inclusive EU. Unfortunately, Mr Buttiglione does not seem to be the right person for the job.

"Sinn Féin is calling upon Mr Buttiglione to voluntarily step down as Commissioner-elect. He has already admitted that he cannot reconcile his own personal views with professional ones. I am calling upon him to be replaced with someone progressive and open-minded." ENDS

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