GUE/NGL
News

Little to celebrate as curtain falls on Irish Presidency

As the Irish Presidency ends and the baton is passed to the incoming Lithuanian ministers, Irish GUE/NGL MEPs Martina Anderson and Paul Murphy have both condemned the outgoing Presidency, labelling it a failure in many areas.

Paul Murphy said: “Given that the proclaimed 'Stability, Jobs and Growth' haven't materialised, I'd like to suggest a retrospective alternative slogan for the Irish Presidency: 'never let the facts get in the way of a good story'. Six months ago the story was a recovery story: a recovery country leading recovery in Europe. Today the story is presented as a supposed stimulus of the European budget. The reality is that this is the first austerity budget in the European Union. It will further worsen the crisis and there will be cuts resulting in workers losing their jobs.”

Paul Murphy added: “Another Irish Presidency supposed 'success story' today according to the Taoiseach is the opening of free trade talks with the US, but the uncomfortable facts are that the much-heralded special relationship is built on extensive spying on European governments and millions of citizens. Edward Snowden should be congratulated and granted asylum in Ireland or another EU country.”

Martina Anderson commented: “The Irish Presidency has not been a success. The Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s tactics in the MFF negotiations were an embarrassment. The substance of the proposed MFF agreement is equally disappointing. It represents continued austerity. Its immediate impact will be a 6% cut to the EU budget for 2014. It is the first time the EU budget has been cut in 56 years and it was cut under the Irish Presidency. Furthermore the Irish presidency failed in extending the Syrian Arms embargo and failed in putting domestic violence on the agenda.”

Martina Anderson added: “Whilst the Irish Presidency has shown a lack of leadership in many areas, I do commend its leadership on the issue of Tobacco Products Directive as it announced plans to become the first EU Member to bring in 100% standardised packaging.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group