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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ The Irish have not turned against the EU ]

The Irish have not turned against the EU

Sir,

In response to the comment by Phedon Nicolaides I would like to make the following points.

Ireland is one of the most pro-EU countries in the union. The arguments put by Nicolaides: the EU is ruled by bureaucrats; the EU is undemocratic; the EU is too secretive and works behind closed doors; if you don’t know, say no, etc. are not the reasons us Irish voted ‘no’ to Lisbon.

None of these arguments were even mentioned in the run up to the Lisbon Treaty Referendum. Badly informed comments and observations by foreign observers are extremely unhelpful at this stage. We are tired of being told the reasons (in their opinion) why we voted no and perhaps it might be more fruitful if they asked us.

I can only give you the reasons why I voted NO.

Firstly I would like to say it would be completely irresponsible of me to vote on any treaty without fully knowing its contents and understanding it completely. The Treaty compromises of hundreds of pages of legal language, amending the contents of several existing EU treaties.

Many of the important issues in the treaty are hidden in incomprehensive amendments, declarations and annexes. Many of the advocates of the treaty including our Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Mr Brian Cowen and our EU Commissioner Mr Charlie McCreavy publicly stated that they had not read the text of the treaty.

The Lisbon Treaty as the new Constitution for Europe would entail the loss of national sovereignty of each EU state including Ireland. Article 48 of the Treaty enables changes to be made to it after ratification without the constitutional requirement for another referendum in Ireland.

It would effectively give us an EU constitution which would make Bunreacht nah Eireann (the Irish Constitution) null and void in areas of EU law. It would also militarise the EU further, requiring member states “to progressively improve their military capabilities” and to go to the defence of their neighbours in the event of war. This would make a mockery of our Irish neutrality and any pretence of an independent Irish foreign policy.

Smaller EU countries like Ireland will have very little voters influence on elected EU bodies. The Lisbon Treaty proposes to reduce the number of Commissioners to two thirds of the number of member states.

This would mean that for example on a rotating basis, Ireland would have no seat for five years out of every 15 in the body that has the monopoly on initiating legislation. This would clearly affect a small country like Ireland to a far greater extent than, for example, Germany with a greater population, which is having its voting weight doubled under the Treaty.

Article 113 of the Lisbon Treaty specifically inserts a new obligation on the European Council to act to avoid “distortion of competition” in respect of indirect taxes. The proposals for a common consolidated tax base and the commitment of the French government to pursue it, combined with a weakening of Ireland’s voice in Europe through the loss of a permanent Commissioner and halving of its voting weight, represent a clear and present danger to our tax competitiveness.

Phedon Nicolaides is correct. The other member states cannot ignore the outcome of the Lisbon Treaty Referendum in Ireland. The Lisbon Treaty in its present form will have to be abandoned or renegotiated.

Now is a time for reflection. Perhaps there is a lesson here for Cypriot public representatives who are supposed to be ratifying the Treaty on July 3, 2008. Dare I ask how many of them, if any, have read it?

Mary Pender,
Southern Ireland


(Source: Cyprus Mail)



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