A number of MEPS are now getting behind the idea of state aid for Waterford Crystal. In Europe there are major campaigns in Spain, France, Italy and Germany to save their national champion industries in this recession.
Here in Ireland we are still very focused on the free market for industry, but when it comes to an iconic industry like Waterford Crystal there is more to consider because of the tourism effect of the visitor centre and factory.
The lobby to get Mary Coughlan, Minister for Enterpise and Employment and Finance Minister Brian Lenihan must strengthen so that state aid will be there for new investors that may be attracted to invest again in crystal production.
Brussels and the EU can put up 50 per cent funding, so the balance could come from the state and private sector. Millions of euro can be tapped into if the will is there.
Now that KPS has taken over the brand ownership the proposition of having new crystal production under another company name is a real option, whether for Waterford or another firm if the costs are right, as well as the sales.
Let us see some enterprise on this matter from our Cabinet Ministers. We know they have pressing duties, but this could be a success if the right approach is taken with the right operators.
State aid should not be a bad phrase in this dangerous recession where jobs are being lost wholesale. The Europeans are taking the funds and opportunities that we are ignoring.
Fianna Fail may have to change its stance and adapt to changing times.