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Treaty will seriously undermine Irish sovereignty – Adams

7 March, 2012 - by Gerry Adams TD


Speaking during statements on the European Council in the Dáil today the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams TD said that the austerity treaty will “seriously undermine Irish sovereignty.”

Deputy Adams said:

“This treaty will seriously undermine Irish sovereignty by surrendering important Irish fiscal and budgetary matters to un-elected and unaccountable EU officials in the European Court of Justice and the European Commission

“These institutions will be allowed to impose harsh economic policies on democratically elected governments and to impose heavy fines where they believe these policies have not been adhered to.

“The Commission is also given new powers to impose Economic Partnership Programmes on states in breach of its debt and deficit rules.

“These will be programmes of structural ‘reform’ similar to those in the current EU/IMF austerity programme, even where a Member State is borrowing on ordinary terms from the international bond market.

“By placing these rules and enforcement mechanisms in an international treaty and giving it the protection of the Irish Constitution, the Government clearly intends to make these
obligations permanent – to straight-jacket future governments and their ability to adopt different strategies.

“Next week Sinn Féin will launch a detailed analysis of the Austerity Treaty outlining our alternative strategy for stabilising the economy, creating employment and reducing the States debt and deficit.

“I urge the Taoiseach to make speedy progress toward setting the date for the referendum. Let us have a fair debate and let the people decide.”

Full text of Deputy Adams’ speech:

Taoiseach, this crisis is about more than economics and bank bailouts and promissory notes to criminal banks, it is about people. And the choices Fine Gael and Labour are making in respect of all of these are hurting citizens.

The evidence of that is all around us.

I heard it last Friday in Mayo from rural dwellers who are at breaking point as a consequence of your commitment to austerity.

Taoiseach your policies are stripping local communities of essential services – of schools, of guidance counsellors, hospitals, teachers, post-offices and Garda stations.

It is also adding new stealth taxes like the Universal Social Charge, the Household Charge, VAT increases, motor tax increases and septic tank charges.

Tá níos mó ná milliún duine dí-fhostaithe agus de réir atá ráite ag an rialtas nach n-athrófaidh an figiúr sin mórán faoi dhá mhíl is a cúig déag.

Small indigenous business, including small farmers, with no real support from the government or credit from the banks, are going under. Natural resources are given away and now state assets are to be sold off.

A whole generation of young people are forced to leave. This GAA generation is playing our gaelic games in Brisbane, Birmingham and Baltimore instead of their own parish.

Éireofaidh sé seo go léir níos measa má socraítear ar an gConradh a shíniú tú sa Bhruiséal.

Taoiseach you, the Tánaiste and Michéal Martin are asking the citizens to support a Treaty that will enshrine the policies of austerity into our constitution in perpetuity.

But these policies, supported by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour are failing citizens.

Taoiseach you said you wanted to be the Taoiseach who restored economic sovereignty to this state.

But this treaty will achieve the opposite.

It will seriously undermine Irish sovereignty by surrendering important Irish fiscal and budgetary matters to un-elected and unaccountable EU officials in the European Court of Justice and the European Commission

These institutions will be allowed to impose harsh economic policies on democratically elected governments and to impose heavy fines where they believe these policies have not been adhered to.

The Commission is also given new powers to impose Economic Partnership Programmes on states in breach of its debt and deficit rules.

These will be programmes of structural ‘reform’ similar to those in the current EU/IMF austerity programme, even where a Member State is borrowing on ordinary terms from the international bond market.

By placing these rules and enforcement mechanisms in an international treaty and giving it the protection of the Irish Constitution, the Government clearly intends to make these obligations permanent – to straight-jacket future governments and their ability to adopt different strategies.

This is unacceptable.

Taoiseach trí mhí ó shin baineadh trí punca hocht billion as an ghéilleagar. Tá sé seo tar éis fíor chruatan a chur ar an dtír.

You are already committed to slashing a further €8.6 Billion from the economy in the next three years to meet the Troika Deficit target of 3%.

The austerity treaty now demands an additional structural deficit rule of 0.5% .

This means that up to a further €6 billion in cuts and new taxes will be imposed!

Taoiseach more austerity will deepen the recession, increase the deficit and make economic recovery more difficult.

Ní féidir le saoránaigh an stát seo cur suas leis an conradh seo agus bhur bpolasaithe.

Taoiseach as part of this process the Government also agreed that ratification of the Fiscal Treaty is necessary to access emergency funding from the European Stability Mechanism.

You could have tried to stop this linkage but chose not to.

Now you are claiming citizens must vote for the Austerity Treaty to ensure access to the ESM in the future.

Taoiseach this is no more than a cynical attempt to bully voters into supporting a bad Treaty.

It is also an empty threat. The European Council will not refuse emergency funding to any Eurozone member state in the future irrespective of their position on
the Austerity Treaty.

To do so would be to break the commitment they gave at the European Council summit of 21 July 2011 when they said they were “determined to continue to provide support to countries under programmes until they have regained market access, provided they successfully implement those programmes.”

It would also have a devastating impact on the Eurozone as a whole, something no EU politician will be willing to risk.

Tá teipithe oraibh ar an bpobal ó tháinig sibh isteach bliain ó
shin ar an Aoine seo.

Tá teipithe ar bhur bpolsaithe a bhaineann le tarrtháil na mbancanna, nóta geallúntais agus beart gátair inar thug Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Pairtí an Lucht Oibre tacaíocht dhó.

Taoiseach, the policies of bank bailouts, and promissory notes and crippling austerity, supported by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Labour have failed.

There is an alternative.

Use the National Pensions Reserve Fund with its €5.3 billion to invest in jobs and growth.

Combine this with the resources of the European Investment Bank and utilise that to invest in various projects, for example, the roll-out of next generation broadband.

Cleanse the European Banking system of toxic debts through a new round of rigorous stress tests and deleveraging followed by recapitalisation where necessary funded by the European Central Bank.

And call a halt to the €3.1 billion annual payment to Anglo which will cost the Irish taxpayers up to €76 billion before it concludes in 20 years.

Next week Sinn Féin will launch a detailed analysis of the Austerity Treaty outlining our alternative strategy for stabilising the economy, creating employment and reducing the States debt and deficit.

Iarrfaidh muid ar saoránaigh na tíre seo an Conradh Fioscach a dhiúltú i bhfeachtas an reifreann.

In the referendum campaign we will be asking citizens to reject this Treaty.

That is the only sensible option.

Finally and in conclusion, I would urge you to make speedy progress toward setting the date for the referendum. And let us have a fair debate and let the people decide.

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