Three major trade unions with combined membership of more than 100,000 have issued a strong call to vote no in Thursday’s referendum on what they are calling the austerity treaty.
The Civil and Public Service Union (CPSU), Mandate and UNITE trade unions represent workers across the private and public sector and a wide range of industries from retail to transport and finance.
UNITE Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:
“The Treaty is only about austerity and does not have any provisions relating to growth.”
“It has been rushed in as a panic measure. No less than ten Euro zone countries have now slipped back into recession.”
“The problem with the treaty is that it enshrines the very policies that have caused that recession to get deeper and more damaging.”
“Ireland has a chance to say No, and to pull Europe back from the brink of economic self harm it has been engaged in to disastrous effect over the past three years.”
Mandate General Secretary, John Douglas said that the Fiscal Treaty if passed will not create one job:
“On the contrary it will legally lock down Irish economic activity at its current levels, and may even shrink domestic demand further leading to mass unemployment, decades of emigration and sow the seeds for future social conflict.
“This Treaty has nothing to do with ‘good housekeeping’ or ‘managing the household budget’; it is about copper fastening into an internationally legally binding agreement, decades of austerity, social exclusion, mass long term unemployment and emigration – and a continuation of attacks on workers’ rights and the welfare system. It is not about what is good for Irish citizens, or the citizens of Europe, it is a treaty of the Right for the Right!”
CPSU General Secretary Eoin Ronayne said:
“The Treaty amounts to writing into law the failed policies of the neo liberals who got us into the mess we are in.”
“Why on earth would lower and middle income people vote to make their lives even worse than they already are”
“What the ordinary citizens of the EU need is a sustained and comprehensive growth package putting money back into their pockets so that they can spend in their local economies generating jobs and protecting existing employment”
“Nothing in this Treaty will do that and a NO vote is the only way for people to stand up and say we’ve had enough of what got us into this crisis and that it’s time for change”
Each of the three unions has been working with activists and workplace representatives to encourage debate among members and present a balance to the government messaging that there is no choice but to say yes. Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Burke, writing in the Irish Left Review says
There are many reasons to vote No in the forthcoming Treaty on the austerity pact. One of them is that it is simply unworkable
More Here :
Austerity Treaty is a Bondholders Charter – Life before Debt – no payment to bondholders while our people go hungry
Campaign Against the Austerity Treaty.
Press statement – 28-5-2012 – immediate release.
Austerity Treaty is a Bondholders Charter
Life before Debt – no payment to bondholders while our people go hungry.
Vote No to the bankers treaty.
Campaigners for a No vote today protested against the payment of €2.25 in bonds by state-owned AIB, saying the Treaty would institutionalise this anti-social policy.
Brendan Young said:
“AIB has had a €20 billion bailout from the Irish state and is effectively 98% state owned. AIB will today pay out €2.25 billion in a bond payment. Speculators were buying AIB bonds for 52 cents last November – so these anonymous bondholders will make a huge profit when they’re paid in full today.
Meanwhile, St. Vincent de Paul report that 20,000 people called them for help getting food last year. Why is this government letting bondholders be paid by a bank that it owns, while our people go hungry, lie waiting on hospital trolleys and languish on the dole? Read the rest of this entry »
International Monetary Fund Chief Christine Lagarde gave an interview to the British Guardian, on Friday May 25 – saying :
“It’s payback time: don’t expect sympathy” – Lagarde to Greeks
Take responsibility and stop trying to avoid taxes, International Monetary Fund chief tells Athens”
IMF Boss Lagarde Tells Greeks “It’s Payback Time”
A huge facebook protest has erupted :
Facebook fury prompts Lagarde Greece clarification
The managing director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, has issued a statement on Facebook seeking to explain comments made in a newspaper interview. This response followed an online offensive from unhappy Greeks.
The International Monetary Fund’s top official issued a lengthy statement on her Facebook site at the weekend, responding more than 10,000 angry and often explicit messages on her account.
Lagarde had said in an interview with the Guardian newspaper that she had greater sympathy for impoverished children in Africa seeking an education than the plight of the Greek people, in reponse to a question on whether human emotion made her job more difficult.
The answer, though perhaps more carefully worded than some of the subsequent reports on it suggested, led to a wave of angry online responses.
“As I have said many times before, I am very sympathetic to the Greek people and the challenges they are facing. That’s why the IMF is supporting Greece in its endeavor to overcome the current crisis and return to the path of economic growth, jobs and stability,” Lagarde wrote on her inundated Facebook page.
“An important part of this effort is that everyone should carry their fair share of the burden, especially the most privileged and especially in terms of paying their taxes. That is the point I was emphasizing when I spoke to the Guardian newspaper as part of a broader interview some time ago,” the statement concluded.
Greater sympathy for children in Africa
Within 24 hours, this subsequent post had attracted 11,458 comments, most of them critical.
“You should say that to the relatives of the 3,000 Greeks that have committed suicide, to the one million unemployed,” a user said under the name Ntavos Paok.
In the original article, Lagarde was asked how she could block out the human impacts of austerity when setting cost-cutting targets for the indebted Greek government – whether it was possible to take a more hard-nosed attitude.
“I think more of the little kids from a school in a little village in Niger who get teaching two hours a day, sharing one chair for three of them, and who are very keen to get an education. I have them in my mind all the time,” Lagarde told the Manchester-based paper. “Do you know what? As far as Athens is concerned, I also think about all those people who are trying to escape tax all the time.”
Socialist party leader Evangelos Venizelos responded by saying “nobody can humiliate the Greek people during the crisis, and I say this today addressing specifically Ms. Lagarde … who with her stance insulted the Greek people. I call on her to re-think what she wanted to say.”
Greece has accepted two sets of emergency international loans from the IMF and its European partners. The lower-interest funds are being released on a piecemeal basis and are tied to tough economic reforms. The country, meanwhile, is headed for its fifth consecutive year of recession.
Tax evasion, especially by the most wealthy people in the country, has been cited as one of the more notorious reasons for the Greek economic problems.
msh/pfd (AFP, AP, Reuters)
As the crisis unfolds Irish leaders Kenny and Gilmore want us to bury our heads in the sand, just like them
Gene Kerrigan shines a light on cowardly Irish Political leaders :
What happens, some wonder, when Enda Kenny is behind closed doors, with EU leaders, without his props? What happens at those meetings where the future of our children is decided?
Well, we know what happens. We’ve seen him treated in public, by Nicolas Sarkozy, as something of a fondly-regarded puppy. As Sarkozy tickled Enda’s neck in front of the cameras, and Enda giggled, is there anyone who didn’t flinch? No other national leader anywhere on the planet would dare be so casually and patronisingly handled — tickled with affection, a pleasingly responsive pet.
Across the EU, he — and we — are treated as the suppliant ones. And that is indeed the policy of this Government. Supplication — then, appeals for fairness, for a dig-out — if dat do be pleasing to ye, sir. In a ferocious world where other governments, bankers and financiers go to work in hobnailed boots, our leaders wear carpet slippers.
This is why we so studiously concern ourselves with trivia as billions are siphoned out of the country. It’s why the current referendum campaign has been conducted in bogus terms, about jobs and growth and where we’ll get the money for another bailout.
We’ve hit the iceberg, bankers load the lifeboats with billions of our euros — our leaders ask us to discuss the dessert menu.
More Here :
Meanwhile the Labour Party takes a shot at its rival Sinn Féin over a Dáil vote in 2008:
There’s a bond payment of €2.25 billion from Allied Irish Banks on Monday May 28 2012 – the Labour Party in government feeds the vultures.