Hand of US Neocons Seen Behind Irish 'No'

Some suggest meddling in referendum that has Europe in disarray
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2008 4:57 PM CDT
Eurosceptic members of the European Parliament display posters calling on the EU to respect the outcome of Ireland's recent referendum vote, during a recent debate in Strasbourg, France.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Pro-Europeans are claiming that American neoconservatives helped bankroll an effort to convince Irish voters to reject a key treaty, Der Spiegel reports. "Europe has powerful enemies on the other side of the Atlantic, gifted with considerable financial means," a French minister said after Ireland's thumbs-down roiled the continent. "The role of the American neo-cons was very important in the victory of the 'no'."

The leading anti-treaty organization, which spent more than $2 million on publicity against ratification, claims it does not have US backers. The founder of Libertas is Declan Ganley, an Irish millionaire and CEO of Rivada Networks, a firm that contracts for the US military. The parties that campaigned for the treaty are urging Libertas to disclose its donor list.