Questions on Blackmail Clause met with stony silence by Barroso

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MEP condemns Treaty to impose synchronised institutionalised austerity
Direct questions about origins of ‘blackmail clause’ met with stony silence from Barosso and van Rompuy

Speaking as the main speaker for the European United Left (GUE/NGL) group in the European Parliament debate about the conclusions of the last European Council where the Fiscal Treaty was signed, Paul Murphy MEP said:

It was Winston in George Orwell’s 1984 who wrote that: ‘Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four’. So let me say clearly that meeting the structural deficit target contained in Article 3 of the treaty plus the debt reduction target in Article 4 equals savage austerity. It means around €5.7 billion in cuts and extra taxes in Ireland, tens of billions across Europe. Without economic growth, it means repayment of the vampire bondholders of €4.5 billion euro in principal payments in Ireland on top of the interest payments and over €100 billion across the Euro zone.

It does not mean growth – it means a worsening of the economic crisis, more unemployment, worse public services and further attacks on working conditions.

Because of this, the government’s whole argument in the debate on the Austerity Treaty in Ireland is based on fear. The centre-piece of that scare-mongering is the clause which was inserted into the new ESM Treaty , which says that only countries that sign up to the Fiscal Treaty can access ESM funds.

Let me ask you a direct question to which I would like an answer. How did this blackmail clause come to be in the new ESM Treaty? Did the Irish government raise any objection to this stick being fashioned to beat the people into supporting permanent austerity?

Finally, isn’t it the case that the amendment to the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU to allow the ESM come into being has not yet been ratified by the Member States? Therefore, if the Irish government is committed to a free and fair debate without this blackmail clause hanging over people’s heads, doesn’t it have the power to veto the establishment of the ESM and demand that this clause is removed?

There was no response in the concluding remarks of either Barosso or van Rompuy to these direct questions.

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