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de Brún welcomes EU Commission's shelving of Port Services Directive as victory for workers

14 March, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has this morning welcomed the European Commission's decision to abandon, once and for all, the EU Port Services Directive. MEPs were particularly angry last year when the proposal was re-introduced by the European Commission despite being voted down by the European Parliament once before.

Speaking from Strasbourg Ms de Brún said:

"The Port Services Directive would have opened up port services to de-regulation across the EU. In January of this year MEPs voted massively by 532 votes to 120 (with 25 abstentions) to reject this directive.

"It seems that the European Commission has finally got the message that this directive is a bad deal for ports and port workers across Europe. For the second time in as many years the Commission came to MEPs with essentially the same proposal which would have meant that that docking ships could bring in their own loaders, rather than use those currently available at existing ports. Not only would the proposal have threatened the livelihoods of dock workers here in Ireland, but there were also concerns regarding health and safety.

"We welcome the Commission's decision to abandon this proposal definitively and not to seek to re-introduce it once again.

"Sinn Féin is committed to opposing the EU elite's relentless thirst for privatisation. Much of our current focus remains fixed on the controversial EU Services Directive as it makes its way through the legislative process. We will continue to oppose this equally disastrous directive." ENDS

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