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Chairman Ganley! Chairman Ganley… You know that guy in Bulgaria? Apparently you don’t! February 5, 2009

Posted by WorldbyStorm in European Politics, Irish Politics.

I’m indebted to smiffy pointing me towards today’s latest exciting installment in the continuing saga that is the leaden march towards European power of Libertas.

But before discussing that I’m chastened by EWI who points out that we’ve slipped behind in our coverage of the Great Project. For news came but a short time ago that:

A GERMAN pro-European think tank, the Libertas European Institute, is threatening to sue Declan Ganley’s Libertas for usurping its name to campaign against the Lisbon Treaty. It has also complained to European Parliament president Hans-Gert Pöttering yesterday about a decision to grant Libertas official recognition and EU funds worth €202,823.

“I’m not happy that this ‘Libertas’ is acting in a diametrically opposed manner to our institute, which strongly supports the EU. We have already received many requests about them from our contacts,” said Hans-Jürgen Zahorka, director of the institute, who added that as a lawyer he was studying legal options open to him.

Ouch! Ouch! On both counts.

Meanwhile Jamie Smyth reported today that

THE APPLICATION by Libertas for recognition as a pan-European party and EU funding descended into farce last night when a second nominated backer said he did not support the anti-Lisbon organisation.

…’descended into farce last night’? Last night? Ah no Jamie, it was already moving downhill long before that.

Bulgarian MP Mincho Kuminev, who is one of seven signatories to Libertas’s application to the European Parliament for some €200,000 in funds, said he never signed an application for Libertas to receive funds and was surprised his name was on the list of Libertas supporters.

And Kuminev expresses a view which one might expect amongst those who are eurosceptic. He doesn’t want to be part of some supranational organisation … so, guess what… entirely logically he doesn’t want to be part of a supranational operation called Libertas (whichever one it may be) either…

“I have no intention of leaving the Bulgarian party system to join a foreign party. My only contact with Libertas was when I met Jens Peter Bonde at a conference in Bulgaria . . . I never signed any application or document in relation to Libertas,” Mr Kuminev told The Irish Times .

Erm… okay then Mincho. Still, “Foreign party”? That’s got to hurt.

Not that Libertas isn’t attempting to fight back…

Mr Kuminev’s comments came just hours after Libertas published photographs showing the signature of Estonian MP Igor Grazin on documents supporting the application of Libertas as a European political party.

Libertas said it released the photographs to end the “disgraceful allegations” that it somehow acted improperly with respect to Mr Grazin, who, through the Liberal group, sent an affidavit to parliament president Hans-Gert Pöttering denying he had signed Libertas’s application.

Problem is, as smiffy notes, these photo’s aren’t quite up to sniff in clarifying the situation. Or as smiffy says:

Now, according to Libertas, this represents “The original declaration and signature of support by Mr. Igor Grazin for the Libertas application to become a European political party”. However, if you look at the document (which appears to be printed off from hotmail) you’ll see that it was actually signed in Tallinn on 15 October 2008, so couldn’t be the document McGuirk claims was signed in the Libertas Brussels office.

More to the point what sort of effin’ eegits get involved in this sort of nonsense when trying to mould a coherent and credible pan-national political force.

I don’t buy the Libertas cry of ‘intimidation’. And although it’s tempting I don’t think that this is a publicity ploy by Libertas. God knows though, it has all the hallmarks of student politics.

I think instead we’re seeing the obvious outworkings of a basic limitation in the anti-EU philosophy, that even to coalesce against the EU is a step too far for many on that side of the political divide.

Still what of the following statement:

Libertas said last night it condemned the “intimidation” of signatories to its application for political party status. It insisted that Mr Kuminev had “consciously and kindly” signed the document. “We are mildly amused that the other Libertas signatories have not been persuaded to suffer from amnesia,” it said in a statement.

I think they’re doing themselves an injustice. I really do.

For I’m glad to report that I’m finding this highly amusing.


1. Dan Sullivan - February 5, 2009

Reminds me of Mamet’s Spanish Prisoner movie, with membership of clubs forms and so on. Is Declan Ganley really Steve Martin?


2. EWI - February 5, 2009

For I’m glad to report that I’m finding this highly amusing.

As do I. (I’m thinking that we wrapped up FIFieFoeFum too early, lads…)


3. WorldbyStorm - February 5, 2009

You’re always welcome to write here if the mood takes you…

And yes… this one will run and run.

What’s your take? Conspiracy from either side or cockup?


4. Phil - February 6, 2009

Do you know, I’d never heard of Declan Ganley before I started reading this blog. Now I’m agog for the next instalment. Comedy gold!


5. WorldbyStorm - February 6, 2009

He’s great Phil, and the thing is that from whatever point on the progressive/left spectrum and whatever our views of the EU (and there’s a fair spectrum of people commenting or posting here on that topic which is great) we can all take a certain vicarious pleasure in his … er… progress 😉


6. interface - February 10, 2009

Frankly it’s so utterly incompetent I don’t think even Ganley could have the balls to stage it for the sake of publicity. Tough to call though…he’s never turned down a bob whatever the source so my money is on it being a ginyouwine attempt to snaffle a few quid to put in the pot. €70-odd million isn’t he reckons he needs?


7. WorldbyStorm - February 10, 2009

More I think interface… but even so…


8. EWI - February 10, 2009

You’re always welcome to write here if the mood takes you…

Thank you very kindly, but other parts of my life take up most of my time these days, unfortunately.

And yes… this one will run and run.

What’s your take? Conspiracy from either side or cockup?

I’d say neither – rather, a half-assed stunt by certain people who never truly grew up from student politics…


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