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3 April 2017 Edition

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Another Europe is possible - Treo eile don Eoraip

Funded by the European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL

Aontas Clé na hEorpa / Na Glasaigh Chlé Nordacha – Crúpa Paliminta – Parlaimimt na h Eorpa

Brexit broadside video goes viral

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THE VIDEO of Martina Anderson’s blistering attack on the “Brexit” withdrawal from the European Union by British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is tipping one million views on Facebook.

While the searing words provoked anger amongst right-wing politicians, it won wide acclaim amongst the public.

In the video, Martina said on the record in the chamber of the European Parliament:

“Mr President, so the radical House of Lords amendments were voted down today by the Westminster Brexiteers, and the Brexit wreck-it gang tell us to get over it; that it is the best thing that’s happened since sliced pan bread.

“Yet I have not met one business person, one young person, one farmer, one man, woman or child who has said to me, rubbing their hands in glee, ‘God, this divorce from the EU is going to be very good!’ But Ireland is told: ‘Get over it. Don’t worry about it. It is going to be a frictionless border’ – whatever the hell that means! Nobody knows.

“And let me put the record straight to everybody here: no border, hard or soft, will be accepted by the people of Ireland. 

“What British armoured cars and tanks and guns couldn't do in Ireland, 27 member states will not be able to do.”

In a message to the British Prime Minister, she ended:

“So, Theresa, your notion of a border – hard or soft – stick it where the sun doesn’t shine because you are not putting it in Ireland!”

Britain’s ‘Brexit madness’ – EU must protect Ireland

IRELAND NORTH MEP Martina Anderson (who also serves as GUE/NGL group’s Brexit co-ordinator) has urged the EU to guarantee the rights of Irish citizens in the North of the island and highligted that the Peace Process is at stake:

“Whether a hard or soft border, the people living in Border communities in Ireland will not stand for it. Frictionless or electronic borders don’t reassure anybody.

“The damage that would be done to the Peace Process in Ireland is immeasurable,” she warned.

“The EU has a political, legal and moral duty to help us ensure that the next generation is not faced with hard borders and hardship.

“The Council and the Commission in its negotiations must protect Ireland’s north, south, east and west from England’s Brexit madness,” she concluded.

The Ireland North MEP led a delegation of representatives of Border Communities Against Brexit to meet with “key players” in the European institutions, leading groups in the European Parliament, MEPs from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and representatives of the Irish Government in Brussels to impress on them the need for the Irish Government to act in the national interest of all Irish citizens under the Good Friday Agreement.

Brexit – Rural committee gets formal submission

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• Matt Carthy

MIDLANDS NORTH WEST MEP Matt Carthy has made a formal submission to the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development Committee on its Brexit Resolution.

Matt has asked the committee to recognise the particular challenges presented to Irish farming by Brexit and has sought agreement that EU supports will be put in place.

Speaking in Strasbourg, Matt Carthy said:

“The possible return of border controls poses serious threats to the Irish agriculture and agri-food sectors. This industry operates in a highly integrated manner with many sectors being entirely all-island in nature. 

“The submission I have made to the Agriculture & Rural Development Committee’s Brexit Resolution highlights Ireland’s special interests and vulnerabilities and urges the recognition of the unique situation of Ireland, North and South.”

He explained:

“Barriers of any nature on the island of Ireland – including tariffs, origin checks, import licence requirements, documentation and additional paperwork, physical border checks as well as the costs of complying with two different regulatory regimes – would seriously disrupt long-established all-island industries. This is due to the large number of products that travel north and south for processing, slaughter and breeding every day.”

He added:

“I have called for the North to be able to participate in the EU Geographical Indications Scheme, especially due to the fact that some GIs (such as Irish whiskey) cover the entire island. I further called for solutions to be found for labelling requirements, since Brexit implications will only exacerbate the issues farmers operating on a cross-Border basis have faced with regard to country-of-origin labels.”

GUE/NGL condolences on passing of Martin McGuinness – ‘A man of peace and courage’

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• GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer

EXTENDING the European United Left/Nordic Green Left European Parliamentary Group’s deepest condolences to Martin McGuinness’s family, to Sinn Féin “and to the Irish people for this great loss”, GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer said:

“We will remember and be inspired by his remarkable life as we face the challenges ahead.

“Martin McGuinness dedicated his life for the vision of a united Ireland. He left behind a legacy that symbolised hope and struggle for principles dear to the Irish people. His courage made him a man loved and respected by people from all political backgrounds.”

She said that Martin McGuinness’s “remarkable leadership” enabled the progress in the political process that paved the way for the historic Good Friday Agreement “which made possible reconciliation in the North of Ireland”.

She added:

“He dedicated his life – through words and deeds – for peace and the reunification of his country and the shaping of the democratic institutions in the North of Ireland, leaving behind a legacy that will endure.”

Better WiFi ‘Bucharest to Ballyferriter’

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IRELAND SOUTH MEP Liadh Ní Riada has brought proposals to the committee stage of the European Parliament that call for the creation of WiFi hubs in towns and villages across Europe.

Liadh, who is the lead negotiator on the WiFi4EU project, said the initiative would help bring connectivity and investment to rural areas.

“The basic premise is that we equip as many towns and villages as possible with free wireless internet access, centred around the main centres of public life in that area, by 2020,” she said.

“It would be focused on places like parks and squares, libraries, health centres, museums or wherever people happen to congregate in a given area.

“While the scheme will be dispersed in as geographically balanced a manner as possible, I feel it is important that special consideration is given to rural and peripheral areas, particularly those suffering from a lack of internet access even in this day and age.

“This scheme will bear huge benefits for peripheral communities, giving disadvantaged individuals and areas access to the internet, giving local social enterprises access to a global market, generating employment in communities that people, particularly young people are being forced to leave; the benefits are endless.

“It will be used to promote things like health and e-tourism; the scheme is only as limited as the imagination of the communities it will benefit.

“Proposals like this are the type that were originally envisaged for the EU – a social partnership of countries working together to improve the lives of everyone from Bucharest to Ballyferriter.”

Dublin MEP keynote speaker at Barcelona ‘right to water’ conference 

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DUBLIN MEP Lynn Boylan was a keynote speaker at a high-level international conference in Barcelona on the human right to water.

The conference was titled “Water, A Common Good – Challenges and Future.”

Speaking afterwards, the GUE/NGL MEP said:

“It was a fantastic and humbling experience to be asked to give a keynote address at this excellent conference as an expert on the situation regarding provision of water in Ireland and mainland Europe.

“The opportunity allowed me to speak to the international guests of the direction water provision has taken in the EU and the nefarious role of the Commission in setting the agenda. 

“I outlined how the EU has sought to impose a neoliberal market based approach to water provision and how the desire to commodify water as if it were no different from any other product increased in the fall-out of the economic crisis.

“I explained the different experiences in relation to water provision across many European countries. For example, the pressure which Greece and Italy came under from the Troika and the ECB to privatise and liberalise their water services.”

She said that many conference delegates were shocked to hear of the “complex web between Government, the EU, private business, the media, and the ideological and repressive state apparatus” around the issue.

“Similarly, they were aghast at the underhand tactics of the EU Commission in overtly taking sides and their efforts to undermine the Right2Water movement in Ireland by briefing journalists off the record on certain issues.”

She concluded that the overwhelming evidence presented at the conference was that privatisation of water has failed to deliver for citizens and it generally leads to higher prices for citizens and poorer quality as profits are diverted to shareholders and investment in infrastructure dries up.

“In November 2016,” the GUE/NGL MEP noted, “Slovenia made history by being the first EU country to enshrine in its constitution the right of its citizens to access to clean water. If Slovenia can do it, so can all the EU member states.”

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