Dirty Tricks In Irish Referendum On Fiscal Treaty

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The Irish Government setup many years ago a Referendum Commission whose task it was to impartially outline what each referendum was about. It unfortunately has fielded criticism in the past including referendum on Lisbon Treaty for taking a pro-government stance.  It appears again, that the Referendum Commission has faced further claims from MEP Paul Murphy of inaccuracies in the booklet that is being sent out to all the households in Ireland.

In the booklet, it is claimed that Ireland cannot access the ESM if it votes NO which is not true. The fact is, Ireland has not ratified ESM and can veto the “blackmail clause” (long been suspected that the Irish Government put it in to force a YES vote).

Socialist Party MEP for Dublin Paul Murphy has written to the Referendum Commission claiming their advisory booklet contains inaccuracies. Murphy says that the booklet’s claim that access to the European Stability Mechanism would be unavailable if there was a No vote in the Fiscal Treaty referendum is wrong. Murphy’s statement and letter to the Referendum Commission is below the fold.

MEP writes to Referendum Commission seeking correction of inaccurate ESM claims in booklet

  • Irish state still has power to threaten veto over ESM to demand withdrawal of connection beween ESM and Austerity Treaty
  • Commission booklet is prejudging a political decision yet to be made

“I have written to the Chair of the Referendum Commission, Judge Kevin Feeney, this morning to bring to his attention an inaccuracy in the booklet issued by the Commission. The booklet states that ‘any future bail-out could not involve access to this particular source of funding.’ The source of funding referred to is the European Stability Mechanism.

“This is inaccurate and represents a prejudging of a political decision that has yet to be taken. The Oireachtas has not yet voted on the ESM, nor on the amendment of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union necessary to give a legal basis for the ESM. This means that the threat of a veto could still be used to demand the withdrawal of the ‘blackmail clause’ which creates the connection between the ESM Treaty and the Austerity Treaty.

“It is vital that people have access to the accurate information about this important question. I have asked for this inaccuracy to be corrected on the Referendum Commission’s website and in the booklet.”

Click here to see full letter MEP Paul Murphy sent to the Referendum Commission.


Irish Finance Minister Says Vote YES In Fiscal Compact Treaty Or Face Tax Increases


I have heard it all now. Usually when the Irish Government loses an EU referendum, its scares the bollox out of everyone and slaps it up in front of the people to vote Yes. This time the Irish electorate are told to vote Yes or face tax increases in the budget. Never before has a finance minister threatened an electorate in a referendum. A new low has been reached or a new level of desperation for a government already embarrassed that only half the country paid the newly introduced household tax. Maybe they are not ready to get another bloodied nose and have decided to use any tactic. 

“If there’s a No vote the Budget I’ll be planning for later in the year will be dramatically more difficult than if there’s a Yes vote.


 “If people think that by voting No they’ll avoid further tax cuts and increases, actually a No vote will do the opposite,” he added.

Fianna Fáil described Mr Noonan’s comments as “unhelpful” and said they would only serve to alienate potential Yes voters. no matter how dirty.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has today warned he will have to introduce a tougher budget that will include tax increases if the public rejects the Fiscal Treaty Referendum.

The opposition took the opportunity to launch a broad side.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary McDonald accused Mr Noonan of issuing “outrageous” threats to the public in order to secure a Yes vote.

“People should not be bullied by the Government. They should assess the austerity treaty on its content and implications for Ireland and on May 31st vote accordingly, she said.

“The Government said it wants an open and honest debate. It is high time that they started to practice what they preach,” she added.

The Socialist Party described Mr Noonan’s comments as an attempt to put a gun to the heads of the public and force them to vote Yes.

Speaking at the launch of the party’s referendum poster campaign, Dublin MEP Paul Murphy said a Yes vote would lead to more austerity.

His colleague Joe Higgins accused the Government of using the “argument of fear” to scare voters and said that instead of offering more stability, the fiscal treaty would bring about more instability both here and across Europe.

In light of Hollande about to win the French Presidential election, who made comments about renegotiating the treaty, it made sense for some of the opposition to call on the government to postpone the referendum.

Speaking later in the Dáil, Mr Kenny said he would not interfere in the French presidential election campaign after he was urged to postpone the referendum, following the revelation that Francois Hollande would seek a renegotiation of the fiscal treaty if elected.

“It is not for me to interfere regarding the statements made Mr Hollande, president Sarkozy or anybody else,’’ he added.

Mr Kenny said he welcomed any European leader advocating economic growth, adding he supported the principle of an additional investment element to the fiscal treaty.

The Taoiseach was replying in the Dail today to Independent TD Shane Ross, who today called for the referendum to be postponed, pending the outcome of the French election.

There appeared to be a problem of timing, because of the increasing clamour for economic growth throughout Europe, said Mr Ross.

“Nowhere was this more apparent than in France, where Francois Hollande was leading the campaign for growth and had stated he would not sign the fiscal treaty “as is’’, he added.

Source: Irish Times


Click hear for further for a previous post on Michael Noonan’s track record on keeping promises.

An Ireland NO Vote To Fiscal Treaty Is a Trump Card – Constantin Gurdgiev

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The campaign for Ireland’s referendum on the Fiscal treaty is to be started next week, but influential economist Constantin Gurdgiev has said that a NO vote would be a trump card for Ireland to play.

Gurdgiev had further to say on the referendum last month

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.

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