Open Europe Blog

Double standards part 125

In an extraordinary admission today Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary confesses to his real motives behind his €500,000 campaign for a ‘yes’ vote in the Irish referendum on Friday.

He said: “One of the reasons that I am campaigning for a ‘yes’ vote is that our Government is incompetent, yet I need to persuade them to sell me Aer Lingus.” Funny that. In June 2007 the European Comission blocked a bid by Ryanair to purchase rival airline Aer Lingus on competition grounds.

And in a clear conflict of interest, the EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani spent six hours last week campaigning aboard a Ryanair flight alongside O’Leary.

Don’t expect the Irish media to jump up and down about this though. If Declan Ganley had let slip that he was campaigning for a ‘No’ vote for some similarly dubious reason, all hell would of course have broken loose.

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