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Kathryn Reilly attacks government and EU “stunt” on Youth Unemployment

22 February, 2012

Sinn Fein’s Spokesperson on Youth Affairs Senator Kathryn Reilly has described the government and European Commission’s action team on youth unemployment issues as simply a PR stunt.

Senator Reilly was speaking today after the group arrived and left Ireland yesterday without any interaction with public stakeholders.

Speaking in the Seanad today Senator Reilly said:

“Last month in a very public way the President of the European Commission wrote to the Taoiseach stating that he intended to send over an ‘action team’ to work with the government on youth unemployment issues.

“Yesterday, this group came and went without any interaction with public stakeholders. At the time of the announcement I wrote to President Barrosso and the Taoiseach requesting that I and Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on jobs Peadar Toibin meet the Commission representatives to learn what suggestions they were bringing to the table and to inform them of what ideas Sinn Fein is proposing to tackle youth unemployment.

“Sadly, the unwillingness of the Taoiseach’s Department to facilitate a meeting between Sinn Féin and any other interested parties confirms our suspicions that this exercise was nothing more than a PR stunt like last week’s ‘jobs plan’ which mentioned young people only once in over 100 pages.

“It’s time for this government to get serious about youth unemployment and to stop dealing in press releases. I am more and more convinced each day that this government’s strategy to keep the figures for youth unemployment down is to allow and even facilitate mass emigration. That is why I called today for the Taoiseach or Minister for Jobs to come to the Seanad and show us their actual, concrete plans.”


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