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McCreevy's unsatisfactory response to EU Parliament indicative of his right wing agenda

25 October, 2005

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today expressed her 'deep dissatisfaction with the politics and policies of Charlie McCreevy' and said that he was 'promoting an EU which advocated social dumping.'

Ms McDonald made her comments after Commissioner McCreevy was 'invited' to address the European Parliament this morning regarding controversial remarks he made regarding Sweden's social model.

Ms McDonald is due to meet with Mr McCreevy later today and will raise the issue with him, as well as the Irish Ferries dispute and the EU Services Directive.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"Today Mr McCreevy confirmed our worst suspicions that the EU will oversee the undermining of social protections and workers rights. Little wonder that the Irish Trade Union movement is reluctant to re-enter partnership talks.

"Mr McCreevy had the opportunity to come to the European Parliament and clarify his remarks regarding his criticism of the social model in Sweden. Instead, the Irish Commissioner succeeded in alienating and infuriating more people than when he initially made his remarks a number of weeks ago.

"It certainly seems that the Commissioner is following the same ideologically right wing agenda as he did when he was a minister in Ireland. What he appears to be advocating is a 'race to the bottom' approach to European politics, where the market is king, and everything else is subservient. The Europe of Equals that Sinn Féin is promoting is not on Mr McCreevy's radar.

"I will be raising this issue with Mr McCreevy when I meet with him this afternoon. I will be telling him clearly of my deep dissatisfaction with his policies and that workers' rights must be protected. What we require is an upward trend and not a downward spiral. At the meeting I will also raise the Irish Ferries dispute and seek his support for an EU Ferries Directive, as well as to discuss controversial EU Services Directive." ENDS

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