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ESM funding will be available irrespective of how the people vote on Austerity Treaty – Sinn Féin

21 May, 2012


Speaking in response to comments made today by pro-Austerity Treaty campaigner Pat Cox, Sinn Féin campaign director Eoin Ó Broin has said that, “ESM funding will be available in 2014 if required by the Government irrespective of how the people vote on the Austerity Treaty,”

Ó Broin said:

“Access to ESM funds will be determined by the ESM Treaty not the Austerity Treaty. Ratification of the ESM Treaty will not take place until later this year.

“The primary legal mandate of the ESM is outlined in Articles 3 and 12 of that Treaty which say that funding would be provided where it is ‘indispensable to safeguard the financial stability of the euro area as a whole and of its Member States.’

“Pat Cox is right when he says that the controversial black-mail clause linking access to ESM funds to ratification of the Austerity Treaty is contained in recital 5 of the ESM Treaty.

“However Pat also knows that as a recital the blackmail clause does not have the same legal force as a Treaty article. If the Government is in need of emergency funding come 2014, failure to provide that funding would destabilise the Eurozone as a whole. On this basis there will be a clear legal obligation to provide such funding.

“It also remains the case that the Government has the power to secure the removal of the blackmail clause from Recital 5 of the ESM Treaty in the event of a no vote. If the Yes side is genuinely concerned about this clause they should seek to have it removed rather than use it in an attempt to bully voters into supporting the Austerity Treaty.

“Given that the State’s total liability to the ESM fund is €11 billion it is hardly credible to claim that the government would agree to contributions on such a scale if they could not access the fund.” 

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