Greens believed Labour would not go ahead with privatisation

Labour were not compelled by Troika deal to sell State assets, says Eamon Ryan

 Green Party leader  Eamon Ryan says  Labour was “completely fixated with privatisation” and had made a remarkable journey from its “Marxist and Maoist” principles. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan says Labour was “completely fixated with privatisation” and had made a remarkable journey from its “Marxist and Maoist” principles. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Wed, May 7, 2014, 01:00

The Green Party signed the troika agreement on the potential sale of State assets because it expected the Labour Party would not follow through with privatisation, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said.

Mr Ryan, who was a senior member of the last government, said he had anticipated Labour would win the 2011 general election and block the divestment of energy assets.

However, Labour was “completely fixated with privatisation” and had made a remarkable journey from its “Marxist and Maoist” principles, he said.

Labour was “playing the line” that it had been forced into selling energy assets and introducing water charges by the agreement signed with the troika by the Fianna Fáil- Green government, in which Mr Ryan was a minister.

The Green Party leader insisted that this was not the case.


No commitment
“In the troika agreement, there was an agreement that we would look at the option of divestment from energy assets, but there was no commitment to it, and we actually signed that on the understanding in our minds: ‘that’s ok, the Labour Party will be in government next time and they’re not going to do it.’”

Speaking at the publication of the party’s European election manifesto, Mr Ryan said he would not stand down from the leadership role if the party did badly in the local and European votes.

Mr Ryan is one of four Green candidates seeking European seats, along with Mark Dearey, Grace O’Sullivan and Ross Brown, who is running in Northern Ireland.

He said he would remain as party leader even if he or the other party candidates failed to get a seat.


Cohesive group
His party was a “single cohesive group” and was free from the “same manoeuvrings, same uncertainty, or the same fighting” of other parties. “We are just trying to get our party back,” he said.

The Green Party wants to work in Europe to create an economy that is built to last with sustainable jobs, he said at the election launch.

“The Green Party have a stimulus plan for Ireland and for Europe. We need major investment in housing, energy and public transport.

“The new jobs will come from investment in clean technologies, digital rights and using our natural resources wisely. No other party has this plan. The rules of the new economy will be crafted in Brussels.”