Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lisbon 'guarantees' on neutrality as reliable as the contents of a Fianna Fáil manifesto

Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey has dismissed claims by Fianna Fáil that neutrality will not be affected by the Lisbon Treaty and that it will not increase the moves towards a more heavily militarised Europe. He also rubbished their claims of having secured "legal guarantees" as bogus saying they were as trustworthy and reliable as the contents of a Fianna Fáil election manifesto.

Casey said: "The Treaty is crystal clear. It intensifies the push towards a more heavily armed and militarised Europe, drawing the EU and this state ever closer to a nuclear armed NATO. It sets in place a mutual defence pact obliging ALL EU states to come to assistance of another member state if an armed attack takes place on its territory, regardless of the circumstances. The Dublin Government's own White paper on Foreign Policy (1996) stated clearly that 'provisions committing the parties to collective action in the event of armed attack against one or more of them .... would not be compatible with an intention to remain neutral.' This clearly puts to bed the lie that this states supposed neutral status will not be affected."

He added: "The Treaty also obliges all states to increase their military spending. This comes at a time when the Fianna Fáil led administration are looking to impose further taxes on low paid workers and cut social welfare rates. They have already introduced savage cutbacks in essential health and education services. Front line hospital staff are being laid off, hospital wards are being closed and essential medical services are being downgraded or removed. This administration, and the so-called 'opposition parties' Fine Gael and Labour who support this Treaty also, obviously view the profits of the European arms industry as a higher priority than the education and health of the people of this state."

"The so-called 'guarantees' on neutrality and other issues that Fianna Fáil claim to have secured are meaningless, have no legal status and are merely political promises from discredited politicians and bureaucrats. They are as trustworthy and reliable as the contents of a Fianna Fáil election manifesto. They do not override the contents of the Treaty itself, which is unchanged and is what we are being asked once again to ratify, despite already having democratically rejected it. Fianna Fáil cannot be trusted when it comes to the issue of neutrality. The have betrayed the Irish people on too many occasions. They joined NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) without the referendum they promised. They have turned Shannon airport into a virtual US military airbase as US troops and aircraft use their facilities on their way to and from the occupied territories of Iraq and Afghanistan."

He concluded: "They are being disingenuous when they say Europe will not become more militarised or that Irish neutrality will not be affected if Lisbon is ratified. To prevent an increase in the increasing militarisation of Europe it is essential that people do not put their trust in Fianna Fáil and the political and business establishment and instead vote NO to Lisbon on October 2nd."

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