Euroepan Transport Commissioner Interfering in Lisbon Campaign

The intervention of the European Commission into the debate on Lisbon in Ireland has become yet more brazen. The sight of Antonio Tanjani on a whistle-stop tour of the country with Michael O’Leary campaigning for a Yes vote has removed any remaining shred of impartiality. That the European Commission would interfere in the debate in Ireland in this manner is a disgrace. It is a ploy aimed at increasing the pressure on the Irish people to vote Yes.

This tour seriously compromises Tanjani’s position as European Commissioner for Transport. Ryanair is one of the biggest airlines in Europe. It has already and may come into further conflict with the European Commission. It puts the Commissioner for Transport in an utterly compromised position to have travelled around Ireland in a Ryanair plane, campaigning alongside Michael O’Leary.

I have written a letter to the President of the European Commission, Mr. Barroso, demanding that Tanjani be dismissed from his position on the grounds of his position being so compromised.

Those in the leadership of the trade union movement who are calling for a Yes vote should ask themselves why Mr. O’Leary is pumping hundreds of thousands of euro into campaigning for a Yes vote. It is certainly not because he believes that Lisbon will improve workers’ rights. It is because the anti-worker agenda which Mr. O’Leary typifies lies at the heart of the Treaty.