Ireland was one of few countries to give its voters a say on passing the Merkozy referendum. A couple months ago, support for the treaty was close to 50%. Now, in spite of pro-treaty (and illegal) propaganda from the Irish government, support has fallen to a mere 30%.
The Financial times reports Ireland sees support for fiscal treaty wane.
With six weeks to go before Ireland votes on the European fiscal treaty there are signs the government’s campaign for a Yes vote is in danger of unravelling as public attitudes towards austerity harden and instability in Europe feeds into its referendum debate.
On Wednesday the Irish trade union movement said it could not support the treaty, which would tighten budget rules and introduce penalties for states that break the rules. Opponents of the treaty also threatened to take legal action against the government’s €2.2m information campaign, which they allege breaches a constitutional requirement in Ireland that all material paid for by public money should be impartial.
“Nobody within our ranks is in agreement with the fiscal treaty,” said David Begg, general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, an umbrella body for Irish unions. “Everyone thinks it is a bad treaty. We don’t see any merit in it.”
“My own view on this is that we are damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t,” Mr Begg said.
Opinion polls show a slim majority (30 per cent) in favour, with 23 per cent against. But with 39 per cent of the public undecided concern is rising in government circles that opinion could swing against the treaty during the campaign, as it did in 2008 when Ireland rejected the Lisbon treaty.
“The trade unions’ position shows the naysayers are growing. You can see from studying social media there is a higher degree of anti-European rhetoric for this referendum,” said David Farrell, professor of politics at University College Dublin.
ESM Funds At Risk (But That’s a Plus!)
Begg’s only concerned is access to European Stability Mechanism if the treaty is not passed. It if a concern no one in Ireland should have.
Ireland should leave the euro and default on the bailout money it has received. Accepting more and more bailout money from the banker parasites in Brussels and the IMF is exactly the wrong thing to do. Greece is proof enough.