Irish voters, stop European Fiscal Treaty

The European Union Fiscal Treaty makes ThatcheriteChicago boysvoodoo economics“, to quote United States President George H W Bush (dad of George W) for once, into law.

This video is called EU Fiscal Compact Treaty – Irish Referendum – Vote ‘NO’.

Ireland is the only European Union country where voters have the democratic possibility to reject that treaty by voting NO at the referendum on on May 31.

Irish workers marching last November against cuts in public services

News Line daily in England reports:

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) General Secretary David Begg has said that the Dublin government could delay ratification of the Fiscal Compact Treaty, if passed.

He urged the government to stand ‘four square behind (Francois) Hollande’ to ensure there is a new growth strategy for Europe.

In an address to the Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) conference in Galway last weekend, Begg said elections in Greece and the victory of Francois Hollande in France meant ‘the tectonic plates have shifted again’ in Europe.

Begg said the election of Hollande had broken the ‘group think’ that had gripped the European establishment in recent years, adding that it now had ‘a stark choice: persist with a singular policy of dogmatic austerity and bring the house down, or start buying into some of our solutions.’

In that context, Begg said, government should consider delaying ratification of the Treaty, if passed on May 31, as there is no requirement to ratify until December 2012.

‘If they feel unable, for whatever reason, to defer the referendum then I suggest they consider giving people an assurance that they will not ratify the Treaty until they have to, at the end of this year.

‘In the meantime they should stand four square behind (Francois) Hollande and assist him in every way possible to achieve his stated objective of a growth strategy.’

Begg claimed this strategy ‘could give us some influence on our destiny rather than being passive objects of experimentation by neo-liberal ideologues. It would put us in the vanguard of the drive for growth while not isolating ourselves from the European mainstream.’

He said Europe needed its own ‘New Deal’ in the form of a ‘massive growth stimulus and a means of dealing with public and private debt.’

He pointed out that unions in Ireland had championed a growth and stimulus plan that could see major investment in key infrastructure projects at no cost to the taxpayer, through incentivising the use of private pension funds.

He urged prime minister Enda Kenny and his ministers to make ‘growth and investment’ the theme of Ireland’s EU Presidency, in 2013.

‘Ireland has been a poster child of globalisation and, more recently, a poster child for austerity. Let us seize the opportunity to be a beacon of something good for a change,’ Begg said.

Accused of spreading confusion, Begg said that he was not calling for the referendum to be postponed, merely for the ratification to be delayed to boost the chances of getting a growth pact agreed alongside the Treaty.

He said: ‘It seems to have been somewhat misunderstood. I said the government ought to give an assurance that they wouldn’t ratify the Treaty until the various interventions of Francois Hollande had worked out.’

The ICTU leader said he believed his remarks would be helpful to the government because it would still ensure that the country was not isolating itself from the European mainstream.

But Fine Gael TD Simon Harris, the director of his party’s online treaty campaign, said talk about the ratification date could confuse the debate.

There have already been calls for the referendum to be postponed due to the row between France and Germany about whether the Fiscal Compact Treaty should also be accompanied by a growth pact.

But Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams called for a ‘No’ vote to avoid handing over fiscal sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats in the EU.

Speaking at Easter Rising commemorations in Cork, Adams told reporters that voters were rallying against government policies.

He said: ‘There is an organic movement building to reclaim Ireland . . . for people who are being robbed blind by goblin policies which are placing a huge, unbearable, crushing burden on lower- and middle-income families.

‘Fine Gael and Labour and Fianna Fáil claim that if we don’t sign up to the Austerity Treaty we will not get access to emergency funding. This is utter nonsense.

‘The simple fact is that this is not a done deal. For the European Stability Mechanism to come into law it has to be given a legal basis in the EU Treaties (via an amendment to Article 136) and all 27 member states, including this one, have to agree to this.

‘Are Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore seriously suggesting that they intend to sign up to something that would jeopardise access to emergency funding, if the state needs it?

‘The choice is between austerity and economic stimulus and growth. The choice is between us handing over powers to unelected officials and bureaucrats in the European Commission and in the European Court of Justice and allowing them to run this State, and to police fiscal as well as monetary matters.

‘Or we can vote “No” to this and assert the right of citizens to elect or sack our governments; and for citizens to have democratic authority over those who govern us.

‘It is quite clear austerity doesn’t work. We’ve had six austerity budgets. The deficit has grown not reduced.

‘Half a million citizens are unemployed. Working people and lower and middle income families are bearing the brunt of the government’s decisions.’

Francois Hollande’s election as French president has provided a boost to those campaigning for a ‘No’ vote in the Treaty referendum according to Unite, one of the four major trade unions in Ireland opposing the treaty.

‘The new French President has stated that he will not support the Fiscal Treaty in its present form,’ said Jimmy Kelly, Unite’s Irish Regional Secretary.

‘This opens up the opportunity for the Irish government to seek additional guarantees.

‘In particular, it could demand the abandonment of the “blackmail” clause. This can best be achieved by either the government abandoning the current referendum or the voters rejecting the Treaty.

‘Ireland would have a powerful ally in France in any new renegotiations. The French socialists actually abstained on the parliamentary vote on the ESM Treaty.

‘They regarded the “blackmail” clause as repugnant and refused to support the establishment of the new funding mechanism with the blackmail clause in place.

‘There will be a renegotiation of the Treaty.

‘It is now time for the Irish government to return to the bargaining table to get a better deal for the Irish people.

‘With the support of President Hollande and the French socialists, the Irish government could establish future funding beyond doubt – in addition to demanding new growth proposals in any renegotiated Treaty.

‘Unite wants an open and honest debate over the contents of the Fiscal Treaty. This is now impossible because of the government’s campaign of scare-mongering.

‘A “No” vote will require the Irish government to seek iron-clad guarantees. The victory of Mr Hollande now makes that a real and viable option.

‘Then we can have a vote on the Fiscal Treaty without scare-mongering, blackmail or alarmist campaign rhetoric.’

• The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) has said it will consult its members on their next move if pay or allowances are cut.

INMO issued the warning as the Dublin government examines public sector allowances as a whole.

Health Minister James Reilly was addressing the INMO’s annual conference in Killarney.

INMO general secretary Liam Doran said: ‘Any attempt to interfere with the rates of pay which are protected in the Croke Park Agreement will be opposed by the INMO.

‘We’re always in contact with our colleague unions in the 24/7 alliance, that is the unions that represent gardaí, firemen, ambulance men and so on, and I’ve no doubt that we will do whatever’s necessary to protect the rates of pay.’

The campaign for a No vote in Ireland’s May 31 referendum on the EU fiscal treaty kicks off tomorrow in Dublin: here.

5 thoughts on “Irish voters, stop European Fiscal Treaty

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