Government sleepwalking us into delusional Shangri La concocted by Troika – Mac Lochlainn
Speaking this afternoon in the Dáil on pre-EU Council meeting statements, Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Pádraig MacLochlainn said the Government failed to place Ireland on the agenda at the EU council meetings this week, and have allowed the unravelling of the Greek situation to bury any serious consideration of the same events that are heading our way.
Deputy MacLochlainn said:
"As terms of agreement for the second Greek bailout, the IMF and EU are insisting Greece pass further new austerity measures. When this is done, the Irish debt crisis will return to the top of the crisis agenda once again. There is no doubt about it.
"The Government failed to really place Ireland on the agenda at the EU council meetings this week, and they allowed the unravelling of the Greek situation to bury any serious consideration of the same events that are heading our way.
"A second, third, or fourth bailout will not solve the Greek debt crisis. Further austerity measures will only deepen it. The Greek people know this. It is why they are furiously protesting day after day, demanding that their government reject the EU bulldozer. They want a viable alternative - and the only other possibility open to them is to exit from the euro, return to the Greek currency, and restoration of control over their national economy. It is no coincidence that the pressure mounting for more and more bailouts is coming from the core EU countries - the very countries that facilitated and profited from the excess lending that contributed to these crises in the first place.
"International observers agree that the faster Greece accepts the inevitability of default, the faster they will return to solvency. Anything else simply prolongs the agony. The Greek people know it. The Irish people know it. Why, then, is this Government hell-bent on walking us into the same situation?
"Our government is sleep-walking the Irish people into a delusional Shangri La concocted by the Troika in the interest of the ECB and the powerful States of Europe. Enough of the mad chat that Europe is favouring us with loans, at extortionate interest rates. Loans need to be paid back. A loan is not a gift. Santa Claus has not come to town. The EU and ECB are committing us to crippling debt for decades to come.
"Last week, Minister Noonan said the Irish Government was in a strong position to impose losses on bondholders of two failed lenders. The revival of the pre- election pledge to go after senior bondholders in Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide coincidentally happened on the Government’s 100th day in office. The ECB has not changed its resistance to any such measures. They could not have made it clearer. Minister Noonan’s window dressing of events proved little more than a publicity stunt and political manoeuvring.
"This begs the question, where do this Government’s priorities lie? Is this Government committed to the EU or to the people of this nation? What message are we really delivering to our European partners at the EU Council this week?
"While we watch the future of our nation being tragically played out in Greece, our Minister for Finance is negotiating more lending. That used to be called fiddling while Rome burned. It has to be asked: Are we completely blind? Or are we completely bullied? Or is it a tragic combination of both?"