The European Commission has offered a cash handout to help more than 2,000 redundant workers in Ireland, less than two weeks before the country votes on ratifying the Lisbon Treaty.
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso unveiled the aid on a visit to Limerick, where the workers were laid off. And he urged the Irish to vote yes. “How can we be respected and how can our partners deal with us on a constant basis when we don’t have a minimum of stability in some of our institutions?” he asked. “The Lisbon treaty is important for coherence for us to be respected.” The Commission has promised 14.8 million euros after the workers were made redundant at the Dell computer plant in Limerick. The job losses have hit the city hard. The state of what was once Europe’s so-called “Celtic Tiger” economy is a cornerstone of the government’s campaign to persuade the Irish people to vote ‘yes’ in the vote on October 2nd. The Lisbon Treaty is designed to overhaul the EU’s institutions; speed up the decision-making process and give Brussels a stronger voice in world affairs. Irish voters have already rejected it once. Once more will spell turmoil for the EU. The polls suggest this time, it will get through. But there is still a significant number of undecided voters.