[Sinn Fein]

22 July 2002

EU ruling on Irish budgetary policy shows need to reject Nice Treaty

Commenting on the news that the EU has told the Minister for Finance Charlie McCreevy that he cannot use a Euro600 million windfall from the currency changeover to improve the State's financial position, Sinn Fein spokesperson on European Affairs Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said it was ``a prime example of undemocratic rule from Brussels'' and showed ``the need for the rejection of the Nice Treaty''. Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

``The EU tells the Irish Minister for Finance how he must frame the Budget and in order to comply with that ruling the Tánaiste Mary Harney calls for even more public spending cuts. This is a prime example of undemocratic rule from Brussels and its cynical use by the political establishment in this State. Our economic sovereignty has been sold to an unelected EU Commission and to the European Central Bank. To comply with the dictats of these unelected bodies the Tánaiste is advocating that public services be further undermined as they have been already with recently imposed rises in charges to the citizen in the health and education sectors.

``It is time we shouted `Stop!' Last year the electorate rejected the Nice Treaty and their democratic decision has been openly defied by the FF/PD government. The replay of the referendum continues that defiance. As the Euro-federalist project continues, with Nice as a further brick in the wall, there will be ever-increasing interventions in Irish domestic policy by Brussels. This shows the need for a decisive rejection of the Nice Treaty for the second time.''

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