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In quotes: Reactions to Irish vote

As the Irish government declares a resounding 'Yes' vote in its second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, key political figures involved in the process have been responding to the result. Here is a selection of their comments.


JOSE MANUEL BARROSO, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT

My message today is very simple: Thank you Ireland. It is a great day for Ireland, it is a great day for Europe.

Barroso: 'I want to congratulate the Irish people on their decision'

The Irish people have spoken, and they have said a resounding Yes to Europe. I have just had on the phone the Irish [Prime Minister] Brian Cowen, to congratulate him.

I am extremely happy about the resounding result of this referendum.

All member-states have now democratically approved the Lisbon Treaty, either by popular or by parliamentary vote. I want to congratulate the Irish people on reaching their overwhelming decision after such long and careful deliberation.

I see the Yes vote as a sign of confidence by the Irish people in the European Union, as a sign of their desire to be whole-hearted members at the heart of the European Union - as a sign that Ireland recognises the role that the European Union has played in responding to the economic crisis.

BRIAN COWEN, IRISH PRIME MINISTER

I am very pleased to be able to say this afternoon that the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty will be carried decisively.

Today the Irish people have spoken with a clear and resounding voice. This is a good day for Ireland, and it is a good day for Europe.

We as a nation have taken a decisive step for a stronger, fairer and better Ireland, and a stronger, better and fairer Europe.

Today we have said to the other countries of Europe that we stand with them as we seek to move forward together. We do this because we know that we are better together, and stronger together.

We will now work with all our partners in ensuring that the reforms this treaty will bring are implemented. The Irish people have supported reforms, so that the EU can become more efficient and more effective in dealing with the global concerns we all face.

GORDON BROWN, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER

I welcome the decision of the Irish people on the Lisbon Treaty. The treaty is good for the UK and good for Europe.

We can now work together to focus on the issues that matter most to Europeans - a sustained economic recovery, security, tackling global poverty, and action on climate change.

JOSEPH DAUL, CHAIRMAN OF THE EUROPEAN PEOPLE'S PARTY

This decision endorses the Lisbon Treaty and secures our common future with a more democratic and efficient European Union and ensures Ireland remains at the centre of the European decision-making processes.

The EU will speak with one voice and act with one voice when the Lisbon Treaty is ratified on the basis of a set of common values precious to all Europeans.

I now look forward to the completion of the ratification process in the coming weeks. I call on Poland and the Czech Republic to ratify without delay.

DECLAN GANLEY, LEADER OF THE ANTI-LISBON LIBERTAS PARTY

The Irish people have asserted their trust in the political establishment of this country, who have promised them jobs for a Yes vote and economic recovery.

Declan Ganley expressed admiration for the way the Yes campaign won the vote

I am surprised at how big the Yes vote is... this is a very convincing win. Of course I am disappointed, I think we have made a mistake.

It is a mandate of sorts. I wish [Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen] the best of luck.

I absolutely hope [Czech President Vaclav Klaus] will hold out.

VACLAV KLAUS, PRESIDENT OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC

The question [on ratifying the Lisbon treaty] does not exist today. Today I have a ban... until the Constitutional Court releases something...

After today's referendum in Ireland there will never be another [Lisbon] referendum in Europe...

I am afraid that the people of Britain should have been doing something really much earlier and not just now, too late, saying something and waiting for my decision. So that's my clear message to all of them.

IRISH FINANCE MINISTER, BRIAN LENIHAN

The government is not engaged in any celebratory parties. We are in a very difficult place and that is precisely why people have voted Yes, because they know that our markets and our economic future lies with the other European countries.

We are in a very difficult economic position and this is an essential first step towards economic recovery.

EAMON GILMORE, LEADER OF IRELAND'S PRO-LISBON LABOUR PARTY

I think that it was a sensible decision by the Irish people. I think it was done despite the anger and frustration people feel at a very unpopular government.

The biggest obstacle we had throughout this campaign was the unpopularity of the government.

RICHARD GREENE, SPOKESMAN FOR THE ANTI-LISBON COIR GROUP

It looks like a Yes vote. I want to sympathise and commiserate with all our people who put in a great effort for the love of their country.

We are extremely disappointed that the voice of the people was not heard the first time around.

MICHEAL MARTIN, IRISH FOREIGN MINISTER

I'm absolutely delighted for the country. It looks like a convincing win for the Yes side on this occasion.

It is good for Ireland, because I do passionately believe our future is in the European Union - and there was no real reason to vote No.

JERZY BUZEK, EU PARLIAMENT HEAD & POLISH MEP

I strongly welcome the result of the Irish referendum. The Irish people have demonstrated true commitment to the European project.

They reconfirmed their desire to be in the heart of Europe.

This is good news for Ireland and good news for Europe. The EU will become more effective and our co-operation more fruitful.

MARY LOU MCDONALD, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE ANTI-LISBON SINN FEIN PARTY

This vote does not mean that the government has a mandate for NAMA (Ireland's bad-bank scheme) or the upcoming budget, and let them not think that or fall into that false sense of security. People still want change.

CARL BILDT, SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER, WHOSE COUNTRY IS CURRENT PRESIDENT OF THE EU

It is an important victory for Ireland and for Europe.

It can hardly be more than a matter of a time before we can finally push the button for the better European co-operation that the Lisbon Treaty can give us.

Not least will it give us the possibility of a stronger European voice in the world.



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