Tuesday, January 02, 2007
(Number one in an occasional series)
Minister for Defence Willie O'Dea, writing in his Sunday Independent column in Summer 2002, spoke out about the Nice Treaty then being debated in the country. He told us:
"The second myth is that the Nice Treaty will mean mass immigration from the new EU member countries in Eastern Europe. This is probably the most odious of the myths propagated by some in the "No" campaign."
According to today's Irish Times, over 200,000 people legally migrated to Ireland for work last year, and of those 130,000 came from the new accession states. Just so we're clear - this number does not include asylum seekers or illegal migrants.
The Times quotes the Department of Social and Family Affairs thus:
"Of the 130,000 PPS numbers provided to accession-state nationals during 2006, most were from Poland (87,115), followed by Lithuania (14,805), Slovakia (9,857) and Latvia (7,368)."
Now, doesn't that sound just a little like the mass immigration from new EU member countries in Eastern Europe that Willie O'Dea vociferously swore wasn't going to happen?