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Articles in "Ireland"

'No' vote launch by anti home tax campaign
The Campaign Against Household & Water Taxes (CAHWT) today launched its poster and leaflet  for a 'No' vote in the Treaty Referendum.

From France and Holland to Slovakia and Greece, governments are falling victim to a European wide backlash against austerity. It seems no pro-austerity party is safe, with even Angela-Merkel’s Christian Democrats suffering a humiliating collapse in recent regional elections. Suddenly, it seems the debate in Europe is shifting away from austerity and towards a greater emphasis on boosting growth and creating jobs. So what is behind all this sudden talk of growth in Ireland and Europe and is the Fiscal Treaty fast becoming a dead duck?

In the midst of all the media bluster about billions and bailouts, the most fundamental consequence of adopting the Fiscal Treaty into law is being ignored; namely the threat the Treaty poses to democracy.

The government clearly understands that the forthcoming referendum on the Austerity Treaty will be a battle between people’s fear and their anger, and they are determined to make fear the centerpiece of the Yes campaign. Within hours of the official launch of the Referendum their fear strategy was in full swing.


One of the tricks that the rich play on ordinary people is to exclude them from real decision making processes. Typically, this is done by monopolising the airwaves and speaking in a technical language that is almost impossible to understand. So-called ‘experts’ replace real democratic discussion and the elite consensus is then reinforced by being trotted out endlessly.

The Yes campaign has launched a dirty tricks campaign to hide the real implications of the Fiscal Treaty

In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD for the People Before Profit Alliance and Finance spokesperson for the United Left Alliance, has warned that the Fiscal Treaty, if implemented, will give greater powers to the EU and ECB over Ireland’s budgetary allocation and make it much more difficult for any Irish government to choose where to allocate funds on public expenditure.

Bank bailouts, savage attacks on health, education and welfare budgets, cuts to the public sector, wage cuts and extra taxes have devastated the lives of working class people in Ireland.

These austerity policies have also made the economic crisis much worse.

Every week the government press office releases some new ‘feel-good’ story ranging from ‘we’ve turned a corner’ or ‘we’re back on track’ to Michael Noonan’s bizarre statement that the Irish economy is about ‘to take off like a rocket’. The reality, however, is a very different.

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 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

Get your copy of "The Fiscal Treaty and the Euro "Crisis"  Reasons to vote no"


The United Left Alliance is calling on the leadership of ICTU to maintain a consistent position on the Fiscal Treaty and call for a NO vote when they meet this Friday to decide their position.

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) to which the ICTU is affiliated has come out against the Fiscal Treaty. [We reproduce below sections of the ETUC declaration on the Fiscal Treaty].

Danish MEP Soren Sondegaard will speak at public meeting in Liberty Hall on Monday March 5 at 7.30. Also speaking will be Paul Murphy MEP, Richard Boyd-Barrett TD and Jimmy Kelly, regional secretary of the trade union Unite. The meeting has been organised by the Campaign Against the Austerity Treaty.

 Soren Sondegaard is a Danish MEP from the Red-Green Alliance and an opponent of the neo-liberal policies being forced upon the peoples of Europe by the European Commission at the behest of the governments of Germany and France.

‘Political choices get reduced to Pepsi or Coke – to slight nuances of taste, slight nuances of policy, slight alterations of design to account for local traditions, some loosening here and there, but never any major deviation from the core golden rules… ’

This is what Thomas Friedman wrote in the Lexus and the Olive Tree, which was a wry but fulsome defence of neoliberal globalisation. There are supposed to be no real choices left and politics gets reduced to a PR game to choose which puppet will implement the rules of the market.