Statement by the Communist Party of Ireland
26 March 2017
The opinion expressed by the EU commissioner for the environment, Karmenu Vella, that the proposal by Fianna Fáil to impose fines on those wasting water would be insufficient to comply with EU law, and that it would not be in line with the EU Water Framework Directive, is a direct challenge to the sovereignty and democracy of this state.
That is all it is: an opinion, with no legal standing, which no doubt Fine Gael will try to hide behind.
The Irish people have already given their opinion in relation to water charges and the ownership of water. Hundreds of thousands around the country have marched, blocked the installing of water meters, refused to pay, and gave their vote to a majority of members of the current Dáil who have pledged to oppose water charges and to put public ownership of water in the Constitution of Ireland.
The Communist Party of Ireland for a very long time was a lone voice, consistently drawing attention to the dangers posed to the democracy and sovereignty of this state by the European Union. The Irish establishment has only exercised sovereignty when it was in the interests of the Irish elite, or in the interests of transnational corporations, such as Google, or of the European Union. They willingly took responsibility for the odious bank debt, they took control of all the liabilities of reckless banking and property speculators, as it suited their class interest and rule here, in conjunction with the European Union.
NAMA has been used once again to enrich the Golden Circle, while the number of those who need housing grows and grows.
The working people of Ireland require an honest and principled position of defence of Irish sovereignty and democracy against the EU.
We need to make the Right2Water protest on 8 April as big as possible. Working people must make their voice heard in the corridors of power, in both Dáil Éireann and Brussels. The will of the people must be sovereign, and our demands, as expressed both in the streets and in the ballot box, must be respected and implemented.
If we leave the future of water in the committee rooms and corridors of Dáil Éireann, the Irish establishment, as they have always done, will buckle to the demands and priorities of the European Union.