Ireland Votes 60% / 40% to Ratify Fiscal Treaty

Fear triumphed over anger and the Irish government won a mandate to ratify the EU Fiscal Treaty on a turnout of 50.6%.

Guido bought advertising across Ireland parodying the Yes side’s CEO-fronted campaign (above) and is a little worried that people took it literally and followed the “advice” of Goldman Sach’s Lloyd Blankfein to vote in favour of paying billions to Irish taxpayer bailed out bond holders. As is traditional in Ireland we may yet get another repeat referendum if France’s President Hollande renegotiates the terms all over again…

Fine Gael Gets CEOs to Endorse Treaty ‘Yes’ Vote

Ireland’s governing Fine Gael party is campaigning for a ‘Yes’ vote in a referendum on the EU’s Fiscal Compact Treaty. Trust in politicians in Ireland is so low that they are getting business CEOs to front the campaign with endorsements claiming it will be good for business – despite the European Central Bank’s policies wrecking the economy.

Today Irish taxpayers are paying €2.25 billion in bond payments on unsecured bonds for failed private banks – some €500 for every man, woman and child in Ireland – a bad deal which Fine Gael voted for in 2008. Fine Gael are calling this treaty a “stability treaty”, it is in reality a treaty to surrender fiscal sovereignty.

Ahead of the vote in three days time Guido is trying to buy advertising in the Irish Times parodying the campaign with some CEOs who really are grateful to Fine Gael:

Incidentally the advertising campaign is “under review”.

Irish Taxpayer Sacrificed to Prop Up Eurozone Banks
German ECB Board Member Speaks Truth
ECB Press Office Erases Remarks from Transcript

On Thursday Dublin hosted a speech by Jörg Asmussen, a member of the Executive Board of the ECB, which in monetary and fiscal terms is now effectively the ruling neo-colonial power in Ireland, with German financial ‘advisers’ having been present in the Irish treasury for four years. Herr Asmussen was until January the advisers’ boss as State Secretary at the German Finance Ministry, responsible for Fiscal and Macroeconomic Affairs, Financial Markets and European Policy. When he speaks the Irish political and financial elite listen.

What they heard him tell them in a speech to the IIEA think-tank was a technocratic “steady as she goes”. Praising first the painful in the short-term reductions in state spending (10% cut in 2011) and the consequent expansionary fiscal contraction which has seen economic growth return and the trade deficit closed. Asmussen then spent a lot of time justifying why Irish taxpayers will have to bailout Anglo-Irish Bank bondholders for decades. The need for that long-term pain is not credible. 

Guido has long argued that the bailout of Anglo-Irish Bank was done to protect the investments of German banks (see Is the ECB Forcing Ireland to Protect German Investments? October 2010, Feck Off Euro-Socialists November 2010).

In a crucial section of his speech (audio at 27 mins 30 secs) Herr Asmussen says:

“The decisions concerning the repayment of bondholders in the former Anglo Irish Bank have been a source of controversy, decisions taken by the Irish authorities such as these are not lightly taken and the consequences of subsequent actions are weighted carefully, it is true that the ECB viewed it as the least damaging cost to fully honour the outstanding senior debt of Anglo however unpopular that may now seem, the assessment was made at a time of extraordinary stress in financial markets and great uncertainty, and protecting the hard won gains and credibility from the early successes in 2011 was also a key consideration and the main reasoning was to ensure that no negative spillover effects would be created to other Irish banks or to banks in other European Countries.”

Note that last line emphasised in bold. In October 2010, days after the then Irish finance minister refused in parliament to name Anglo-Irish bondholders, Guido revealed the bondholders list in a story that was followed up worldwide. German institutions figured prominently.

It is, as Herr Asmussen says, a matter of great controversy in Ireland that future generations of taxpayers have been sacrificed on the altar of the Euro to protect German banks. Could that be why the official transcript of the speech erases his candid admission?

“… Protecting the hard-won gains and credibility from the early successes in 2011 was also a key consideration, to ensure no negative effects spilled-over to other Irish banks.”

The shameful truth is that Irish politicians of all parties have gone along with the Bundesbank / ECB’s efforts to prop up their banks and the Euro project at the expense of their own people’s interests. Another small nation on Europe’s periphery – Iceland – let its banks default and has undergone an awesome recovery. Ireland got it from the horse’s mouth on Thursday, the ongoing bailout pain is for the greater good of other banks in Europe.

Hat-tip:  SpreadBetting.com via Declan Ganley

Post-€uro Preparations for Irish Punt

 

Looks like one important sector of Irish commercial life is preparing for a post-€uro future if this pub sign in Duncannon, Wexford, is anything to go by. Cheers..

Ken Patronises Irish as Navvies

Last month Ken Livingstone was an unwanted gate-crasher at an event in London with the President of Ireland, undiplomatically grabbing a photo-op with the Irish Head of State, to put on his leaflets without asking permission. The Office of the Irish President told The Irish Times: “There was no contact made about using the photograph in the literature” and Ken didn’t bother to have the courtesy to stay for the speech once he got his photo.

This week he was asked in an interview with the London Irish Post what he would do for the Irish, old Ken is about as patronising as it gets:

“Two two thirds of the jobs that have been lost in London have been in construction. This hits the Irish community hardest. What they and all Londoners need now is for London to start building again.”

As if all the Irish in London are still “navvies”…

Enda Game On

Ireland has just tossed a mighty spanner in the EU-works.  The Taoiseach has confirmed in the Dáil that the Attorney-General has advised a referendum is necessary on the EU’s fiscal union plan, “The Irish people will be asked for their authorisation in a referendum to ratify the European stability treaty”, Enda Kenny told the Irish parliament. Cameron was unable to veto the plan but the Irish people might just be able. The last time a €urozone prime minister promised a referendum on the EU, the EUrocat dictators replaced him with unelected technocrats. That won’t happen in Ireland.

Currently 20 cents of every euro of Irish taxes is going to pay the interest on the €uro-bank bail-out debts. The Irish bail-out plan is costing €54,800 per Irish household. Ireland’s future thus looks a lot more bleak than Iceland’s path of debt default and a devaluation of 60% two years ago which has seen the country rebounding: exports and manufacturing are growing by 20%, tourism is back near all-time highs, real wages are rising, unemployment is declining sharply, interest rates fell from 18% to 5.5% and the stock market has rebounded 50% from its lows. The bond rating agencies have already re-rated Iceland investment grade. In contrast the €uro-banker’s bail-out will only burden the next generation of Irish who don’t flee the crushing debts not of their making…

Ireland’s long love affair with Brussels has come to an end. It is not inconceivable that Ireland could vote no… making it stick is the problem…

Irish Budget Decided in Berlin

Today Dave is off to see Chancellor Merkel as we learn that advance copies of the proposed Irish budget were circulating for approval in the Bundestag in Berlin before being seen in the Oireachtas in Dublin. Elected Irish politicians will rubber-stamp the budget once German politicians have approved it.

German approved regimes have now been appointed in Italy and Greece, the Irish finance ministry is run by the Bundesfinanzminister with German “advisers” in Dublin acting as financial Gauleiters. In September 2008 the Irish government was instructed to guarantee the bad loans made by German banks who lent to the failed Anglo-Irish Bank and the Fianna Fáil government submitted, sacrificing generations of future taxpayers on the altar of the €uro. The Irish electorate kicked them out bringing in a Fine Gael government which promised to renegotiate the debts. In government Fine Gael too have bent the knee to Berlin.

As smaller sovereign states succumb to the German finanz-blitzkrieg it is difficult to see how the interests of those nations outside the developing German co-prosperity sphere are well served by the EU, particularly given that France’s AAA credit rating looks about as secure as the Maginot Line. It is Britain’s age old role to be a check on German domination of Europe, if Germany wants to reform the EU in its own image the British people should be given a referendum on their continuing membership…

Welcome to Low Tax Ireland

Downing Street will not be best pleased that Twitter has chosen Dublin not London as its European base. Dave and Boris invested in a joint Twitter charm offensive, with No. 10 briefing the Telegraph: “All that matters is that they come to London.”  They didn’t and Ireland’s business Minister Richard Bruton says it “is a massive win and shows there is real ground for Ireland’s claim to be the internet capital of Europe”.

Twitter joins Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Linked-In, Zynga, PayPal, eBay, AOL and Yahoo in Dublin, where the internet hub is generating thousands of high-tech jobs of the future. Can you blame them? Lower corporation tax rates and lower personal tax rates made it an easy decision for Ali Rowghani, the chief financial officer of Twitter. The UK has to become more tax competitive if it wants to attract geographically mobile internet firms.

Fiscally Ireland is doing what has to be done, an expansionary fiscal contraction is well on its way, GDP growth is well above the €urozone average, there is a healthy trade surplus. If the Irish political elite would steel themselves to exit the €uro, implement a controlled default on the bank debts and re-introduce an Irish punt pegged loosely against a basket of $, £ and €, the country would be free to thrive again. With UK banks holding £133 billion of Irish debt (equal to 6% of UK GDP), much of which is secured against London property, Britain’s fate is far more closely tied up with Ireland than Greece. The €uro as we know it is doomed, it is in Britain’s interest to focus on its trading near neighbour and leave Greece to Germany.

Returning the Favour

The EU press office reports on yesterday’s European Parliament discussions on Libya:

“EU governments need to stand ready for a decision in the UN Security Council on further measures, including the possibility of a no-fly zone”, in compliance with a

[…]

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13 Counts in Kilkenny

The Irish have been counting the results of their general election on… Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and still today, Kilkenny has gone to a thirteenth count. Imagine if last year’s general election had taken days to count, n0t to mention negotiate […]

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Centre-Right Triumphs in Irish Elections

The Irish election results (and Guido should caveat this by saying on the basis of RTE’s first preference exit poll) show that left-wing parties failed to make the breakthrough with Labour, Sinn Fein and the Greens combined getting 33% of […]

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Irish Election: Vote None of the Above?

Front runners Fine Gael are running on a Smaller, Better Government platform; reducing the number of overpaid politicians, a referendum on abolishing the second chamber and reform of healthcare provision based on the Dutch model where money follows […]

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