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Gerry Adams wishes SYRIZA leader ‘good luck’ in Greek election; Ireland's stake in a SYRIZA win

Click HERE for more on SYRIZA and the election in Greece.

January 22, 2015 -- Cairde SinnFéin Australia, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has spoken by phone with Alexis Tsipras, leader of the SYRIZA party in Greece. Speaking after their conversation, Adams said he had wished Tsipras and SYRIZA well in the Greek general election on January 25.

Adams said: “I spoke this morning with Alexis Tsipras, leader of SYRIZA. I expressed Sinn Fein’s solidarity with the Greek people as they struggle against the disastrous consequences of the austerity policies of the Greek government, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

“On my own behalf and that of Sinn Féin I extended good luck and best wishes to SYRIZA in Sunday’s general election in Greece and expressed our full support for a European debt conference.

“The austerity policies of Ireland's Fine Gael/Labour Party government and its predecessors have inflicted widespread damage on Irish society and hardship on our citizens.

“A debt conference opens up the real prospect of debt being significantly reduced for a number of states, including Greece and Ireland. In this state that would free up more money for economic stimulus and funding for vital public services, including health.

“I have called on the Taoiseach [prime minister] to support this call, which is so clearly in the interests of Irish citizens. Yesterday, despite the Tanaiste’s [deputy prime minister] apparent support for this initiative, he bluntly rejected that call. This is another bad decision by a bad government.

“Irish citizens should not have to wait for a Greek election for an Irish government to stand up for their interests in the European Union. Regardless of which government the Greek people elect, our government needs to put a debt conference on the agenda of the EU.”

Success for SYRIZA in Greece could see Ireland’s debt bill cut in half – Carthy

 

January 23, 2015 -- Sinn Féin -- Speaking today in advance of the Greek elections on January 25, Sinn Féin Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Midlands North West Constituency Matt Carthy stated that victory for left-wing party SYRIZA could improve Ireland’s chance of obtaining a better debt deal from the European Uunion.

“The rising popularity of SYRIZA has sent reverberations through the powerful and elite of Europe. SYRIZA, which looks set to achieve at least 30% of the vote and possibly lead a new government, has fought the campaign with obtaining a better deal on Greek debt as one of its key policy platforms.

“For many, the Greek elections are a referendum on the austerity policies implemented across Europe since the onset of the economic crisis. With few signs of recovery six years after the crash, it is anticipated that support for left parties will increase across Europe as political battle lines are drawn on the approach to economic issues.

“If SYRIZA is victorious it is anticipated that it will use its mandate to put pressure on EU leaders to hold a European Debt Conference, similar to that of the London Conference in 1953, which saw the write down of half of the debt of post-war Germany and proved to be one of the essential cornerstones of Germany’s now thriving economy.

“If implemented, SYRIZA’s proposals would see the write off of €228 billion of Greece’s €319 billion debt and see repayments stretched out over 58 years. A similar deal for Ireland would cut our debt bill in half, from €203 billion to €82 billion with repayments over 40 years.

“Political leaders, by and large, have unleashed the “fear factor”, hinting at a possible Greek exit from the eurozone and market contagion in an effort to nudge SYRIZA supporters back into line.

“Our own Taoiseach [prime minister], rather than seizing the opportunity and momentum rising across Europe, true to form, meekly toed the line in Davos this week when he rejected calls for a European Debt Conference and aligned himself with the most conservative elements of the European establishment.

“For many Irish citizens, it is possible that the election in Greece this weekend could have more positive bearing in the economic future of Ireland than the so-called 'Democratic Revolution' of 2011, which saw Fine Gael and the Labour Party enter government here on the back of a swathe of broken promises.”

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Adams sees left-wing coalition, backs debt conference

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Irish Republican News · January 24, 2015

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has said he can’t see his party sharing power with either of the two main right-wing parties, Fine Gael or Fianna Fail, after the next 26-County general election -- but that Sinn Fein wants to be in government.

In polls, Sinn Fein is the first or second largest in the 26 Counties, neck-and-neck with Fine Gael, and possibilities for the formation of the next government have become the subject of intense media speculation. Fine Gael’s Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney drew criticism from colleagues for his suggestion that Fine Gael and Fianna Fail could share power after the next election, even though that outcome is now considered the most likely result by bookmakers.

Mr Adams said the removal of water charges and property taxes were red line issues for any potential deal for his party.

But said he had not considered being Taoiseach after the next election. “I haven’t given it any thought ..if that opportunity arises, we will look at that.”

Speaking on Irish state radio, Mr Adams heavily criticised the government’s record in dealing with issues to do with the North. He said it was the “worst government” to stand up to the British as co-signatories to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The Sinn Fein leader said: “as someone who has dealt with every Irish government since Charlie Haughey’s time, including another Fine Gael government, this administration led by Mr Kenny is the most deficient, inefficient and incompetent in dealing with the north”.

Mr Adams specifically accused the Taoiseach of being ‘untruthful’ in his claim that ‘Martin McGuinness was prepared to accept a lesser deal’ in recent negotiations in the North.

Sinn Fein’s political opponents are increasingly pointing to contradictions in the party’s economic policies north of the border. An austerity budget reluctantly agreed with the DUP under pressure from the British government is set to axe 20,000 jobs from the public sector workforce and bring deep cuts to social welfare and other public programs.

But Mr Adams accused the Dublin government of only endorsing the British austerity agenda in the Stormont House talks. He also said the Taoiseach had refused to negotiate in any serious way at an international level in the best interests of the Irish people.

DEALING WITH DEBT

He was speaking after Kenny told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that ongoing “political stability” was required to ensure that the 26-County state’s “fragile” and “incomplete” emergence from the post-Celtic Tiger economic crisis could continue.

The Taoiseach, who joined 2,500 political, social and economic leaders from around the world at the event, said: “We need another three to five years of steady growth and of political stability, negotiating with our European colleagues, so that the people of our country actually feel the benefit of a recovery.”

Mr Adams said that Kenny’s coalition administration had already inflicted widespread hardship on Irish citizens and damage to society.

“Latest CSO statistics indicate that the number of children in poverty has risen to 140,000 and that the government will miss anti-poverty targets, with more than a third of young people in the State experiencing enforced deprivation

He blasted the Taoiseach for advising European leaders to press on with the austerity agenda and ignore calls for a conference to deal with European debt.

“The Taoiseach dismisses these democratic demands as ‘populism’,” he said.

“Mr Kenny’s remarks make it very clear that he is ideologically wedded to austerity and has no interest in seeking a better deal for Irish citizens.”

Mr Adams also said he had spoken by phone with Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Syriza party, and wished well in Sunday’s Greek General Election. He said he had also expressed Sinn Fein’s full support for Syriza’s call for a European Debt conference.

“A debt conference opens up the real prospect of debt being significantly reduced for a number of States, including Greece and Ireland.

“In this State that would free up more money for economic stimulus and funding for vital public services, including health.

“Irish citizens should not have to wait for a Greek election for an Irish Government to stand up for their interests in the European Union. Regardless of which government the Greek people elect, our Government needs to put a debt conference on the agenda of the EU.”

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