17/01/2008

Le Pen Will Urge 'Non' Vote

Ireland is to get a dose of European-style far-right politics with a visit by French right-wing politician Jean-Marie Le Pen.

He is intent on warning Irish voters that the country risks becoming "a local authority in a new supra-national body" if they vote 'Yes' in the forthcoming referendum on the new EU reform treaty.

Le Pen's aide and fellow eurosceptic French MEP Bruno Gollnisch made the comment after confirming that both of them are expected to visit Ireland in May, just ahead of the referendum, after receiving an invitation from the Law Society at UCD.

"I remind the Irish of their struggle for independence and warn that if they vote 'Yes' they are going to make you a local authority in a new supranational body," Gollnisch told reporters at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The French politicians decision to come to Ireland and promote a 'Non' vote is expected to anger some groups within the Irish campaign against the EC initiative who believe their arrival in Dublin will damage their cause.

Sinn Féin, the only political party campaigning for a rejection of the treaty - replacing the embattled EU constitution that was rejected by Dutch and French voters – actually want Le Pen to stay away from the campaign.

"We don't want Mr Le Pen to come, of course we can not stop him, but we would preferred if he stayed away," Sinn Féin Chairwoman and MEP Mary Lou MacDonald said.

(BMcC)

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