Great news for Ireland. The Irish Constitution wins again and ensures the Irish have one last crack at an EU treaty. Predictably TPTB in Ireland will use the same tactics as the last time. The message as usual will be

If it’s not passed, the sky will fall in, the world will end, everyone in europe will hate you.

If you do pass it, everybody will get a job and the Celtic Tiger will come back.

or some thing like that.

Constantin Gurdgiev had this to say on the Fiscal Compact

As a whole, to comply with the Pact parameters, the Euro area economy will have to shrink by some €535-540 billion every year between now and 2020 – an equivalent of reducing euro area growth by a massive 3.9% annually.

………………

Ireland will be one of the worst impacted economies in the group courtesy of our excessively high structural deficits, debt to GDP ratio and cyclical deficits. In 2012, Ireland is forecast to post a structural deficit in excess of 5.5% of potential GDP – the highest structural deficit in the entire Euro area. To cut our structural deficit to 0.5% will require reducing annual aggregate demand in the economy by some  €7-8 billion in today’s terms. Debt reductions over the period envisioned within the pact will take an additional €12 billion annually. For an economy with huge private sector debt overhang, paying some 12% of its GDP annually to adhere to the Fiscal Pact is a hefty bill on top of the already massive interest bill on public debt.

So, looking at the past will give an indication of likely countries will be able to stick to the constraints

My own research based on the Euro area data shows that during 1990-2008, only two euro countries – Finland and Malta – have complied with the Fiscal pact criteria more than 50% of the time. The rest of the member states, including Germany and France, have run sustained deficits more than 60% of the time. Once a euro state found itself stuck in twin current and fiscal deficits in one decade (the 1990s), transitioning to a twin current account and fiscal surplus in the next decade (the 2000s) was virtually impossible. For example of all states in EA17 who were in current account deficit throughout the 1990s, only 2 have managed to achieve current account surpluses during the following decade. Only one country that experienced fiscal deficits in the 1990s has managed to generate fiscal surpluses over the following decade. No country has been successful in restoring fiscal and external balances after a decade of twin deficits.

Gurdgiev sums it up as

In short, the Pact our Government so eagerly subscribed to is at the very best a continuation of the status quo. At its worst, Ireland and other member states of the Euro are now participants to a fiscal suicide pact, having previously signed up to a monetary straightjacket as well.

Senator Shane Ross had the following comment

Mr Ross said it was a fiscal pact on austerity and was dictated by the French and Germans without any input from Ireland.

He also said it was a road we should not go down and the debt reduction has to be tied into the ratification process.

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