Councillors Oppose Lisbon Treaty

A coalition of 135 town and county councillors has joined forces in opposition of the Lisbon Treaty.

The group includes Socialist Party councillors, members of the Labour Party, the People Before Profit alliance, the Workers Unemployed South Tipperary Action Group and several Independents.

The councillors say the Treaty would lead to further militarization of the EU, undermine democracy and move the State closer to Ryanair-style public services through further privatisations.

In a statement, they said the Treaty would give the European Union power to force governments to comply with all aspects of existing European treaties, including the right to run a public service as a business.

Incidentally, Bookmaker Paddy Power has cut the odds on a "No" vote in the upcoming second Irish referendum on the European Union's Lisbon treaty, after a flow of punters gambled on another defeat, a spokeswoman for the bookmakers said on Friday.

Irish voters represent less than 1% of Europe's 27 nation population, and will once again decide the fate of the charter on October 2 after the shock rejection last year.

The Taoiseach has however spoken today in defence of the Treaty, saying that two out of three Irish jobs depend on exports to the EU.

Speaking during a tour of the South-East including visits to various small and medium-sized companies, the Taoiseach said that level of employment dependency proves that Ireland needs an effective EU if it is to secure its economic future.

"The last thing Ireland’s economy needs is an EU which is frozen with out of date rules and powers," Mr Cowen said.

He added: "There are many compelling economic arguments as to why Ireland needs the Lisbon Treaty, but the most important is that the more efficient and effective the EU is in helping all countries to grow the better it is for Ireland.

"We can’t stand alone at the edge of Europe hoping that somehow the EU with 50 year old rules can be made to deliver growth in the face of a new world economy."


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