Irish Republican News · December 9, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: ‘Neither King nor Kanzler’
‘Neither King nor Kanzler’
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A historic Franco-German drive for a new superstate has seen the Eurocrats of Brussels demand political and fiscal powers to rival those of the US federal government in Washington.

The seventeen eurozone states, including the Dublin government, agreed last [Thursday] night to negotiate a new agreement, most likely a Treaty, which will bring about a total reform of the European Union institutions.

Britain has already been left behind in a push by Germany and France for a transformation of the EU, while the position of the other non-eurozone nations remains uncertain.

British Prime Minister David Cameron was openly shunned after his demands for political guarantees were summarily rejected, and Britain’s continued membership of the European Union is now in doubt.

But the cause of Irish unity also looks likely to suffer from the upheaval. The border now marks a faultline in European politics, and the historic power shift could further entrench the divisions between the North of Ireland and the South.

Under the deal, the governments of the Eurozone member states will become secondary to a central authority in Brussels, which will be endowed with overarching fiscal and political powers.

New institutions, still to be agreed, will operate and monitor strict new budgetary rules to be imposed on the Eurozone member states. Sanctions will be applied to those states failing to implement the Merkel-Sarkozy austerity rule, while new Eurozone taxes are also in the works.

Although the Franco-German initiative has been built on the back of the crisis in the euro currency, neither Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, nor French President Nicolas Sarkozy, offered a solution to the debt crisis facing Ireland and other Eurozone states.

It remains unclear if the Irish people will be allowed a say on the matter.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and European affairs Minister Lucinda Creighton, who represented the 26-County state in the negotiations, have worked to avoid any referendum on the new agreement. However, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore has said that a referendum will likely be required under the terms of the 26-County constitution.

Speaking in advance of last night’s deal, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams urged the Dublin government to oppose the imposition of further austerity on Ireland.

Speaking in the Dail, he said the proposals called for new “golden rules of austerity” to be enshrined into member state law. The plan being presented to EU leaders was “bad for Ireland and bad for the European Union” and would “plunge us all into a lost decade of stagnation”.

“It is bad for our economy and bad for our democracy”, he said.

He also criticised the “arrogance” of Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, for refusing to circulate the proposals to the opposition, despite the fact that the report had been given to sections of the media.

“Last week speaking here the Taoiseach made clear his support for the idea of enforceable conditions and stronger governance for the European Union and the Eurozone. This is a mistake.”

He said that throughout the euro crisis, the French and German governments have taken upon themselves the role of European leaders “and keep getting it wrong”. The Taoiseach and the Dublin government had so far acquiesced in this, he said.

“The reality is that what is being proposed goes far beyond limited treaty change. It clearly involves the loss of any remaining fiscal powers.”

He suggested a proposal for a common tax base to end Ireland’s advantageous corporation tax rate was being used simply to bully the Dublin government into acquiescing on fiscal union.

“For the government it is time to face facts”, he said. “The EU and the French and German governments want a strong and centralised fiscal union which requires this government to give away more of our economic sovereignty.

“The message from Ireland must be a firm NO. This is the only legitimate position for the Taoiseach to take.

“It is also a position which will be favoured by citizens in all the member and Eurozone states, including Irish citizens. Progressive citizens right across Europe are concerned at the loss of their rights.”

He pointed out that throughout the euro crisis the French and German governments have taken upon themselves the role of European leaders “and keep getting it wrong”.

“The Taoiseach and the Irish Government so far have acquiesced in this. Enda Kenny now needs to put on the Green Jersey.

“He needs to act in the Irish national interest.”

Mr Adams also pointed out that Sinn Fein was the only party in the Dail which has been consistent in our position on successive EU referendums. It had repeatedly warned of the move to create one big European State, he said.

“One of our primary objections to this process was the fundamentally undemocratic nature of the union that was evolving,” he said.

“The behaviour of the French and German leaders in recent weeks has demonstrated this very clearly.”

‘NO MANDATE’

After a statement was issued by the heads of the Eurozone released this [Friday] morning which confirmed their plans, Mr Adams said the Fine Gael/Labour government had again buckled under pressure. He again insisted the matter be put to a referendum.

“The Taoiseach’s refusal to bring these proposals before the Dail for debate is bad enough but to deny the people their say would be a betrayal,” he said.

“By agreeing to pursue tighter integration with stricter budget rules for the single currency area Enda Kenny is not representing the best interest of the Irish people.

“This deal means ordinary citizens will continue paying for the banking crisis. There was no agreement to increase the EU’s bailout fund but the burning of bondholders is forbidden.

“The consequences of this deal for Ireland are severe. Power will be transferred from elected politicians in the Dail to judges and Eurocrats in Luxembourg and Brussels.

“The government has no mandate to agree to this. Irish citizens must have their say. This issue must be put to the people in a referendum.”

© 2011 Irish Republican News