Written by Eamon Ó Cuív Wednesday, 09 November 2011 00:00
Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader Éamon Ó Cuív has called on the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte to clarify once and for all his own position on the part-sale of the ESB.
Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Deputy Ó Cuív accused Minister Rabbitte of facing in two directions at the same time on this issue.
“Minister Rabbitte has repeatedly contradicted himself when referring to the Government’s plans on the privatisation of the ESB,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.
“On the one hand he has guaranteed that there would be no fire sale of State assets, and that the sale of State shares in the ESB would not happen in the near future. On the other hand, he is now saying that a group has been mandated by the Government to report back by the end of this month as the best approach to sell the State’s stake in the ESB. He went on to say that he envisaged the sale to be progressed throughout 2012.
“Such a short time scale is indeed a fire-sale. This has always been an ideological decision by Fine Gael, so it seems to be Fine Gael’s way rather than Labour’s way in this instance. I am urging Minister Rabbitte to stand up and outline his own personal views on this. If they are as I suspect they may be, he must stand firm and do the right thing. If he gives in to Fine Gael now, he will always be remembered as the Minister who betrayed the principle of his party and sold the family silver for short term expediency.
“Fianna Fáil in Government had made a firm decision that the power lines were not for sale in part or in whole, as they are an important strategic asset. Minister Rabbitte will get widespread support in the Dáil if he follows this position.”