22 JANUARY 2003
By Kurt Sansone
Campaign for National Independence Chairperson Albert Leone Ganado yesterday reaffirmed the anti-EU movement does not yet have an official position on the referendum. Any boycott ordered by the Labour Party could be uncomfortable for Labour-leaning CNI members.
Interviewed by TVM programme Reporter, Leone Ganado said he will be voting No in the referendum. He also said the political allegiance of certain CNI members would probably override their commitment to the anti-EU movement.
"The only official position we have is that we are against EU membership. What we will do when the referendum is called has not yet been discussed in committee," Prof. Leone Ganado told the TV programme.
The quandary that Labour CNI supporters could find themselves in was evident during an edition of Xarabank when Labour and CNI stalwart Eddie Privitera was put in an embarrassing situation when quizzed about CNI's position on the upcoming referendum. Privitera said that CNI did not have a position and would not let on as to his intentions should there be a boycott.
The committed europhobe was on the same wavelength as the pro-EU movements chairperson Joanna Drake on the futility of the weeklong EU parliamentary debate. Both Dr Drakeand Prof. Leone Ganado said the debate was "much of the same."
"I expected to see some people from the government side talk about their concerns on how the EU is developing and others from the Opposition benches to drop the no-at-all-costs attitude," Prof. Leone Ganado said. He expressed his regret that the debate allowed no space for different political shades to emerge.
The CNI chairperson said the referendum has been reduced to a political football. Borrowing words from football-speak, Prof. Leone Ganado said: "At the moment the game is being played in the midfield with both teams waiting for the go ahead to throw everything up front and attack the adversary."
Asked to comment on the possibility the referendum may be held on the same day as the local council elections on 8 March, Prof. Leone Ganado said this is nothing more than a strategy to try and minimise the impact of a boycott.