[Sinn Fein]

15 February 2001

Mayor Seán MacManus appointed EU Affairs spokesperson Pledges Sinn Fein campaign against the Treaty of Nice

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP this morning announced that the Mayor of Sligo, Alderman Sean MacManus, has been appointed party spokesperson on European Affairs, including neutrality.  Aengus Ó Snodaigh, party representative in Dublin South Central, has been appointed Campaign Director on the Treaty of Nice.  Mayor MacManus said:

``It is an honour to have been appointed party spokesperson on EU Affairs, an area of increasing importance to the people of Ireland, North and South.    In the coming months Sinn Fein will be launching a vigorous campaign against the Treaty of Nice.  This treaty will entirely change the economic, political and military face of Europe by moving us closer to an EU super state through the surrendering of national sovereignty, undermining of Irish neutrality, increasing centralisation, and lack of accountability.

``This week's censure of Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy and the Irish Government by the EU shows that the assurances he and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern gave us after the Nice Treaty summit proclaiming victory against EU interference in Irish monetary policy were nonsense.  The EU and the other 14 member states have told us in no uncertain terms this week that they do have a role in deciding what tax cuts and spending plans are made by an Irish government.

``It is time for the Government to come clean on the role of the EU in Irish affairs and hold a referendum on the Treaty of Nice and the issue of Irish neutrality.''

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