Yes side winning debate - Gilmore


Labour leader Eamon Gilmore today claimed the Yes side was winning the debate over the Lisbon treaty referendum.

"I don't accept we're losing, I think we're winning, and I think this is the big difference from this referendum and the one that took place over a year ago," he said.

"I think there is a much greater understanding of what Lisbon is about, I think there is a much greater understanding of its importance to Ireland, that it is about restoring this country's international reputation.

"It is about getting Europe into a situation where it can take decisions more efficiently and more democratically . . . and, thirdly, that there are provisions in this treaty which are of benefit to people," he said on RTÉ radio.

"This treaty does balance back in favour of people some of the provisions in the European Union; it adds to the number of rights that people have, including rights for working people."

Questioned on the stance of United, the State's second-biggest union, in coming out against Lisbon, he noted that Siptu, the largest union, was in favour of the treaty.

"Unite is wrong. People who argues Lisbon is bad for workers are simply wrong. Some of these posters . . . saying the minimum wage will be cut to €1.84, that is a lie. The European Union has no say, one way or the other, in what the level of minimum wage is going to be in this country," the Labour leader said.

"The Lisbon treaty does improve the rights of workers . . . and it will write those into the European treaties. That is of benefit to working people, and those who argue that the treaty is somehow weakening workers' rights are misleading workers," the Labour leader said on RTÉ's This Week.

"They're putting their jobs at risk, they're putting investment in this country at risk, and they are simply not telling the truth about the provisions that are in the treaty that are of advantage to working people."