Fianna Fáil has condemned an attempt by a socialist MEP and Sinn Féin’s Northern Ireland MEP to misrepresent activity in the European Parliament today.  Following months of work with colleagues across Europe to advance Ireland’s case for retrospective bank recapitalisation, the party’s three MEPs tabled an important resolution at committee stage in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on the role of the Troika.

The Fianna Fáil resolution, supported unanimously at committee read:  “Calls for the full implementation of the June 2012 commitment by EU leaders to break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns and to further examine the situation of the Irish financial sector in a manner that substantially alleviates Ireland’s heavy burden of bank debt.”  This was included in the final report put before Parliament today and was carried.

Speaking together, Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP, Brian Crowley MEP and Liam Aylward MEP commented, “We have been working hard over many months to advance the cause of retrospective debt relief.  This work has included intensive lobbying of our colleagues throughout ALDE and indeed across the political spectrum, and detailed interaction throughout the process which led to the Report we were debating today.

“Our resolution is a clear and unambiguous declaration of support for Ireland’s case and worded in consultation with others to allow the greatest levels of support possible.  Unfortunately, late in the day, a coalition of socialists and Sinn Féin’s Northern Ireland MEP chose to undermine this work and tabled another amendment for the simple purpose of trying to generate media attention in advance of European elections.  We believe this late change may have undermined support for the original amendment.

“We reject this approach and chose to have no part in it today.  The issue of a fair deal on legacy debt is bigger and more important than any individual or party election campaigns.  Ireland’s case will not be advanced by stunt politics or grandstanding by nervous election candidates.

“The attempt by these same individuals to now misrepresent Fianna Fáil’s support for a retrospective debt deal is another part of the same shallow and pointless PR strategy.  We will not be distracted by it and Fianna Fáil will continue to work tirelessly in every forum to help deliver the deal we were promised in June 2012.”