“I can tell you all the things they’re against”

Both the Irish Examiner and the Irish Times note the comments of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in an interview yesterday. As the IE reports, when asked whether he saw any circumstances in which Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin would form a coalition, he replied firmly: “No, I don’t.”The Irish Times report the Fianna Fáil leader’s comments here

Mr Ahern said he believed Sinn Féin was on the way towards embracing totally peaceful means. But their economic policy was “the length and breadth of the country apart” from Fianna Fáil’s.

“I do hope that Sinn Féin finish the transformation to totally peaceful means,” Mr Ahern told Today FM’s Sunday Supplement programme. “I think they are on the road to doing that,” he added.

“I haven’t got a clue what their economic policy is, Éire Nua I think was the last one they wrote and that is a long time ago. But they are against inward investment and they are against multi-nationals.”

Additionally, from the Irish Examiner report –

In an address to Ógra Fianna Fáil on Saturday, Mr Ahern had said by the time the Government reached the end of its five-year term in 2007, he wanted “three enduring legacies” to remain: “lasting peace in Northern Ireland, irreversible economic and social progress, and honest and open politics in 21st-century Ireland.”

In an interview with the Today FM radio station yesterday, he indicated Sinn Féin had some way to go on the first and third of those ideals, and an even longer way on the second.

He said SF had opposed the Government on major European issues, including the Nice Treaty. But while he at least knew where SF stood on Europe, “I haven’t got a clue what their economic policy is. They are kind of against inward investment, they are against multi-nationals, and I can tell you all the things they’re against; I’m sure I’ll find out some day what they’re for.”

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