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MEP Childers resigns from Labour


Labour MEP Nessa Childers has written to Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore confirming her resignation from the party.

She says Labour is allowing Fine Gael to pursue endless austerity policies which go against the party’s core values.

“The policy of austerity is discredited in Europe and, increasingly, at home,” she wrote, saying those policies are a “profoundly immoral way to run our country”.

Ms Childers said she had increasingly found herself discouraged and prevented from advocating a distinctive social democratic position within the Labour party.

“While I have remained constant in my views, the Labour leadership has drifted away from a progressive policy approach,” she wrote.

“My attitude is vilified as disloyal or opportunistic when, in fact, I am defending and promoting the party’s core values.”

She said a “low point” for her was feeling abandoned by the party leadership for opposing the appointment of Kevin Cardiff to the EU Court of Auditors.

Ms Childers says she’ll run in next year’s European elections as an independent candidate within the European Socialists and Democrats Group.

The MEP for Leinster resigned from the Labour Parliamentary Party in April.

via MEP Childers resigns from Labour | Irish Examiner.

Authoritarian Neoliberalism in the EU | Paul Murphy MEP


Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to address the Dail Joint Committee on European Affairs. The topic of the discussion was on the future shape of the European Union and Ireland’s relationship with it.

In the three videos below you will see firstly my presentation to the
, along with a slides,  where I outline that what is happening in the European Union is the growth of authoritarian neoliberalism, and that the future direction is one of a less democratic union of fiscal austerity.

The second and third videos contain my response to the comments and questions which were raised in the discussion by TDs and other MEPs.

via Authoritarian Neoliberalism in the EU | Paul Murphy MEP.

Ballyhea protestors in Brussels to meet MEPs from economics committee


download

MEMBERS OF a campaign group that has held weekly marches opposing Ireland’s bailout for almost two years are in Brussels today to meet with MEPs.

The protestors from Ballyhea and Charleville in Co Cork are meeting members of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs committee, including its chairwoman, Sharon Bowles from Britain’s Liberal Democrats.

The group said the ultimate goal of its travel was to seek assistance in securing a meeting with the European Central Bank, which it holds responsible for pushing Ireland into a sovereign bailout to save its banking sector.

Campaign founder Diarmuid O’Flynn told radioep.ie it was his ultimate goal to get a meeting at the Frankfurt-based bank so he could ask it to explain its actions.

Members have already travelled to Frankfurt to seek such meetings, but have met with little success.

“We’re hoping that first of all as a member of the parliament – but secondly as a member of the Economic Committee – that she [Bowles] has some influence with the ECB,” O’Flynn told radioep.ie’s Karen Coleman. “We’re hoping she can do something for us. I don’t know if she can.”

O’Flynn – a sports writer with the Irish Examiner by day – said ultimately it was his hope to speak and negotiate directly with the bank.

I would like to somebody in the eye in the ECB, and ask them to justify what they have done to the Irish people.

To justify what they have done: all the lies that they told us, all the bullying that went on, all the blackmailing that went on… that unless you accept this bank debt, we’re going to pull the plug on the other funding.

I would like to look someone [in the eye] in the ECB – not somebody at the bottom, somebody at the top – to justify what they have done to us.

The group is bringing a number of letters, directly addressed to Bowles, written by ordinary people in Ireland outlining how they have been affected by the crash and by the austerity that has followed the bailout.

On the group’s Facebook page, O’Flynn acknowledged that trying to unilaterally seek negotiations with the ECB was “a big ask”, but said:

“If you don’t ask, and our highly-paid government negotiators didn’t, then you have no chance.”

via Ballyhea protestors in Brussels to meet MEPs from economics committee.

via Ballyhea protestors in Brussels to meet MEPs from economics committee.

James Reilly pledges to tackle smoking problem in Europe


What a laugh this report is given that the Minister would not even be capable of organizing a visit to a hospital

MINISTER FOR HEALTH James Reilly has given a personal pledge to “tackle the smoking problem” and called for combined measures to regulate tobacco products.

Speaking in Brussels in a meeting of the EU Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, Reilly also called for comprehensive assistance to smokers who want to quit and media information campaigns.

The committee was discussing the proposal to revise the 2001 Tobacco Products Directive which focuses on smokeless tobacco products, packaging and labelling, ingredients or additives, cross-border distance sales and traceability and security issues. It also aims to harmonise the implementation of international obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Speaking about the proposal before the committee Commissioner Tonio Borg said tobacco “should look like tobacco and taste like tobacco as well, not like vanilla or other sweets”.

“These products are produced in this way to be attractive to the young. Let’s not forget that most people start smoking below the age of 25 and the majority when they are still minors,” he said. Several other MEPs echoed his call for flavoured tobacco products to be abolished.

However Danish MEP, Anna Rosbach, said that the committee should not forget that governments need the revenues generated by tobacco. “The fiscal impact is something we have to bear in mind”, she said. “Any smoker who stops is a good investment.”

Minister Reilly said that economically, it is a “no brainer”, because of the heavy costs that smoking imposes on health systems and on the economy, through absenteeism from work.

Italian MEP Oreste Rossi said he was worried that too many limits place upon people would result in an increase in the trade of illegal cigarettes. However Borg reassured the committee that security and tracking provisions were also proposed in the directive.

A report will be drafted by European Parliament rapporteur Linda McAvan and put to an Environment Committee vote on 10-11 July.

via James Reilly pledges to tackle smoking problem in Europe · TheJournal.ie.

via James Reilly pledges to tackle smoking problem in Europe · TheJournal.ie.

The Lord of Nepotism Mattie McGrath


DOZENS of TDs and senators make use of family members as parliamentary and secretarial assistants, recently released files reveal. Thirty per cent of Oireachtas members, including government ministers and MEPs, have family members working for them. This is despite Fine Gael’s pre-election pledge to end cronyism.
South Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath had the most family members working for him of all TDs. He employed two daughters, and a niece who shared parliamentary and secretarial assistant jobs along with another staff member.
McGrath said they were all “very well qualified” he added”, they work extremely hard . . . and in addition, they go above and beyond the call of duty at all time.
Surly it should be illegal to create public-sector jobs funded by Government money taken from taxpayers when there is no advertisement or systemized form of interviews.
Parliamentary assistants enjoy a starting salary of €41,000 while secretarial assistants have an income of € 23,000.
Mattie own list of National policy priorities, ironically include, – Full accountability and transparency to underpin spending of taxes and money.
All one can say is nice one Mattie to float the family onboard the coat tails of the gravy train. Even so, then again, folks, bear in mind his background. The Man is former Fianna Fáil and well versed in the art of stroke pulling and double standards.
Was not his resignation from Fianna Fáil not just apiece of political cynicism to save his seat?
Hypocrisy and nepotism are alive, well, and thriving in the secure hands of Master McGrath a monolith of ignorance and bizarre rurality. He has delivered zero on his election promises, but he will plead from his bucolic mouth those from the establishment were out to do him down. He will conveniently forget to concede that his own feet continue to live and walk the well-trodden path of the elected system.
The stench of animal faeces surrounds the verbal the uttering’s of our Mr. McGrath but there again a Gombeen man is he.

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