Welcome development on Phone Roaming Charges but Irish Government has let the ball drop – Matt Carthy MEP
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, has stated that while he welcomes the slight shift by the European Council in respect of the abolition of the roaming charges, the Irish Government has clearly not used its self-stated influence on the European Council to advance this issue.
“Myself and Martina Anderson met with a representative of the European Council last week to discuss this issue and I welcome the subsequent decision of the Council this week to bring the date for the abolition of roaming charges to June 2017.
“This still falls short of what was proposed by the European Commission and Parliament last year to scrap roaming charges by the end of this year.
“In my view, the actions of the European Council have overridden the democratic wishes of the people of Europe and as such the failure to uphold the vote of the European Parliament last year is a huge disappointment.
“It is also disappointing that the Irish Government has evidently failed to exert whatever influence it has on this issue and it is my view that the Government have clearly dropped the ball on an issue that has a significant impact on citizens across this island.
“Ireland, as a country with an imposed border, needs the imposition of mobile phone roaming charges to be abolished more than most countries. Sinn Féin MEPs will therefore support the move.
“It is just unfortunate that our government didn’t attempt to have a piece of EU legislation, that is hugely popular, enacted this year.
“We will continue to work by whatever means possible to secure the earliest possible abolition of roaming charges and at the very least, ensure that the new deadline for their abolition is adhered to. We will also be encouraging moves towards abolishing these charges on the island of Ireland earlier than the EU deadline.”