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Don't be scared to vote NO - Adams

Gerry Adams

Irish voters burdened by economic hardship should not be scared into backing the European fiscal treaty in next week's referendum, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has said.

He attacked the Irish Republic's coalition government claiming it had broken the promises that got it elected and was pursuing policies that fuelled mass unemployment and emigration.

Mr Adams said the government was trying to push people into voting `yes' in Thursday's poll to cover over its own failings, but he claimed the treaty entrenched austerity policies and he urged people to stand up for the country and vote no.

He used a televised address at Sinn Fein's ard fheis to tell delegates at the annual party conference that while Sinn Fein ministers in the Stormont administration were demanding greater fiscal powers from London, the Fine Gael/Labour government in Dublin was backing a treaty that gave power away to Europe.

"So don't be fooled," he said.

"Remember what Fine Gael and Labour said during the election. Remember all Fianna Fail's promises. Don't be fooled. Be wise. Join with the millions across Europe who are demanding an end to austerity.

"It is a good and patriotic and positive action to say No to a Treaty that is bad for you, bad for your family and community, bad for society and entirely without any social or economic merit. Next Thursday, vote No."

His comments came as three new opinion polls pointed to a 60/40 split in favour of the European fiscal treaty among Irish voters.

But the longest running set of data showed that as the campaign enters its final days, the support for the Yes side is in decline, while the No vote shows signs of growing.

Government ministers have expressed fears that the vote could be influenced by public anger at hard hitting budgets introduced since the collapse of the Republic's economy and the provision of a multi-billion bailout by the international community.