I attended a meeting in Strasbourg this afternoon between all the Irish MEP’s and the Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn to discuss the current economic situation in Ireland. Mr Rehn insisted that all information shared in the discussion and in fact everything said at the meeting was to remain confidential. I refused to accept that the meeting should be confidential and was subsequently forced to leave by Mr Rehn. Disgracefully the other Irish MEP’s accepted that the meeting should be confidential.
People in Ireland are being hammered by the austerity policies dictated by the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF. It is outrageous to suggest that they do not have a right to know about the plans of the Commission. I wanted to stay in the meeting to argue against the austerity medicine being forced down workers’ throats but I was not willing to accept the condition that I could not reveal to people in Ireland what the Commissioner had to say. On that basis, Mr. Rehn asked me toleave.
Regardless of the details that Mr Rehn wanted to keep secret, the broad outlines are clear – workers, young people, pensioners and the unemployed are to be forced to pay for the losses of the European banks and speculators.
This policy needs to be fought by building a mass movement of opposition against the EU/IMF deal, against the austerity policies of the Fine Gael/Labour Government and fundamentally against capitalism which puts the profits of the banks and major multinationals ahead of the interests of ordinarypeople.