No campaigners cry foul over Lisbon guide


Opponents of the Lisbon Treaty have accused the European Commission of deliberately interfering in the Lisbon Treaty referendum campaign in order to secure a Yes vote.

Former Green MEP and chairwoman of the People’s Movement, Patricia McKenna, said the inclusion of a 16-page guide in national newspapers today was both "an unlawful use of taxpayer's money" and a breach of Irish law.

The insert, entitled Your Guide to The Lisbon Treatyhas been produced on behalf of the European Commission's Publications Office. 

Referring to the McKenna judgement established by the Supreme Court in 1995, which ruled that taxpayers’ money can not be used to promote one side in a referendum, the People's Movement called on the head of the European Commission office in Dublin to make a statement on the matter.

“This interference by the EU Commission flies in the face of public assurances given last year by the head of their Dublin office, Martin Territt who said that they were not taking part in the campaign," said Ms McKenna.

" It is now incumbent on the EU Commission to justify the placing of these Pro-Lisbon supplements in all today's Sunday newspapers," she added.

The People's Movement said it will be seeking legal advice on the Commission's guide this week.

“The public deserve a full breakdown on all monies spent by the European Commission since last year’s referendum on pushing directly or indirectly the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland. This is public money and its expenditure should be open and transparent,” she added.

Ms McKenna called on Minister of the Environment John Gormley to investigate the matter without delay.