Anti-Nice Treaty Alliance
nigel_irritable at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 20 15:53:37 MDT 2002
The article below is from the Irish Times, the
establishment newspaper in the south of Ireland. It
deals with the establishment of an alliance against
the Nice Treaty composed of pretty much everybody to
the left of the Irish Labour Party.
Ireland was the only EU country to hold a referendum
on the Nice Treaty. All of the establishment political
parties (including Labour), the employers federation,
the media, the trade union bureaucracies and the Roman
Catholic church supported the Treaty. The main
opposition came from relatively small groups,
including the Green Party, Sinn Fein, the Socialist
Party and one trade union, the ATGWU.
Amazingly, there was a "No" vote in the referendum.
Now the government, after scolding voters for
embarrassing them in front of other EU leaders and
businessmen, has decided to hold the vote again.
Confusing matters, a small right wing arch-Catholic
faction organised around the extreme pro-life group
"Youth Defense" took the opportunity to launch a
campaign against the Nice Treaty from a xenephobic,
anti-immigrant perspective. The formation of an
alliance of "progressive" campaigns against Nice is
partly an attempt to ensure that these reactionaries
remain marginal to the debate.
The alliance was established on the initiative of the
Socialist Party (the CWI in Ireland). Its campaign
will focus around opposition to privatisation and the
destruction of workers rights, and will oppose the
creation of an EU army. The affiliated organisations
have fifteen members of parliament and dozens of
councillors betweek them.
The anarchist groups have formed their own alliance
called "Libertarians Against Nice".
Is mise le meas
Anti-Nice Treaty Alliance Unveiled in Dublin.
A campaigning group comprised of Dáil parties,
Independents and other groups opposed to the Treaty of
Nice was unveiled in Dublin today.
The Alliance against Nice accused the pro-Nice lobby
of obscuring the issues relating to the Treaty and
rejected the assertion that a vote against Nice
equates a vote against enlargement.
Mr Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party accused the
Government and the European Union of failing to
illustrate in the implications of the Treaty.
He said if the Treaty was passed it would spell the
introduction of "wholesale privatisation" and would
mark a move "towards a European armaments industry".
Independent TD Mr Séamus Healy warned the Government
would be punished for deceiving the public in order to
be elected. Accusing the Government of using
"bully-boy" tactics over enlargement, he referred to
EU president Mr Romano Prodis assertion that the
Irish rejection of the Nice Treaty would not affect
the accession of new members to the EU.
Green Mr TD Paul Gogarty said the Government was
"spinning stories" that rejection of the Treaty would
mean withdrawal from the EU and said it was time to
put the enlargement argument "to bed". Sinn Féins Mr
Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the Government was spending
millions of euro on a campaign deception.
The campaign is focusing on four central themes - it
opposes the privatisation of the public sector, the
creation of a European army, calls for the protection
of workers rights and moves toward further integration
Former ATGWU national secretary Mr Mick OReilly
called on the Government to state whether it would
accept the result of the second referendum if it was a
The Alliance is made up of the Green Party, Sinn Féin,
the Socialist Party, the Tipperary Workers and
Unemployed Action Group and Mr Seamus Healy TD, Mr
Tony Gregory TD, Mr Finian McGrath TD, the Workers
Party, the Socialist Workers Party, the Irish
Socialist Network, the Independent Socialist Forum
Against Nice and Mr Mick OReilly.
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