18 June 2009 Edition

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Goverment admits Lisbon promises won't protect workers' rights or

BY STEPHANIE LORD

THE Fianna Fáil/Green Government’s failure to protect workers and public services in the text containing ‘guarantees’ due to be signed off on by the European Council of Ministers this week have been described by Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald as “deeply disappointing”.
She said:
“It is deeply disappointing that the Government does not intend to provide legally-binding guarantees in the areas of workers’ rights and public services.
“Following the people’s rejection of the Lisbon Treaty last year, the Government’s own research in to the ‘No’ vote showed that workers’ rights and public services were key issues of concern for the electorate.
“These are controversial issues for other EU member states and that is exactly why the Government needs to ensure workers and services are legally protected.
“Foreign Affairs Minister Mícheál Martin has so far failed to respond to a request by Sinn Féin to be briefed on the Lisbon ‘guarantees’. The minister last week briefed both Fine Gael and Labour but has not extended the same political dialogue with Sinn Féin. In the interests of democracy and fair play, I am calling on the minister to meet with Sinn Féin before the Council of Ministers meeting later this week.”

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