United Left Alliance rejects Austerity Treaty and calls for No vote in referendum

The ULA today rejected the Austerity Treaty as a bankers treaty, in continuity with the bank bailouts already made, and an attack on the living standards of ordinary people and the public services on which we depend. The ULA demands a full public debate on the treaty and will vigorously campaign for a ‘no’ vote in the coming referendum.

Joan Collins TD said:

“This treaty is being imposed on the peoples of Europe by the governments of France and Germany, who are acting in the interests of the big banks and finance houses of Europe. The coming referendum in Ireland – despite attempts to deny us a vote – is the only opportunity for a popular vote anywhere in Europe on the austerity strategy of the European elite. Combined with the imposition of ex-bankers as heads of government in Greece and Italy, the undemocratic imposition of austerity, into perpetuity, must be strenuously resisted.”

Richard Boyd-Barrett TD said:

“There is a massive double-standard at the heart of this treaty. Our EU masters are telling democratically elected governments they can’t borrow to invest in jobs and future economic and social development but they are absolutely demanding that we continue to pay off the gambling debts of toxic banks and financial speculators.”

Paul Murphy MEP said:

“The Tánaiste argues that this is a Treaty ‘for economic stability and economic recovery’. It is nothing of the sort. It is a Treaty for synchronised austerity across Europe, which is a recipe for a much deepened crisis in Ireland and across Europe. Implementing a rule of a maximum structural deficit of 0.5% would result in yet more cuts to public services and more tax increases; indeed the very existence of some public services would come under threat. The Department of Finance’s own estimate for 2015 is a structural deficit for 3.7%. So to meet the treaty target in 2015 would require additional cuts of €5.7 billion; or if the Commission was to give us more time, that would mean simply years of austerity.”

Joe Higgins TD said:

“This is a Treaty for bondholders and bankers as shown by the Article 4 ‘debt repayment’ rule. This means that Ireland will have to reduce its debt at a rate of 3% of GDP per year after 2014. With the devastating austerity resulting from trying to meet the structural deficit target, there is no hope of economic recovery. The only way to meet this target would be to pay back €4.5 billion per year of the debt principal on top of the €8 billion in interest payments.”

Clare Daly TD said:

“The requirement on states to sign up to this treaty if they want to have access to future loans from the ESM is nothing short of blackmail. It is clear that Ireland will need another bailout if the Anglo and other bond repayments are to be paid. We reject the threat of exclusion from the ESM – which will be publicly funded by all EU states, including Ireland – if the people of Ireland vote against the Austerity Treaty.”

Seamus Healy TD said:

“We call for a full public debate on the Austerity Treaty, free from threat of expulsion from the EU or threat of impoverishment of our people. We call for the Referendum Commission to publish the arguments of those who support and those who oppose this treaty; and we call for the re-establishment of the Forum on Europe to provide timely public debate around the country.

“This treaty is a threat to the lives and livelihoods of ordinary working people, and to the services that ordinary people depend upon. We call on the trade union movement to actively inform their members of the contents of this treaty; and to actively promote a ‘no’ vote amongst their members and the general public.”

The ULA calls for a Europe of social solidarity and fairness, a Europe where jobs and public services are prioritised, not a Europe engineered purely in the interests of bankers and super-wealthy elites. For these reasons, we call for a ‘no’ vote in the referendum on the Austerity Treaty.

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