European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe has failed to sufficiently invest in Ireland
Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland South, Liadh Ní Riada has heavily criticised the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe, or the Junker Plan as it is known, this week during the plenary session of the European Parliament.
Speaking in Strasbourg, during a debate reviewing the Junker plan, Ms Ní Riada said
“One year after the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) was launched we sit here listening to the first assessment of the plan that was supposedly going to save Europe, and supposedly save us all from the crisis. Although I welcome the sum of the investment seen in this plan, it was at the cost of public investment, which is unacceptable
“The Juncker plan was flawed from the beginning and now we see how poorly it is performing.
“SMEs, social enterprises and cooperatives have not benefited from it at all. It was touted as the saviour of our economy after years of continued austerity and yet again it is only serving the neo liberal agenda of the elite and wealthy.
“Larger countries with much deeper pockets appear to be getting more out of this plan and smaller countries that are at a geographical disadvantage struggle to draw down any money from this fund.
A member of the European Committee on Budgets, Ms Ní Riada reiterated that the plan had failed to sufficiently invest in Ireland, stating,
“The European Investment Bank (EIB) is still waiting to finalise a Chinese agreement which would authorize it to enable countries outside the EU to avail of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI.)
“This would undoubtedly lead to multi nationals availing of the public money for private investment and enriching their own pockets again at the expense of the tax payer. All we are doing here is feeding the casino economy with no real investment.
“This is at a time when the cost of living in Ireland is soaring and the bread and butter issues are a struggle for the majority. What we need is real investment in our people, access of low interest finance to the social economy and a public banking system to enable such finance, is essential to boosting our struggling communities.” ENDS