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Ó Snodaigh slams deplorable Government plan for private sponsorship of EU Presidency

10 September, 2003

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on the EU Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has called the Government's plan to solicit private sponsorship of aspects of the Irish EU Presidency "a deplorable idea reflecting appalling bad judgment".  Speaking after the Minister's announcement at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs, Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

"I was absolutely floored by his suggestion.  Surely this Government cannot be unaware of the widespread perception among the Irish public that the EU represents the interests of profit over people, or the equally widespread perception of corruption among Irish establishment politicians.  Given all the expensive tribunals, scandals and controversies about brown envelopes and backroom deals, you would think that the Government would make every effort to overcome the automatic association of government with business interests, not make it worse.   

"This sponsorship proposal sets a bad precedent and sends the entirely wrong message about the appropriate relationship between government and the private sector.  Ultimately it reflects what everyone fears - a drive towards a future where all of public life is for sale.  I hope it will not come to this and moreover that the Irish EU Presidency will not bring it closer to this point."   ENDS

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