[Sinn Fein]

24 April 2001

Eircom bidding war highlights bankruptcy of privatisation policy

Sinn Fein Dublin South West Councillor Seán Crowe has likened those involved in the bidding war for Eircom's fixed line business to vultures, feeding off the government's bankrupt privatisation policy. Cllr Crowe said:

``The spectacle of the two competing consortiums circling Eircom's fixed line business in an effort to pick off the meaty bits, which they can add to their already bulging bank accounts and equally inflated egos, is deeply offensive and against the best interests of the people of Ireland.

``While the government sits back and watches what was a national asset being stripped it is obvious that Mary O'Rourke's privatisation of Eircom has been a monumental disaster from day one. Thousands of small investors were hoodwinked in to buying in to this scam and are now paying the price with dismal share values.

``Telecommunications are an integral part of a country's infrastructure. For them to be left in the hands of people whose only motivation is money is shortsighted.

``There needs to be an all Ireland approach and strategy adopted for a national telecommunications network. This needs public sector involvement to ensure equity in how these communication resources are developed and that it is done through the principle of social inclusion.''

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