We're not in any state to weather a 'Grexit'


ÉANNA Ó CAOLLAÍ’s referendum notebook

THE DEBATE surrounding Irish voter reaction to austerity and how it manifests itself in the fiscal treaty referendum has not been confined to these shores.

In a piece dissecting what impact a “Grexit” (Greek exit from the euro) would have on Europe, the Economist warned last week of deep uncertainty in the markets that could leave both Ireland and Portugal ever more vulnerable to economic turmoil.

While voters may be tempted to use the referendum to vent discontent and empower the anti-austerity movement in Europe, the writer suggested that an Irish rejection would mean that we would not be bailed out in future.

Ireland does have some “trump cards” however, he wrote. It remains an attractive proposition for high-tech international companies that are “lured” here by a skilled workforce and a low corporate tax rate.

Despite that, the writer warned that even in the event of a solution being found to the Greek crisis, the Irish economy would remain weak.

Our ability to regain access to the markets is “far from sure” and, while Portugal looks more vulnerable, “Ireland’s debilitating banking crisis still holds it back”.

“Neither economy is in any state at all to weather a Grexit.”

Referendum online

Doing the rounds on Twitter recently was the Spoofer’s Guide to the Fiscal Treaty. The authors say they are not calling for a Yes vote and present the document as a guide to asking more questions from both sides.

It contains a lengthy contribution from the pro-treaty side, but on page 9 – where the index says we will find the contribution from the No side – we are met with the following message. “Unfortunately we have yet to receive the No article from the prominent No campaigner who assures us it is on the way. Once we get it we’ll reissue the document.”

This quirky document, which was retweeted by Lucinda Creighton as “Interesting, impartial, informative funny,” was compiled by former PD Jason O’Mahony, who admits in the preamble to having canvassed for a Yes vote in every EU referendum since Maastricht; and Andrea Pappin, once of Labour, the European Commission and the European Movement. Ms Pappin also admits to having campaigned for Yes votes in European referenda in the past.