[Sinn Fein]

29 August 2001

Ahern's legislation on Europe a sham

Sinn Fein spokesperson on European affairs, Alderman Seán MacManus, has described the government's proposed legislative package on Europe as ``a sham and a complete insult to the electorate''.

Alderman MacManus said:

``Bertie Ahern's support for a new legislative package, which is supposed to make the EU more acceptable to Irish people clearly indicates that the Government has learned nothing from the Treaty of Nice vote in June. 

``Briefing and consulting members of the Oireachtas with regard to European matters comes nowhere close to addressing the real problem of the democratic deficit in the EU. It doesn't even begin to address the issues, which were at the heart of the Nice Treaty.

``The people of Ireland rejected the treaty for a number of reasons, but most particularly the erosion of Ireland's neutrality and the creation of a European super-state. People had and still have legitimate problems with the structure of the EU and its future development. It is not good enough for the government to dismiss those concerns by discussing Europe with members of the Oireachtas, a majority of who voted for the Treaty of Nice against the wishes of their constituents.

``That's topsy-turvey democracy. It's EU democracy. It's a sham and a complete insult to the Irish electorate. The Nice treaty was rejected and the concerns that rejection raised need to be addressed.''

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