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Irish irate as Bundestag sees budget first

The Local · 18 Nov 2011, 10:39

Published: 18 Nov 2011 10:39 GMT+01:00

The sensitive plans, including a two-percent increase in the top value added tax (VAT) and a €100 house-hold tax, were sent by the German finance ministry – along with a letter of intent from the Irish Finance Minister – to the Bundestag budgetary committee.

This provoked outrage in Ireland, and denials from Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny that he had given the information to the Germans.

Irish opposition parties said if reports were true that the document was seen in the German parliament, it would represent a "staggering breach of faith" which suggested Germany was "now pulling the strings," the Irish Times daily newspaper reported.

"Let me confirm something to you, the cabinet have made no decision in regard to the budget. It is on December 6," Kenny said.

"I'm not going to comment on speculative (reports) or comment about decisions that have not been taken by the government at all."

Kenny, who met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, added he had "no idea" how the document ended up in the Bundestag.

But the Irish Times, which has seen the document, said giving the information to the Bundestag was in line with German guidelines for participation in the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) – the German budgetary committee has to approve proposals to increase income and reduce spending before each bailout tranche can be released.

“What’s happened is the federal government meeting its legal information to inform the Bundestag about the EFSF,” one committee member told the Irish Times.

“This is widely known and seems unproblematic from our perspective. This is the day-to-day reality of a programme country.”

In November 2010, Ireland was forced to seek an €85 billion rescue package from the EU and the International Monetary Fund to deal with massive debt and deficit problems.

"We need to know whether the Irish government has revealed the detail of its budget plans to the German budget committee," he added, according to the Irish Times.

Story continues below…

Ireland's 2012 budget next month will involve €3.8 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes aimed at cutting the public deficit to 8.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product.

AFP/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

16:26 November 18, 2011 by jg.
"Let me confirm something to you, the cabinet have made no decision in regard to the budget. It is on December 6," Kenny said.

Yeah - they'll need some time to translate the budget document from German before the Irish cabinet can read it and vote on it... :-)
18:15 November 18, 2011 by Englishted
Remember Ireland ,you had the chance to change things but after some bribes you changed your vote second time,here is what you reap.
00:55 November 19, 2011 by rjones857
recompense freastal ar -Irish version
07:18 November 19, 2011 by gorongoza
Beggars can not be choosers , the Irish must not forget this.

If you have to depend on somebody for survival you automatically and effectively become a subject to that person. Sovereignity exists no more,as simple as that.

We pay very high tax here in Germany and the Bundstag have a duty to safeguard our money - by making sure those who have borrowed toe the line.

Tough luck for you Irish Volks.
10:34 November 19, 2011 by Navigator_B
Gorongoza, yes the Bundstag have a duty to safeguard your money but they're about ten years too late doing that. They did not intervene at all during the time that the banks and their investors appeared to be making huge profits from lending to foreign governments and property speculators. Now that the bubble has burst, they respond by squeezing as much as possible out of the poorest weakest people and getting the German people to effectively guarantee any sovereign debt that cannot be repaid, instead of letting the banks get wiped out as would happen in a true free market.

The Irish and Greeks and others did not borrow money directly from the German people or the German government, at least not until recently when they were forced to borrow to safeguard the loans from the banks.

In the case of Ireland, a large part of its debt is not even from money that the government ever borrowed, it's from the bad loans of banks that the previous Irish government rescued, for example the billion dollars of bonds from Anglo Irish Bank that the Irish government repaid last week. When the new government tried to default on some of that debt they were ordered by the French and German governments not to do so.
15:18 November 19, 2011 by rjones857
I mBéarla ba mhaith linn a rá "a rinne tú do leaba Éirinn". dhéanamh
19:08 November 19, 2011 by mountbud
We have an old saying in Ireland ---"the man who pays the piper is entitled to call the tune",so I am mystified that our "Large Ego" politicians are somehow embarrased with what was leaked. I would have thought with their"Brass Necks"3000.00 euro weekly pensions that nothing would insult them
17:20 November 20, 2011 by kavanaghgerard@eircom.net
One question to ask is Do we ( Irish ) ever learn .

we voted for and allowed a government who we knew to be inept and corrupt to govern us time after time , we considered it a laugh to allow individuals pull strokes and we then carried them on our shoulders to the town hall to praise them and shout " ya boy ya "

we partook in a spending spree that anyone with even a limited intelligence knew would not last ,( funded by greedy French and German banks who loaned to us because the Germans don't spend money or at least at the levels the banks want them to spend at) and then it all goes bang and our government shows how useless they are , the Foreign banks want their gambled money back and if this means people die in underfunded hospitals then " what the hell , who cares "

we will tug our forelock to everyone telling them we will pay back all their gambles to proove to everyone , be gob , that we are "honest" and upright ,

and it goes on and on
18:05 November 20, 2011 by mountbud
Mr Kavanagh whats missing in Ireland is"that there is no transparency and accountability in the Public/Civil service because our politicians are part of that mob.The tax man wants transparency and accountability from the taxpayer and is scrupulous in getting it out of us.However once we hand over our money to them,what do the public/civil service/politicians do with it?...--they spend it like it was confetti.Thats the big problem in Ireland

May I sight a few examples

1.. RTE the way they smeared a priest in Galway,and reportedly had to pay around 5 million in damages

2.--Voting Machines hundred of millions down the drain

3.-Ppars another few hundred million down the drain

4.-Pig Dioxin scare a few years ago costing 400/500 million down the drain just because a few dept officials werent doing their job.

All these people in the departments who are not up to standard should be fired without pay/pensions in my view.Thats where the crux of the Irish problems lie because nothing will be done about the guys.

However More important than that is "the election register" because I feel this is cooked by the 3 main parties.How come some people have 10 votes and I have only one,and other people when they arrive at the polling booth are refused a vote.some country and a rotten country at the top.Gilmore in opposition said that the election register should be based on revenue"s PRSI numbers for everyone,but so far has done nothing
21:17 November 20, 2011 by Deutschguy

Dear Bundestag,

Can you please review and comment on the budget of the USA? My country is in dire need of fiscal discipline, as we allow our budget writer's in Congress to accept bribes, excuse me, I mean campaign money, in exchange for padded Pentagon contracts and redundant military bases that add nothing to national security.

When you receive the budget, feel free to release it (and your comments) to any European media you like, as our US media is owned and operated by the same corporations that make money from the Pentagon.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

P.S. Please don't comment on all the federal money that liberal Blue States send back to right wing Red States.
11:04 November 26, 2011 by John Sweeney
Just remember to those germans Who received so much AID after WWII. When you make your comments about other countries should be more responsible with their budgets and you don't like the idea of your tax money going to them to help. Maybe if you are feeling so responsible now you should consider repaying France, England and the U.S.A. in full for all of their taxpayers money that went to you!
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