Shattered EU: Irish politicians panic as Dublin gives more than EU budget receives | World | News


Meanwhile, Sinn Fein accused recently installed Taoiseach and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin of failing to protect the country’s farmers, arguing the deal called for a 10% cut in the amount they would receive. in accordance with the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). EU leaders signed the deal, a £ 677 billion (€ 750 billion) package to protect the EU economy from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, in the early hours yesterday morning after a four-day European Council meeting in Brussels.

The four so-called frugal countries (the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Denmark) forced concessions at the summit, with the proportion of the overall figure made up of non-repayable grants dropping from 450 billion pounds (500 billion euros) to 350 billion pounds (€ 390 billion).Critics remain concerned that the money will be used to pay for high levels of public spending in the south of the bloc, where Italy and Spain have been hit hardest by COVID-19.

Such fears have also resurfaced in Ireland, with independent TD Mattie McGrath saying his country “will become the fifth net contributor to the fund behind Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden”.

Micheal Martin praised the deal – but others are less convinced (Image: GETTY)

Mary Lou McDonald

Mary Lou McDonald, chef of Sinn Fein (Image: GETTY)

It is worrying that more attention has been paid to getting a deal for Europe rather than getting a deal for Ireland.

Mattie McGrath

Speaking to the Irish legislature, the Dail, he said: “While this may be a good deal for Europe in terms of solidarity and for the European economy, questions need to be asked about the growing burden and the Ireland’s debt level.

“It is worrying that more attention has been paid to getting a deal for Europe rather than ensuring we get a good deal for Ireland.

“While a strong European economy will be good for Ireland, we need to make sure that the burden placed on us is not too heavy, and that we will not be left behind, and we need urgent clarity on this subject. ”

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Irish farmers

The deal will affect Irish farmers, Sinn Fein warned (Image: GETTY)

There are also specific concerns about plans to reduce the size of the CAP fund following the departure of the UK, a net contributor of £ 9bn in 2017, from the EU, the leader of Sinn Fein. Mary Lou McDonald and Monaghan TD, Matt Carthy, both very critical Mr. Martin.

Mr Carthy told RTE: “We need to reduce turnover and get to the heart of the transaction.

Referring to the changes in the CAP, he said: “It’s really dangerous, there is a lot to worry about.

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Mattie McGrath

TD Independent Mattie McGrath (Image: PA)

Mark Rutte

Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, one of the “four frugal” (Image: GETTY)

“We need to know how much we are investing and we still don’t know what we are getting out of it. ”

Ray Bassett, a prominent Irish Eurosceptic and former Irish Ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, was also skeptical.

He told earlier this week: “I just cannot understand why an Irish government would support the thrust of the stimulus package.

EU budget factions

EU budget factions, showing the divide between north and south (Image: Express)

“Ireland is in the same position as the four thrifty countries that opposed the plan (Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Austria), it will receive very little of the new funds available but, as a large net contributor to the EU budget, see significant sums extracted from the Irish taxpayer to service this new debt. ”

Speaking after the announcement of a deal yesterday, Mr Martin himself said it was a strong deal that includes a substantial and meaningful package.

He added: “I welcome what is a very substantial and significant package of measures – 1.8 trillion, which I believe will go a long way in restarting and relaunching the economic recovery within the European Union.

Angela Merkel Ursula von der Leyen

Angela Merkel and Ursula von der Leyen (Image: GETTY)

“Negotiating this package has been a very difficult number of days, but it has been worth it and the solidarity shown through this summit is something that I think will be very useful for Europe in the future.

“The challenge of COVID-19 is unique – its impact on our economic, social and political life is very severe and it has required a response of this magnitude and magnitude.

“Overall this is a strong package and from an Irish and European perspective we welcome its broad and comprehensive scale, which I believe will do a lot to help Europe address challenges of COVID-19. “


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