No delay in ratifying treaty in event of Yes in referendum, says Taoiseach


TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny has ruled out any delay in ratifying the fiscal treaty if the referendum on May 31st is passed.

Speaking in Galway yesterday at the announcement of more than 200 new jobs, Mr Kenny said the treaty would be ratified as quickly as possible.

“What the people are being asked on 31st May is for authority to ratify the treaty. That’s the question that is being asked. That question can be answered Yes or No by the people. My recommendation very strongly is that they vote Yes.

“If that is the case and the people approve the treaty, the conditions of the treaty will be implemented in the Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which is taken through the Dáil and the Seanad with the full discourse and proper debate. But there will be no delay in ratifying the treaty,” he said.

He said that the ongoing discussions between the new French president, François Hollande, and German chancellor Angela Merkel would not lead to any delay in Ireland implementing the treaty.

“The text of the treaty is as is and that’s what’s being voted on by the Irish people. I support the principle, of course, of having a growth agenda additional to what is already in there and we have made that perfectly clear,” Mr Kenny said.

The Taoiseach was heckled by protesters when he attended a breakfast meeting in Galway yesterday morning. He said he was pleased to see the Occupy Galway camp dismantled.

“I seem to recognise some of what I might call serial protesters around the country. Peaceful protest is perfectly legitimate but I don’t condone the kind of activities I see in some places.

“But I get people who want to speak to the Taoiseach who have been prevented from doing so by intimidation and bullying, and that is not something that I can condone,” he said.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said that what he called the “big lie at the heart of the No campaign” needs to be exposed.

He insisted there was no foundation to the assertion by Sinn Féin and others that €5 billion extra would have to be taken from taxpayers in the event of a Yes vote.

“If anything a No vote would increase the amount of cuts one would have to make, increase the adjustments to the budget. A Yes vote actually means less austerity, not more, and that’s the big lie at the heart of the No campaign.”

Mr Martin was speaking at the launch of his party’s national strategy on youth employment yesterday afternoon.

Libertas founder Declan Ganley has likened negotiations between European member states on a growth pact to be attached to the fiscal treaty referendum to a game of poker. Posing for photographs outside Government Buildings in Dublin, Mr Ganley held up a book, 52 Great Poker Tips, which he joked was meant as a present for Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

“Enda Kenny wants us to fold our cards on May 31st and hand them over. We need to hold; we need to wait and see their cards first. We need to see what sort of deal France and Germany are going to propose to solve this European crisis,” Mr Ganley said.

He said he would support a second referendum if a deal on bank debt could be secured and “if we have a serious road map to democratic accountability in European institutions”.