Ní Riada secures pledge of support from Parliament Presidential candidate
Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland South Liadh Ní Riada has held a sit down meeting with Gianni Pittella, a favourite for position of the president of the European Parliament.
Speaking from Cork this morning, Ms. Ní Riada said;
“I think it was a significant gesture by Mr. Pittella to reach out to me and the Sinn Féin delegation to address our concerns in relation to the current direction the EU is taking.
“Mr. Pittella is one of the favourites to win the Presidency and I took the opportunity to raise several issues of concern for us. On Brexit, Mr. Pittella agreed to work with us to ensure the best possible outcome for the people of Ireland.”
Ms. Ní Riada continued by saying that the meeting expanded to other issues, such as austerity policies, fisheries and the Irish language derogation;
“I communicated to Mr. Pittella that Europe was at a crossroads and he agreed. I raised the fact that the establishment in Europe are wedded to the failing politics of austerity and that the Social Democrat group in the European Parliament, of which Mr. Pittella is President, are involved in promoting the same. I believe austerity policies have played a role in the rise of the far right in Europe and the time for change is now.
“Mr. Pittella gave concrete assurances that the existing coalition between the Social Democrats and the right wing European People’s Party is over. If true, this is a welcome development as these two groups have conspired to limit the influence of other political groups in the past. Furthermore, I was glad to hear Gianni Pittella talk about the need for cooperation between his group and our Left group on social issues including workers’ rights, gender and LGBT equality and the refugee crisis.”
Liadh Ní Riada concluded,
“The Presidency of the European Parliament is a considerably influential position. Once elected, Sinn Féin will engage constructively with whoever the new President is in order to ensure Irish concerns are heard by the leadership of the European Union."