No vote would rule out access to ESM funds, says official body


REFERENDUM COMMISSION:THE REFERENDUM Commission’s information booklet on the fiscal treaty to be published today will confirm that funds from the new enlarged bailout fund for euro countries will be available only to states that have ratified the pact.

It also states categorically that a No vote will mean that Ireland will have no access to funds from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).

The 12-page booklet will be published today at the launch of the independent commission’s information campaign for the referendum on May 31st.

The section that deals with the issues that have generated most controversy so far – the implications of a Yes or No vote for external financial assistance or bailout mechanisms – the commission concludes that it will have no effect on Ireland’s current bailout programme with the troika.

The booklet states that one of the “recitals” says the treaty is not to be interpreted as changing the conditions under which financial assistance, or a bailout, has been given to countries with economic problems. “So it does not seek to affect Ireland’s current bailout programme agreed with the IMF, the EU Commission and the ECB”.

However, it goes on to say that another “recital” states that any future bailout involving funds from the ESM will “be given only to countries which have ratified and implemented this treaty”.

It goes on to state categorically that in the event of a No vote, “any future bailout could not involve access to this particular source of funding [the ESM]”.

The commission does not specifically deal with an issue raised by opponents of the treaty, namely that Ireland could veto the establishment of the ESM in the event of a No vote.