The European Parliament published its first results of its post-election Eurobarometer survey.
Asked if “taking everything into account, would you say that Ireland has on balance benefited or not from being a member of the EU?”, 89 per cent of Irish respondents said “yes” – 21 per cent more than the EU average.
A direct appeal to the President of Ireland Micheal D Higgins from German satirist MEP Martin Sonneborn, of parody party Die PARTEI (“Party for Labour, Rule of Law, Animal Protection, Promotion of Elites and Grassroot-Democratic Initiative”) – in relation to the Apple tax ruling.
From around 45 seconds, Mr Sonneborn said [in English]:
‘Dear Mr President of Ireland. If you still believe that Apple will create some jobs in Ireland, forget it. Apple only ever had one Jobs. But he is dead. He will not come back. So, please take my advice: take the money and run. 13 billion euro will buy you many, many iPhones. This will generate more tax income for Ireland. Then you can buy even more iPhones. It’s a win, win, win situation. Think it over with a good bottle of whiskey, sláinte.’ “
In addition, Mr Sonneborn said [translated from German]:
“The EU has changed. When I took up this job I wanted to fight for a core strong Europe. And we now find the numbers committed to that have gone down after Brexit and the current situation in Hungary, we now see other people being shown the door. A government which actually refuses to take the taxes from the Apple firm, for example, could actually give the impression that what we’re really talking about is a Europe of business and not of citizens.”
So, this actually happened in the European Parliament today. The Conservative bloc (which Fine Gael are part of) posted a press release, originally with a photo of a bloodied hand and empty cartridges (pictured above) with the headline: ‘Paris attacks: terrorists would gleefully vote Left’
Under it, they claimed,
“These left-wing groups are basically inviting terrorists to use loopholes in our safety and security legislation in order to perpetrate other terror attacks.“
I’m completely dumbfounded.
The press release, now online with a new image, can be read in full here.
[Fine Gael MEP Gay Mitchell with Taoiseach Enda Kenny outside the European election count at the RDS Dublin in 2009]
The European Parliament yesterday voted in favour of a report which calls on the EU to implement similar strategies already in place to combat discrimination against people based on sex, disability or ethnicity.
The resolution passed by 394 votes to 176 in the European Parliament, with 72 abstentions. Eleven of the 12 Irish MEPs voted in favour, while Fine Gael MEP Gay Mitchell abstained.