McKenna threatens legal action


Anti-Lisbon campaigner Patricia McKenna has threatened the European Commission with legal action over what she claims is a "propaganda campaign" over the Lisbon Treaty.

The dispute centres around a 16-page advertising supplement the Commission distributed with yesterday's newspapers. Solicitors for the former MEP have written to the European Commission warning it faces an injuction over the supplement, which Ms McKenna said was in support of the treaty.

Ms McKenna, who is chairwoman of the People’s Movement, said Irish law prohibited the use of public money to promote one side in a referendum campaign. The Commission had access to significant resources, she said, a percentage of which was contributed by Irish taxpayers and was therefore public funds.

She accused the Commission of "bombarding the public with propaganda at the public's expense" and said it was "clearly a serious abuse of public funds".

"They've pulled a fast one at the last minute when they feel nothing can be done," she said. "It's difficult to counteract it."

Ms McKenna said the funding for such must stop, or she would take legal action.

A spokeswoman for the Commission previously said it had a duty to inform people about the treaty, and that the information had been distributed in an understandable form.