by Democrat reporter
ANTI-LISBON Treaty campaigners claim that a statement made yesterday by European affairs minister Dick Roche is a clear indication that the government is intending to hold another referendum on the treaty rejected by Irish voters earlier this year.
Responding to Roche's suggestion that another referendum would be 'necessary', chairperson of the People's Movement, Patricia McKenna said:
"Minister Roche's comments that a second Lisbon referendum was needed has confirmed the public's fear that the government, despite claims that it would respect the result of the Lisbon referendum, intends to re-run the Lisbon vote when the time is right and an effective pro-treaty marketing strategy has been put in place".
"While the government claims it will make no decision on this matter until after its detailed analysis of the referendum defeat has been completed and considered, it is clear that it intends using the findings of this research to present to the public with the same rejected treaty dressed up as something new".
The words of the former French president, the arch Euro-federalis Valery Giscard D'Estaing, sprang to mind, McKenna insisted.
Referring to plans to bamboozle opposition to the Euro-federalist project, Giscard D'Estaing once revealed that "public opinion" would "be led to adopt, without knowing it" proposals that governments "dare not present to them directly."
Earlier proposals that had either attracted significant opposition or had been voted against in national referendums would be "contained within the text of a new treaty, but would be hidden and disguised in some way," he had suggested.
"Irish people must not allow our government treat us with such contempt our politicians must be respect their constitutional duty and obey the sovereign will of the voters." said McKenna.
McKenna called on the leaders of the Progressive Democrats and the Green Party to make a public statement on the matter and declare their position in relation to a second referendum.
"The people are fed up with politicians avoiding giving answers." she said. "It's time for openness and honesty in politics. Prior to the result of the referendum minister Roche claimed that there would be no second vote if we said 'No' but now in typical Fianna Fail fashion he is reneging on that position."
McKenna also raised concern about the publicly funded analysis of the referendum which she claimed was a 'secret survey'.
"The government is using taxpayers' money to mount an extensive confidential poll to 'clarify the reasons underlying the referendum result' but intend withholding the results from the public."
"Despite repeated calls, the government has refused to state if it will make the findings of this research public as soon as it is available," she said
" To withhold the findings of this research from the people who are paying for it is unjustifiable and implies the government intends using the information to circumvent the will of the people it's elected to serve.
"Both minister Gormley (FG) and minister Harney (Green Party) must make their position clear on this issue and state whether or not they will ensure that the public's democratic right to access to information they have paid for will be respected," McKenna concluded.
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