Yes vote 'will put Irish in bondage'

Wed, Feb 29, 2012, 00:00

People Before Profit TD Joan Collins has said a Yes vote in the referendum on the fiscal compact treaty would put generations of Irish people in “bondage”.

Addressing a United Left Alliance press conference this afternoon, Ms Collins described the treaty as a “bankers’ treaty” and a continuation of the bank bailout.

“To lock the Irish people into a treaty of this nature is literally bondage of the next period of our lives and our children’s lives,” she said.

Her colleague Richard Boyd-Barrett said claimed the Government’s “only weapon is fear” in advance of the referendum. He said the Coalition would make “false claims” about the result of referendum meaning Ireland was inside or outside of Europe.

“In the worst case scenario we’d have to print our own money. Is England sinking into the sea because it prints its own money? Is Iceland?”

Socialist TD Joe Higgins said thousands of people were already attending public meetings and said the referendum was on the consequences of austerity. “I believe that, yes, our message will win,” he said.

Socialist MEP Paul Murphy claimed the treaty was for the “casino capitalists” and would “institutionalise synchronised austerity across Europe”. He said there had been a “disgraceful” attempt by the Government and sections of the media to convince people that those advocating a No vote were “dragging in other issues”.

Earlier, Independent TD Thomas Pringle and former Green MEP Patricia McKenna were among those who attended a People’s Movement press conference. They argued that two questions should be put to the people on the same day: one on the European stability mechanism and the other on the fiscal compact.

They advocate a No vote in the upcoming referendum. “I believe it will be bad for the country if we vote Yes . . . if we vote No it will send a clear message,” Mr Pringle said.