Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Europe

Irish foreign minister confident of second referendum win

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-19

Ireland's foreign minister has said he is confident the government will win a second referendum on the European Union's Lisbon treaty after Ireland won legal guarantees from its EU partners on issues ranging from military neutrality to abortion.

REUTERS - Ireland's foreign minister is confident, but not complacent, the government will win a second referendum on the European Union's Lisbon treaty and says it has learned from its mistakes in last year's unsuccessful campaign.

 

Ireland won legal guarantees from its EU partners in Brussels on Friday on issues ranging from military neutrality to abortion, enabling Dublin to announce a second plebiscite in October on the treaty aimed at making the EU more effective.

 

Irish voters plunged the 27-nation bloc into crisis when they rejected the treaty in a referendum last June. Despite the backing of the two main opposition parties, the government was accused of failing to allay voters' concerns and not tackling opponents to the treaty head-on.

 

"We are going to go at this campaign in a very intensive way. We have learned from the failure of last year," Foreign Minister Micheal Martin told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

 

"The campaign will be better organised, better coordinated. We are going to have a more energetic campaign. We have already engaged with civil society, we have engaged with those who opposed the treaty last time and taken into account their concerns with these assurances."

 
 
 
“Up to the people”
 

Opinion polls suggest the Lisbon treaty now has the support of a majority of Irish voters who see the benefits of EU membership to help combat the effects of the worst economic downturn in nearly 80 years.

 

Leading Irish bookmaker Paddy Power said it had recorded "significant" levels of betting from punters across Europe following Friday's deal in Brussels, sending odds on a Yes vote firming from 4-5 to 1-6 with a No vote plummeting to 7-2.

 

"We are confident of winning this, but we are by no way complacent and there is still a lot of work to be done," Martin said.

 

"We don't take the opinion polls as a benchmark. This is above political parties, it is now up to the people of Ireland to decide what is best for the country for generations to come."

 

The chances of a Yes vote were boosted earlier this month with the failure of anti-Lisbon group Libertas to make any impact in European elections, forcing their leader Declan Ganley to withdraw from politics.

 

Sinn Fein, the only elected political party to oppose the treaty, lost its only European Parliament seat in Dublin, severely damaging its mandate for a No vote.

 

"What I will say to those who voted No last time is that this has been a transparent and democratic process in which we took on board what the people said and we went back to Brussels and got the assurances that these voters wanted," Martin said.

 

The accord struck on Friday gives the guarantees the status of a treaty protocol -- an Irish demand -- but will not affect the ratification of the reforms in other EU countries.

 

Date created : 2009-06-19

COMMENT(S)