Judging from the ferocity of the attacks MEPs dished out last week to Libertas founder Declan Ganley, some clearly want to remove him from EU politics permanently.
Co-president of the Greens Daniel Cohn-Bendit used the order-of-business session at the opening of the plenary to repeat allegations that Libertas may have benefited from funding from US agencies such as the CIA or the Pentagon. And, in an unusual move, the normally conservative European Parliament president Hans-Gert Pöttering called on the political groups to consider setting up a committee of inquiry.
The following day, the European Commission weighed into Libertas when the official spokesman of commission president José Manuel Barroso accused Ganley's organisation of double standards. […]
With all the anti-Ganley rhetoric in the air, it was no surprise to meet Minister for European Affairs Dick Roche in the European Parliament last Tuesday. The pugnacious Wicklow TD has declared all-out war on Libertas since the referendum defeat in June, and enlisting pro-European forces to help combat Ganley seems the natural thing to do given Libertas may relaunch as a pan-European group to fight next year's June elections. […]
On Thursday the conference of presidents - attended by all the political group leaders - decided to ask the US Congress for help in investigating Ganley.
Liberal leader Graham Watson justified the decision by saying, rather dramatically, that Congress had proved useful in helping to track down the source of IRA financing during the Troubles. […]
At a recent meeting in Brussels, [Ganley] said he was deeply committed to the EU, yet he has spent the past few months consorting with Eurosceptics such as Czech president Vaclav Klaus.
Ireland: Putting the Screws on the No Side, 19 September 2008