JAMIE SMYTH in BrusselsTHE
DUTCH branch of Libertas has appealed to Declan Ganley to pay them €350,000 they say they are owed to cover the costs of their European election campaign.
Libertas Spain has also expressed disappointment at the lack of financial support they got from the Libertas founder during the campaign, which saw the 14 Libertas parties across Europe pick up just a single seat in France.
“At this moment I have total bills of €350,000, which are in Declan’s name. I am not personally responsible for them,” said Eline van den Broek, the 28-year-old political scientist who led Libertas in the Netherlands.
Ms van den Broek told The Irish Times yesterday she had been assured by Mr Ganley that he would pay the money required to finance the party’s campaign in the elections. She said he had signed off on a campaign budget worth €1.1 million.
But she said she had still not received the cash despite making an emergency trip to Ireland in the middle of the campaign.
“I travelled to his home in Galway and waited until 2am to speak to him. When he came back from canvassing he told me he would pay the money,” said Ms van den Broek, who added that she felt Mr Ganley would hand over the money.
In a statement last night a Libertas spokesman said at no stage was any candidate “promised” money.
“At every stage in our campaign, we made clear that all of the money we spent would have to be raised from donors and supporters. We have always said that we would spend what we could raise, and thankfully in most member states we have raised enough to meet all campaign requirements.
“In the case of the Netherlands, we will continue to work with the Dutch team, providing all the necessary support to ensure that they can service any remaining requirements within the necessary time frame and in accordance with regulatory guidelines.”
The Dutch branch of Libertas spent €350,000 on its campaign on one million leaflets and TV adverts. The cash was raised on a personal contribution of €20,000 from Ms van den Broek and bank loans. But the party ran out of cash during the campaign and could not pay people to distribute its leaflets or pay a TV channel to broadcast the adverts.
In the elections Libertas won just 14,000 votes in the Netherlands and did not come close to taking a seat.
Ms van den Broek said she still thought Mr Ganley would provide the money to cover the debts and was not at the stage of taking legal action against him. “I think he has no bad intentions. I would ask what would his motivation be for not paying?”
The Dutch newspaper Volkskrant reported yesterday that Libertas Spain was considering taking legal action because it had received only a fraction of the €4 million it said it had been promised by Mr Ganley. But Miguel Duran, who headed the Libertas Spain list in the elections, refused to confirm the comments.
The future of Libertas’s European organisation is expected to be decided in the coming days. The office in Brussels has already laid off staff.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Irish Times on Libertas cash battles
Following yesterday's Dutch story Jamie Smyth from the Irish Times has followed up and interviewed the pro-torture Libertas Dutch leader who it turns out made a special trip to Ireland to try and get Ganley to pay the money promised to Libertas Holland. As it turns out while Libertas were lying through their teeth about being about to get 150 seats and having the most hit website in the world , on the ground individuals and the party were let collapse in the run up to the Euro elections. The level of cynical manipulation used by Libertas in its pr pushes political hype and deceit to a new level. Remember this if Ganley ever tries to enter public life again and indeed if you have to deal with him in a private capacity.