Sinn Féin at odds with yes side over access to ESM

Sinn Féin and the yes side battled it out over whether Ireland would be able to access the EU’s future bailout fund if voters reject the fiscal compact referendum.

The disagreement came as an egg was thrown at the Taoiseach’s car while he visited voters in Donegal.

Sinn Féin argues Ireland will still be able to access the fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

Former European Parliament president Pat Cox accused the party of using selective quotation on the treaty.

Lucinda Creighton, the European affairs minister, went further and accused Sinn Féin of lying to voters.

Sinn Féin party campaign director Eoin Ó Broin said the terms of the ESM state that funding will be available to a country in order to safeguard the financial stability of the eurozone.

Mr Cox said: “The [ESM] makes it absolutely clear in the plainest language that in the middle of 2013 that any state that has not ratified the treaty we’re being asked to ratify will be excluded from those processes.”

The independent referendum commission has stated that Ireland will not have access to the ESM if the treaty is rejected.

The continued disagreement came as no campaigner and businessman Declan Ganley was again asked to clarify his role in a Swiss firm.

Fine Gael TD Paschal Donohue asked on Sunday whether there was a conflict of interest in Mr Ganley’s role in St Columbanus AG, which says it provides “a safe haven for assets in the midst of the continuing global financial crisis”.

Libertas, the group with which Mr Ganley campaigns, denied that his Swiss firm was targeting people in Ireland. “St Columbanus AG does not take deposits and it does not advertise any services whatsoever in Ireland. It is a Swiss company operating in Switzerland with no relevance to this debate.”

Meanwhile, Enda Kenny had eggs thrown at him when he visited a school in Co Donegal.

The Taoiseach was met by a group of more than 60 anti-austerity protesters while visiting Loreto Community College in Milford.

One of the eggs struck Mr Kenny’s car as he arrived at the school while another was thrown at his car but missed as he left an hour later.


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