Can we risk being excluded from a second bailout?

Vincent Browne blogs ahead of tonight's show on the Fiscal Compact Treaty referendum. Guests: Dan O'Brien and Declan Ganley. {jathumbnailoff}

The arguments for and against the Fiscal Treaty seem to be to be straightforward.

The Treaty changes very little: we are already caught with indefinite surrender of sovereignty not just on budgetary matters but on economic policy (mandatory neoliberalism), and on labour markets (ie ensuring that there is “flexibility” for employers to fire workers). The only significant change that I can see is the requirement to operate with a 0.5% budget deficit and an overall borrowing rate of no more than 60%. This could well cause even more austerity here, if it ever happens.

The main argument for the Fiscal treaty is that if we don’t approve it, we may be excluded from any future rescue programmes - if we need a further rescue programme. This arises from a provision of another Treaty, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Treaty, which says no country can avail of rescue funds under it, without approving the Fiscal Treaty; this penal provision was agreed by our Government at the beginning of February- a fine stick with which to beat us!

The argument in favour of voting against, as I see it, is to register rejection of all the caprices of the EU over the last four years in requiring us to rescue privately owned financial institutions, which involved inflicting on the Irish people the enormous debts of the banks and which propelled us to surrender our sovereignty to the ECB, the EU and the IMF in 2010. All for the purposes of ensuring the stability of European financial institutions.

The question is can we risk being excluded from a second bailout to make a protest against the injustice of the debt infliction? 

 We'll be curating #vinb tweets throughout the show, and Vincent will respond to the issues raised afterwards.

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Images top: erix! and splorp.