Workers Party President Michael Finnegan
The President of the Workers’ Party, Michael Finnegan, has said that the 60% Yes vote in the referendum on the EU Fiscal Treaty will prove to be a pyrrhic victory for the government and the establishment as wider events in Europe are already overtaking the decision.
Mr. Finnegan said that the Yes vote had been achieved only through a cynical campaign of threat and avoidance of the real issues.
“Sadly”, said Mr Finnegan, “this vote will be used to justify and bolster permanent austerity and loss of financial and political sovereignty. However, it exposes the class nature of the treaty – an issue which was clearly identified in the voter turnout. The working class vote was solidly against the treaty but the previous experiences of many working class people when their votes had been disregarded and their decisions set aside has led to disengagement with the political process and, accordingly, reduced the NO vote.
“The Yes campaign was built on a platform of money, fear and outright distortion. The huge financial resources available to the Yes campaign, the fact that the electorate was not persuaded but threatened with dire consequences of a failure to vote for the Treaty, together with a persistent misrepresentation of the content of the treaty and what it means for the people of Ireland and Europe has undermined the democratic wishes of working people. It has also underlined the true class character of the EU and the political parties which support austerity”, said Mr. Finnegan.
“While we now face a further vicious onslaught against workers at the hands of the ruling class, the Workers’ Party take some comfort from a strong NO vote and the opportunity to demonstrate that the crisis is systemic, that capitalism is inherently unstable and unsustainable and that the only alternative for workers is to dismantle the present economic system and construct a socialist future.”
The President of the Workers’ Party has said that today’s warning from Finance Minister Michael Noonan that rejection of the EU Fiscal Treaty will cause uncertainty is a hollow threat and an insult to the Irish people who have endured more than four years of continuing uncertainty and worry.
Mr. Finnegan said that the Fiscal Treaty will do nothing to end uncertainty about the economy because it does not purport to fix the economy, merely hand control over it to the unelected European Central Bank, Court of Justice and Commission.
“The only certainty that adopting the EU Fiscal treaty will create”, said Mr. Finnegan, “is the certainty of austerity continuing over a very long period of time and the ceding of fiscal and political sovereignty on a permanent basis. It is an insult for Minister Noonan to talk of uncertainty when the economy has been sent reeling from one crisis to another since 2008. Eighteen months ago Mr. Noonan and his colleagues told us that we could end uncertainty by electing a Fine Gael / Labour coalition but the uncertainty continues and the austerity has been ramped up. Working people want no more of that type of certainty”.
The Workers’ Party President added that “the Fiscal Treaty was not designed to solve Ireland’s financial woes, or those of the other Eurozone states, but rather to solve Germany’s problems and give Angela Merkel and her successors overarching control of the economies of other member states”.
“The Fiscal Treaty”, concluded Mr. Finnegan, “does not even guarantee access to ESM loans. As the Referendum Commission has clearly pointed out, passing this Treaty merely confers a formal right to apply for ESM funding. As anyone who is a bank customer knows, there is a major difference between the ability to apply for a loan and a guarantee that one can draw down such a loan”.
Lisbon Lies – don’t be fooled again
The President of the Workers’ Party, Michael Finnegan, has said that the promise of a major jobs initiative from the Irish government and the EU was without credibility and would only serve to jog voters’ memories of the “Yes to Lisbon, Yes to Jobs” posters that festooned every lamppost in the country just over four years ago during the Lisbon Treaty referendum.
Mr. Finnegan said that yesterday’s EU mini-summit in Brussels had “hatched nothing more than a plan to neutralise the massive rejection of austerity in elections across Europe, stitch up the Greek people and wave a carrot at Irish voters to entice them to accept the EU Fiscal Treaty which last night’s meeting both endorsed and threw in the bin”.
The Workers Party President added that: “The European heads of state must take the Irish people and those of the other Eurozone states as mugs if they think yesterday’s summit would make austerity any more acceptable”.
“Once again we have a government waving a carrot at the Irish people and once again the carrot is an illusion. It is a three-card trick and a hand that has been played too often. We are told that the Fiscal Treaty will remain unchanged and this is being sold as something good when it merely tightens the straitjacket the treaty will put on the Irish economy”, said Michael Finnegan.
The Workers’ Party will be holding a further public meeting tonight (Tuesday, 22nd May) in Ballymun, on Dublin’s Northside as part of it’s campaign for a NO vote in the EU Fiscal Treaty referendum.
The meeting will take place in the Axis Arts Centre in Ballymun, also beginning at 8.00pm.
All are welcome.
* Please note that the Bray meeting has been put back by 24 hours and will now be held at the Strand Hotel on Wednesday, 23rd May at 8.00pm. The guest speaker will be John Douglas, General Secretary of the Mandate trade union, which is campaigning for a NO vote. Mandate is one of the country’s largest unions, representing more than 45,000 workers, mostly in the retail and hospitality sector.