Following a meeting earlier this week between French president Nicolas Sarkosy and opponents of the Lisbon Treaty, Former Green MEP and chairperson of the People's Movement, Patricia McKenna, and Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams issued the following statements:
Patricia McKenna, The People's Movement:
"IT IS clear from today's (Monday 21 July) meeting that president Sarkozy has his mind made up regarding the Lisbon Treaty and the need for Ireland to vote again. When those on the No side stated at today's meeting, that the treaty was dead and we the Irish people could not be asked to vote again, the French President response was 'There is nothing extraordinary about saying you should vote again - you did it with Nice and Danes did it also'.
"Today's meeting gave us a clear insight into the state of denial that exists within the minds of the EU political elite. I found it quite astounding that president Sarkozy, who has openly admitted he will not allow his own people a vote on Lisbon because they would vote against, argue, in defence of a second Irish vote, that 'It is only in extreme situations that you avoid votes'. That is some statement from a man who is afraid to consult his own people. Clearly he considers the French situation an 'extreme situation'.
"It is time for our taoiseach Brian Cowen to instil a sense of reality into the minds of EU leaders. He must go and tell them that the decision of the Irish people is final and has to be respected. That he will not be dictated to by politician who are afraid to consult with their own people. Brian Cowen is elected to represent the views of the Irish people not the views of EU heads of state. So far he has failed in his duty and today's French embassy debacle is a direct consequences of this failure."
Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein:
"A NUMBER of key issues were touched on during the meeting. I noted to the EU president that the reasons behind the No vote were not as complex as he and others have suggested. The Irish electorate were deeply concerned with issues such as democracy, Ireland's loss of power within the EU, neutrality and militarisation, workers rights and public services. Indeed these same concerns are shared by many across the European Union.
"I told Mr. Sarkozy that there can be no re running of the Lisbon Treaty. The Irish people have rejected the Treaty by a clear majority and by the EU's own rules it cannot proceed without the ratification of all member states. The Lisbon Treaty is finished therefore negotiations for a new Treaty must begin.
"Sinn Féin had sought a one to meeting with president Sarkozy during his visit to outline in detail our proposals following the Irish people's rejection of the Treaty. Whilst we were not afforded the opportunity to do so on this occasion we will continue to pursue our request. During the meeting I presented to the EU President Sinn Féin's A Better Deal is Possible document which outlines in details our proposals of what a new Treaty deal must contain.
"I concluded by noting the legitimacy of the EU project will come into question unless the views expressed by the Irish people and shared by many throughout the union are listened to and acted upon."
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