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Emer Costello: Barroso is to blame for EU unpopularity

Labour’s candidate says it was “the commission of Rehn and Barroso” that imposed hardship.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

LABOUR’S EUROPEAN CANDIDATE for Dublin, Emer Costello MEP, has said that European Commission president José Manuel Barroso is to blame for the unpopularity of the EU among the electorate.

When asked about voter indifference to the bloc, Costello told TheJournal.ie:

“I think Barroso has to bear the brunt of the blame for that. I do believe that the commission of Barroso has failed European citizens.”

Continuing her criticism of top European officials and their approach to bailout countries, she said:

“The IMF…was actually saying that the multiplier impact of the (bailout) programmes was completely regressive, but the Commission refused to accept this.”

This was the commission of Ollie Rehn and Barroso that imposed a lot of this.

Costello was speaking at an event organised by the Ireland France chamber of commerce, also attended by Fine Gael’s Brian Hayes and Fianna Fail’s Mary Fitzpatrick.

Boxing clever

Fine Gael candidate Brian Hayes said that the Government is prepared to “play hardball” when negotiating on retroactive banking support, but that the timing needs to be right for any deal to be done.

“You’ve got to box clever on it, and you’ve got to do it within the system. And certainly some of the celebrity economists who think you can just do it by clicking your fingers and shouting and roaring and screaming. They don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Breaking bank debt link

Fianna Fail’s Dublin candidate Mary Fitzpatrick said that her priority is to break the link between the sovereign and bank debt incurred during the financial crisis.

She said that breaking the link, which costs the State between €1.5 billion and €2 billion a year, “would be an immediate economic stimulus to the country – it would have a transformative effect.”

Commenting on the importance of the current elections to Fianna Fail, Fitzpatrick said:

“We need to not only increase our seats in every local authority, but I need to win this seat. We need to win this seat. Since 2004 we haven’t held a seat in Dublin, and it’s critically important.”

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About the author:

Jack Horgan-Jones

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