A public meeting and discussion on a new booklet on the Fiscal Treaty will take place in Maynooth on Monday, 16 April at 8pm, in Caulfield’s Pub, Maynooth.
Kieran Allen, a senior lecturer in the School of Sociology in UCD, has launched a new booklet on the Fiscal Treaty.
The Fiscal Treaty and the Euro Crisis’ contains an analysis of the text of the treaty and the context that gave rise to it. The booklet is published by the Voteno.ie website.
It claims that the Treaty imposes permanent austerity on countries like Ireland while at the same time the European Central Bank is engaged in an elaborate manoeuvre to hand out money to private banks.
Under the Long Term Refinancing Operation, EU banks have received €1.1 trillion in soft loans at an interest rate of 1 percent per annum.This money has been mainly invested in government bonds which have interest rates of between 4 percent and 6 percent. This guarantees huge profits in an elaborate scam known as the ‘carry-over trade’
“One of the purposes of the Fiscal Treaty is to lock down spending on basic public services so that money is set aside for the repayment of these government bonds. Financial interests are driving the agenda of the Europe and have promoted this treaty to ensure they get their pound of flesh,” says Mr Allen.
Ireland is particularly vulnerable, he claims, because the current debt to GDP ratio stands at 120 percent. Meeting the terms of the Fiscal Treaty will require cutbacks of between €5 billion and €6 billion a year.
“You need to understand what these figures mean in real terms. If we shut down both the primary and secondary schools, we could just about hit that target. If we wish to keep them open, we will instead have to cut social welfare, slash wages in the public sector and reduce hospital services. Telling the people to vote ‘Yes for Jobs’ is a sick joke that will fall very flat,” said the sociology lecturer.
If Ireland fails to meet its targets – which Mr Allen believes is the most likely scenario – then control over economic policy shifts to the unelected EJ Commission. Article 3.2 of the treaty gives them power to determine ‘the nature, size and timeframe of the corrective action to be taken, he argues.
“It could not be clearer – we will hand over control to the same agency that approved the bank bail outs. They will not have the interest of the Irish people at heart.”