Thursday, 11 December 2008
Next year’s European elections are set to become even more interesting now that Libertas, the key force behind the ‘No’ campaign in the recent referendum in the south on the Lisbon Treaty, is to stand as a political party in its own right.
The multi-millionaire Chairman of Libertas, Declan Ganley, may indicate that he himself will stand in the Ireland North-West constituency, which includes his Galway base as well as the Ulster border counties which lie in the Republic.
Speaking at a press Conference at Libertas’ newly opened European HQ in Brussels, Mr Ganley said that the new party would also field candidates across the EU on a “common pro-European platform of democracy, accountability and transparency.”
He added: “If people want a strong and healthy Europe that is democratic and answerable to them, they should vote for a Libertas candidate. If they do not want Europe to succeed or if they are happy with the current undemocratic practises, then they should vote for an incumbent party. For those who weren’t given a vote on the Lisbon Treaty, this will be their referendum.”
The launch of Libertas as a party coincides with news that the southern government plans to run a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Earlier this year, the treaty was rejected in a shock ‘No’ vote in the Republic and EU leaders have since been desperately scrambling to find a way of keeping the European project on track. The news that Libertas will be expanding its sphere of influence will not come as good news for those leaders.