July 21, 2020
EU agreement fails to deliver on key areas for Ireland – MacManus

EU agreement fails to deliver on key areas for Ireland – MacManus

Chris MacManus, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands Northwest, has slammed the agreement reached by EU Leaders a few hours ago, on the COVID 19 recovery package. MacManus commented:  

“The agreement reached this morning is significantly worse than previously anticipated. A few days ago, Michael Martin reminded us Ireland will be a net contributor to the EU budget. Therefore, if we know we are to pay in more than we get back, the focus must be on exactly what Irish taxpayers are contributing to.

“It is clear from this deal, in areas crucially important to Ireland, our interests were not protected and responsibility for this must fall squarely at the feet of the new Taoiseach, Michael Martin. 

“Two glaring failures are the slashing of proposed rural development recovery funds, by 7.5bn, and the Just Transition Fund by 20bn. 

“As an elected MEP for the Midlands North West constituency, these cuts will be particularity severe for the people I represent.

“To contextualise the Just Transition Fund, it is designed create jobs in sustainable industries and support those workers affected by changes to our economy, as we make the green transition. 

“A recent example is the targeting of funds from the scheme towards projects which would benefits workers affected by the winding down of the peat industry in the Midlands.

“A rolling back of ambition on job creation and support for workers in rural Ireland is nothing new. However, the Irish Government’s failure in Brussels today has highlighted again why having weak representation in Europe directly affects the viability of our rural communities. “

The Sligo based MEP concluded, “I will be focussing on mitigating the worst outworking’s of the agreement, when the proposals on the finer details reach the European Parliament. Sinn Féin believes a regionally balanced recovery is required and we must underpin the rural economy with targeted, and substantial, funding if we are to ensure its survival.”  ENDS

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