IRELAND: Ganley registers Libertas as a European political party
Remember the huge international debate about the Lisbon Treaty a few months back...when the Irish voted it down? Well, here is an interesting development! The debate will 'power up' with even more force now that a new all-inclusive EU political party has been set up, in Ireland, to take the debate to the full EU community!
–COLM KEENA, Public Affairs Correspondent–
–THE ANTI-LISBON Treaty campaigner Declan Ganley has set up a "European political party" and an associated structure to raise money.
Yesterday the Companies Registration Office in Dublin acknowledged receipt of registration documents for The Libertas Party Ltd and the Libertas Foundation Ltd.
The companies are based at Mr Ganley's home address in Tuam, Co Galway.
The memorandum of association of the Libertas Party Ltd says its main object is to "carry on the business of a European political party". The same document for the foundation says its main object is "to act as a European Political Foundation for the Libertas Party".
A spokesman for Mr Ganley, John McGuirk, said the establishment of the two entities should not be seen as confirmation of Mr Ganley's intention to become involved in European politics.
"It gives the power to do so. No final decision has been taken on it," he said.
Mr Ganley has in the past mentioned seeking to transform the June 2009 European elections into an EU-wide referendum on the treaty. His campaign against the Lisbon Treaty was organised through an organisation called the Libertas Institute Ltd.
In the immediate wake of the referendum vote Mr Ganley was quoted in the Sunday Telegraph as saying that he was "starting to raise £75 million (€92.8 million) from online donations to run candidates in all 12 of Britain's European Parliament constituencies, and in seats throughout the EU".
Since then Mr Ganley has told The Irish Times that he has engaged lawyers and others to examine how he could raise funds for an EU-wide party while at the same time complying with the laws governing political fundraising in the various member states.
The memorandum documents for both of the new companies state that they are entitled to raise funds, carry on business, purchase property, accumulate capital, borrow and other activities, in pursuit of their principal objectives.
The companies are allowed pay interest at a rate not exceeding 5 per cent on loans received from directors or other members of the companies.
They are also empowered to "promote freedom of contact" and contribute funds to any body that resists interference in businesses by "any strike movement or organisation".