Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
23 February 2012
EUROZONE DESPERATE TO AVOID REFERENDUM IN IRELAND
The following text includes extracts, in italic type, from an article by Denis Staunton in The Irish Times today 23 February 2012. Antigone1984 has highlighted some of the text in bold.
Germany’s Minister for European Affairs has confirmed that European Union negotiators sought to design the euro zone fiscal compact in such a way to avoid a referendum in Ireland.
Michael Link was visiting Dublin yesterday 22 February 2012 for talks with ministers, officials and members of the Oireachtas (the Irish Legislature).
According to The Irish Times, Mr Link said that Ireland’s constitutional requirements would also help determine the draft, at the European Union summit on 1/2 March 2012, of rules governing the role of the European Court of Justice in enforcing the new pact.
“Also there, we are trying to design everything that is on the table in a way which would be okay in the eyes of the [Irish] Attorney General and the Irish Constitution so that no referendum is needed,” he told the paper.
When asked if the fiscal compact agreed in Brussels last month had been designed in such a way that it would not need a referendum in Ireland, Mr Link replied: “Exactly”.
The German minister’s comments appear to contradict the Taoiseach [Prime Minister]’s denial in the Dáil [House of Representatives] this month of a report in this newspaper that parts of the pact were explicitly drafted to give the Government a chance to avoid a referendum.
1. As to the ferocious opposition throughout Euroland to the holding of referendums, We refer readers to this passage from our post “Not only in Ireland….!Part 4: Democracy” published on 24 January 2012:
“…..what the EU and its member states do not want under any circumstances is to consult their citizens to find out whether the people at large approve of the austerity policies that are being enacted in their name and, arguably, to their detriment. Not only in Ireland is there a blunt unwillingness to seek the views of the electorate. To date, throughout the Europe Union, no government has dared stage a referendum on the cutbacks. They are afraid, rightly, that they might get the answer “No”. Which is precisely what has happened in the past – not least in Ireland – on the rare occasions that member state governments have put EU policy to a plebiscite. Instead, governments prefer, naturally, to have their policies rubber-stamped by puppet parliaments in thrall to the partitocracy.”
2. As to the Irish Prime Minister’s denial ’s denial in the Dáil [House of Representatives] this month of a report in The Irish Times that parts of the euro zone fiscal pact were explicitly drafted to give the Government a chance to avoid a referendum, we refer readers to this passage from our post “What would Gandhi have said?” published on 30 January 2012:
“Politicians, understandably, regularly come out as the least popular category when people are polled to give their views as to which occupations they most admire. This blog has had a long and in-depth acquaintance with politicians of all stripes, both nationally and internationally. Its conclusion is that in general, with a very few honourable exceptions, politicians are the scum of the earth. Just as the scum rises to the top, so politicians have risen to the summit of the political cesspool. They represent not the people but themselves and only themselves. The sole aim of their political activity is to secure personal preferment. It is often claimed that politicians are liars, that they do not tell the truth. The blog does not believe this. The blog does not believe that they are liars. To be a liar you have to know what the truth is. The politician has no idea what the truth is. He or she does not know what the word means. To a politician, “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” is defined as whatever he himself happens to be saying at any given moment in time. It need bear no relations to the facts nor to whatever that same politician has said in the past. Nor need it bear any relation to what he or she says two minutes later. As we have just suggested, to a politician the truth varies according to whatever suits his personal interests at the moment he is speaking.”