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Adams challenges government on fiscal unity

30 November, 2011 - by Gerry Adams

Speaking in the Dáil today Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD challenged the Taoiseach to spell out whether the government “believes that EU fiscal unity is a good idea” and whether he supports the concept.

He also asked the Taoiseach if he would support a referendum in the event of limited Treaty change being proposed by the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy.

The Sinn Féin leader expressed concern at the political direction given by the government to Irish officials who are engaging with the EU in discussions on strengthening economic convergence. And he made it clear that “Sinn Féin does not believe that further centralisation of fiscal powers in Brussels is the solution”.

Speaking in the Dáil Mr. Adams said:

“The Taoiseach said in his opening statement, as he has said before, that Ireland supports the creation of stronger economic governance. He also said that Mr. Van Rompuy is preparing a report that will look to improve fiscal discipline and economic stability, including the possibility of limited treaty change.
The Taoiseach referred to strengthening economic convergence within the euro area. He said this process of engagement includes the government and that senior Irish officials are actively participating in it.
What political direction have these officials been given? Do people here not deserve to know what the government position is on these matters?

The Minister of State, Deputy Lucinda Creighton, has indicated that if changes are agreed which require a referendum, then that referendum should take place. However, the Taoiseach has given no such assurance.

Whatever treaty changes take place, and the government appears to have agreed that such changes should be made; it seems that the Taoiseach and his colleagues are hoping a referendum will not be required.

Does the government believe that EU fiscal unity is a good idea? Does the Taoiseach support this concept? We are entitled to know the answer, as are our partners in Europe.”

The Sinn Féin President was also critical of the way in which the Euro crisis has been handled by the government and accused the Taoiseach of acquiescing to Germany and France.

Mr. Adams said:

“Throughout this crisis the German and French governments have taken upon themselves the role of European leaders. The Taoiseach has acquiesced in this de facto European government. They told the Greek government not to hold a referendum. hey seem to have played a role in the removal of the Italian government led by Silvio Berlusconi. They are apparently in the process of pushing through an agreement on increased centralisation of economic decision making.

Does the Taoiseach believe that allowing the leaders of France and Germany to dictate the budgetary process of this State is progress?

This crisis needs to be resolved but Sinn Féin does not believe that further centralisation of fiscal powers in Brussels is the solution. I would like the Taoiseach to agree with us and if so, to say so clearly and if he does not agree, to say so.”

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