Cowen Urges the Greens to Read the Treaty of Nice
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., said today: "The Green Party would have been better served if they had read the Treaty of Nice and the White Paper before launching their campaign. The Treaty is intimately connected with enlargement and to state otherwise is simply misleading. The consequences of a ‘no' vote would be disastrous for Ireland and would leave Europe even more divided than the Green Party is on the Treaty. Their fellow Green, the German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, said here last week that the Treaty of Nice was a step forward for Europe and "created the practical conditions for enlargement."
"The claim that we are departing from neutrality is untrue and overlooks the fact that we have negotiated a position where we will participate in peacekeeping tasks on a case by case basis, subject to a sovereign decision of the Government which will require the approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas under the Defence Acts. Those Acts state that we will not get involved in such operations unless there is a prior UN mandate. The people who are undermining our national interest by trying to get people to vote "No" to this treaty have opposed every step in the development of the Union since we joined in 1973.
"In 1992 the Greens said that the Maastricht Treaty would bring emigration and famine to Ireland. Nobody believed them then. They have no credibility today."