[Sinn Fein]

10th October 2002

A 'Yes to Nice' vote will fastrack deregulation

Sinn Fein County Councillor Gerry Murray has said that a YES TO NICE vote will fast track deregulation through out the EU and compond the already massive social and economic defectit west of the Shannon. Speaking at a meeting of Swinford Sinn Fein Councilor Murray said that a No to Nice would cetainly slow down the whole deregulation process and this would certainly be in the best interests of Rural Ireland.

``If the current economic inequalities that prevail west of the shannon are to be addressed in a meaningful manner, then it is absolutely imperative that Public Utilities, essential services, major infrastructure and our natural resources be kept in state ownership.''

``There is a consensus in the EU that member states should neither be stakeholders or a regulators in the economic life of their countries. But the question Irish voters must ask is whether or not the objectives of the National Spatial strategy can be achieved in such circumstances.''

``It is Sinn Fein's view that Government must and should play a pro active role in the economic life of the nation in order to ensure that the people of rural Ireland have the same economic and social opportunities as their urban counterparts. To delegate that role to the Corporate sector via EU deregulation is an act of betrayal, and we already know to our cost that the Private Sector will not address infrastructure deficits in regions of low population density.''

``The selling off of our Major State Companies by successive governments amounts to a refusal by our T.D.'s to control and determine the social and economic destiny of the people they represent.''

``Not alone have they relinquished ownership of these important state assets, but they are no longer prepared to regulate them in the interests of the common good. Under EU law all matters and issues now pertaining to telecommunications and electricity have been vested with so called `Independent Regulators', thus ensuring that future Governments will have no input or role in the formation of Crucial and vital decisions pertaining to the economic development of rural Ireland.''

Cllr Murray concluded. ``In Mayo the Corrib Gas field and the broadband network are glaring examples of what happens when Governments relinquish control and ownership of natural resources, public utilities and major infrastructure.'' ENDS

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