Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here.

The best laid plans on mice and men...

by Frank Schnittger Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 11:38:36 AM EST

O woe is me! Despite all attempts at avoiding a referendum in Ireland on the "fiscal compact", the Attorney General has ruled that "on balance" one will be required to amend the Constitution to accomodate the pact...

Referendum to be held on European fiscal compact - The Irish Times - Tue, Feb 28, 2012

The Government is to put the revised European Union fiscal compact treaty which tightens controls on member states' budgetary decisions to a referendum,  Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil this afternoon.

The compact, agreed at special EU summit last month, proposes tough new budgetary discipline on each euro zone state, including near-zero public deficits. Twenty-five of the European Union's 27 countries have signed up to the new treaty, with only Britain and the Czech Republic opposed.

Mr Kenny told the House that the Attorney General's advice at this morning's Cabinet meeting was that "on balance", a referendum was required to ratify it. Scheduled Dáil business was interrupted for the statement.

The Taoiseach said that he intended to sign the treaty at the weekend with all the heads of the EU in Brussels. In the coming weeks, he said the Government would finalise the arrangements and the process leading to the referendum, leading to the establishment of a referendum commission. No date was given for the poll.


Referendum to be held on European fiscal compact - The Irish Times - Tue, Feb 28, 2012

Mr Kenny has previously denied the compact will condemn the State to further years of austerity.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said the referendum would come down to a vote for economic growth and stability.  "We now have an opportunity to go beyond the casino capitalism," he said.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin criticised the Government for notifying the Opposition eight minutes before the Taoiseach's announcement. "I think it's the right decision and one that shouldn't have required legal advice in my view," he said.

Sinn Féin and a number of left-wing TDs opposed to the treaty had indicated their intention of issuing a court challenge if a referendum was not held.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said it was another failure by the Government, which had tried to avoid the referendum. "The question is will the Government accept the outcome? Are we going to have the usual re-run replay?" he asked.

Irish voters rejected the Nice referendum in 2001. It was passed following a re-run in October 2002. The Lisbon referendum was rejected in 2008, before being passed a year later after Ireland secured a number of concessions.

The Green Party said it would seek support for a Yes vote on the referendum, with leader Eamon Ryan saying the measures provided for in the fiscal compact was in the national interest.

Support for the European Union has cooled in Ireland following the financial crisis, meaning there is no guarantee a vote will succeed. A rejection could damage Dublin's long-term funding prospects and cast doubt on the country's commitment to the single currency.

In December, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said a vote on the treaty would effectively be a vote on Ireland's membership of the euro.

Rejecting the treaty would also bar Dublin from accessing the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the permanent successor to the euro zone's current rescue fund which Ireland is tapping as part of an EU-IMF bailout that runs until the end of 2013.

The Government has been studiously denying that it has been doing everything possible to avoid a referendum. However, once again a German politician stepped into the breach to totally undermine the Government's position:
Referendum to be held on European fiscal compact - The Irish Times - Tue, Feb 28, 2012

Last week, Germany's minister for European Affairs Michael Link confirmed that European Union negotiators sought to design the fiscal compact in such a way to avoid a referendum in Ireland.

The Government - and lead opposition party, Fianna Fail - now face the nightmare scenario of a referendum campaign in which they are pledged to support an increasingly unpopular EU and fiscal austerity pact - on pain of losing all EU/IMF/ECB funding and the whole basis of their economic recovery strategy. Sinn Fein, the only opposition party to consistently oppose the Troika strategy has been cleaning up in the opinion polls recently and eclipsing Fianna Fail (25 to 16%) as the major opposition party.  This referendum is tailor made for them drive a stake through the heart of Fianna Fail if not the Government.  Labour is also particularly vulnerable - down to 10% in the polls.  Fine Gael is the only party (other than Sinn Fein) to retain its support.  Its largely conservative bourgeois base is quite happy that Austerity policies are hitting the feckless working class most whilst underwriting their relative social position.

For the first time in my life I too, will be forced to consider voting NO in a EU referendum. The pact is economic nonsense, as every reputable economist knows. Worse, it enshrines the IMF/EU/ECB Troika's insistence that we bail-out the bond-holders in Anglo-Irish Bank to the tune of €30 Billion - despite the fact that Anglo never was a strategic bank, and its bond holders were never covered by the truly stupid Government bank guarantee. The original bond-holders have long fled the scene to be replaced by speculative hedge funds who bought the bonds at a discount reflecting their un-guaranteed status. But what really sticks in the craw is that these "Promissory notes" have to be funded at market interest rates and not the preferential ESM funding available for other Government debts. As a result, the 30 Billion Anglo debt could well become 70 Billion by the time all capital and interest has been repaid, or almost 40% of current Irish GDP - all for one worthless, defunct, non-strategic private property speculators bank that most people had barely heard of prior to the crisis!

Recent opinion polls have indicated that only 24% (down 20%) of Irish people trust the EU and only 34% think that Irish interests are taken into account by the EU. 78% still support the Euro, but few will accept Michael Noonan's contention (above) that the referendum is effectively on membership of the Eurozone itself. The poll found 40 per cent of the 1,000 Irish people questioned said they would support the treaty, with 36 per cent against and 24 per cent undecided. However it was taken before the outlines of the fiscal pact were particularly clear or widely understood and thus should be taken as an indicator of general attitudes to EU policies rather than the specifics of the fiscal pact and its implications for Ireland. The key issue is that a NO vote will prevent the Government from accessing ESM funding, without which a default will be all but unavoidable. Many will welcome the prospect of a default - particularly on the Anglo-Irish promissory notes - given there was never a coherent case for the state to take over such ludicrous private debts.

Merkel and the ECB have been playing hardball on the Anglo promissory notes and refusing all (rather timid) attempts by the Irish Government to either negotiate a managed default or to fund the debt at ESM rates. Without some flexibility on this issue, I can't see the referendum passing. However the Fiscal Pact will go into operation even if only 12 countries ratify it, so in theory Merkel could kiss Ireland - as well as the UK and Czech Republic - goodbye.  However without access to ESM funds Ireland will be forced to default which will wreck havoc in the Eurozone as a whole.

Once again perhaps only democracy and not a feckless government will stand in the way of a great EU/IMF/ECB clusterfuck that is their stance on the Anglo promissory notes. The Government sought to avoid a referendum because of the unpopularity of austerity policies as a whole. Expect either a defeat for the pact or some last minute deal on the default or funding of the Anglo promissory notes. The next few weeks and months are going to be interesting. Merkozy may have thought the Greek deal would give them some breathing space to allow a Eurozone recovery and improve their own electoral prospects.  They had better think again. Pandora's box has just been re-opened. Would it be too much to hope that it might also reopen a Europe wide debate on the need for an employment and economic development strategy to complement the austerity pact?

Display:
For the first time in my life I too, will be forced to consider voting NO in a EU referendum.

She's doing a heckuva job, that Angie.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Feb 28th, 2012 at 05:19:08 PM EST
that this provides a heck of an opportunity for the emergence of a major Eurozone stimulus package. Call it a bribe, if you will; I prefer to call it sanity.

What's the timing of the referendum? April? May? Perhaps the best timing would be hard on the heels of the French presidential election, which could be a turning point for a power shift towards expansionary economic policy.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 01:24:46 AM EST
Does your scenario assume there is some backing for a shift towards expansionary policy within the opposition?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anas Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 02:41:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All parties are critical of the pacts exclusive focus on austerity and claim - with varying degrees of seriousness - to be in favour of a much more expansionist EU focus on stimulus, infrastructural investment, jobs etc.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 02:21:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The timing is likely to be May although the Government is being coy on that point. I think they will wait to see if they can squeeze some concessions from the EU- particularly on the promissory notes - before calling a date.  I suspect the net opinion polls will focus everyone's minds on what is required to secure a positive outcome.  We cannot afford another fiasco of voting twice as we did before previous Treaties were approved.  Neither can the Eurozone afford a prolonged period of uncertainty this would entail.

It would be considerably cheaper for Merkozy to "buy off the Irish" with a deal on interest rates for the funding required to may off the Promissory notes than it would be to commit a political volte face on stimulus for the EU as a whole.  I think they will rely on ECB Long Term Refinancing Operation for stimulus and some PR stuff for the latter.  It is difficult to predict whether this will be enough to secure a yes vote in Ireland.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 04:50:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm thinking things are coming to a head over Ireland's 1093% total-foreign-debt to GDP ratio (BBC).

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 06:02:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had to check that that was not a typo.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 06:12:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't most of that owed by foreign banks in the IFSC to their parent companies elsewhere?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 06:13:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 06:18:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't you into the same sort of debate that claims that Ireland's economy is growing because of GDP growth that's entirely attributable to companies that are just washing money through the place?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 06:21:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm just pointing out that Ireland's referendum is going to bring all those heavily indebted subsidiaries of foreign banks into sharp focus.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 06:23:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, right.

In what sense?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 07:19:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All these talk about a "yes" vote being necessary to continue to receive "support" from the EU and ECB.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 09:26:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Irish subsidiaries of foreign banks have made heavy losses borne by their parents but not by the state in terms of the bank guarantee or the state recapitalisation of Irish banks.  The main threat to Irish banks is the continued precipitous decline of property prices which is tending toward the "adverse" scenario envisaged in the bank recapitalisation. Irish banks are heavy users of LTRO - that is where the main dependency on the ECB lies.  But does that require a YES vote to continue?  We will still be in the Eurozone. My suspicion is that the main problem with a NO vote will be the need to get back to market funding of sovereign and anglo debt sooner rather than later - which will lead to a default if market rates are unsustainable.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 11:35:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So it may just be be paper transactions between parents and subsidiaries - possibly balanced by assets elsewhere - and not represent a real debt attributable to "Ireland" absent some other truly stupid state guarantee toward private speculators.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 11:27:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, Iceland was probably worse in that regard and they have shown what can be done. Anyone have any figures on what portion of that debt is represented by Anglo-Irish?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 12:17:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - The best laid plans on mice and men...
But what really sticks in the craw is that these "Promissory notes" have to be funded at market interest rates and not the preferential ESM funding available for other Government debts. As a result, the €30 Billion Anglo debt could well become €70 Billion by the time all capital and interest has been repaid, or almost 40% of current Irish GDP - all for one worthless, defunct, non-strategic private property speculators bank that most people had barely heard of prior to the crisis!


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 02:30:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely the debt from Anglo-Irish isn't the whole of the debt for bad banks that the Troika is looking to get repaid with interest.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 01:35:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The other banks were covered by the bank guarantee, where bailed out and recapitalised handsomely (though not sufficiently if property prices continue their collapse - house prices currently -50% peak), and the moneys required to do so transformed into Sovereign debt funded by the Troika. ASAIK the cost of recapitalisng the other banks comes to c. €70 Billion to date - or another 40% GDP.  So when you add 25% GDP (Sovereign debt prior to crisis) plus 40% for bank bailouts, plus c. 40% for Anglo - including interest) plus the increase in debt that would have occurred in any case due to the crisis you get the debt/GDP ration rising from 25% in 2008 to a projected peak of c. 125% in 2013/2014.

The above figures are rough approximations, but you the the gist - between bank recapitalisations and the effect the recession would have had on Government finances in any case, the debt/GDP ratio has goen up c. 100% in 5 years.

Migs point above relates to an extraordinarily high level of PRIVATE (mostly financial sector) debt.  Effectively the neo-lib "solution" to the crisis has been to transfer excessive private debt into sovereign debt, and then to blame the sovereign for being feckless...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 07:42:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you can take the view that a sovereign who consents to take on all that private debt is feckless.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 08:03:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I DO take that view, but it doesn't make it any easier to take when the people who pulled the scam rub it in by reinforcing the point...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 08:07:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IOW, is that 2/5 of an unsustainably high debt/GDP ratio, or 4/5 of what would be a sustainable debt/GDP ratio in a system where the in-Euro debt is not really foreign debt?

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 11:04:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand your point. External debt is external debt.  External debt denominated in Euros has no exchange risk but otherwise is no different from external debt. The other issue is who owes the debt.  Household debt has big implications for debt sustainability and impact consumer spending etc.  Ireland has one of the highest rates of owner occupation so a lot of this will be mortgage debt - with sustainability largely determined by interest and unemployment rates etc.

But insofar as this is intra corporate debt or financial debt secured against assets abroad, it may not be all that significant in the context of a discussion of the sustainability of Irish sovereign debt and prospects for the Irish economy.  The Irish economy is one of the most "open" in the world with a very high degree of integration with the global, EU and US markets.  High levels of debt finance may, in that context, simply reflect high levels of financial activity - as in aircraft leasing companies based in Ireland with very high levels of debt on their balance sheets which merely reflects large fleets of planes on their books.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 12:22:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
External debt is a component of total debt, and if total debt is itself at an unsustainably high multiple of GDP, shuffling it around between external debt and internal debt won't fix that.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 07:00:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
europe needs an FDR and a New Deal, stat.

if he hadn't done that, capitalism could have been toppled by the wrath of an enraged, economically disenfranchised populace.

with that and a jubilee, capitalism-as-we-know-it could survive another hundred years, (till we could evolve new levels of communitarian trust and best practice mores).

otherwise it's a race to the bottom with china and their neofascist style of governance, brainwashed from birth to worship authoritarian expediency through disgruntled faux-patriotism, martial mentality, and appeals to sense of family bonding 'organically' with the state.

 Land Destroyer: Target China

As more pressure is overtly applied on China, via the brazen "Jasmine Revolution" and increasingly aggressive destabilization efforts around China's borders and throughout the Arab world where it receives the majority of its oil imports, it appears that the regime has weighed the empty promises and paper empire of the globalists against the 1.3 billion people of China who demand pragmatic, not political solutions to their immediate problems. Most certainly, these 1.3 billion people pose a more immediate threat to the survival of the Chinese ruling regime.

Meeting these demands is done via industry, education, technology, and tangible progress. Policies, including the "one child policy" glowingly appraised by US Representative Scheuer, is an invasive, unpopular measure that is unsustainable and only partially addresses concerns like pollution and poverty. It is also a policy the Chinese government is in the process of rolling back.

As the globalists build financial networks of fiat paper, the Chinese are building networks of high-speed rail throughout their nation and beyond their borders. They are building real, tangible infrastructure from neighboring Laos to the continent of Africa. What possible incentive besides the threat of chaos and upheaval can the West offer China and its "String of Pearls" that solves both the immediate problem of self-preservation of regimes and the multitude of problems of the people under these regimes?

The West's ineptitude is not wholly unprecedented in history. Many empires have been buried by this sort of degenerate, runaway greed exhibited by the globalist corporate-financier oligarchies - often times replaced by a more pragmatic, constructive power like China. However, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that a certain "strategy of tension" is at play, where a purposefully oafish and aggressive West drives and unifies the otherwise fiercely independent nations of Asia and the Shanghai Cooperative together, only to be folded into the global government at a later time.

and with russia's putin threatening to make the MIC the main industrial driver of his economy...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 08:08:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't...resist...



keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 03:17:38 AM EST
Is there a better explanation for all the parties but Sinn Fein continuing to support austerity and debt repayment than their being packs of careerist politicians dependent on financial sector financing? I know all give lip service to 'honor' and 'being good Europeans' and similar crap, but do they really believe this or are they simply making pragmatic calculations on what will be most likely to keep their party at current or better levels of influence in the country?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 12:38:15 PM EST
Cultural inferiority complex?

They desperately want to be taken Seriously.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 02:04:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. Ideological capture

  2. Eamon O'Cuiv, Deputy Leader of Fianna Fail has resigned over his parties support for the Treaty

Ó Cuív quits as FF deputy leader over EU referendum - The Irish Times - Wed, Feb 29, 2012

Fianna Fáil's Éamon Ó Cuív has resigned as deputy leader and party spokesman on communications, energy and natural resources in a row over the European fiscal compact treaty.

In a statement released this evening, party leader Micheál Martin said his former deputy's refusal to support the parliamentary party's position on the fiscal compact meant it was "no longer feasible for him to occupy these roles".



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 02:18:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
O'Cuiv is maneuvering for the leadership again. So I wouldn't go mistaking that for principle either.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 02:35:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't Michael Martin staying in politics much longer.  He has real ability but no party to lead any more.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 02:41:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sinn Fein think this is good for their electoral prospects.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 02:27:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And they are right. This is a nightmare for Fianna Fail because they will get all the negatives of austerity and none of the benefits of being in Government.  Sinn Fein will claim the NO vote (say 40%) will be "theirs", and they will have a point, as they will have been the only major party campaigning for a no.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 02:33:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, but I was afraid people might be misinterpreting it as principle or something.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 02:34:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are looking at Irish politics in search of principles?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 02:42:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh no. I'm just worried that our foreign friends might be confused.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 02:51:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are looking at Irish politics in search of principles?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 29th, 2012 at 04:49:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure economists have performed any  better than politicians, and in their case there is the added opprobrium due to their false scientificity...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 08:10:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An increasingly sensitive issue in Ireland is the way in which confidential documents given to the Commission as part of the Troika process end up being given to and leaked by committees of the Bundestag before they are release to the Dail or to the public generally.  This has happened twice now and underscore Irelan's loss of sovereignty which might well boost the NO vote in the referendum.

I wrote this diary before I had seen any public reaction to the Referendum decision, but am hearing interesting echoes of my views in the Dail - particularly from Shane Ross, an ex-stockbroker and relatively conservative independent in the Dail.

Gilmore 'unhappy' with leak of report on Irish economy - The Irish Times - Thu, Mar 01, 2012

The leaking of a document on the Irish economy to the Bundestag has been raised with the German finance ministry and the European Commission, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has told the Dáil.

"I am unhappy at the way in which the document was handled and the way in which it was leaked," he said, adding that he intends to pursue the issue himself. "I will discuss it with our ambassador in Berlin to ensure the way in which this document was handled is not repeated."

The document from the European Commission said among other measures, the EU-IMF troika had demanded a revised asset sale programme after dismissing the Government's original plan as "not sufficiently ambitious". It also said Ireland would require a "mini-budget" in 2012.

However, Mr Gilmore today insisted such a budget "will not be necessary". He said the document, which has been seen by The Irish Times,  will be published later today.

It is the second time sensitive information about the economy has been released to the Bundestag ahead of discussion in Ireland. It follows the disclosure in Germany last November of budget details, including changes to VAT, in advance of their formal announcement by the Government.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald, who raised the issue this morning, said the last time the Bundestag discussed the Irish economy, the Tánaiste told the Dáil he would pursue the matter vigorously. "If there was ever an example of your ineffectiveness and your failure it surely resides in the fact that we now have episode two of exactly the same scenario," she said.

Independent TD Shane Ross said the point about the "embarrassing leaks" was that economic policy and the "policy of austerity was dictated and decided and revealed elsewhere".

Mr Ross said the Taoiseach was in a unique position in Brussels to turn the referendum on the revised fiscal compact treaty into a "positive". He said Taoiseach Enda Kenny should tell other EU leaders the Irish people would respond better to the referendum if there were no more leaks to the Bundestag "and if the Anglo promissory notes come into the equation".

The Dublin South TD called on the Tánaiste to embark on a "diplomatic offensive" to tell the EU that Irish people would look much more benignly on the referendum if it was prepared to "look more benignly on our debt and were prepared to give us a credit write-off".

Mr Gilmore insisted the Government was "not going to trade the constitutional rights of the Irish people with anybody or for anything".

However, Mr Ross noted Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton had told the Financial Times  the EU should cut the cost of Ireland's bailout to help it pass the referendum.

In a statement this morning, the European Commission said it is "deeply concerned about the apparent leaking" of the report.

"Commission staff strive to ensure that reports are prepared with the utmost accuracy and that confidentiality is preserved in advance of publication," the commission's representation in Dublin said. "The commission would like to underline once again the good track record of programme implementation established in Ireland so far."



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 1st, 2012 at 08:23:15 AM EST
Poll shows support for Yes vote - The Irish Times - Sat, Mar 03, 2012
According to the Red C poll, to be published in the Sunday Business Post  tomorrow, 44 per cent of the 1,000 people questioned said they would vote in favour of the treaty, with 29 per cent opposed. Just over a quarter of voters say they are undecided.

A poll from January in the same newspaper suggested the treaty would narrowly pass with 40 per cent of those questioned backing it and 36 per cent against. The remainder were undecided.

According to the poll, Fine Gael has maintained public support of 30 per cent. Sinn Féin is the second most popular party, up one point to 18 per cent. Labour is up two points to 16 per cent, Fianna Fáil is down one point to 17 per cent and Independents and others are down two points to 19 per cent.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 04:45:16 PM EST
Poll shows support for Yes vote - The Irish Times - Sat, Mar 03, 2012
The comments by the IMF, made by the fund's team leader on Ireland, Craig Beaumont, were the strongest indication yet from a member of the troika that a restructuring of the bonds would happen.

He said easing the promissory note burden would make Ireland's overall debt position more sustainable.

Mr Beaumont gave no indication of when a deal would be reached, but said the first repayment on the notes, due at the end of the month, was not a "hard deadline". The promissory notes, with a face value of just under €31 billion, account for just under one-fifth of total gross public debt (€164 billion).

The IMF estimates that the running of large though shrinking budget deficits in the coming years will push public debt to €206 billion by 2015. A deal on the promissory notes could keep public debt significantly below that level.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 04:49:30 PM EST
Poll: Ireland will vote 'Yes' - if we can get a deal on bank debt - National News - Independent.ie
MORE than a third of voters have adopted a 'wait and see' approach to the fiscal compact referendum, but almost a quarter have indicated that their vote is conditional and that they want Ireland's bailout term renegotiated before they say yes, according to a Sunday Independent/Millward Brown Lansdowne opinion poll.

While the poll has found deep misgivings about the motivation behind the fiscal compact, 37 per cent said they would vote in favour, 26 per cent said they would vote against but 36 per cent said either that they don't know or, more intriguingly, that their support is conditional.

A breakdown of those who have adopted a 'wait and see' approach shows that, unprompted, 21 per said their support "depends" and 15 per cent said they "don't know".

The finding that nearly a quarter of all voters -- a majority of them women -- have indicated that their support is "dependent" chimes with the expressed view of the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton.

She has come in for some criticism from Cabinet colleagues after she linked the successful passage of the referendum to a restructuring of the repayment schedule on bank debt. In another significant finding, which may be linked to the conditional position being adopted by voters, the poll has also found a comfortable majority of 61 per cent believe the economy will only recover if a deal is agreed to restructure bank debt.

But there is little confidence that the Government will renegotiate a better deal. Only 16 per cent of those questioned said they were "confident" and just 12 per cent were "strongly confident".



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 06:21:19 AM EST
Poll: Ireland will vote 'Yes' - if we can get a deal on bank debt - National News - Independent.ie
Regardless of voting intentions, there is a deep sense of unease about the impact of the fiscal compact on small countries such as Ireland, which are perceived to be less influential.

For example, 63 per cent believe the fiscal compact is designed to protect the interests of larger countries in Europe. Forty-one per cent are "strongly" of that view.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 06:24:15 AM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries