MacManus welcomes restoration of EU funds to Palestine
Sinn Fein MEP Chris MacManus has welcomed the restoration of EU’s aid to Palestine.
Speaking from Brussels, MacManus commented:
“The EU has until recently been the largest financial donor to Palestine, with fund allocations in the region of €600 million every year. Yesterday evening Ursula von der Leyen announced that, after two years, the EU has finally unblocked access to these funds and that distribution can take place rapidly.”
“This release of the money is a positive step and must represent an end to what has been a shameless entertainment, by the European Commission, of baseless accusations spouted by the Israeli Government.”
The Sinn Féin described his difficulties in attaining clear information on the matter. “I have been in an ongoing dispute with the European Commission over these back room decisions to cut humanitarian funding to Palestine. My latest requests for clarity were met with a brick wall, in the form of a letter informing me that all the evidence linked to the suspension of funds was classified. Members of the European Parliament are elected by citizens to represent them, in particular when it comes to how the EU budget is being spent. Therefore it is unacceptable for the Commission to decide that MEPs shouldn’t have a say in whether funding should be stopped to any recipient.”
“President von der Leyen was very clear in explaining where the money to Palestine ends up; we are talking about the provision of things like clean water, food security and a reliable energy supply.”
MacManus concluded, “Sinn Féin will always support the Palestinian people being assisted and we demand that the EU respects their duty to stand against the Israeli Governments attack on school children’s education, on the vulnerable, and civil society.” ENDS