[Sinn Fein]

21st April 1999

All Ireland economic strategy essential

Sinn Fein Assembly Member for Foyle and party Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin, speaking at the launch of the party's candidates for the EU elections, has said that all Ireland economic policies will lie at the heart of our European economic strategy.''

Mr. McLaughlin said:

``Sinn Fein believe that Economic Monetary Union will limit the right of Irish people to control their own economy. Our vision of European Union economic policy involves:

``However, EMU is wholly dictated by tight deflatory fiscal criteria without any consideration of the impact that such policies will have on unemployment, income, wage levels and social welfare protection. Because European member states economies develop at different rates and re-act differently to crises or downturns in the European economy, a single centralised fiscal policy will have different implications for different countries. ``The policy of the European Central Bank will inevitably be set in accordance with major players such as Germany, France and Italy. Ireland as a peripheral economy will lose out as European policy may not match domestic economic needs.

``Furthermore because the Six Counties has remained outside and the 26 counties inside the EMU, another tier of obstacles have been placed in the way of creating a truly all Ireland economy. For Sinn Fein who believe that such harmonisation is essential for the development and regeneration of the economy as a whole, such a situation is more bad news'.

``Sinn Fein will work to build a strategic project aimed at using the institutions of the EU to campaign for a different kind of economic policy. We will actively build alliances at home and abroad with like minded political parties and other sectors, in order to create a more people centred economic policy in Europe. It is our belief that monetary union runs contrary to such a policy.''ENDS

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