DAY 10: THE FISCAL TREATY
Day 10: The sooner we vote on the Stability Treaty the Better, well at least according to Fine Gael's Paschal Donohoe. Micheál Martin says Gerry Adams is running scared from a real debate on the treaty. Sinn Féin's deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald told the Dail that the Labour Leadership are running blind, while Labour tell women to get to know and understand the Treaty, and then vote YES. Europe sees Germany postpone their ratification process.
Some House Keeping
The Department of Environment is advising electors with physical disabilities who may have difficult gaining access to their local polling station to apply to have their vote transferred to a more accessible station in their constituency. To avail of this an elector should apply to their local returning officer by Thursday, 24th May 2012. Names and address of local returning officers are available here.
Fine Gael - The Sooner the Better
Fine Gael's Paschal Donohoe has said the sooner Irish people vote Yes on the Stability treaty the better. He was responding to members of the opposition calling for the Referendum to be postponed until certainty over Germany and France's views on the treaty are clear, which today saw the German Government postpone their ratification of the treaty, while the French President Elect, Francois Hollande, has called on the Treaty to have more of a focus on Growth. Paschal Donohoe argues “It is a matter for each country to ratify the Stability Treaty in its own way and Ireland is the only country holding a referendum on the matter. By voting Yes we will deliver the certainty and stability needed for jobs growth. It would be extremely irresponsible to delay that process.”
Irish Budgets and The EU
Sinn Fein have called on the Government to "spell out" the new powers that the European Commission and Court of Justice will have over future Irish budgets. Pearse Doherty, Sinn Fein spokesperson on Finance asked "It is about time that the government, and in particular the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, came clean about the consequences of handing away such power to the European Commission and European Court of Justice - what will it mean for taxation policy, for the ownership of state assets, for the delivery of public services, for the household budgets of hundreds of thousands of people across the country?"
Meanwhile today Deputy Leader of Sinn Fein, Mary Lou McDonald, stated that the Labour leadership continue to support austerity policies. She told Tánaiste Éamon Gilmore that "the political sands are shifting and Labour's sister parties in the European Union, the trade union movement and, most importantly, the citizens of France, Greece, Italy and Britain have recognized categorically that austerity is not working."
Micheál Martin, the Fianna Fáil leader, today said that Sinn Fein was showing hypocrisy on the Treaty Debate. According to Micheál Martin Gerry Adams is unwilling to debate with the Yes side, saying that he has refused a head to head debate last weekend and having now agreed to a debate with the Taoiseach, which he knows the Taoiseach is unlikely to agree.
Micheal Martin Said "Sinn Féin has accused the Taoiseach of "running scared" from a head to head debate. They have said that the Fine Gael Leader has a duty and a responsibility to “step up to the mark” and debate the contents of this Treaty. We agree. The same rules must apply to Gerry Adams, and to the leaders of all political parties involved in the campaign.”
Yes for Recovery and No to Tragedy
Joe Costello defends government action saying that the government is committed to meeting the challenges they face. He believes Ireland is on track to meet their budgetary targets by 2015. He says that job creation is dependent on trade and investment. He argues stability is the only option to encourage growth, that can allow families and investors reasonable certainty about the future. He believes that only through "Ratification of the Stability Treaty will allow this flow of investment to continue and expand."
Katherine Dunne (Labour Women Chair) has called on women to be informed, rather then voting NO because the don't understand. She is calling on all women to read the text of the treaty and familiarise themselves with the Treaty. Katherin Dunne says "Past referenda show that knowledge of a treaty is a crucial factor in voter turnout......Historically women, if not fully informed have been more likely to lean towards a 'no' vote on the grounds that they did not know enough."
Labour Women believe that a YES vote is the best option for women and they will be working hard on the ground to communicate the essence of the Treaty.
Labour Director of Elections Dominic Hannigan advise against an Greek Type Tragedy and the only way for Ireland to save itself from a political mess is to avoid the instability in Greece. "For months, Sinn Féin and the ULA have called for Ireland to follow the Greek route," said Deputy Hannigan. "Yet in recent days, the silence from these groups is deafening, as they realize how bad the situation in Greece may become." He is advocating a YES vote because it will insure Ireland has a permanent insurance fund, the growing international confidence in Ireland and Ireland is meeting all of its Troika commitments to date, "We are making progress. A Yes vote will help us on the road towards recovery," concluded Hannigan.
However far from being silent on the Greek Election the ULA issued a press release advising Irish voters that they can vote against the treaty knowing that so many European voters are also against the treaty. Paul Murphy MEP commented "The way that the Greek voters have punished all parties that keep insisting on the necessity of austerity and follow policies favouring bankers and speculators nationally and internationally was an act of great resistance."
ULA Question Government on €11b to ESM even with a NO vote
Richard Boyd Barrett calls the Government Position on the ESM fund "bizarre". According to him the government is unwilling to " repudiate (Minister) Creighton's assertion that Government will commit €11 billion to ESM, even if a No vote on treaty prevents Irish access".