BEFORE LAUNCHING AN attack on Sinn Féin for its misleading No campaign on the Fiscal Compact treaty, Enda Kenny confirmed today that certain statements quoted on the Government’s information website will be removed on Monday.
In fact, the statements which were accused of being biased toward a Yes vote have already been removed from stabilitytreaty.ie.
The Taoiseach has taken to referring to Sinn Féin party president Gerry Adams not by name but as “the leader of the No campaign”.
He did the same again today at a Sub-Committee on the Stability, Coordination and Governance Treaty as he criticised the party for its “deliberate subversion of the truth”.
Referring to leaflets distributed to advocate a No vote, Kenny said that by taking only selected quotations from economists, Sinn Féin was not respecting the intelligence of the Irish people.
Sinn Féin chose to be selective and it was an “utter distortion of the facts”, according to the Taoiseach. He also accused the campaign of misrepresenting the treaty and disseminating myths about it.
Addressing Sinn Féin’s threat of a legal challenge over the State’s information campaign, Kenny said that the Government was not in the “business of scaremongering”. Answering questions from MEP Paul Murphy, he said such a court case would amount to censorship.
However, he added that the Stability Treaty website currently includes ministerial statements but when the campaign is launched proper on Monday, “all that will emerge will be facts”.
The campaign will be strictly explanatory and factual, he told Murphy in response to questions about the website’s adherence to the McKenna judgement.
In his earlier address, Kenny outlined what he called “compelling reasons” for ratifying the Stability Treaty on 31 May.
He said he was not proposing a United States of Europe but recognised the need for new economic tools.
Commenting on the need for access to emergency funding through the ESM, Kenny said that it will be easier for Ireland to exit the programme once a backstop is in place.
“Having access to the ESM makes it less likely that we will need it,” he told the sub-committee.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has published the general scheme of the Fiscal Responsibility Bill 2012 which sets out legislations required to implement the key provisions of the Fiscal Compact treaty if it is ratified by the electorate.