The Workers’ Party have called for the state funding of the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) to be stopped and accused the group of using public funds to campaign for a Yes vote in the Fiscal Treaty campaign.
Cork East Workers Party spokesman John Jefferies said that the IIEA is in receipt of up to €1 million in public funding every year under the pretext of being an independent think-tank. As a registered charity the IIEA also enjoys tax-free status. It has a “Committee of Honour” which includes former Taoisigh Brian Cowen and John Bruton and which until a few weeks ago also included Bertie Ahern, Albert Reynolds and Padraig Flynn whose names were removed from the IIEA website after the publication of the Mahon Tribunal.
“It is quite clear”, said Mr. Jefferies, “that the IIEA is a ginger-group for the EU establishment in Ireland. Its leaders have been prominent on the Yes side in every referendum and despite being described as an independent think-tank in its own propaganda, the IIEA has been far from independent on this issue. The substantial state funding of this body must be withdrawn, not least because it represents a probable breach of the McKenna Judgement which bans the spending of taxpayer’s money to fund one side or another in a referendum campaign”.
Issued 30th April 2012