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Wake Up Time for Ireland! Public Enquiry Needed

category national | eu | opinion/analysis author Wednesday December 15, 2010 04:48author by Anthony Coughlan, Emmett O'Connell - National Platform EU Research & Information Centreauthor email info at nationalplatform dot orgauthor phone (01) 830 5792 Report this post to the editors

A public enquiry is needed into how the Irish people have been turned into indentured debtors of the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF.

We need to know this if we are ever to recover. We need to know who was ultimately responsible for the situation we now find ourselves in, trapped inside the Eurozone when we did not need to join it.

EU Member States outside the Eurozone like Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Poland and the Czech Republic are not caught up in the current torments of the Euro. They can weather the economic recession better because they have kept their national currencies and with it control of their rate of interest or exchange rate.

Most Irish economists, the National Platform and several non-governmental groups warned at the time of our 1992 Maastrict Treaty referendum that abolishing the Irish pound would be the biggest mistake the Irish State ever made (John FitzGerald’s ESRI was an influential exception). The second biggest mistake – largely a consequence of the first - was the 2008 blanket guarantee of all the debts of our private banks

The period 1993 to 2000 was the only period in the history of the Irish State when it followed an independent exchange rate policy and effectively floated the Irish currency. That gave us a highly competitive exchange rate and with it the “Celtic Tiger” growth rates of over 7% a year.

It is impossible to have a lasting monetary union that is not also a fiscal union, part of one State, with common taxes and a common budget. However Ireland’s Euro-fanatics pushed us into the Eurozone against all the economic arguments. They were impelled by their zeal to help build an EU superstate led by Germany and France, without any national democratic control.

Such a construct would inevitably lack the mutual identification and solidarity between its members which would sustain transfers from the rich countries to the poorer ones sufficient to compensate the latter for loss of their capacity to run independent budgetary policies or restore their economic competitiveness through currency devaluation.

It was profoundly irresponsible to abolish the Irish pound in order to join a monetary union with States with which we did only one-third of our foreign trade, while simultaneously halving interest rates at the height of an economic boom.

That made things “boomier”, as Taoiseach Bertie Ahern put it. It set us on the borrowing binge that followed, and the catastrophic course Ireland’s Government has since taken with its Banks.

It is the grand panjandrums of Irish Euro-fanaticism: Peter Sutherland of Goldman Sachs, Garret FitzGerald, Alan Dukes, Pat Cox, Brigid Laffan, Brendan Halligan, Ruairi Quinn and David Begg, who ultimately impelled us to surrender our political independence and democracy in the Eurozone.

As influential, although their names are unknown to the public, are the “career federalists” of Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Department in Iveagh House, who form the policy and write the speeches of successive Foreign Ministers. They are keeping their heads down these days and are happy to let the Department of Finance take the rap for our current economic debacle.

However it is they more than any other element in Ireland’s civil service who have steered our ship of state on to the rocks. Cheering them on throughout have been uncritical elements in our media, above all in the editorial office of the Irish Times.

There is deep irony in the fact that their zeal for ever more EU integration has turned Ireland into a bomb inside the “infernal machine” of the Euro-currency, hastening its inevitable demise, and in the process possibly plunging much of the world into the second phase of a W-shaped recession.

Henceforth we should be more critical of what these people say when they enthuse for ever “more Europe”.

- Anthony Coughlan

- Emmett O'Connell

Related Link: http://www.nationalplatform.org

http://www.nationalplatform.org/100521_NewsTalk_Dunphy_Coughlan.m4a

Eamon Dunphy ("The Eamon Dunphy Show": NewsTalk106fm) has Anthony Coughlan on with a panel of guests

http://www.nationalplatform.org/The_Consequences_of_Monetary_Union_1972_Emmett-O-Connell.pdf

George Hook ("The Right Hook": NewsTalk106fm) interviews Emmett O’Connell about the Consequences of Monetary Union

author by John Mackpublication date Wed Dec 15, 2010 05:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Do you have some sort of political reason for calling Ireland (Republic of Ireland) the Irish Free State? Makes your whole article less credible.

author by John Mackpublication date Wed Dec 15, 2010 05:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are absolutely correct. Within the EU Ireland cannot be competitive and grow its economy. A coop, not union, with the right countries (all maintaining their own currency) would be good for Ireland. I have in mind cross training and hiring of civil servants and bank regulators: Ireland would get some professionals outside the cozy connection system, and Irish civil servants would get some training and some jobs abroad before returning (if they want) to Ireland. This kind of coop might help to integrate certain industries across borders, especially banking. At this point I would fear Ireland's having its own overly political banks.

author by Labour voterpublication date Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done Anthony this is a great article after reading what ICTU the Labour Party, Sinn Fein and others have written about the Euro I was confused and disillusioned. This article is much clearer and makes much more sense. I would like to get Anthony's expert opinion on whether Ireland should leave the Euro now or would it be better for the Irish economy to devalue the Euro and stay in the Euro for a couple of years until this crisis is over?

author by O. O'C.publication date Wed Dec 15, 2010 13:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not sure why the audio doesn't load on my computer, but the links for above interviews/discussions are:

Eamon Dunphy (”The Eamon Dunphy Show”: NewsTalk106fm) has Anthony Coughlan on with his panel of guests --
Online - http://www.nationalplatform.org/100521_NewsTalk_Dunphy_...n.m4a
Via iTunes - http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-national-platform-e...43305

George Hook (”The Right Hook”: NewsTalk106fm) interviews Emmett O’Connell about the Consequences of Monetary Union --
Online - http://www.nationalplatform.org/100510_newstalk106_cons...n.m4a
Via iTunes - http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-national-platform-e...43305

In addition you may be interested in:
The Consequences of Monetary Union and its Affect on Peripheral Regions (1972) (PDF) - Emmett O’Connell --
http://www.nationalplatform.org/The_Consequences_of_Mon...l.pdf

Related Link: http://www.rebel-alliance.org
author by riannorr - napublication date Wed Dec 15, 2010 19:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All the politicians in the Dail sing, we're on the one road, the road to God knows where.
Merkel sings 'a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down'

author by confusedpublication date Sat Dec 18, 2010 22:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

like the labour voter above I am also not sure if Ireland should leave the Euro ASAP? or should the Euro be devalued as this would lessen the excuse the government uses to cut wages?

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