POLITICAL IDEALS

 

A chara, - Mr Eoghan Peavoy, (letters, January 15th) criticises my opposition to EMU but does not elaborate on why he believes it will lead to "stability, growth and unity" throughout the European Union. Like most advocates of EMU, he fails to demonstrate any tangible benefits likely to result from its introduction.

He refers also to the "political ideal" of European integration but does not explain why one of cornerstones of our independence our national currency - should be sacrificed to achieve it.

That "ideal", he argues, has prevented war in Western Europe for the past 50 years. Suggesting that the only way to prevent countries fighting each other is for them to surrender their independence and democracy to a Euro federalist superstate is absurd.

And yet the Minister for Finance, Mr Quinn, hinted that he envisaged Ireland being reduced to a mere province of the EU when he spoke of our country in the same terms as Bavaria and Walloonia in a recent newspaper interview.

It is also indisputable that EU countries are not fostering peace in the wider world. France's sup ply of arms to Interhamwe, the Hutu militia responsible for genocide in Rwanda and the ongoing supply of arms by several EU countries to the Indonesian troops that have butchered one third of East Timor's population are just two examples of how the EU has fuelled conflicts. Efforts to strengthen the EU's arms trade against increasing competition from the US further illustrate its lack of commitment to international peace and justice.

Furthermore the stringent cutbacks required to meet the "convergence criteria" for EU are not creating any sense of harmony in Europe. The mid December strike due to a freeze in public sector pay in Spain; the road blockades by Greek farmers for several weeks in protest against an end to tax breaks; and the mass street protests against cutbacks in France, Germany and Italy, all offer recent proof of the social disquiet that EMU is causing even before its birth.

As an internationalist, I completely reject the assertion by Mr Peavoy that the nation state concept belongs to the 19th, not the 21st century. In fact, the number of nation states in the world has quadrupled in the last 50 years - from 50 to nearly 200 - and within Europe the number has risen from 34 in 1989 to 52 at the last count.

A European superstate, with its single currency, common army and common police force to accompany a single EU flag, anthem and passport, is a political nightmare, not an ideal. All present trends suggest that it would be centralised, undemocratic, and many of its key organs would be unaccountable. - Le gach deaghu,

European Parliament Offices,

43 Molesworth Street,

Dublin 2.