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Irish 'mad at Merkel' as they vote on Fiscal Pact

The Local · 31 May 2012, 11:35

Published: 31 May 2012 11:35 GMT+02:00

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"The people see it as crass blackmail, as an attempt to subjugate their freedom," said Paul Murphy, a member of the European Parliament for the Socialist Party.

“There's a huge anti-Merkel mood. And an aversion against German banks which Merkel is seen to represent,” he told a DAPD reporter according to Thursday’s Handelsblatt newspaper.

Murphy warned that by voting yes, the Irish people would be signing up to even harsher austerity.

"The Fiscal Pact would cost Ireland €6 billion and the EU a total of €200 billion," Murphy said. "It will damage people's lives, create unemployment, damage the economy," he said. "Besides, the debt brake will take away the democratic right of people to vote for different policies."

Though Ireland's voters have twice rejected European Union treaties in the past, this time things are widely expected to go off smoothly and clear approval is expected.

The Fiscal Pact requires nations that use the euro to adhere to strict spending and borrowing limits and slash their debts or face heavy penalties. Ireland is the only one of 25 countries participating in the treaty to put it to a referendum, the Berliner Zeitung said on Thursday.

In recent weeks, emotions have been running high in the debate on the treaty. Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan told Irish radio station Limerick’s Live 95 FM on Tuesday that a "No" vote would keep foreign investors away and paralyze economic growth.

In a television address ahead of the vote, Prime Minister Enda Kenny, urged people to vote for the treaty, arguing that rejecting it would bar Ireland from emergency EU funding when its current bailout package expires in 2013.

"I ask you to make a further contribution by coming out to vote 'Yes' on Thursday. Yes to stability. Yes to investment. Yes to recovery. Yes to a working Ireland," he said. Kenny warned that rejecting the treaty would bring “uncertainty at a time Ireland definitely doesn’t need it."

But opponents of the treaty have complained that they are being forced into approving it and say that voters feel bullied and angry at being forced to accept greater belt-tightening measures spearheaded by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Story continues below…

The German leader is a prime backer of the fiscal compact. It surrenders sovereignty on budget matters to the European Union and is being demanded by richer nations like Germany who are funding bailouts of debtor nations.

The Local /DPA/sp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:22 May 31, 2012 by Sastry.M
Even if all EU nations whip up anti German emotions and feel dictated and bullied by them who will be the ultimate beneficiaries when the E.U is broken up and dismembered between U and mE?

Does any one dare declare a war of economic boycott against the present day Germany? Even if worse should turn out into the worst forcing a return to pre Euro financing, the exits may not absolve the resentment of economically debilitated nations against the Germans but may offer a hope of facing hard realities to work out on their own national traits free from Diktats.

This may force the Germans to fall back to recall their own previous experiences and prove once again whether they can live up to their extolled virtues which are envied by others.
14:57 May 31, 2012 by Sayer
Enda Kenny needs to find his Icelandic roots. There is a campaign in Ireland called "It's not our debt" which concisely sums the causes, the perpetrators and the solution to this issue for Ireland. And this treaty most definitely is not it.

The bankers incurred the debt. It's their debt. Process them through the courts and punish them Let their precious banks fail. Let their bondholders take a skinhead haircut. Write off every single debt in Ireland and start again. The debt was created out of thin air. And it can return there with resounding Pog Mo Shon. No need for anti-German sentiment. Just anti-Bankster sentiment. Start at the top banks, and work your way down....."Calling Mr. Blankfein!"
16:09 May 31, 2012 by bluestratus
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:44 May 31, 2012 by MrNosey
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:45 May 31, 2012 by AlexR
In this case I don't understand why the Irish are 'mad at Merkel'. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it a condition of the Irish constitution that any European Union Treaty needs to be put to a referendum? That was the reason they had referenda for the two older EU Treaties.

If the Irish are mad at Merkel about that I wonder what will happen when Merkel starts saying lies such as "the Irish take more vacations and public holidays than us" (like she said about the Souther European countries) or Bild starts spreading myths about the Irish like "they're lazy, retire at 50, don't pay taxes" (just as it did with the Greeks).
18:14 May 31, 2012 by bluestratus
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
01:45 June 1, 2012 by dairiesman
It is a silly comment and an ignorant one. Go read up on Irish affairs since the Peace Treaty. BTW, to which faction of the IRA are you referring?
06:33 June 1, 2012 by lodermulch
fickle fenians find foreign financed future faintly funny ...
08:10 June 1, 2012 by delvek
@ bluestratus, are you serious? lol

@ Ireland, truth hurts

@ Germany, stop the bail outs let the governments be responsible for poor fiscal management.
13:41 June 1, 2012 by sybil
It is not that there is an anti-German feeling but Angela Merkel is seen as promoting only austerity with no growth and so there is an anti-merkel feeling. Our previous government guaranteed all out banks, which they shouldn't have and have recently said that they were pushed into it by other European leaders to save the Euro. We are now stuck with this. Banks from all over Europe lent recklessly to Irish banks and they in turned lent recklessly too. We as tax-payers must now, through our taxes, repay all this money back to the banks even though it is grossly unfair. All these lenders placed a bet and lost but are now looking for their stake back. All of this is a European problem. It is not just the smaller countries who are to blame. We (small nations) as seen as expendable and we are being forced to take the blame and the punishment for what really is everyone in Europe's problem. Larger countries can't keep denying their parts in all this too. European wide action must take place with everyone playing their part.
14:30 June 1, 2012 by ChrisRea
Of course there are some Irish that do not like Angela Merkel. However, I haven't heard of any poll that would certify that the majority of Irish are against her. So I think the title is manipulative.

My guess is that the Irish trust the EU more than they trust their own politicians (and probably are not the only nation that feels that way). Let's see what the people say.
08:17 June 2, 2012 by mos101392
Since I'm paid in US Dollars, I'm benefiting from this Euro crises.

However, Germany would be better off if "they" left the Euro. Germany is climbing uphill, with the rest of Europe resting on her shoulders. The rest of Europe is also bringing down the value of the Euro. Germany would be far better off with a much stronger DM.

Actually, the other EU countries should be concerned about this. If Germany left, not sure if France could hold it together alone.
09:39 June 2, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ mos101392

The well-being of a country/its economy is not determined by the strength of its currency. And the goal of EU is not a strong Euro. The idea is to accept globalisation (well, at the moment just regionalisation) and to benefit from it. A single currency is just a help for trade (and more generally, co-operation) between Member States. And if two partners want to work together a lot, they need common rules/standards (such as the Fiscal Pact and the acqui communautaire).
09:46 June 2, 2012 by smart2012
If Germany leaves eu, at the moment for eu would be better. Merkel do it please
22:16 June 3, 2012 by Martina McGovern
The EU need Merkel. She is the best politician to keep EU on track.
23:11 June 4, 2012 by siba
The local seems to like to give wrong headlines to attract more attention... or to attract more anti-german readers. There might be A FEW Irish people who do not like Merkel but the majority there opted for her agenda... so most Irish admire or at least agree with her...

Smart2012: that does not mean that I am for merkel, I just do not like this populism against here which so obviously builds on false information!
04:40 June 5, 2012 by PNWDev
@ smart2012

A German exodus from the Eurozone will collapse the Euro, be careful of wishing for things you do not understand.


France has no chance to try and sustain the Euro absent of Germany and they will not even attempt to try.

A stand-alone Germany is a nice thought, and Germany could easily and successfully stand-alone (and probably should in my opinion), but a German voluntary withdraw from the EU would bring Germans their greatest political-social fear; a collapse of the Euro currency and the blame for the EU¦#39;s downfall.

Should Germans care? No! But will Germans care? Unfortunately Yes!

Germans will be uncomfortable with this outcome because entitlement nations in the region, jealous of Germany's rebirth and economic strength, will further amplify their predatory, German-guilt promotions (overused rants about World War II) because unfortunately, they all know it still works.

The primary economic cause-and-effect of a German withdrawal from the Euro is: 1) Capital (cash) will rush to German shores and as a result, the Deutsche Mark will soar in value potentially forcing the German central bank to act, and 2) Germany's export market will significantly retract raising unemployment, but the short term pain Germans will feel would be worth the long-term freedom of not having to carry the economic burdens of unproductive, member-nations.

The lie is that the Eurobonds will be guaranteed jointly by all Eurozone members. Yet the economics translates into meaning that the Eurozone bonds will be backed by Germany. A German-free Eurozone would never issue Eurobonds based on the full faith and credit of the remaining members because they would be rated as non-investment grade junk.

A politically-correct Germany would back the issuance of Eurobonds. However, economically, they force an unnecessary risk on the German taxpayer and the negatives far outweigh the positives. Committing to the issuance of Eurobonds will forever tie Germany to failed, debt-ridden nations that do not view personal productivity the same way Germans do and as a result, topics of economic crisis will continue to surface and forever haunt the German taxpayer.

The Eurozone does not work for much of the same reasons the North American Free Trade Agreement does not work. Both agreements were designed to bring parity to the region, but such a belief is really just a distant cousin of socialism because not all people will be equally productive no matter how many times you try it. The common, failed-denominator between NAFTA and the EU is that the likes of Mexico, Greece, Portugal, and Spain will never achieve competitive-parity with the US, Canada, and Germany. Trying to force an economic parity only creates economic bubbles that in the end, burst, and create a socioeconomic environment much worse than the one politician¦#39;s were trying to improve.
17:53 June 6, 2012 by mos101392
@ ChrisRea

@ PNWDev

I am not complaining mind you. It's not that the US Dollar is stronger, but that the EURO is weaker now.

But as far as globalization is concerned, if for example the UK can be a part of Europe and yet have it's own currency, then everyone else has the same choice. Germany would be better off reverting to the DM. However, war's seem to be the answer when some countries are not economically equal to others. So maybe it is in Germany's best future interest to keep all of Europe happy. After all, appeasement seems to be the name of the game today...ie giving food to N. Korea so they don't make bombs, aid to Pakistan, Afghanistan and all the other "STANS" for assistance against terrorism...ect ect.
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