11 May 2012

Pat Cox Delivers Plain English Explanation of Treaty in Lucan - Fitzgerald

Local Fine Gael Minister, Frances Fitzgerald, hosted a well-attended public meeting in Lucan last week as part of her information campaign in the lead-up to polling day on the EU Stability Treaty. The event heard from former MEP, former President of the European Parliament expert of all-things European, Pat Cox and prominent businessman David Gallagher, Managing Director of Pfizer Healthcare Ireland.

“It was great to see so many people interested enough in the Treaty to come along to the public meeting this week,” said Frances Fitzgerald who hosted the event.

“While there were diverging views among members of the audience, everyone there agreed that Pat Cox did a tremendous job of distilling the complexities of the Treaty into digestibles. We also heard from David Gallagher, who is a prominent member of the business community and Managing Director of Pfizer Ireland who employ four thousand people, many of whom work in Grangecastle. David gave the clear message that a yes vote for this Treaty will help create the conditions needed to grow our exports and attract multinational investment to our shores. It is important to encourage discussion and debate on this Treaty,” continued Fitzgerald.

At the event Pat Cox outlined the decisions and events throughout Europe and in Ireland which had culminated in a situation where this Treaty was necessary to adopt into Ireland’s Constitution. He stated that “on May 31st we will all be invited to be policy makers. Bunreacht na hEireann calls on us, in our collective wisdom, to weigh up our choices and make the best possible decision in the interests of our country. I believe a ‘yes’ vote is way forward as it guarantees us access to the European insurance fund. Uncertainty comes at a cost and Ireland cannot afford that.”

David Gallagher of Pfizer Healthcare Ireland stated in his address, “export growth is the only show in town at the moment and certainty and stability are needed to grow our existing export industry and to ensure future foreign direct investment. Greater stability and confidence brings with it greater opportunity.”

In response to remarks from the floor maintaining that this Treaty would not have changed anything were it enacted years ago, Pat Cox cited analysis complied by Seamus Coffey of UCC. In his research Seamus retrospectively applied the objectives of the EU Stability Treaty to the Irish economy and his results show that Ireland would have been waving red flags as far back as 2002.

“By supporting this treaty we would be putting an end to the excesses of domestic and international boom to bust cycles and sending a clear message of stability and fiscal responsibility internationally. We depend on this in order to attract multinationals to our shores and to forge trade links with countries including China," said Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

"This Treaty makes official what we are already doing – it gives us the opportunity to grow trade links and rebuild our international reputation. It is based on the common-sense approach that we must run budget surpluses in good times so we can run deficits in bad times. The progress we have made in the last year has resulted in investment by companies like Eli Lilly and Abbot Pharmaceuticals. We have seen these results here in our own area with investment by Microsoft, Pfizer and Google in Grange Castle Business Park. We depend on our international reputation in order to attract this level of investment which creates local jobs and spin off trade.

“I was delighted to host this positive event which I hope continues to spark public debated throughout Lucan,” concluded Fitzgerald.