Martin attacks Lisbon wage posters

Tuesday 29 September 2009 22.26
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Micheál Martin - Misrepresentation claims
Micheál Martin - Misrepresentation claims
Lisbon - Minister wants poster withdrawn
Lisbon - Minister wants poster withdrawn

Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has said the claim made about the minimum wage by some Lisbon No campaigners is one of the biggest misrepresentations about the agreement.

Speaking earlier today, the Minister referred to a campaign poster which suggested the minimum wage would be reduced under the treaty.

Minister Martin said the Yes side is now answering lots of questions from voters about the issue.

He stressed that the Government with the Oireachtas determines the level of the minimum wage.

Mr Martin also invited those responsible for the poster to withdraw it.

Cóir said the comments revealed the minister's 'desperation and absolute inability to debate on the issue.'

'The Irish political parties have shown they care nothing about the protection of workers and the right to earn a living wage,' the organisation claimed.

No vote would lead to crisis - Gormley

Minister for Environment John Gormley has said that a No vote in the referendum would set Ireland back and would present Ireland with another crisis.

Speaking to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs, he said that would change the perception of Ireland radically and would have a negative impact.

Mr Gormley also rejected Sinn Féin suggestions that a Yes vote would mean increased military spending.

He said the Government had got guarantees that this was not the case. And he said that even if Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea wanted to spend money tomorrow, it would not be endorsed by the Cabinet.

Elsewhere, Taoiseach Brian Cowen has said the referendum is a defining moment in Ireland's destiny.

Mr Cowen said Ireland's future success would flow from reaffirming the commitment to the European Union.

The Taoiseach was speaking in Dublin this afternoon when he launched a new publication by Tom Garvin on the life of former Taoiseach Seán Lemass.

He said in order for Ireland to remain at Europe's heart and protect hard-won gains the Lisbon Treaty must be ratified.

Mr Cowen declined to answer questions from the media at this afternoon's event and was loudly heckled by two members of the public on his arrival.