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Aer Lingus privatisation is a theft of our national airline - Crowe

6 July, 2006


Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has said the planned privatisation of Aer Lingus is the theft of our national airline and must not be allowed to proceed. Speaking in the Dáil today he said Aer Lingus is the property of the Irish people and it should remain so. Deputy Crowe went on to criticise the coalition of the confused for their differing positions on the privatisation of Aer Lingus.

He said, "Sinn Féin have been consistent in our opposition to the privatisation of our national airline and stand in solidarity with those Aer Lingus workers who are justifiably concerned about their jobs. The government have arrogantly pushed ahead with their privatisation ideology with no business plan and no real argument for selling this national airline.

"Despite the negative media and government spin, the future of Aer Lingus is not bleak -- it has a lower cost base than many of its competitors, made an operating profit of over €70 million last year, has continually opened up new routes and has increased passenger numbers. And has an exceptional workforce who care dearly about their company and its future. It is the property of the Irish people and it should remain so.

"Today's decision has being described as a sell off of Aer Lingus. It's a sell off and a sell out of Aer Lingus, its workers, the Irish tax-payers and the country as a whole.

"This issue also highlights the unworkable coalition of Labour and Fine Gael. Labour are against the privatisation of Aer Lingus while Fine Gael support it. What would they do if in government? The coalition of the confused can't even agree on this and many other fundamental policies, making a mockery of their claims as a viable alternative Government." ENDS

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