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Morgan - Retail giants will rip the heart of towns and villages

20 August, 2003

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Trade and Enterprise Arthur Morgan TD has said that if the government gives in to the demands of huge international retailers and increases the permitted size of retail units it would "rip the social and economic heart out of towns and villages the length and breadth of this state".

Deputy Morgan was responding to reports that the Government was considering changing the rules to benefit retailers trying to build huge out-of-town superstores.

He said:

"There is no justification for even contemplating changing the current rules that guide the size retail units. This is not about competition and protecting consumer rights. This is about a weak government being bullied by international retailers with their threats to refuse to set up in Ireland. If these retailers can't operate under the current guidelines then that is their problem not ours. Small and localised indigenous companies who are operating

successfully under the current guidelines must not be penalised or punished by the government capitulating to the insatiable demands of profit and power hungry corporate giants seeking total global dominance in a particular market or for a particular product.

"If the Government gives in to these demand and agrees to increase the size of retail units then they will be responsible for ripping the social and economic heart out of towns and villages the length and breadth of this state.

"The reality is that these retailers are not looking to add competition to the Irish market they are looking to wipe out the indigenous retailer. Not alone will this a have a detrimental effect on the workforces of these companies but it will ultimately lead to less choices for consumers as they are forced through necessity to shop at the big out-of-town centres." ENDS

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