Thursday, 31 May 2012

Last Post of Referendum: If you haven't yet voted, read this...

  • John Corcoran (ICTA) writes in an email: At 8.25 am yesterday morning Paul Krugman and John Corcoran spoke simultaneously on BBC radio and advised the Irish people to vote No in the Fiscal Treaty Referendum.  John spoke on BBC radio ulster and Paul on BBC radio 4.  Both are distinguished former students of the London School of Economics.   Please join with John and Paul and ensure a No vote today.  If you click on the podcast link... you can hear the interview.
    John Corcoran, M.Sc. Economics London School of Economics and Political Science.
    Spokesperson, Irish Commercial Tenants Association;
  • David McWilliams / Irish Independent - The fiscal treaty will only make things worse: The situation in the eurozone is not getting any better. The fiscal treaty, by imposing austerity on an already enfeebled economy, will make things worse, prompting more capital flight. Rolling the snowball down the hill is not an honest option.
    Mightn’t it be better to open the negotiations properly now?
  • Forpras Financial Solutions - Why vote NO to the Fiscal Stability Treaty? Why are our Irish politicians telling us to vote YES? Are you aware that the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) isn’t even setup and yet Portugal, Spain and Greece need immediate bailing out? Where will all this funding come from? Well, more and more taxes will be needed to pay for all these bailouts and ofcourse the vicious circle of Ireland having to borrow to help bailout itself out and our partners. Every cent borrowed needs to be repaid with excessive interest rates. The government tells us not to worry as they have agreed with their collegues in the EU that we will be permitted to pay these loans over an extended timeframe. But nobody is agreeing to help reduce our debts or even write a portion off? Why? [...] It looks like Ireland and the Irish public will be left with mountains of debt. More and more Irish will be required to pay higher taxes (VAT 23%, property tax, water charges, higher car taxes, higher fuel taxes and the list goes on) resulting in the standard of living in Ireland falling, rising debt and a massive increase in the number of Irish unable to pay off their debts whether they be mortgages, credit cards, etc.
  • Vincent Browne / - We owe it to ourselves to oppose a trajectory that will vandalise society: I will vote No to express indignation with the cavalier disregard of the procedures and protocols of the European Union itself of the sovereignty of its member states, in the conduct of the leaders of the EU institutions and of Germany and France, in their insolence in interfering with the internal affairs of Greece and Italy, in their disregard for “democratic” procedures of the Union - even in the way this Fiscal Treaty came about.
    I will vote No to defy the wishes of the German elite, which benefited so spectacularly from the emergence of the Eurozone and now makes modest redistribution of that generated wealth, conditional on adherence to its economic and budgetary diktats, diktats that disadvantage not only the mass of people throughout the rest of Europe but the mass of people in Germany itself. 
    I will vote No to give backbone to the government’s dealings with the EU on the promissory notes and the other bank debt.  
  • TEEU - the power union - TEEU Executive Committee Urges Members to Vote No to Austerity: The inevitable result would be a further contraction in the size of the economy – already decreased by over a quarter since 2008 – with an accompanying increase in unemployment and decrease in government revenue. As Nobel laureate Paul Krugman simply put it, austerity “pushes depressed economies deeper into depression”. We, and others, have pointed out that a fiscal stimulus is what is required and have suggested, to no avail, a means of applying it.

EEU - the power union - Executive Committee Urges Members to Vote No to Austerity

The background

The (Fiscal) Austerity Treaty, which we will vote on..., is designed to tackle fiscal issues which were not an Irish problem, as we – unlike France and Germany - ran a fiscal surplus every year bar one between 1999 and 2007. It would employ severe austerity measures in order to ensure that we can continue to service the debts of the banks. This means cutting public spending, including infrastructural investment, selling off state assets, introducing new charges and levies and an acceleration of other measures that we are becoming increasingly familiar with.

The result

The inevitable result would be a further contraction in the size of the economy – already decreased by over a quarter since 2008 – with an accompanying increase in unemployment and decrease in government revenue. As Nobel laureate Paul Krugman simply put it, austerity “pushes depressed economies deeper into depression”. We, and others, have pointed out that a fiscal stimulus is what is required and have suggested, to no avail, a means of applying it.

How can we avoid this outcome?

As no Eurozone country can devalue, to ask each Eurozone country to balance the books by running an export surplus is empirically and logically impossible. The way out of the ‘debt trap’ is the same as the way out of recession: if the private sector won’t invest, the public sector must become investor of the last resort. It doesn’t matter whether new investment is financed by more government borrowing, quantitative easing or redistribution. What matters is growth, which brings jobs and increased government revenue.

Not through balanced budgets!

And, in a form of blackmail, loans from the yet to be ratified European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will be conditional on the adoption of the debt brake in the Austerity treaty! This requires the state to observe a balanced budget rule. Once the debt brake has come into full operation each state will be required in general to run their budgets in surplus or balance, and at a minimum to keep their structural deficit (a measure on which economists do not agree) below 0.5% of GDP.

Permanent Austerity

The debt brake in this treaty will lead to permanent austerity or as Angela Merkel put it, “The Fiscal Treaty is about inserting debt brakes permanently into national legal systems. They shall possess a binding and eternal validity“.

No wonder Jack O’Connor told us that, “It would be disastrous for the Irish people to insert the terms of the Fiscal Treaty agreement into the Constitution”.

And that’s not all!

In addition, the Treaty also requires states to keep their overall government debt below 60% of GDP.

Those who have exceeded this target are required to reduce their debt by one twentieth each year. The Irish debt to GDP ratio will be somewhere in the region of 120% by the end of this year thanks in the main to the bank bailout. So, a reduction of 60% - or 3% of GDP per year - will be required. This alone will take up to a further €4.5bn out of the economy each year.

As pointed out, one of the main positions taken by the government in support of the Austerity Treaty is one of blackmail: vote Yes!, or there will be no money from the (ESM) when we need it - despite their continued mantra that another bailout will not be needed.

The government set us up!

When the ESM was agreed last July, there was no mention of Member States being forced to implement aggressive deficit limitation measures. However, in January 2012 the Heads of Government agreed to insert a blackmail clause into the ESM Treaty. This must have been done with the collaboration of the Irish government against the interests of the Irish people, as that insertion required unanimity and is now to be used to try to frighten us into voting YES!

But where can we get the money if we need it?

But even if we Vote NO on May 31st and we can’t access the ESM, we are small but important for the EU financial system and so funds will be found elsewhere outside the ESM structures to lend to us, especially if, as the ESM says, they were: ‘indispensable to safeguard the financial stability of the euro area as a whole’ or to combat ‘contagion!’

But we are also entitled to apply to the IMF, whose interest rates are more favourable than those of the EU/ECB! More EU countries have already accessed IMF support than EU support:
ie Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Estonia.

Remember, Sweden and Britain advanced loans at a favourable rate to supplement our first bail-out loan. Norway has a pension reserve fund of €500bn - and others- might be similarly inclined. In the unlikely event that we get no loans and must close the deficit we can institute a progressive taxation system and a wealth tax – having over 20,000 declared millionaires. Any remaining money required can be found through renegotiating foreign debt which, it is generally accepted, will have to be renegotiated anyway. In the meantime, EFSF funds are guaranteed to us until at least mid- 2013.

Even Michael Noonan says we’re fine

Regardless of the Treaty vote, Michael Noonan, said recently,
“There is a commitment that if countries continue to fulfil the conditions of their programme the European authorities will continue to supply them with money even when the programme is concluded ... The commitment is now written in that if we are not back in the markets the European authorities will give us money until we get back in the markets”; 
a position confirmed by EU heads of state in on March 30th, while Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore at the recent Labour Party Conference reassured us that; ‘We are on course to return to the markets in 2013’.

ICTU policy 

A motion unanimously accepted at the last ICTU BDC called on ‘those in authority, in both jurisdictions and at EU level, to accept the complete failure of the austerity recipe as a response to the economic challenge’. But, ultimately, as David Begg has correctly pointed out, “Permanent austerity means that the debt we have will become even more unsustainable and un-payable.”
And that’s why the TEEU Executive Committee is urging you to reject this treaty on May 31st.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

FINAL UPDATE: Citizen's Campaign South East - Fiscal/Austerity Treaty Referendum, Public Meetings (Counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford)

Source: for your information (please note: People's Movement is a non-party organisation)

Confirmed in Bold
Events in Italic are under the banner of the Austerity Treaty Road Show


FINAL UPDATE: TUESDAY 29th May           Wexford town

Wexford Sinn Féin @St Joseph's Community Centre, Bishopswater, Wexford Town


Friday 4th May:           Bridgetown

Wexford Sinn Féin @ AOH Hall, 8pm.

Saturday 5th May:         Austerity Treaty Road Show, Wexford Town

(May Day Parade, Protest at SIPTU/Labour HQ)

Monday 7th May:           Ballycullane

Wexford Sinn Féin @ Tintern GAA Complex, 8pm

Saturday 12th May:       Austerity Treaty Road Show, Ferns,Gorey

Monday 14th May:            Enniscorthy

Riverside Park Hotel 8pm. Talk on Fiscal Treaty.

Tuesday 15th May:         Gorey

Wexford Sinn Féin @ Loch Garman Arms, 8pm

Wednesday 16th May:   Rosslare Harbour

Wexford Sinn Féin @ The Railway Club, 8pm

Thursday 17th May:      

Wexford Sinn Féin @ Ballagh Community Centre, The Ballagh
People's Movement at 8.00 p.m.Tower Hotel, Waterford

Saturday 19th May:       Austerity Treaty Road Show, Bunclody, Enniscorthy

Tuesday 22th May:

Wexford Sinn Féin @ The Parish Pump, Rosbercon, New Ross
People's Movement at 8.00 pm, Reddys Tullow Street, Carlow
Wednesday 23rd May:
People's Movement at 8.00, Club House, Patrick Street, Kilkenny

Thursday 24th May:

Wexford Sinn Féin @ St Senans Community Centre, Enniscorthy
People's Movement at 8.00, Park Hotel Dungarvan.

Saturday 26th May:       Austerity Treaty Road Show, Castlebridge, Wexford Town

People's Movement Meetings in the South East

Other meetings are planned and details will be announced in due course

Monday, 7 May 2012

People’s Movement Referendum Campaign

Warning: Permanent Austerity Ahead!

The People’s Movement has opened an office in central Dublin for the duration of the referendum campaign on the Permanent Austerity Treaty. The office is at 5 Cavendish Row, directly opposite the Gate Theatre.
We are near intersection of Parnell & O'Connell Streets

We are near intersection of Parnell & O'Connell Streets

Get involved!

People's Movement Referendum HQ: 5 Cavendish Row
The result of this important referendum will have a major influence on this country and the welfare of its people.

So why not become involved? You don’t have to be a treaty expert to deliver leaflets or put up posters—just a willing worker, and there are many more tasks in a campaign. It is a relatively easy way to participate in a process whose result will profoundly shape your future.

There are now only three weeks to go to polling day, and every effort, no matter how small, to boost the No vote counts.

So why not give us a call or send a text to 087-2308330, or drop a line to 


Warning: Permanent Austerity Ahead!
This is an urgent appeal for financial support to help us to wage a successful campaign against the Austerity Treaty. The treaty has been roundly rejected by such bodies as the European Trade Union Confederation and large swathes of opinion throughout Europe.

In Ireland we have a chance to decisively reject the treaty in a referendum. Our campaign is swinging into operation, but, as always, it is an uneven struggle with regard to resources. In the last Lisbon referendums the Yes side spent some €2.3 million, while the combined No side spent €1.2 million. In the second referendum the contrast was even greater: €10.206 million for the Yes side against €780,000 for the No side. All the indications are that vast resources will again be expended to engineer a Yes vote on 31 May.

We urgently need your help!

Opinion polls on voters’ attitudes show 30 per cent in favour, 23 per cent against, and 39 per cent still undecided.

Already non-partisan commentators have found the Yes campaign to be faltering, as four major trade unions decide to urge a No vote and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions declares that it will not be supporting the treaty.

Thomas Pringle TD, a patron of the People’s Movement, is challenging the constitutionality of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Treaty.

Robert Ballagh: Mise Eire (limited edition fine art prints)
This treaty is closely linked to the Austerity Treaty, and he is asking the High Court to determine, among other matters, whether the Constitution of Ireland requires a referendum on that treaty also.

It will be a victory for democracy if he is successful; but it will also put a further enormous strain on our resources, as it will necessitate yet another referendum.

We earnestly ask you to respond favourably to this request.

Robert Ballagh print Mise Éire

A few copies of the limited edition of 250 copies of this fine-art print, signed, numbered and blind-stamped by the artist, Robert Ballagh, are still available. The print can be purchased for €250. Robert Ballagh is Ireland’s premier artist. All proceeds will go to the referendum campaign.

Contact or 087 2308330.
Related Link:

Reply to Dr Gavin Barrett’s article on the Fiscal Treaty referendum in last Friday’s Irish Times

By Anthony Coughlan, Director, The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre
“The Member States whose currency is the euro may establish a stability mechanism to be activated if indispensable to safeguard the stability of the euro area as a whole. The granting of any required financial assistance under the mechanism will be made subject to strict conditionality.”
- Proposed amendment to Article 136 TFEU of the EU Treaties by which the 27 EU Member States authorize the 17 Member States of the euro currency area to establish a Stability Mechanism
This amendment to the EU Treaties has still to be approved by Ireland in accordance with its constitutional requirements under the “simplified” EU treaty amendment procedure of Article 48.6 TEU. The European Council decision to insert the Article 136 TFEU amendment into the EU Treaties comes into force on 1 January 2013 if by that time it has been approved by all 27 Member States in accordance with their constitutional requirements. The ESM Institution which the 17 Eurozone States seek to establish and which Ireland would become a Member of is set out in the ESM Treaty. This treaty cross-refers to the Fiscal/Stability Treaty on which we vote on 31 May. The ESM Treaty states that it is “complementary” to the Fiscal/Stability Treaty. The Government has promised the other 16 Eurozone Governments that it will have the ESM Treaty ratified by July, but without the necessary constitutional referendum being held on the Treaty and the Art. 136 amendment which authorizes it.

Q. Where will we get the money if we vote No on 31 May?

A. Where will the Government get the money to pay the €11 billion the ESM Treaty will require from us, with an open-ended treaty commitment to pay further sums thereafter without limit?

Q. But where will we still get the money ?

A. We will get it by holding a referendum on the Article 136 TFEU amendment and the ESM Treaty, as that is constitutionally necessary in order to authorize these proposals as they stand. The 16 other Eurozone States will have to persuade us to vote Yes in such a referendum if they are to establish the kind of Stability Mechanism which the ESM Treaty envisages. They can do this by agreeing to forgive the private bank debt they have insisted should be imposed on Irish taxpayers, plus the Anglo-Irish promissory notes etc. A referendum can also be used to press the Eurozone authorities to agree a growth strategy for the Eurozone instead of the present failed austerity policies.


Sunday 6 May 2012

It is quite wrong of you to state in your Irish Times op-ed article of last Friday that No-side advocates in the current referendum are “threatening to veto an institution as vital as the ESM”. Yet you make no mention of the €11 billion which the ESM Treaty requires Ireland to contribute in different forms of capital to the Stability Mechanism the ESM Treaty proposes – with €1.6 billion up front “irrevocably and unconditionally” (ESM Treaty Art.8) and a blank cheque in the treaty to paying in further sums without limit in future as required.


Those on the No-side who know what they are talking about are saying that the ESM Treaty and the Article 136 TFEU amendment to the EU Treaties which authorises a “Stability Mechanism” should be put to referendum in Ireland before we can either ratify the ESM Treaty or approve this Article 136 TFEU amendment in accordance with the provisions of EU law and the terms of our Constitution.

This is

(a) because a permanent commitment to the ESM as a new Eurozone Institution of which Ireland becomes a “Member”, together with its accompanying rules and its extraordinary legal and taxation immunities for its Board of Governors and personnel, entail a drastic surrender of most of what is left of Irish State sovereignty; and

(b) because if the amendment to Article 136 TFEU quoted above is lawfully to permit a Stability Mechanism for the Eurozone of the kind set out in the ESM Treaty – a Mechanism which would effectively contravene a number of existing EU Treaty articles – then a different method of amendment of the EU Treaties needs to be adopted than the method being employed in the present instance.

It is therefore the No-side people who are seeking to defend EU law and the integrity of the EU Treaties by pointing this out and calling for the Article 136 TFEU authorisation and the ESM Treaty which it purports to authorise to be ratified in the only manner that is lawful under the EU Treaties and constitutional in Ireland – namely, by way of referendum of the people. It is a pity that your article fails to acknowledge this.


I am surprised that you do not acknowledge that the express terms of the Article 136 TFEU authorisation quoted above require unanimity amongst the 17 Euro area States for the establishment of any Stability Mechanism the latter may decide to set up.

If you look at the words of the proposed Article 136 TFEU authorisation, you will see that it does not say that “Member States”, meaning some of them, may set up a Stability Mechanism, but “THE Member States”, meaning all of them (In French it is “LES membres” as against “DES membres”). The ESM Treaty as it stands provides that it can come into force when Eurozone States contributing 90% of the capital have ratified it. The eight biggest of the 17 Eurozone States can do this, thereby bringing the Stability Mechanism into being, even though they would be a minority of the countries of the euro area. How then can the Stability Mechanism for the 17 that is envisaged in the ESM Treaty be for “the euro area as a whole”, as required by the Article 136 authorisation by the 27 EU Member States quoted above?

There are other, legally weightier, reasons for unanimity being required for ratification of an ESM Treaty of the kind the Government will be asking the Oireachtas to ratify in June, immediately our referendum on 31 May is over, but this point will do for now.


The ESM proposed in the ESM Treaty would radically restructure the rules of the Economic and Monetary Union which Ireland joined under the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties. Having failed to obey the 3% and 60% of GDP “excessive deficit rules” set out in those treaties, Germany and France are now proposing to put the EMU on an entirely different basis than hitherto by means of this new EU Institution, the ESM. They thereby want to override the “no bailout” rule of Article 125 TFEU which forbids EU loans to Governments so that the proposed ESM can do this, something that is forbidden under the current EU treaties.

Germany and France, are seeking in this way to by-pass the rules of the current EMU and carve out a legal path to what French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called for, “A Federation for the Eurozone and a Confederation for the rest of the EU”. The ESM Treaty envisages this new ESM Institution with its giant €700 billion associated fund as becoming in effect a new Bank-cum-Finance Ministry for this Eurozone Federation of the future.


The 27 EU Member States are of course legally entitled to amend the EU Treaties in order to permit the establishment of a Stability Mechanism for the 17 Eurozone States of the radical kind proposed in the ESM Treaty – as long as they do that by the legally proper method governing the revision or amendment of the Treaties as set out in Article 48 TEU.

It looks very probable that if Article 136 TFEU is lawfully to permit an ESM of the radical character envisaged by the proposed ESM Treaty, then the EU Treaties need to be amended by the procedure set out in Article 48.2 of the Treaty on European Union(TEU), the so-called “ordinary treaty revision procedure”, rather than by “simplified treaty revision procedure” of Article 48.6 TEU which is currently being used. As you know, this “simplified” treaty revision procedure was inserted into the EU Treaties by the Treaty of Lisbon. It allows the European Council of EU Prime Ministers and Presidents to amend the treaties by a “Decision” among themselves to do that – such a Decision being subject to subsequent constitutional approval by their respective Member States.

See a copy of the European Council Decision enclosed, taken from the EU Official Journal. The Prime Ministers and Presidents on the European Council did not sign anything when they took this Decision on 25 March 2011. They took that Decision collectively amongst themselves, but it must still be constitutionally approved by their National Parliaments or by referendum of their peoples. The constitutional process of approving that Decision is analogous to, but not the same, as the process of ratification of a treaty following its signature. The Decision may well not be constitutionally approved, just as a Treaty may not be ratified.

This EU “simplified treaty amendment procedure” is a form of legal short-cut which is meant to deal with minor technical amendments that do not require a full intergovernmental conference to amend the EU Treaties, followed by a lengthy treaty ratification process. This “simplified treaty amendment procedure” was however never meant to provide for such a radical scheme as the fundamental restructuring of the Economic and Monetary Union which the ESM Treaty as it stands proposes. This ESM Treaty is tantamount to an attempt to organize a legal-political coup to override the EU Treaty provisions on which the existing EMU is based. Hence the proposed Article 136 TFEU amendment is almost certainly being “approved” in the wrong way under EU law if it is taken as authorizing the ESM Treaty that Messrs Kenny and Gilmore want to ratify by July 2012.

I am informed that this is a central issue in the constitutional challenge to the amendment to Article 136 TFEU and the ESM Treaty which has been launched in the High Court by Donegal Independent TD Thomas Pringle. Thomas Pringle is seeking to defend EU law, the integrity of the EU Treaties and the Irish Constitution by his legal action. He deserves the support of every democrat and patriotic Irish person. It would be helpful if you would consider in some future Irish Times article the important legal and constitutional issues which Thomas Pringle’s brave challenge raises.


I am truly surprised to see such a distinguished exponent of European law as yourself write in your article that, “It is far from clear that the Article 136 TFEU amendment is really necessary in order to set up the ESM”.

If that is so, why do all 27 EU Member States think it necessary to insert the Article 136 TFEU amendment quoted above into the Treaties? The EU is a Union governed by law, The Member States do not amend the EU Treaties without cause. Why are all 27 EU countries currently going through their constitutional processes for approving the European Council Decision to amend the EU Treaties to permit the establishment of a Stability Mechanism for the Eurozone if, as you say in your article, ”it is far from clear” that this is necessary? Are you really suggesting that the legal advisers of 27 EU Governments are all wrong?

You mention in last Friday’s article that the ESM’s temporary predecessor, the three-year EFSF loan fund set up for Greece in 2010 and from which Ireland and Portugal later got their bailouts, was ”successfully set up” under another treaty article – Art.122 TFEU to be precise – but you are well aware doubtless that this article was never meant for such a purpose.

That EU Treaty Article deals with mutual aid between EU Member States in the event of natural disasters. It was clearly not meant to cover sovereign bailouts for Eurozone countries which had got into a financial mess because they failed to obey the 3% and 60% “excessive deficit rules” of the existing EMU. That is why an entirely new legal provision has to be inserted into the EU Treaties – namely, the proposed amended Article 136 TFEU – in order to provide a proper legal base for the proposed permanent ESM loan fund of €700 billion for the Eurozone, together with all the other radical things this new ESM Institution would do, of which the 17 Eurozone States would become “Members”. How does one become a member of a “Mechanism” by the way?


It is regrettable that your uncritical political commitment to further Eurozone integration should lead you to try to sidestep such a basic principle of EU law as Article 3 TFEU, which provides that anything to do with monetary policy for the euro area is an “exclusive competence” of the supranational EU as a whole. This competence cannot be arrogated to themselves by the 17 Eurozone States, just because that is what Germany wants, with France going along.

It is an ABC principle of the EU Treaties that the Eurozone States must abide by the existing provisions of EU law as regards anything they might desire or propose which would affect monetary policy for the euro area, because that is an “exclusive EU competence”. The establishment of an entity such as the proposed ESM with its associated €700 billion permanent fund for lending directly to sovereign governments would certainly affect that. Germany, France and the other Eurozone Members cannot lawfully do whatever they like with the EMU – although that essentially seems to be what they are seeking to do by means of this ESM Treaty.


The statement in your article that “The European Court of Justice has never said” that setting up a €700 billion Stability Mechanism for the Eurozone requires an EU Treaty amendment such as Article 136 TFEU is surprising. How could the ECJ possibly have made any judgement of this kind when Article 136 TFEU is a proposed amendment to the Treaties and not an actual Treaty Article? Article 136 is not yet part of the EU Treaties and will not have legal force until next January, if by then it is approved by all 27 EU Member States. The ECJ has therefore no jurisdiction with regard to it. It is a matter for the Irish Supreme Court to rule on if the Supreme Court choses to exercise its constitutional powers – which of course includes protecting the integrity of the EU treaties that now form part of Irish law.

I put it to you that the above considerations make it clear why we need to have a constitutional referendum in Ireland on the ESM Treaty and on the Article 136 TFEU on which the ESM Treaty as it stands is legally dependent.


Those who want an ESM like that proposed in the ESM Treaty wish for that to be done in the legally and constitutionally right way, for it would profoundly affect our Constitution and it requires a referendum here.

It is quite incidental to the legalities of the issue that such a referendum would put Ireland in a powerful bargaining position vis-a-vis the Eurozone if the other Eurozone Governments press ahead with the kind of radical ESM Institution which is envisaged in the ESM Treaty as that stands at present.

A referendum on Article 136 TFEU and the ESM Treaty would nonetheless be an opportunity for Ireland. It would be a real chance for us to get radical relief on our State debts.

Standing by the Irish Constitution in face of German-led pressure and exercising Ireland’s veto in defence of EU law and the EU Treaties would of course require some gumption from Messrs Kenny, Gilmore and their fellow Ministers. Holding a referendum on the ESM would put Ireland in a powerful bargaining position by which we could rid ourselves of the enormous private banking debt and all that that entails.

May I therefore invite you to join me and my colleagues in calling for such a development.
Let us exercise the Veto that we have on Article 136 TFEU and the ESM Treaty and make our politicians stand up for Ireland and the Irish people who elected them, while at the same time defending EU law and the EU Treaties against Germany’s and France’s takeover-bid for the Eurozone.

With best regards,
Yours sincerely

(Associate Professor Emeritus in Social Policy, TCD)