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Irish Government needs to stand up to EU double standards

14 March, 2012

The Irish Government needs to drive home to the ECB the message that Ireland cannot afford to pay the promissory note according to Sinn Féin group leader in the Seanad, David Cullinane. Speaking on the Order of Business today, the Waterford Senator said the government should take a stronger line similar to that taken by the Spanish Government this week.

Senator Cullinane said:

“The Irish Government needs to have the courage of its convictions and stand by its pre-election commitments. A stronger line similar to the one taken by the Spanish Government this week would produce a better outcome.

“In the last number of days, Spain has succeeded in obtaining debt relief, but rather than challenging the ECB and the EU to allow for similar relief in Ireland, we have heard the Minister for Finance parroting the EU’s line, that Ireland is different, and that Ireland is obliged to pay the promissory note in full.

“The Government needs to stop negotiating on the margins of the promissory note – spreading out the repayment only kicks the can further down the road. The IOU had an initial value of €31bn, but we have to pay the ECB €42bn after interest.

“To pay the ECB, we have to borrow, meaning that it will cost in the area of some €70bn to repay the debt. What will it cost us in interest if the debt repayment is spread out over a longer period?

“The Irish government should do what’s in the best interests of the Irish people, and refuse to pay the promissory note.”

Senator Cullinane also added that events in Spain cast doubt over the viability of states adhering to the Fiscal Compact.

“No sooner is ink dry on the fiscal compact than a right-wing conservative Prime Minister has come out against it, claiming that the rules are far too rigid and draconian. All over Europe people are coming to the realisation that the rules in the compact are unworkable, and will only have the effect of stagnating growth.

“The EU’s approach to this crisis has been to repeat the same mistakes again and again. We need to go back to the drawing board, and develop a solution to the Eurozone crisis based on investment, and job creation.” ENDS

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