Sunday, September 6, 2009

Leaflet on Lisbon to be Distributed

No to Lisbon 2As part of éirígí’s No to Lisbon 2 campaign, the party has produced a leaflet detailing the reasons why the Treaty should be rejected by the electorate in the Twenty-Six Counties.

Over 100,000 copies of the leaflet will be distributed to homes across the four provinces, including in counties Dublin, Cork, Sligo, Wicklow and Donegal.

The leaflet highlights the fact that the current economic hardships faced by working class people were caused by the same business and political class that is trying to force the Lisbon Treaty down their throats.

While the Yes lobby, which includes magnates like Tony O’Reilly and Michael O’Leary, would have people believe that the Treaty is vital for economic recovery, as the leaflet points out: “Nothing could be further from the truth. The Lisbon Treaty is based on the same flawed capitalist economic model that caused the current recession. How can the disease also be the cure? It just doesn’t make sense.”

Similarly, the publication sets out five simple reasons why working people should again vote No.

  1. It promotes “greed over need”. Like the treaties before it, Lisbon aims to continue the current cut-throat capitalist agenda of the European political elite. If passed, it will lay the ground for further privatisation of essential public services, such as health and education.
  2. Over 1.8 million Irish people living in the Six Counties have no say in this matter. No decisions on European integration should be taken until a British withdrawal from the North of Ireland takes place.
  3. It paves the way for a United States of Europe. This treaty is simply an EU Constitution in a different guise, the same constitution, which was rejected by the peoples of France and the Netherlands. If passed, the EU can amend further treaties without referenda and EU law takes primacy over national law. It also creates the powerful positions of EU president and EU foreign minister.
  4. It undermines sovereignty and weakens Ireland’s voice in Europe. This treaty gives the EU increased powers over some areas of policy. It also halves the Dublin government’s voting power while increasing that of the larger states.
  5. The Lisbon Treaty further enables the process of creating a full-ledged EU army, with member states required “to make civilian and military capabilities available for the implementation of EU… defense policy”.

Daithí Mac An Mhaistír at the campaign launchThe fact is that the Treaty is, word-for-word, exactly the same as its predecessor. The so-called guarantees on Lisbon 2 are not legally binding. They are simply the empty promises of politicians.

éirígí spokesperson Daithí Mac An Mhaistír, said: “This Treaty is the very same as the one that came before it. Not a comma on it has been changed. Instead, we have been given vague promises from discredited politicians dressed up in the form of guarantees.

“It is clear that the neo-liberal agenda currently being pushed by the EU establishment has failed; that same establishment is now attempting to enforce an agenda of cutbacks and privatisation. éirígí is confident that working people in the Twenty-Six Counties will again vote No on October 2.”

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey also claimed that the Lisbon Treaty will place business interests above the rights of workers and will further erode workers pay and conditions.

Casey said: “We are seeing massive cutbacks being imposed on essential health and education services. We have mass unemployment with hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in recent times. Yet the people who have led this country to this economic ruin, the establishment political parties and those representing the interests of big business, are telling us to trust them and to vote yes to Lisbon."

He added: "A vote for Lisbon will see the continuation of the discredited neo-liberal and privatisation policies that created the economic recession we are currently in. Lisbon gives priority to business interests over the rights of workers and will hasten a race to the bottom in terms of workers pay and conditions."

"Clearly that is the type of Europe that the political and business establishment, including the likes of Ryanair and Intel who have a vested interest, desire. However, that vision, which will result in further attacks on workers living standards and working conditions, is not acceptable to those of us interested in workers rights and a fairer more democratic society."

He concluded: "Despite all the lies and distortions from the Yes camp, the basic fact is that Lisbon is a fundamentally undemocratic Treaty that places business interests ahead of workers’ rights, puts privatisation and the ‘free market’ at the heart of Europe and seeks to build a more heavily militarised EU. For those very reasons it is essential we vote NO on October 2 once again."

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