Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Eamon Gilmore defends austerity treaty in the Dáil as Labour party grassroots protest against it outside – Mac Lochlainn

29 February, 2012 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Speaking in the Dáil today the Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Pádraig MacLochlainn TD accused the Tánaiste of defending the austerity treaty in the Dáil while grass roots Labour party members and trade unionists protest against it outside.

Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:

“I welcome the announcement of a referendum and the opportunity for the Irish people to voice their opinion on the deal before us. This proposal will undermine the European Union further in the eyes of our people. It is a Treaty that will remove economic decision making from democratic control and will stifle growth and increase unemployment.

“Today on the eve of this month’s European Council meeting, trade unions are mobilising across Europe in the face of a worsening economic and social situation. While many of Labour's grassroot supporters were on the streets of Dublin protesting with ICTU and ETUC against this Treaty on ‘European Day of Action Against Austerity’, Labour's party leader was in the Dáil chamber trying to sell it.

“Eamon Gilmore needs to listen to his grassroots. He knows that the draft treaty on the agenda of this week’s summit does nothing but reinforce austerity and outlaw any alternative economic policy.

“Both Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore are wrong to state that this Treaty will restore growth and resolve the sovereign debt crisis. It is also absolutely disingenuous to try and sell the rules of this Treaty on economic governance as a technical matter.

“The whole thing smacks of ‘making it up as they go along’ politics and will be seen by ordinary people for what it is. It's simply Frankfurt’s way. It is about protecting international capital and its backers.

“The new Treaty is only stipulating more of the same: austerity and budgetary discipline. We know that it will force member states to pursue damaging pro-cyclical fiscal policies, giving absolute priority to rigid economic rules. We know the effects that this will have on our economy and what this will do to our already intolerably high unemployment figures. We are certain that it will bring even more pressure on wages, working conditions, surveillance and sanctions. And ultimately, we know that under this Treaty, Governments failing to comply with the fiscal compact will be brought to the European Court of Justice, which may impose sanctions.

“Such are the implications of what we are being asked to sign up to. I look forward opening the debate up on all these issues and I have total confidence that the Irish people will see this Treaty for what it is.”

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