From Open Europe – The Irish Times reports that “Some parties’ MEPs had access to EU funds to support their campaigns” for the Lisbon Treaty. Figures from the Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland show that Fine Gael’s five MEPs spent 102,858 euros on print and outdoor advertising in June.
Other information also coming from Open Europe tells us that the EU Commission has access to 6.5 million euros in unaccounted-for cash for every day of the year. It would be most surprising if a significant proportion of this was not finding its way into Irish pockets in an attempt to secure the Lisbon Treaty ratification.
EU ‘promotinal’ funds are not measured in tens of thousands of euros, for heaven’s sake, but in millions, if not billions. The Fine Gael MEPs contribution to publicity costs was undoubtedly the merest tip of an iceberg, of which the crispness and clarity had oozed to slush years ago.
If slush was available before the June vote, one can only imagine the amounts now on offer to bring Ireland securely into the EU Lisbon-ratified camp. Irish politicians and media operators need only name their price.
PICTURE – Irish eyes are smiling. Ahern and Cowen shake hands. They thought Lisbon was a done deal.