[Sinn Fein]

4th June 1999

Solana appointment tightens NATO grip on EU

The Irish government's claim that it is maintaining Irish neutrality is now in tatters, according to an EU election candidate. Commenting on the expected appointment of the Secretary-General of NATO Javier Solana as the EU Foreign and Security Policy chief , Sinn Fein Leinster Euro candidate Arthur Morgan said:

``The appointment of Javier Solano tightens the grip of NATO on the EU. The Secretary-General of the nuclear-armed military NATO alliance is to become, in effect, the Foreign Minister for the entire EU. This military bureaucrat is to be placed in one of the most powerful positions in the world without any democratic mandate. The Irish government's claims to be maintaining neutrality are now in tatters.

``This appointment, taken with the statement of EU Commission President Romano Prodi who wants an EU Army, expose as totally fraudulent the Irish government's assertions that our neutrality was not effected by the Amsterdam Treaty. Their disgraceful decision to join NATO's so-called Partnership for Peace without a referendum and their acceptance of the militarist direction of the EU mean that this government is no longer fit to conduct our foreign policy.''ENDS

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