No vote would have serious consequences, says Kenny


ADVOCATES OF a No vote in the fiscal compact treaty referendum were sharply criticised by Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday.

He said that “voices from inside and outside the House” had “deliberately and disingenuously” played down the serious consequences of their proposals to reject the treaty.

“If Ireland remained outside the new arrangements, we would be the only euro area country to do so; although we would not be pushed from the euro, we would marginalise ourselves.”

Mr Kenny said there should be no doubt that the treaty would enter into force when 12 countries using the euro ratified it. “There can be no question of preventing others from moving ahead without it, and the train will leave on January 1st next year,” he added.

In the resumed debate on the 30th Amendment to the Constitutional Bill, Mr Kenny said a moment of true consequence lay ahead for the people on May 31st.

“It is not an exaggeration to state the world will be watching,” he added. “In deciding that the State can ratify the new treaty we will send a signal that will resonate well beyond these shores.”

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams said his party believed the “austerity treaty” would not solve the euro zone crisis or fix the economy.

Having lost the referendum argument, the Government had now fallen back again on more traditional methods of winning a Yes vote, he said.

“As with the referendum debates on Lisbon and Nice, the Government and Fianna Fáil have resorted to trying to scare and to bully citizens,” he added.

Michael Moynihan (FF, Cork North West) said he had recently read a number of books about Msgr Hugh O’Flaherty who played a significant part in helping escapees in the Vatican and Rome during the second World War.

“If one considers how difficult it was at the time when Europe was torn apart by fascism and and war, one can see that the citizens of Europe have benefited enormously from the entire project connected with the common market and the EU,” he added.

Arthur Spring (Labour, Kerry North-West Limerick) said he did not want to see the next generation of Irish people burdened with the same debts which his contemporaries and himself had to carry.

“Looking at the treaty from this perspective, its promotion of prudence, good housekeeping and responsible fiscal policy are clearly to be welcomed,” he added.