Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Red C poll: Irish public unaware of how EU makes decisions, unwilling to bail out Euro further

Red C poll finds lack of public awareness of changes in EU decision making process and strong public resistance to pay more for survival of Euro currency

At the launch of a Red C opinion poll in Dublin today the Peoples Movement warned that Irish people were unwilling to make further sacrifices to ensure the future of the Euro currency and that they were unaware of forthcoming fundamental changes to the voting system in the EU Council of Ministers.

The Red C poll was commissioned by the EU Democrats; a Brussels based pan-EU political organization, for the People’s Movement in Ireland.  The President of the EU Democrats, former MEP Patricia McKenna , said that the findings of the poll show a lack of public awareness of forthcoming fundamental changes to decision making at EU level and also shows a strong resistance to any further suggested costs to taxpayers to help bail out the Euro currency. 

McKenna said it was notable that despite two referendum campaigns 69% of Irish people were still unaware of the most significant political change introduced by the Lisbon Treaty - which is that voting in the all powerful EU Council of Ministers will move to a population based system giving a huge increase in voting power to the big States at the expense of small States like Ireland. In 2014 Ireland will see its vote more than halved to less than 1% while Germany will see its vote doubled to 16%.

She said, these findings come as no surprise to members of the Peoples Movement because we have argued consistently that there was a deliberate policy by the Government and the political establishment to keep Irish people in the dark about this fundamental change to the EU law-making process. From November, under the new population-based system, the six largest EU States will increase their share of Council votes from 49% to over 70% while the combined voting share of the 22 smallest States will fall from 51% to less than 30%.

People’s Movement patron and artist Robert Ballagh said, the findings that 72% Irish people would be resistant to any cuts in pay, social welfare or pensions to ensure the survival of the Euro currency should provide a strong health warning to any further plans by Government for continued austerity measures.  It is significant to note that despite Irish people’s current attachment to the Euro a large majority will resist any further pain to ensure its survival.  Clearly Irish people’s generosity will only stretch so far.  The Irish taxpayer has already paid a high price for the Euro’s survival. It is now a well known fact that in order to protect the Euro project the EU and ECB put pressure on the Irish Government to provided the infamous 2008 blanket guarantee for all loans by Irish banks thus ensuring that these debts were transferred onto the backs of the Irish taxpayer.

People’s Movement member, Kevin McCorry pointed out that while Irish public opinion appears polarised in terms how concerned they believe the ECB is with Irish interests, the findings overall show a slight majority, 52% of people have little or no confidence in the ECB’s ability to take account of Irish interests. He said this is a significant finding, in that the main EU institution controlling the economies of all Eurozone countries including Ireland attracts little public confidence from Irish people.  Furthermore, it highlights yet again the serious democratic deficit at the heart of the EU structure because even if 100% of people distrusted the ECB it would be irrelevant as there is no mechanism to hold this vital decision-making institution to account.

For further information phone:
Patricia McKenna 087-2427049
Kevin McCorry 086-3150301
Robert Ballagh 016719075

Findings of Red C poll see at http://cdn.thejournal.ie/media/2013/12/red-c-poll.pptx
RED C interviewed a random sample of 1,003 adults aged 18+ by telephone between the 16th-18th December 2013. 

A random digit dial (RDD) method, using both mobile and landline numbers, was used to ensure a random selection process of households to be included – this also ensures that ex-directory and mobile only households are covered. 

Interviews were conducted across the country and the results weighted to the profile of all adults, by gender, age social class and region. The margin of error on this sample size is +/- 3.2%

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