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Sinn Féin calls on Proinsias de Rossa to reject EU privatisation agenda

15 February, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today challenged Dublin Labour MEP Proinsias De Rossa to reject the European Services Directive after the Labour MEP signalled his intention to support a compromise motion in the European Parliament tomorrow.

Ms de Brún made her comments on the eve of a vote in the European Parliament tomorrow on the controversial EU Services Directive.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms de Brún said:

"Sinn Féin is calling for the European Parliament to reject the EU Services Directive. If passed it will commercialise almost all services within the EU and will deprive millions of people of quality public services.

"Over this past number of days a compromise motion between the right wing European Peoples Party and the Party of European Socialists has been put forward, but this fails to properly and fully address the major concerns.

"Proinsias De Rossa's overoptimistic claims about the amount of social protection the compromise amendment provides is only making the best of a bad lot rather than accepting openly that this is still a bad Directive and not worthy of support.

"We understand that Charlie McCreevey wholeheartedly supports the compromise motion on the basis that case law of the European Court of Justice will ensure the inclusion of the Country of Origin Principle.

"While some trade union leaders appear to accept the compromise, many rank and file members do not support it.

"I have proposed an amendment to ensure that the laws and regulations used are those of the country in which the service is delivered. I have also put down a number of amendments to exclude a range of services from the scope of the directive, including health and education.

"On the eve of tomorrow's crucial vote, I am calling upon all Irish MEPs to vote to scrap this proposal." ENDS

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