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10 days to secure economic package - Adams

15 March, 2007

Following yesterdays meeting the British Chancellor Gordon Brown, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has written again to Mr. Brown stressing the importance of the British government bringing forward a 'sustainable and
substantial economic package'.

The Sinn Féin President has also said that 'the political parties now have 10 days to secure a viable economic package.'

Sinn Fein will be meeting the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance on these matters on Tuesday evening in Dublin.

Mr. Adams said:

"If the Executive is in place, as expected on March 26th, it is essential that it has the resources to fulfil its obligations.

It would be disastrous if the incoming administration was saddled with a legacy, on top of all the other problems, arising from the failure of successive British governments to fund public services here.

In my meeting with the British Chancellor and in a previous written submission to him I especially argued for relief from the additional water charges.

But this needs to be part of an overall economic package. Political parties, particularly those parties which will form the Executive, need to be united on this issue. It will be extremely difficult to get the British government
to pick up the tab on these matters after the Executive is in place.

The time to do it is now before March 26th.

However, this is an impossible task unless it is very clear that there will be functioning political institutions as set out in the Good Friday Agreement and at St. Andrews.

Next weeks meeting with the British government is very important but so too is the meeting we will hold with the Taoiseach on Tuesday evening in Dublin. The Irish government has a significant role to play also in providing
investment for infrastructure projects in the north which will also benefit the entire island." ENDS

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