Ireland to have a referendum on the EU fiscal treaty…

Prime Minister Enda Kenny has just announced this afternoon that a general referendum will be held on the EU Fiscal Compact prior to the summer. Labour and Fine Gael, the parties currently in power, will campaign for a Yes vote. Sinn Fein will probably line up on the No side, which would continue their journey on the road to Euroskepticism. Fianna Fail, which spectacularly combusted in general elections last year, will be having its Ard Fheis (Party Conference) this weekend, which a good deal of the party’s future will be discussed. No doubt this referendum will be a hot topic. The sense I get so far is that Fianna Fail will back a yes vote, since the previous government was thoroughly Europhilic and the current leader, Micheal Martin, was in the prior cabinet. But let’s see what happens this weekend…

A few quick thoughts:
– The Taoiseach (Prime Minister) is announcing this now because he thinks people are generally feeling good about Ireland’s prospects. In the last 10 days or so several hundred new jobs from various overseas corporations have been announced.
– Or maybe his hand has been forced by the prospect of Sinn Fein issuing a court challenge?
– Initial takes I’m reading/hearing indicate a No vote would imply a break from the Eurozone.

Time to go listen to the radio!!

11 thoughts on “Ireland to have a referendum on the EU fiscal treaty…”

  1. Didn’t the Shinners also oppose the Lisbon treaty (albeit for ridiculous reasons, “the EU will abolish our precious minimum wage”)? It doesn’t get much more euroskeptical than that.

    I think you are right in that FF will jump off the cliff and back the new treaty, but who knows?

  2. From my admittedly less than informed outsider’s point of view; I find myself in the midst of a certain amount of cognitive dissonance in that I find myself rooting for Sinn Fein, the political wing of the terrorist Provisional IRA, to win this battle. If an unaccountable outside government entity has ultimate control of a nation’s internal finances; the nation is not sovereign and its people are not free.

    I realize that apparently some official named Shatter has said that if the Irish people vote the referendum down, that there will be another vote. This is in accordance with EU SOP wherein it is one man, one vote, over and over till they finally get the “right” outcome; then forever hold your peace.

    As strangely as it may appear above my nom d’ blog,

    Éirinn go Brách

    Subotai Bahadur

  3. @Subotai – Alan Shatter is the Minister of Justice. He can actually be quite common-sensical, but he is also a strong party man and a by-the-books guy. Meanwhile, I reckon SF’s euroskepticism is more in the mold of the British National Party (as opposed to, say United Kingdom Independence Party or Italy’s Lega Nord). It’s a strong socialist vision couched in nationalist terms.

    @Lukas – FF Party leader Micheal Martin has announced FF is backing the Yes vote. But with the Ard Fheis this weekend, maybe this ship will turn course. FF has only 19 members left in the 166-member Dail. They can’t go forward being a faint political echo of FG and hope to exist.

  4. ” a No vote would imply a break from the Eurozone”: ah, trying to scare ’em into voting “yes”. What is that rhyme about nurse and something worse?

  5. My hope is that some brave people n one of the major parties will break with their leadership and either force an endorsement of a no position, or break away entirely and form a genuinely euroskeptic party. Some of the FF people must be saying to themselves now “What exactly do we have to lose?”

  6. I’ve recently seen an infographic form some American economics think tank about the national economies in 2030. A sort of new G8, to say. There was place, among Usa, China, Brazil, Russia and who can remember who else, for just one European nation. It was the EU. No chance for UK, no chance for France, no chance for Germany. Even Berlin would be a dwarf.
    If, and I know chances are few, the same (classic-market-social) liberal spirit that made the federal dream possible after WWII will come back and face Merkozy, the «fiscal compact» will be one step toward the long awaited elected European federal government. Otherwise, as my Greek brothers are experimenting, a step toward 19bloody84.

    There’s no other way to be a player in the next decades, if not joining the queue just behind Puerto Rico and ask for annexation to the Usa. The power that once was contained by borders is no more. Call it globalization, or – as in Adam Smith – free movement of goods and people.

  7. If you know Gaelic – and it sounds like you know at least some! – my hat’s off to you.

    When Enya sneaks some Gaelic in while I am walking the dong at 05:30 I have a “what was that” moment.

    As far as the EU and history we are in interesting times – and the times seem to be accelerating these days.

  8. @TfI: The party of Eamon de Valera will never disappear, but it has a long way to fall yet. If the referendum fails, that’s going to be another success for the socialists (both SF and independent socialists).

    @Bill: Níl sí ródheacair :)

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