Wednesday, 11 October 2006
Pat Rabbitte (Dublin South West, Labour)
I am completely taken aback by the Minister's apparent lack of grasp about what is happening. The shareholding of Ryanair in Aer Lingus is not 15% but 19.2% as every school child in the country knows. How can the Minister state with a straight face that the IPO was successful? The Government sold off the company at a bargain basement price, as everybody in the country now acknowledges. It did not see coming what has since transpired.
Why did the Government reduce its shareholding by 7%, from 35% to 28%, thus facilitating what is now under way? What is the explanation for that move? Apart from hiding behind the regulatory arrangements in place, what exactly is the Government's strategy? What does it propose to do and what is it doing? Does the Competition Authority have any role in this matter or is it a European competition issue?