THE LABOUR PARTY has strongly criticised Sinn Féin and the Socialist Party for “twisting the facts” of Francois Hollande’s victory in the weekend’s French presidential elections.
Deputy Dominic Hannigan, who travelled to Paris with the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore to congratulate the Parti Socialiste on its win, said that the Irish parties were misrepresenting their position by associating themselves with Hollande.
Both Sinn Féin and the Socialist Party had moved to align Hollande’s win with a No vote for the fiscal compact treaty but Hannigan said their more “natural home” would have been to support the far left parties in the elections.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Meath TD reiterated Gilmore’s view that Hollande is a new ally for Ireland as his administration will be “pushing the same agenda that the Irish government has long been making”.
The Labour party leader met with Hollande on Sunday and welcomed the “significant change” which his victory brings to Europe.
Hannigan said Labour’s links with the new president’s party are stronger and deeper than those of Sinn Féin or the Socialist Party.
“In fact in the past, French PS members have been out canvassing with me during my election campaigns in Meath,” he said, before calling on a Yes vote in the upcoming referendum.
Both camps have welcomed the Hollande victory, each claiming a boost to their respective campaigns.
Trade union Unite said that the election results in France opened up opportunities to have the treaty renegotiated, while Fianna Fáil joined Labour’s calls for a Yes vote, emphasising the incoming president’s growth agenda.
Micheál Martin has said that Hollande “at all times” has supported strong budget controls.
During the election, Hollande said he would renegotiate the agreement to include a growth pact but German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled this out.