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Ó Caoláin - Taoiseach admits that PD agenda is now driving the Government

22 July, 2003

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance and Dáil leader Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin has described as 'astonishing' the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's claim that he does not support the privatisation of semi-state companies. Responding to the reported remarks of the Taoiseach at the Labour Relations Commission last night, in which he said he is not a supporter of privatisation 'even if that is not the view of my colleagues', Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

"This is quite a remarkable statement for the Taoiseach to make. It is in fact astonishing and paints a very clear picture of a leader that is no longer in control of his government or the policy direction of that government. Sinn Féin has being saying for months now that the PDs are running the Government and that all policy decisions including the drive towards the privatisation of semi-state companies are being dictated by the right wing ideology of Mary Harney, Michael McDowell and their fifth columnists in the Fianna Fáil party, Charlie McCreevey Martin Cullen and Seamus Brennan.

"It has become patently obvious that Fianna Fáil's traditional policies, including support for semi-state companies have been swept aside by the PDs. In their rush to promote greed over justice and equality they have neglected the infrastructure of essential services, like health and education. And they have rewarded the corporate greed that was most recently evidenced with the announcement that the new owners of Eircom have paid themselves a dividend of almost €500 million. This despite the fact tens of thousands of ordinary people lost out massively when the Government conned them into buying the original shares which they were then forced to sell to the fat-cats led by Tony O'Reilly.

"The Taoiseach is the head of Government and he cannot wash his hands of the actions of any of his Ministers, like a bad football manager blaming his players." ENDS

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