Friday, October 2, 2009

Europe waits for Irish Lisbon treaty result - Americans could care less

Here's a very good overview of the Irish take on the failed Lisbon Treaty:

Europe waits for Irish Lisbon treaty result
Europe is holding its breath after the Irish went to the polls on Friday for a rerun referendum on the Lisbon Treaty amid "scaremongering" warnings of economic catastrophe should they vote No for a second time.

By Bruno Waterfield in Tallaght
Published: 5:02PM BST 02 Oct 2009

Ireland is the only country, out of the EU's 27, to hold a popular vote on the Lisbon Treaty, a text that is largely the same as Constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters four years ago. {ed note: the French and Dutch rejected the contract with "critical eyes" on the EU's supremacy of communitarian law clause, so far there's been no indication the Irish are aware of the actual legal system in the EU}

Irish voters first rejected the EU Treaty 18 months ago by a margin of 53.4 per cent to 46.6 per cent but they have been asked to think again following pressure from other 26 European countries, which all denied popular votes to their citizens.

Most opinion polling now gives the "Yes" camp a 55 to 60 per cent lead with fears that a renewed "No" will plunge Ireland's economy into a deeper crisis regarded as the main factor in the shift.

Brian Cowen, the Irish prime minister, with the support of Irish and multinational big business has linked the vote to Ireland's economic future after the country was hit harder than most other EU member states by the global financial crisis.

"A Yes vote marks an essential step for economic recovery. Only with a Yes will we ensure investor confidence in Ireland," he said, at his final press conference before polls opened.

No campaigners have dismissed Mr Cowen's claims that Yes vote will create new jobs as "scaremongering and lies".

No campaign posters and billboards have displayed pictures of Mr Cowen, the most unpopular premier in the history of the Irish Republic, alongside the slogan, "the only job Lisbon saves is his".

As polling stations opened on Friday morning, hundreds of taxi drivers took to the streets, many bearing "No to Lisbon" placards, to protest at the government's handling of the economy.

Liam Murphy, a Dublin cab driver, said: "We have been fed lies and blackmailed with scaremongering about the economy. The treaty does not mention jobs. It is scaremongering by a government that just wants to hang on to its own jobs."

Soaring unemployment and the economic crisis has hit Tallaght's working class estates, south west of Dublin, harder than most of Ireland but its people have remained defiant.

At the St Kevin's Boys School polling station in Tallaght's Kilnamanagh district, Shane O'Leary insisted that he would still vote No.

"People have been scared. But the recession does not change this treaty or our rejection of it last time," he said.

Kathleen Cummins, another "No" voter, said: "I think we are being bullied and treated like children."

But Charles Dussey admitted that he had changed his vote because of fears that the EU would pull the plug on funding if there was a second referendum rejection.

"The country is bankrupt. The EU is signing the cheques. We cannot bite the hand that feeds us at the moment," he said.

If the Lisbon Treaty is rejected by the Irish a second time then the EU would be plunged into a deep institutional crisis.

"We are hearing that the vote is very close and unpredictable," said an EU official last night.

All 26 other EU countries have ratified the treaty by parliamentary procedures but the Polish and Czech presidents have delayed a final signing until the Irish vote.

The results will be announced on Saturday afternoon.

1 comment:

constant gina said...

The EU requires a birth certificate