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Irish government should be at the table – no transfer of fiscal powers acceptable for solving euro crisis

16 August, 2011

Commenting on a meeting of Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris today, Sinn Fein TD Peadar Tóibín said it is not satisfactory for Irish citizens or indeed European citizens that only two heads of state are meeting to discuss what is the deepest crisis facing the eurozone and European citizens since the union was formed.

Deputy Tóibín added that the Irish government should be actively seeking engagement in meetings which concern this state’s future and not just be 'available' as Michael Noonan said yesterday, to discuss whatever conclusions Merkel and Sarkozy arrive at.

The Meath West TD also said that Sinn Féin would resist any solution to the Euro crisis which involved a further transfer of economic sovereignty to Brussels.

He said:

“We are in the midst of a crisis that affects every citizen in Europe and only two European heads of state are meeting to discuss it. This union is allegedly a union of partners and it is irrelevant how good the Germans are at saving or how large the French economy is. What is relevant is the inescapable fact that we are all part of one currency and that currency is imploding as a result of poor political decisions and economic naivety.

“While Sarkozy and Merkel meet to discuss Ireland’s financial survival, among other things, the Irish government is content to observe proceedings from afar and offer up its availability for discussing the conclusions arrived at. This is completely unacceptable for Irish citizens.

“Whether eurobonds are discussed or not at today's meeting, an Irish government representative should be there making the point that under no circumstances will Ireland's economic sovereignty be held any more to ransom for a solution to this Europe-wide problem.

“The fiscal interference we have suffered to date has served to worsen not only our economy, but all those on the periphery of Europe who have been forced to honour private bond holder debt, renege on investment plans and implement austerity budgets. Increasing that type of fiscal centralism is a completely irrational response in the face of it having not worked one iota to date.

“Sinn Féin, like all progressive European forces is advocating a restructuring of private debt; the implementation of fair taxation measures; the curtailing of wasteful expenditure in public budgets; intensive stimulus packages; and the examination of the role of the ECB as a solution to this crisis.

“Measures have been put forward such as eurobonds stemming from the ECB that would not require transfer of fiscal autonomy and we are exploring these ideas, but until the issue of sovereigns holding private debt and indebted banks being continually bailed out is dealt with, this crisis will limp on.” ENDS

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