Socialist Party launch 'No' campaign on Fiscal Compact01/05/2012 - 14:12:27
The Socialist Party has launched its campaign for a 'No' vote in the Fiscal Treaty referendum, saying that the dominant theme from the 'Yes' side is "one of fear".
They were referring to earlier comments by the Finance Minister Michael Noonan that look set to dominate day two of the referendum campaign.
Mr Noonan had warned that a 'No' vote in the fiscal treaty referendum would lead to a "dramatically tougher budget in December".
The Socialist Party’s referendum director of elections, Paul Murphy said: "The core message of our campaign is that the European political, financial and business establishment want to enshrine in law across Europe the type of policy response to the crisis that we have already seen fail across Europe.
"The structural deficit target of 0.5% of GDP spelt out in the treaty mean for Ireland over €6bn in extra cuts and impositions on top of what was already planned for. The separate debt target of 60% GDP in the era of austerity can only be met by more cuts and taxes as growth can be virtually ruled out when you have simultaneous cuts being imposed across Europe.
"This referendum is people’s opportunity to reject austerity and to demand a radical change of course now."
Joe Higgins claimed that the 'Yes' side are "already on the back foot".
Fine Gael earlier launched its campaign for a 'Yes' vote at the end of the month.
The party said a 'Yes' vote is needed for "investment, stability and continued recovery" here.
Mr Higgins said: "The experience of Lisbon 2 means that most people are rightly scathing of claims by the government parties that the passing of the treaty will lay the basis for recovery.
"The dominant theme coming from the government and other Yes supporters will be one of fear. Fear that Ireland would be locked out of funding sources in the event of a need, virtually guaranteed, of a second ‘bailout.
"What they do not mention is that a new funding arrangement whether it comes from the EFSF or ESM would come with severe strings attached in the form of savage cuts in any case. The Socialist Party opposes austerity in any guise. It begins with a No vote on 31st May.”
Socialist Party TD Clare Daly said the protests against the Household Charge and water tax are linked to the fight for a 'No' vote.
She said: "We do so understanding that our opponents will accuse us of bringing in extraneous issues. I can tell them that at meetings I have spoken at up and down the country the link is very clear to ordinary people.
"People understand that by passing this treaty multiples of the household and water taxes will be in store for them. Thousands of people across the country have been activated in their communities against the unjust taxes helping achieve 50% non payment despite the government’s campaign of intimidation. Most of those people will be active advocates of the No vote which will be an enormous boost to the campaign.”
Cork North Central TD Mick Barry added: "Besides the key economic questions the issue of democracy will be a key battleground in this referendum campaign. The levels of oversight this treaty gives the unelected EU Commission and the powers invested in the EU to put countries in administration if they do not adhere to the targets spelt out is profoundly anti-democratic.
"The net effect of this treaty is to not just make socialist policies illegal but to render illegal Keynesian and mildly progressive social democratic policies. This is understood by Keynesian economists and soft left politicians and political parties across Europe who oppose this treaty. The fact our Labour Party supports it regardless demonstrates again how far in the capitalist camp they are rooted."
Cllr Ruth Coppinger said: "Part of the fear tactic on the part of the Yes side consists of trying to create the impression that by voting No the Irish will be isolated. We take a different view and it’s a view that is being increasingly understood by voters.
"That is that this treaty is opposed by millions of workers, unemployed and young people across Europe who are deprived of a referendum vote.
She claimed that such is the pressure from below in France that Presidential candidate Francois Hollande has indicated his desire for a renegotiation of the treaty.
She said: "Upcoming elections in Greece and the Netherlands indicate that parties who oppose this treaty, mainly from the left are poised to make big strides.
"Be in no doubt, a No vote in Ireland will provide a massive fillip to the real opposition to this treaty that exists across Europe and could prove to be the first successful continent wide response by workers to the pro-bondholder agenda of the EU political establishment."
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