It appears that Libertas have taken to the hills. The only MEP elected, France's far right aristocrat, Viscount Phillipe de Villiers, has repudiated his membership of Libertas. His party had three MEPs before getting into bed with the Libertas bandwagon. de Villiers ran a far right xenophobic campaign under the Libertas. fr banner.
Phones are ringing out across Europe as no one is home in Libertas offices. Fundraising efforts will continue amongst the diminished ranks of the far right, ultra conservative party.
Ganley has gone to ground and Libertas staffers are coming out with statements in support of the Lisbon treaty. David Cochrane tweeted Monday morning that he was officially "unemployed".
What a debacle. However it was correct to devote energy to defeat this potential threat to our Liberty. Libertas needed to be defeated.
Victory is ours but remain watchful.
Tuesday June 30 2009
LIBERTAS has sunk into oblivion after forking out up to €40m on its disastrous European campaign, an Irish Independent investigation has found.
In Ireland alone, the party spent between €600,000 and €700,000 during the 30-day campaign. That figure is much higher when the major billboard campaign -- run at an estimated cost of €200,000 before election spending limits came into effect -- is factored in.
Libertas claims all these bills are accounted for from donations and fundraising, with the exception of between €20,000 and €30,000 which will be paid off through "dinners and golf tournaments", one source said.
The only candidate out of 532 candidates who won election for Libertas, French MEP Philippe de Villiers, confirmed he was no longer a member of the organisation.
Remaining Libertas members in Ireland are expected to meet in the coming weeks to decide if the party should be wound up, whether a new leader should be elected or if it should return to the status of a "think tank".
A list of queries emailed to the Libertas European press office bounced back with a message that the office had closed.
On contacting the Libertas office in Britain, an operator said the party had moved out of the offices in the election aftermath.
Across Europe, many candidates have quickly disappeared out of the spotlight.
"It's safe to say the party is dead, or maybe just on life-support, with people standing around wondering whether to pull the plug or not," one source said. Press officers and advisers have been let go, contact email addresses are bouncing back and contact numbers continually ring out unanswered.
"Our point always was that we were criticising the unelected and it would be hypocritical of us to then carry on with what we were doing when the electorate didn't vote us in," another source said.
Sources insist bills were being paid across Europe. In some cases, such as Britain, a "start-up fund" of around €200,000 had been provided and this was not exceeded.
In the Netherlands, where chief candidate Eline van den Broek claimed she was owed €350,000 by Libertas leader Declan Ganley, both parties are said to be "in communication" and attempting to sort out the bills. Sources also attempted to play down any reported financial difficulties in Spain and Poland.
Chloe Woodhead, who ran as a Libertas candidate in the South East constituency in Britain, admitted candidates never had a "breath of a chance" of getting elected. Aside from having only a few months to mount a campaign, they did not have a "fighting chest" and funds were very limited.
Dublin candidate Caroline Simons declined to be interviewed about her election experience; while attempts to contact Mr Ganley were unsuccessful.
- ine Kerr Political Correspondent