#vinb debate on the Fiscal Treaty: Analysis

On Tonight with Vincent Browne, Declan Ganley, Noirin Hegarty, Eamon Ryan and Ursula Halligan will take a look at tonight's TV3 debate on the EU Fiscal Treaty. Vincent Browne blogs in advance of the programme. {jathumbnailoff}

The “insurance” issue – having access to funding if we need it in 2014 (and it looks almost certain we will need it) – seems likely to be the main issue of contention in the Fiscal Treaty debate, for now, and the “no” side had better devise a credible way of addressing this. Better, certainly, than they came up with in the debate this evening.

But later other issues may be introduced which could include: Why did the government agree to the renegotiation of the ESM Treaty to have inserted into it the gun-to-head clause, denying states that refuse to ratify the Fiscal Treaty access to the new ESM fund? Why would a government agree to a clause (as they did in February 2012) that could severely impact on this country, when such a clause was deemed unnecessary when the ESM business was first agreed (in July 2011)?  

And then there are the promises of the last election.

Fine Gael promised in its manifesto

“Fine Gael believes that the IMF/EU bail-out deal has not and will not restore investor confidence in our country, and must therefore be renegotiated to reduce the interest rate and to ensure a fairer sharing of the cost of fixing Ireland’s broken banks. The current deal is bad forIreland – and bad for Europe."

In the banking section of the manifesto, Fine Gael promised: 

“Fine Gael in Government will force certain classes of bond-holders to share in the cost of recapitalising troubled financial institutions. This will be done unilaterally for the most junior bondholders (owners of preference shares, sub-ordinated debt and similar instruments), but could be extended – as part of a European-wide framework – for senior debt, focusing on insolvent institutions like Anglo Irish and Irish Nationwide that have no systemic importance”.

Here, a clear commitment to seek a write-down of the bank debt.

But - according to repeated statements over the last few months by Enda Kenny - the Government never has sought a write down of the debt since it came into office. Enda Kenny has boasted Ireland will not have the word 'defaulter' branded across its forehead.

So the massive bank debt, which is and never was the responsibility of the Irish people, is to remain foisted on the Irish people and not even a request will be made to rectify that injustice, in spite of the election promises.

And so it is with the Anglo promissory notes, amounting to over €30 billion. Negotiations to defer the repayment, to fiddle around with the interest payments, but a determination to avoid dealing with the central issue: to have the debt lifted from the Irish people. 

We'll be curating #vinb tweets here during the show. Refresh the page for updates.