25 July 2002 Edition

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EU ruling on Irish budgetary policy slammed

The news that the EU has told the Minister for Finance Charlie McCreevy that he cannot use a €600 million windfall from the currency changeover to improve the State's financial position shows the need for the rejection of the Nice Treaty, says Sinn Féin spokesperson on European Affairs, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD.

"The EU tells the Irish Minister for Finance how he must frame the Budget and in order to comply with that ruling, the Tánaiste Mary Harney calls for even more public spending cuts," said Ó Snodaigh. "This is a prime example of undemocratic rule from Brussels and its cynical use by the political establishment in this State. Our economic sovereignty has been sold to an unelected EU Commission and to the European Central Bank. To comply with the dictats of these unelected bodies, the Tánaiste is advocating that public services be further undermined as they have been already with recently imposed rises in charges to the citizen in the health and education sectors.

"It is time we shouted 'Stop!' Last year the electorate rejected the Nice Treaty and their democratic decision has been openly defied by the FF/PD government. The replay of the referendum continues that defiance. As the Euro-federalist project continues, with Nice as a further brick in the wall, there will be ever-increasing interventions in Irish domestic policy by Brussels."

Ó Snodaigh also labeled the publication on Friday last of the White Paper on the Treaty of Nice as "part of the government's continued con job to get this referendum passed".

"By publishing this White Paper today, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen are attempting to hoodwink the electorate into thinking that there is a new Nice Treaty before them," he said. "It's just another cynical step in the government's continued con job aimed at overturning the will of the people.

"Nothing has changed nor can it have changed in the Treaty of Nice since the last referendum. The government is being absolutely dishonest on this matter and the people should not allow themselves to be fooled."

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