Republican News · Thursday 31 August 2000

[An Phoblacht]

McAleese an `EU propagandist'

President Mary McAleese came under strong criticism at the Desmond Greaves Summer School in Dublin last weekend for her active support for EU propaganda campaigns in Eastern Europe. Speaking at the Twelfth Desmond Greaves Summer School in the Irish Labour History Museum in Beggars Bush, Green MEP Patricia McKenna said that she was extremely disappointed at the President's support for the crude and unchallenged EU propaganda campaigns taking place in Eastern Europe at EU taxpayers' expense.

McKenna said: ``President McAleese has become a propagandist for the EU in Eastern Europe and over the past two years she has on several official visits there lauded Ireland's Celtic Tiger economy as proof of how well small States can do in the EU.

``Mary McAleese's acceptance of this simplistic and inaccurate explanation of Ireland's current economic boom is extraordinary, considering her own political past and active participation in Ireland's -critical movement.

``Our President's support for these crude campaigns is grossly unfair to the peoples of Eastern Europe who are being told that if they join the EU they too can have a boom like Ireland's,'' said McKenna.

In 1987, Mary McAleese broke ranks with Fianna Fail when the then Taoiseach Charles Haughey decided to abandon his pre-election promises and support Ireland's ratification of the Single European Act. McAleese was one of the leading figures in the No campaign then.

McKenna, who campaigned alongside Mary McAleese against the Single European Act in the 1987 referendum, said she was extremely disappointed that McAleese had abandoned her political principles so quickly after being elected president.

She appealed to President McAleese to reconsider her support for these EU campaigns, which McKenna said were ``providing a distorted and one-sided picture to the people of Eastern Europe and denying them the opportunity to also consider the drawbacks of EU membership''.

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