Call for referendum on EU treaty


Twenty-six Oireachtas members and an MEP have called for a referendum on amendments to a EU treaty they say could lead to "a regime of unmitigated austerity for decades to come".

A letter, signed by Sinn Féin, Independents and Socialist Party representatives and co-sponsored by the People's Movement group says the treaty that establishes the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will subordinate Ireland's interests in Europe to those of "the stability of the euro area as a whole".

People's Movement spokesperson Kevin McCorry, said the Treaty commits the State to "irrevocably and unconditionally contribute some €11 billion towards an Eurozone fund from 2013 onwards with the possibility of demands for further sums down the line."

The letter says assistance from the ESM will only be given to countries on the basis of "unspecified" and "potentially unlimited" conditions.

"If the Irish State were to receive loans or grants or favourable borrowing facilities from the ESM, these conditions could require the introduction of a balanced budget constitutional amendment or dropping the objection to the harmonisation of corporate taxes at EU level", the letter says.

"The ESM is part of a package of measures that can only lead to fiscal union in the EU, beginning with stricter controls on budgets and public spending starting with the so-called Euro Plus Pact and soon moving on to a harmonising of taxes."

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said last March it was the Government’s view that a referendum would not be necessary in Ireland to endorse EU treaty changes being put in place to avert future budgetary crises.

The signatories are:

Gerry Adams TD, Senator David Cullinane, Clare Daly TD, Dessie Ellis TD, Michael Colreavy TD, Seán Crowe TD, Pearse Doherty TD, Martin Ferris TD, Luke Ming Flanagan TD, Joe Higgins TD, Mary Lou McDonald TD, Finian McGrath TD, Mattie McGrath TD, Sandra McLellan TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD, Catherine Murphy TD, Paul Murphy MEP, Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD, Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, Maureen O'Sullivan TD, Thomas Pringle TD, Senator Kathryn Reilly, Brian Stanley TD, Peadar Tóibín TD, Mick Wallace TD.