"To my mind the Lisbon Treaty offers the best preparation for Europe's future." - German Chancellor Angela Merkel
"The treaty will greatly simplify the voice and even the face of the EU for the rest of the world" - President of the Commission José Manuel Barroso
Read the Daily Rant: an outsider's view on the Irish referendum
Between November 2007 and today, the Yes camp has benefited from numerous visits of significant personalities from the EU political scene:
Commission President José Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Pöttering, Vice-President of the Commission Margot Wallström and European Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potočnik have all travelled to Ireland, praising the Lisbon Treaty and urging the Irish citizens to vote yes.
Though we thoroughly agree that everyone is entitled to their opinion and entitled to share it also, the problem is one of balance. In a fair referendum both sides of the argument are equal and are entitled to the same amount of exposure and funding.
After the second Nice Treaty referendum in Ireland the Referendum Commission was stripped of its role of providing legally neutral arguments from both sides of the debate. This is now left to those campaigning on either side. Contrary to popular belief the No side is underfunded. Even with what funding they have, as shown above one cannot pay for the publicity currently being given to the yes side.
The Yes camp is obviously benefiting from massive advertising, actually and completely financed by EU taxpayers, who are the same EU citizens who are not even being given their right to have a say on the Lisbon Treaty!
The cost of bringing these personalities over to Ireland and the amount of "advertising space" given over to their visits in newspapers is huge. In addition, the amount of power and propaganda wielded by these political heavyweights cannot even begin to be quantified and the cost calculated.
"That is why we needed the Lisbon Treaty (…) to make the EU more efficient, more transparent, more united on the world stage, more secure and, above all, more democratic" - Vice-President of the Commission Margot Wallström
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