Author Topic: Ireland throws a referendum grenade into the EU fiscal compact mix  (Read 2195 times)

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Offline Letsbereal

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Ireland throws grenade into EU fiscal compact mix – Ireland’s electorate is known for rejecting EU treaties, before approving them
12 March 2012
, by Jason O'Mahony - Dublin (MarketWatch)


Just when the euro-zone crisis was getting a bit repetitive, the Irish decided to lob another hand grenade into the mix.

Last week, the Irish government announced that Ireland would be holding a referendum on the European Union’s Fiscal Compact Treaty before the end of the year

The news came as a surprise in both Dublin and Brussels, the EU capital, because Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s government had been protesting loudly that it was not concerned about the possibility that it would need to be voted on in a referendum, as required by the Irish constitution.

The news came as a surprise in both Dublin and Brussels, the EU capital, as Irish prime minister Enda Kenny’s government had been protesting loudly that it had not attempted to word the treaty during negotiations in such a way as to avoid a public vote as required by the Irish constitution.

The problem was that the proverbial dogs in the political street (as well as well-briefed hounds in both Brussels and Berlin) knew that Kenny was actually trying to avoid a referendum in the negotiations. Kenny then surprised both his own parliament and his EU partners by announcing that his attorney general had advised that a referendum was indeed necessary anyway, despite the demands made by the government (in laughable secrecy) to its EU partners to avoid the vote in the first place!

It’s all a bit embarrassing.

The truth is that the government, and pro-Europeans in Ireland generally, wanted to avoid a vote given the exceptional crankiness of the Irish electorate. It is being asked to vote for a treaty that will give legal standing across Europe to just the kind of fiscal straitjacket that is being protested on a daily basis in Ireland.

But that alone isn't what the government is afraid of. The problem is that the Irish people have history when it comes to European referendums, having voted in four of them in the last eleven years, initially rejecting and then endorsing both the Treaty of Nice and the Treaty of Lisbon.

As a result, a certain folk memory has developed among the electorate, which makes it impervious (at least initially) to threats of Irish isolation in Europe or withdrawal of foreign direct investment. If anything, the voters are more likely to vote ‘No’, knowing that the government will then be forced to return to its European partners to seek concessions. In this regard, Irish voters have often been proven to be better negotiators than their own government.
->>>|:-) THE CITY INDIANS (-:|<<<-