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Foreign Affairs Minister FDI claims politically economical

11 November, 2008

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP described claims made by Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin that Ireland’s rejection of Lisbon could threaten foreign investment into the state as “a veiled threat without foundation.” Speaking at today’s Oireachtas Lisbon Sub Committee the Dublin MEP also took the Minister to task for his government’s failure to support a social progress clause as called for by the European Trade Union Movement.  

Ms McDonald said:

“I believe The Minister continues to be disingenuous on the issue of renegotiation of the Lisbon. Neither he nor any member of the Government has actually sought a renegotiation of the treaty.  I also believe the Minister has been deliberately economical in his political views on the kinds of political changes that Irish people demanded to the Lisbon Treaty.

“Witnesses before this committee from the Irish trade union movement echoed the demand of the European Trade Union Confederation for the inclusion of a social progress clause to protect very vulnerable workers.  Two weeks ago Fianna Fáil MEPs voted against the inclusion of a social progress clause to any future EU Treaty, despite workers rights being a key area of concern for Irish voters. When given the opportunity to use the mandate the Irish people have given them and equipped with the findings of the governments own report which shows workers rights as a key concern with Lisbon Fianna Fáil again chooses to ignore its own electorate. This is becoming a political pattern for the Ministers party.  

“Mr. Martin has also contended that the outcome of the Lisbon treaty referendum has weakened Ireland's attractiveness as a location for foreign direct investment, although he was unable to sight a single example to back up his proposition.

“Such claims are nonsense particularly in light of the unpublished IDA report published in the media over the weekend which cited broadband as the main stumbling block for setting up in Ireland. Successive Fianna Fáil led governments are simply unable to roll out broadband. Green Communication Minister Eamon Ryan has just recently delayed the roll out scheme until 2010. This government has overseen a situation where the cost base of enterprise has sky-rocketed and Budget 2009 sets out to sabotage the Irish education system. Those are the real issues that seriously damage our capacity to attract foreign direct investment and it is deeply misleading and verging on dishonest to constantly run the argument that it is the outcome of the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty that is the cause of any difficulties we have in attracting that investment.” ENDS

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