Nice vote a ‘wake-up call’ says McCreevy


The Minister for Finance told the Dáil this afternoon that the recent rejection of the Nice Treaty was a "wake-up call" to the governments of all EU member states.

Mr McCreevy said policies which were "possibly" being pursued at EU level "in a number of areas" were against the wishes of the people of Europe.

But he told the Dáil today that the "most alarming" aspect of the ‘no' vote earlier this month was the low level of the turnout, which was 35 per cent.

Mr McCreevy said: "It has caused us some difficulties, it will cause us some difficulties in the future.

"But I think that it is a wake-up call for all of the democratic governments of Europe that what they are possibly pursuing in a number of areas is not in line with the wishes of their own peoples and that should be borne in mind by us all."

The opposition called on Mr McCreevy to defend recent controversial comments he made at the EU summit in Sweden describing the rejection of the treaty as a "remarkably healthy development".

He said today: "I think the sign of a very healthy democracy is when people decide to exercise their vote.

"The most alarming thing about the Nice Referendum was the low percentage of the turnout. That was more alarming than anything else."

The Taoiseach has expressed "profound disappointment" at the result but said it was not a vote against enlargement of the EU, which would still go ahead.

It has not been decided whether to hold a second ballot.