On May Day the Socialist Party launched its campaign for a rejection of the Austerity Treaty.
The core message of our campaign is that the European political, financial and business establishment want to enshrine in law across Europe the type of policy response, austerity, that has already failed across Europe.
The structural deficit target spelt out in the treaty will mean over six billion in extra cuts and impositions on top of the over eight billion already planned.
The debt reduction target of 60% GDP in the era of austerity can only be met by more cuts and taxes and growth will be virtually ruled out when you have simultaneous cuts being implemented across Europe.
Besides the key economic questions the issue of democracy will be a key battleground in this referendum campaign. The levels of oversight this treaty gives the unelected EU Commission and the powers invested in the EU to put countries in administration if they do not adhere to the targets spelt out is profoundly anti-democratic.
The net effect of this treaty is to not just make socialist policies illegal but to render illegal Keynesian and mildly progressive social democratic policies. This is understood by Keynesian economists and soft left politicians and political parties across Europe who oppose this treaty. The fact that the Labour Party supports it regardless demonstrates again how far in the capitalist camp they are rooted.
Part of the fear tactic on the part of the Yes side consists of trying to create the impression that by voting ‘No’ the Irish will be isolated. We take a different view and it’s a view that is being increasingly understood by voters. The Irish people have already joined the massive movement against austerity by boycotting the household charge. At meetings the length of the country people have made the link between the household charge and this Austerity Treaty. People see that this treaty will mean more taxation like the household charge and water taxes.
A ‘No’ vote in Ireland will provide a massive fillip to the real opposition to this treaty that exists across Europe and could prove to be the first successful continent-wide response by workers to the pro-bondholder agenda of the EU political establishment.