Wednesday 21 March 2018

Taoiseach unfazed as Ganley enters fiscal treaty fray

Fionnan Sheahan and Lise Hand

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny was unfazed last night by the arrival of businessman and anti-Lisbon Treaty campaigner Declan Ganley into the EU fiscal treaty referendum campaign.

Mr Ganley is back on the No side in an EU referendum -- but without the big spending of his political group, Libertas.

The Galway-based businessman was pivotal in the defeat of the Lisbon I referendum in 2008.

But he failed to win a seat in the Ireland West constituency in the 2009 European elections and he had less of an impact in the Lisbon II referendum later that year.

Mr Ganley is opposing the EU fiscal treaty, as he says it does not deal with the issue of banking debt.

Libertas will be campaigning for a No vote but not on the same scale as in Lisbon I, where the organisation ran a high-profile billboard advert campaign.

But Mr Kenny said banking debt wasn't the issue being decided on in the referendum.

"Sure, look it's a free country and anybody is entitled to have their viewpoint. Declan Ganley's argument about bank debt is not the issue here.

"The issue here is good housekeeping, is access to an insurance fund if ever it's required and most importantly the continuation of a very strong line of confidence for investors here," he said.

Mr Kenny said the country should take the opportunity presented by the referendum.

"I might say it should be clearly understood that potential investors in the country here say to me 'we need certainty, we need decisiveness, we need a horizon against which we can plan' because there are other locations around the world where they can make their investments.


"This actually is a brilliant opportunity for Ireland to demonstrate that a small country can measure up, that our people can make our own decisions," he said.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said he wasn't surprised by Mr Ganley's intervention. "I think it's important we concentrate on what this treaty is about," he said.

Irish Independent

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