Sinn Féin - On Your Side

McCreevy comments on EU Services Directive welcome - Mary Lou McDonald

7 March, 2005

Sinn Féin Chairperson and MEP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald has today welcomed recent comments by EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy on the EU Services Directive.

EU Commissioner McCreevy was reported to have said that the controversial current EU Services Directive is not viable in its current form. The directive would open the services market to liberalisation. In short, essential public services like health and education would be under threat from the directive, as well as concerns regarding the standards and conditions of workers.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"Commissioner McCreevy's comments over the past few days in regards to the EU Services Directive are to be welcomed. In October 2004 I called upon the then incoming Commissioner to commit himself to the pursuit of a social Europe and I hope that this is the first step on that road.

"Regardless of Mr McCreevy's comments, Sinn Fein is still of the opinion that the EU Commission and Council is intent on turning public services into private enterprises. Indeed a recent report (Feb 8th 2005) by the European Commission suggested that the opening up of the services market could bring significant economic growth to the EU.

"The on-going process of the privatisation of public services has not brought any visible gains to the public - rather it has led to price increases, a marked decrease in the service provided and increases in the cost of provision according to consumer associations.

"I am calling upon the Commissioner to commit himself to a socially inclusive Europe. The right-ward direction of the European Union should be changed and can be changed. There is no uprising or outcry for privatization, maybe Mr McCreevy is finally getting the message." ENDS

Note to editor:

Mary Lou McDonald was elected Sinn Féin Chairperson at the party's Ard Fheis this past weekend.

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