News | Sunday, 08 February 2009

Former AN official to contest for Libertas MEP

The former vice-president of the right-wing Azzjoni Nazzjonali, Mary Gauci, will be the Maltese candidate for pan-European grouping Libertas.
Libertas is funded and led by Irish millionaire Declan Ganely, who previously campaigned against the Libson Treaty in Ireland. His eurosceptic movement has already gathered candidates from the right-wing fringes of European politics.
Gauci resigned from her post as AN vice-president in August 2008 after receiving letters from the government informing her that her post in the civil service precluded her from holding posts in a political party.
Mary Gauci is a manager at the EU Paying Authority, where she was seconded there from the Ministry of Finance. Now she is expected to leave her Brussels-based post to contest for Libertas.
The Libertas lobby group was founded to advocate a “no” vote in the referendum that was part of the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon by Ireland. Declan Ganley was the group chairman. On 12 March 2008, Libertas launched a “no” campaign and stated that they expected to spend in the region of €1.5 million on the campaign. The campaign argued that membership of the European Union had been beneficial for Ireland, but that the Lisbon Treaty would end that process by lowering the country’s political clout in Brussels decision-making and increasing its low corporate taxes.
The referendum was held on 12 June 2008 and defeated by 53.4% to 46.6%, with a turnout of 53.1%.
Libertas has already enlisted eurosceptic and right-wing candidates from parties like France’s Mouvement pour la France, which campaigned for a No vote in the Lisbon referendum; the Popular Orthodox Rally, a Greek right-wing nationalist political party accused of anti-Semitism and anti-gay comments; the anti-EU party True Finns, from Finland; the Bulgarian National Union Attack, a xenophobic movement; and the Estonian Reform Party.

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