France will not ratify treaty 'as it stands'


REFERENDUM NOTEBOOK:BEFORE MINISTER Richard Bruton set the debate ablaze yesterday with his comments on a referendum rerun, new French finance minister Pierre Moscovici was the main source of kindling for those seeking a bit of heat in the referendum campaign.

Moscovici said France would not sign up to the fiscal pact unless it included provisions for growth. “What we have said is the treaty will not be ratified as it stands . . . we are firm on this,” he told BFM TV.

While Moscovici’s comments may have caused some consternation in the Yes camp, his comments on kick-starting a moribund French economy must have resonated with those seeking a “maybe later” option on the ballot paper.

“What we are saying – and we are all very pro-European, François Hollande is very European, [prime minister] Jean- Marc Ayrault is very European and I am very European – is that we must take the construction of Europe in a new direction, not to shrug off budgetary responsibility. . .

“For us, budgetary responsibility and economic growth are not opposites.”

Dublin businessman puts foot firmly in the No camp

CLOSER TO home, John Corcoran, owner of Korkys shoe shop, said he believed a No vote would leave Europe in no doubt that Ireland’s problems run deep.

“We’ve got stitched up with the bank debt and I think if we vote Yes, it will suggest that the citizens of this country are very happy with everything,” Corcoran said.

Doing a bit of stitching himself, the Grafton Street retailer has fastened a three-storey high “Vote No” poster over his shop.

In contrast, prominent Irish businesswoman Louise Phelan warned that Ireland risked losing major investment from 10 international companies if it did not vote Yes. The vice-president of PayPal’s global operations told a breakfast meeting in Dundalk yesterday there was “concern” about a No vote and “there is business out there for the taking [by Ireland] but the decisions are not going to be made until after” the referendum.

Asked if a Yes vote was needed to secure the extra investment for Ireland, she said: “Correct . . . I am talking about industry I met this morning. I met 10 CEOs this morning and the feedback they have given me [is] there is business out there for the taking for Ireland, but the decisions are not going to be made until after May 31st.”

Donegal clergymen unite to protest outside schools against education cuts

A CHURCH of Ireland cleric and his Catholic counterpart in Donegal have joined forces to hold a vigil outside schools on referendum day, as they are used for polling stations.

The Rev John Deane and Fr John Joe Duffy have organised the vigil in protest at education cuts. Both say the message is simple and that they want the Government to “prioritise education investment now”. The Rev Deane, from Ardara, and Fr Duffy, from Arranmore Island, say they are taking no part in the referendum.

“The objective would be to have a presence of parents, children, teachers and members of the general public with placards outside school gates reminding the Government that they need to prioritise education investment now and protect education, protect the future of our children,” Fr Duffy said.

“No one should in any way interfere with or hinder anyone entering or leaving the polling stations,” he added.

The clerics said the organising committee would be in contact with each school in Donegal to set out the rules and regulations concerning the holding of a vigil on election day near a polling station.


"Ireland will be looking to say: Can we vote again?"Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton when asked during a Today FM referendum debate yesterday what Ireland would tell the EU after a No vote