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Commission have serious questions to answer on water - Boylan

23 June, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP, Lynn Boylan has written to the European Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for water issues in the European Commission, to ask for a meeting to answer some serious questions regarding its interference in Irish politics and the future of water management in the country.

‘The European Commission is already on the record as saying that Ireland can use the exemption from water pricing contained within the Water Framework Directive as long as it is justified. The Irish government only needs to look to the other Member States and regions such as Scotland who have used this exemption successfully to see how it’s done.

‘It is therefore extremely disconcerting that some Irish journalists have reported that they have recently received official statements from the European Commission saying otherwise. Whilst I have since contacted both the Water Unit and the Spokesperson Services of the European Commission who have both denied giving any official briefings to journalists, it remains that there is clearly at least someone within the Commission attempting to reverse what they’ve previously said on Member States using the exemption.

‘I have requested this meeting to underline my serious concerns that journalists are receiving briefings being portrayed as official statements which are then being used in the media to wrongly claim that Ireland cannot abolish water charges. Not only is this incorrect but it is political intervention on a highly sensitive issue in Irish national politics. The Commission clearly needs to get its house in order and put an end to these unofficial remarks.’


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