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Commissioner Olli Rehn's meeting with Irish MEPs Joe Higgins MEP walks out over Rehn's insistence on the confidentiality of discussion


23 Nov 2010


EU Priorities 2020

Strasbourg, 23/11/2010

Irish Socialist Party and GUE/NGL MEP, Joe Higgins, refused to participate in a meeting between Irish MEPs and the Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn. MEP Higgins left the meeting after Mr Rehn stated he would only share essential information if all the MEPs agreed not to disclose the contents.

Joe Higgins said after leaving the meeting:

"After a week in which the Irish people were persistently misled and lied to it was outrageous to suggest that elected representatives could not share with those who elected them what Commissioner Rehn had to say

"As far as I am concerned commissioner Rehn and the IMF are acting as agents for the predatory international banks and the speculators who gambled billions in private deals with property developers and bankers in Ireland and now want the Irish working class to pay for these gambles which went wrong.

"I was therefore not going to participate in any secret discussion behind the backs of working people and the unemployed.

"Portugal and Spain are next as greed for profit drives speculators on. They speak about a so called contagion as if the crisis was caused by some kind of natural disease. This contagion is a manmade virus, created by speculators in the financial markets to prevent their toxic bonds being burned to reap more private profits"

"It is essential that there is a major mobilisation of people power and worker power to stop the disastrous austerity programme beginning next Saturday at the National Protest organised by ICTU."

For more information or comment:

Michael O'Brien:           + 353 87 2400331
Tanja Niemeier (Strabourg): + 32 486 375 199


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