[Sinn Fein]

>16th October 2002

Alliance Agains Nice campaigners tackle IBEC on privatisation agenda

Speaking at an Alliance Against Nice protest held outside IBEC Headquarters this morning, Sinn Fein's Nice Campaign Director Daithí Doolan said:

``We are here to make clear the reasons IBEC are backing the Nice Treaty have a lot more to do with the privatisation agenda Nice advances than with concern for Irish jobs and workers. Their recent statements calling for cutbacks in wage increases shows how hollow those concerns are.

``Article 133 of the Nice Treaty states `The common commercial policy shall be based on uniform principles', these principles to include `the achievement of uniformity in measures of liberalisation.' This will increase the EU's ability to pressurise member states into implementing sweeping privatisation measures and goes some way to explaining the motivation of the powerful big business lobbies behind Nice both in Ireland and elsewhere.

``Article 133 of the Nice Treaty is part of an agenda backed by Big Business across Europe. It is to their shame that the Trade Union leadership has backed a Treaty that is such a bad deal for Irish workers and in particular public sector workers.

``My belief that they are out of touch with the feelings of their members was underscored by the vote at the SIPTU Dublin Regional Conference to reject the Nice Treaty. When grassroots Trade Unionists are given the opportunity to vote on Nice, they voted to reject it. On Saturday, I believe the rest of the people of Ireland will join them.''

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