The following letter has been sent to the Irish daily Press by representatives of the "Union of the Working People", as it was requested by the comrades and friends of the Irish NO Campaign
We are trying these days to follow the developments of the referendum campaign through the “Irish Times”. We must confess that we usually lack the time to read foreign Press, although we realize that it is always very useful to be informed about what is going on outside our small everyday world. However, now we try to do so, because on the 2nd of October the Irish people are called to vote (again) on the Lisbon Treaty. And the outcome of the Irish referendum is of great interest to us all, despite the fact we live on the other side of our common continent.
As you most probably know, we Greeks (and the rest of Europe’s peoples, Irish excepted) have not been given the slightest chance to have our saying on this famous Lisbon Treaty. Thus, we are entitled to wonder: why the appointed officials of the European Commission and the rest of the EU institutions avoid so much to let their subjects (because that’s how they make us feel: subjects, not citizens) decide? The ratification of such important treaties through national Parliaments is all but democratic: we all know very well that there would be a resounding “yes” to the European Constitution in the case French and Dutch PMs would vote, instead of their peoples; and the same goes for the first Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Nevertheless, the fact that the European leaders never respect the results of the popular vote, whenever they make the mistake to allow it, is even more undemocratic.
So, we have not been given the right to vote on this Treaty, which will directly affect and worsen, in our humble opinion, our lives and the lives of our co-citizens and of the generations to come. However, we dare to take advantage of your kind hospitality in order to address the Irish public opinion, and make clear that we, too, are very much worried by the dangers that we all run through - should the “yes” be imposed upon the Irish people. We are very much concerned by the unfair, biased and undemocratic intervention of Mr Baroso and so many other leaders of the political and business world, all but disinterested, in the decision-making of a sovereign people.
We confess, however, that we are not disinterested either! We hope that the “no” vote will prevail in Ireland, because we do not want the big member states to have even more increased power in decision making; we do not want what ever is still left of our social rights to be further undermined; we do not want a European Army that will create even bigger problems and grief than those that people are actually facing; we do not want even more powerful “bodies”, “structures” and “institutions” that will decide on even more issues for us – without us. We do want the Irish people to vote “no”, in our names too!
1. Yiorgos Papaioannou, Union of the Working People, national coordinator
2. Nestoras Antoniou, ADEDY (National Confederation of Civil Servants), s. member of the General Council
3. Yiannis Savidis, Labour Center of Patras, member of the Administration
4. Yiorgos Troullinos, Technical Chamber of Greece, representative of Creta Regional Sector in the central administration
5. Eleni Sotiriou, Private Employees Union, Athens, member of the Council
6. Spiros Militsopoulos, Intracom Employees Federation, member of the Panhellenic Council
7. Tassos Yiakoumis, Physicians Association, Patras, member of the Regional Council
8. Dina Petala, Misko Workers’ Union, Patras, president
9. Spiros Vardas, Achaia Food Industry Workers Regional Federation, president
10. Stathis Katsoulas, Teachers Union, Western Attica Region, member of the Council
11. Aggeliki Chryssanthakopoulou, Accountants’ Association, Athens, member of the Board
12. Vassilis Hatzilabrou, Aghios Andreas Hospital Health Workers Union, Patras, member of the Administrative Council
13. Yiota Tzani, Insurance Companies’ Employees Union, Athens, member of the Council
14. Nikos Kyriakidis, Technical Workers Union, Thessaloniki, member of the Council
15. Viron Labrou, Secondary Education Professors Union, Kavala, member of the Regional Council
16. Grigoris Loussis, Courriers’ Assembly, Athens, member of the Coordination Committee
17. Efi Kavadia, Courriers Union, Patras, member of the Administrative Council
18. Kostas Tzoutzios, Teachers Union, Patras, member of the Council
19. Vassilis Gretsistas, KETHEA Union, Athens, member of the Council
20. Dimitra Dreki, Secondary Education Professors Union, Rethymno-Creta, secretary