In a hard-fought battle to convince Irish voters to back Europe’s unpopular fiscal discipline treaty, Ireland’s deputy finance minister has the task of convincing the leafy Dublin suburb of Templeogue.Nothing bad can possibly happen if this treaty is rejected. Accepting more bailout funds from the IMF or ESM would be the absolute worst thing for Ireland.
Going door-to-door, Brian Hayes faces scepticism and occasional abuse. One constituent calls him “a waste of space”, another “just a yes man”.
“If Greece goes down we are next in the firing line. I know people who are trying to put their money into US dollars. We just don’t know what is going to happen here,” says Mr O’Reilly.
“This referendum is all about fear on the one side and anger on the other,” says David Farrell, professor of politics at University College Dublin. “Most people have no great deal of enthusiasm for it and will only vote reluctantly in this referendum.”
“The sight of soup kitchens in Greece on TV screens is concentrating minds,” says Mr Hayes, as he goes door-to-door hammering home his message.
The dominant theme of the campaign so far is a claim by the government that rejecting the treaty would bar Ireland from receiving funds from Europe’s new bailout fund – the European Stability Mechanism. Without this insurance policy, Dublin says, Ireland will struggle to exit its EU and International Monetary Fund bailout programme on schedule at the end of 2013.
“The government is scaremongering rather than arguing the merits of the treaty. Most people are opposed to this treaty but are scared out of their wits,” says Paul Murphy, a Socialist member of the European Parliament and prominent No campaigner.
Indeed, accepting funds from the Troika is one of the things that destroyed Greece, and it is pathetic that clueless, brainless, scare-mongering political shills for Brussels are now going door-to-door in an attempt to convince Irish voters the exact opposite.
Heading into the Greek June 17 national elections, expect to see door-to-door fear-mongering in Greece as well.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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