FF calls for no delay in holding fiscal treaty referendum


FIANNA FÁIL has called on the Government to hold the referendum on the European fiscal stability treaty “as soon as is practicable”.

The party’s finance spokesman, Michael McGrath, said the Taoiseach’s undertaking that there would only be one vote on the treaty “probably makes it more likely the referendum will be carried”.

Despite its denials of a link between restructuring of bank debt and the referendum, the Government “would be foolish not to avail of the opportunity now to nail down the deal on the promissory note”.

“In general terms, I don’t believe the Government should unnecessarily delay the referendum. I think the referendum should be held as soon as is practicable.”

Mr McGrath added: “Fianna Fáil realises the importance of this referendum for Ireland and will not be found wanting.”

Minister of State for Public Service Reform Brian Hayes said the referendum vote on the treaty was one of the “key decisions coming up this year”.

“I think it will be a very positive sign to the markets and to the world that Ireland is sorting out its problems by accepting this treaty.

“The treaty’s not going to solve our problems overnight but it gives us the assurance of emergency funding into the future should that be necessary.

“I think in a circumstance where we live in such a volatile world, where the volatility in the euro zone thankfully is coming to an end, but is still there to some degree, it would be crazy to cut off that option.”

United Left Alliance TD Richard Boyd Barrett said one of the ways in which Ireland could show “real solidarity” with the sufferings of the Greek people was by opposing “the so-called fiscal treaty”.