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Fine Gael and Greens go missing on electricity privatisation amendment

15 February, 2007


Sinn Féin's Energy and Natural Resources spokesperson Martin Ferris TD has expressed his disappointment at the failure of Fine Gael and the Greens to back his amendment to rule out privatisation of the state's energy network. While welcoming Labour support for the Sinn Féin amendment, Deputy Ferris accused Fine Gael of regularly 'slipping out the side door' when it comes to the protection of industries or companies owned by the Irish people.

The Kerry North TD said: "Last night the Labour party backed a Sinn Féin amendment to the Electricity Regulation Bill, which provides for a single electricity market, that would have ruled out any attempt to privatise electricity generation or supply systems when the Single Market comes into effect.

"While I was delighted to have the support of the Labour party in this, I was surprised and disappointed to see their proposed coalition partners, Fine Gael and the Greens, go missing from the vote on the amendment. We saw in the run-up to the fiasco that was the privatisation of Aer Lingus, that Fine Gael and Labour looked both ways on that issue as well.

"The reality is that there is clearly no consensus between Fine Gael, Labour and the Greens on the key issue of protection of democratically owned sectors of the economy. While Labour is willing to support Sinn Féin's opposition to the privatisation of our energy network, much as they supported our motion opposing the sale of Aer Lingus in the Dáil, Fine Gael seem to slip out the side door when votes need to be taken."

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