Update: according to Politics.ie, as well as boards.ie and other sources, Michael O’Leary admitted that the Ryanair campaign was motivated by a desire to curry favour with the government to secure the takeover of Aer Lingus.
From “Union Buster Calls for Yes Vote,” on Vote No.ie:
“Is Michael O Leary putting €500,000 into an advertising campaign that will call for a YES vote, because he has a little favour to ask of the EU Commission, He wants the right to take full control of the former national airline, Aer Lingus?”
“Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has called for a “Yes” vote on the Lisbon Treaty and backed it up with a string of curses. Voting ‘Yes’ in October was, “the f***ing sensible thing to do,”according to O’Leary. He went on to label opponents of the treaty, principally Sinn Fein, Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Party, as “idiot headbangers” and “unemployable headbangers” and “economic illiterates”….
To Read the rest of this Article Go to VoteNo.ie:
Ryanair already owns 25% of Aer Lingus, the EU blocked a hostile takeover by Ryanair of the airline in 2007. Ryanair is clearly hopeful that a successful result in the Lisbon Treaty Referendum will smooth relations with the EU, with a supportive Irish Government in tow. In probable anticipation of such a takeover, Aer Lingus has already begun planning further redundancies; (500 of the 3,879-strong workforce), when it unveils its latest restructuring plan in the coming weeks, no doubt after the Lisbon Referendum.
These measures, like the An Bord Snip cuts, will wait for a successful passage of the Lisbon Referendum, which will hand the Government a political victory, and ensure that it has enough muscle to push through the Department of Finance / McCarthy Report recommendations.