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Government must seek removal of Blackmail Clause – Doherty

21 March, 2012 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Speaking today before a private members’ debate in the Dáil the Sinn Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty called on the Government “to seek the removal of the blackmail clause, using its veto if required.”

Deputy Doherty said:

“The Government is saying that if we reject the Austerity Treaty we will be denied European Stability Mechanism (ESM) funding in the future. This is simply not true.

“The ESM has not yet been ratified by this State. The Government continues to have a veto on the ESM. If it wanted the Government could seek the removal of this blackmail clause.

“Unfortunately they know that without this, the prospect of winning the referendum on the Austerity Treaty is next to impossible.

“Tonight’s private member motion, tabled by Sinn Féin, is calling on the government to delay the ratification of the ESM until after the Austerity Treaty referendum. This would allow a free and fair debate on the merits of the Austerity Treaty free from bullying or blackmail. If the people reject the Austerity Treaty then the Government must go to the European Council and secure the removal of the blackmail clause, using their veto if required.

“The motion also makes clear that the blackmail clause is an empty threat. It has little if any legal force and conflicts with the primary mandate of the ESM to safeguard the stability of the Eurozone as a whole as written into the EU Treaties. It is also not the only source of emergency funding available to EU member states who find themselves frozen out of the sovereign markets.

“The Government's claim that rejecting the Austerity Treaty would deny us access to emergency funding in the future is simply untrue.”

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