Monday 11 December 2017

Mathews may run for Europe

REFORM: Peter Mathews is eyeing European elections
REFORM: Peter Mathews is eyeing European elections

JOHN DRENNAN Political Editor

REFORM Alliance TD Peter Mathews says he is seriously considering a run in the European elections next year in the Dublin constituency. Mr Mathews, who has been a strong critic of the Government's bailout policies, said German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble would "get a twitch in his eye if he heard I was coming to Europe".

The entry of the banking expert into the contest in the three-seat constituency, which has attracted few newsworthy candidates to date, would throw the race wide open.

In particular, it would increase the pressure on the Labour Party and Fianna Fail to secure a high-profile candidate.

Given the strength of independents in the polls, a household name candidate poses a real threat to the Socialist Party MEP Paul Murphy and the little-known Sinn Fein candidate Lynn Boylan.

The declaration of interest by Mr Mathews is also likely to increase pressure on the Reform Alliance to indicate whether it plans to contest the forthcoming European and local elections as a party or as a loose alignment of individuals. Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mr Mathews confirmed he is giving serious consideration to running for Europe.

"Were a confluence of events, suggestions and influences to come together, I do believe I have something to offer Europe on behalf of the people of Ireland," he said.

The banking expert has not made a final decision on the grounds that politics is "like golf, never force, just apply yourself in the moment to the job in hand. The Government has done its best; it has failed to live up to the expectations of the Irish people."

Mr Mathews added this failure meant a message had to be taken to Europe on issues such as the need to "tear up the long-term bonds" that cover the Anglo Irish Bank debts.

He also said the German finance minister would "get a twitch in his eye if he heard I was coming to Europe, he would be like Inspector Dreyfus in the Pink Panther Clouseau movies".

Sunday Independent

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