Irish Republican News · July 23, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
‘Minister for Inequality’ heads for Brussels

Bertie Ahern has begun a reshuffle of his government by naming unpopular Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy as Dublin’s next European Union commissioner.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said he was delighted Mr McCreevy had accepted his nomination.

“Charlie McCreevy has been an outstanding Minister for Finance and has made a huge, personal contribution to Ireland’s economic and social development over recent years.”

Mr McCreevy, who had earlier insisted that he did not want to leave for Europe, will continue as Finance Minister until the Cabinet reshuffle in the Autumn.

Mr McCreevy has served as Finance Minister since 1997. Reports have shown that his tenure saw increased poverty and inequality despite financial growth for the economy as a whole.

His cutbacks in the wake of the 2002 general election were seen as a significant factor in Fianna Fail’s disastrous performance at last month’s local elections.

The Kildare man had recently come under heavy pressure by Fianna Fail backbenchers to resign as Finance Minister.

Foreign Affairs Minister Brian Cowan is likely to succeed Mr McCreevy as Finance Minister and implement a spend-and-spend policy in advance of the next general election.

Socialists in Brussels did not welcome the appointment or McCreevy’s right-wing economic policies.

Labour MEP Proinsias de Rossa said: “He believes in incentivising the wealthy and rich by giving them more wealth, more profits and more tax incentives and incentivising the poor by giving them a kick in the arse.”

Sinn Féin Dail leader Caoimhghin O Caolain has said that the departure of Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy from the Cabinet and the Taoiseach’s reshuffle in September “will only be a game of musicial chairs unless Government policy changes”.

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© 2004 Irish Republican News