Key discussion between Irish MEPs and Olli Rehn held in secret


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.

Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner, Olli Rehn

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.

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  1. Yeh OK Paul,

    Next time go to the meeting , get the inside track then publish it. We already know that :

    “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”

    Next time , try harder.

    regards K.

    • Paul Murphy MEP

      Hi Kev,

      Just to clarify, I did go to the meeting but was asked to leave when I refused to accept that the meeting was confidential. I would have stayed in the meeting and put forward the case against the austerity program lined up for Ireland and against the EU/IMF deal. To accept the confidentiality of the meeting would be disenfranchising the electorate who have the right to know what is being discussed between their elected representatives and a European Commissioner.

      The onus to report the details of the meeting is on the other Irish MEP’s who accepted the confidentiality of the meeting yet claim to represent the Irish people.


    • Good man Paul,

      We have no chance if we play by their rules.
      Confidentiality is mad anyway , there hasnt been a secret kept in the last 2000 years.

      The burecratic games by the EU need to be challenged and I for one am glad that someone is their to do just that.



  2. Lúcás Ó Callanáin

    Disgraceful. Were all other Irish MEP’s in attendance? Including MEP’s from the 6 counties?

    • Paul Murphy MEP

      The MEPs in attendance were Diane Dodds (DUP), Bairbre de Bruin (Sinn Fein)[both from Northern Ireland, they weren't invited the last time, but where there this time], Proinsias de Rossa (Labour), Nessa Childers (Labour), Gay Mitchel (Fine Gael), Sean Kelly (Fine Gael), Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael), Liam Aylward (Fianna Fail), Brian Crowley (Fianna Fail), Pat “The Cope” Gallagher (Fianna Fail), Marian Harkin (Independent) and myself, until I was kicked out.

      I felt it best for my constituency to not agree to the privacy terms of the meeting. People should ask these other MEPs why they did this, and what was said at the meetings.

  3. Next time agree to keep everything confidential just to get access to the meeting, then ‘leak’ the details by leaving ALL your ‘notes’ unguarded in a public place or in a ‘reply all’ e-mail. Easy peasy. What are they gonna do? Right now, WE don’t know what went on inside the meeting. Stop being so principled, the gloves need to come off.

  4. First – How i wish, not that wishing will get me much, we had a Socialist MEP in Brit (Wa;es) but glad to see you keeping up the fight in trad of Joe Higgins.
    As to getting thrown out of the meeting, absolutley correct tactic, argueing in private with these gangsters may have some worth but very little. Drawing attention to backroom deals, secrete diplomancy and other bosses tricks is an important part of the struggle initself – No Secrete Deals! Open all the books of this rotten system of greed and graft All power to your efforts.Socialist greetings and best wishes

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