independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Protests at 40 Irish embassies over lack of vote for 487m Europeans

Áine Kerr

Protests are being held outside 40 Irish embassies this weekend congratulating Ireland on holding a referendum denied to 487 million Europeans.

The European Referendum Campaign has organised protests outside embassies in Amsterdam, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Sofia, London, Vienna and Berlin, in addition to 32 other cities.

Protesters' placards include messages such as "Congratulations Ireland! You are having the referendum 487 million Europeans have been denied", and "On 12th June, we are all Irish".

Yesterday, co-ordinator of the campaign, Thomas Rupp, insisted the protests were designed to invite Irish people to consider the wider implications for Europeans who will not be voting.

"These events shall relieve the pressure from the Irish people who are being told that other EU member states would urge them to say 'Yes' to the treaty," he said.

"In fact 75pc of Europeans want to have a say on Lisbon and there are many concerns about its content, shared by many Europeans.

"The ratification of such a far-reaching document without asking the people will decrease the democratic legitimacy of the EU even further."

Yesterday, at a conference in Dublin, Mr Rupp further claimed the treaty document had been "deliberately made unreadable".

"If this treaty is ratified as planned by European elites and if we, the citizens, let them get away with it, we cannot complain, if, in a few years time something is sold to us under the label of democracy, but has nothing to do with the rule of the people," he said.

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