Referendum Result Post author By Seamus Coffey Post date June 1, 2012 The official result of the referendum has now been announced. Categories In Uncategorized 183 Comments on Referendum Result ← Vacancies at Department of Finance: Chief Economist / Head of Banking Policy → What Kind of Banking Union? 183 replies on “Referendum Result” On the piss_te with Blind Biddy. Axel Weber has just joined us .. again. Angela agrees to write_off 60% of the odious €90 Billion for her loyal Hibernian citizen_serfs … happy days! Free korsets, made in China, now available at all local post offices and dole offices – fabric, colour and style are optional. Hic! Ganley : “we have transfered our fiscal sovereignty (the tiny bit remaining to a unaccountable and unelectable agency.” Lets face it – the Irish are either retarded or have no liathordi……No Brains and no Balls…….not a good combination as you have nothing after displaying such a lack of backbone. We are cannon fodder. Hey Mick – Storm that machine gun nest you dumb F£$K. Make do mistake – for those people who care what others think of them , the elite must look on us with some distain. You really must wonder – the Icelanders must have stolen all of the good women. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0601/breaking30.html Mr Hayes said he suspected the vast majority of people who had lost their jobs in recent years had voted No. Might I wish all active participants, on both sides, and particularly all those ‘active citizens’ who voted – a warm .. er .. BANK_holiday weekend. It appears that half the citizenry accepts its serf_hood. Troubling. PaddyPower.kom has Pearse Doherty at 6/4 on to be the next “The Minister”. Cicero has placed a substantial flutter. Comprehensive win for Yes camp. Wonder what the comments will be like on here going forward? More? Less? More rabid, less so? @David O’Donnell – are the good people of other coutries that have or are going to ratify the treaty (via their respective democratic systems) serfs as well? By the way, Ireland apears to be the only country that needs a belts and braces approach to the democratic system. @scorpio An Inde_kon survey of 44 Euro citizens has just provided a comprehensive research report with the very strong imp_er_ical finding that: 90% of EU citizens welcome austerity and really welcome the opportunity to shoulder 90% of the dodgy debts of the dodgy financial system. The study, in due course, on why people voted ‘yes’ or ‘no’ will be of interest. On the basis of the balance of votes in particular constituencies, it appears there was a class element to the vote, with middle class areas returning a strong ‘yes’ vote and constituencies with greater concentration of economically marginalised communities recording a higher than average percentage of ‘no’s. Local political representation also appears to have been a factor, particularly where Sinn Fein are strong, such as Donegal, or constituencies like Mayo or Dublin South in which prominent government figures are present. As to how it works out, I guess that depends on what happens in the broader eurozone, especially regarding Spain and the forthcoming Greek election? It’s unfortunate that the broader EU picture hardly featured in the referendum debate ( this site excepted!) which, as one pundit described it, was more concerned with the size and dimensions of the Irish begging bowl. Even more dispiriting is to see the referendum result being immediately interpreted by media pundits in terms of political ‘winners’ and ‘losers’, as if that was what the whole thing is about. I am heartened by this display of courageous and responsible behaviour by Irish voters. This represents a sea change in voting in Ireland. Overwhelmingly we have voted for more candy from the shop on Kildare St. as the politicians were more than willing to tax and borrow to meet our wants. Are we now entering an era where the public wants responsible government ? As for fiscal sovereignty or any other kind of sovereignty. Countries the size of Ireland cannot go it alone. We have proved this time and time again since 1922 with all the pain and poverty that goes with it. In the EU and EZ we are among countries that share our values and aspirations and that can exercise enough clout to command respect in the wider world. Vive l’Irlande, Vive l’Irlande libre. In difficult times, there is always an eager market to be sold on anger, victimhood and simple solutions. However, to win at the ballot box, slogans and abusing opponents isn’t enough. Proposals such as default and exiting the euro are options as valid as any other but it isn’t enough to produce selective examples like Iceland and Argentina that can be easily demolished while ignoring the example of sterling. There are always downsides to economic choices. A civil servant on a lavish unfunded pension can call for burning bondholders across Europe but this can cause collateral damage to the pensions of people who are funding his pension. @scorpio Inde_kon has vehemently denied the rumour that the EU citizen sample was composed of inde_kon employees and affiliates and has vehemently denied the ludicrous assertion that the sample was far too convenient by half and had conformed to the standard social scientific sampling criteria wrt to validity and ‘upper_echelon’ reliability, as in the highly cited and very influential survey of Irish economists. For the record, inde_kon would like to place on public record that the “N” for the EU citizen sample was .. er .. 45. 45? Hmm Alain must have popped out to buy the pizzas and sign the contract on analysis of the referen_dum results … Oops that last sentence was off the record … @BEB I’m sure the comments will continue to fascinate as very little growth happens and the second bailout comes into view while the budgets ratchet up the cuts and there is glacial movement on the PNs. Will the patience of and faith of John McHale be rewarded ? Will John Corcoran be the new Erin Brockovich ? Will the NTMA ever get back into the markets ? Will Tull ever get his party going ? What will happen on mortgage insolvencies ? And so on well beyond mid decade. It is compelling soap opera . Or daytime ersatz TV. @Bond Eoin Bond. Taoiseach just gave a triumphant speech on RTE to the effect….this result will send a powerful message throughout the world….. It did. The DAX sank over 3%, the S&P 2% down and red ink all over the world. But we can’t blame Inda…he’s only following Angela’s instructions. The people have made their choice 🙂 it wasnt much of a choice, and there were many reasons for voting either yes or no. The question is what happens now. The answer is the government will take it as an endorsement of their policies. I expect them to ratify quickly, they are broke and need to keep the guy with the chequebook onside. Some ‘tough decisions’ that have been held back will now be announced, maybe even in the next hour on the eve of a bank holiday… If it was a No vote, the tough decisions would be announced and the No side blamed… as part of the softening up for a rerun… Tull’s party is DOA for the time being, I suspect. The electorate voted for muddle through this time. Next time, if bad things happen, the centre (FF.FG & LAb) will lose ground to the right and left. SF will be the major beneficiary as it appeals to both extremes at the same time-being a (N)ationlaist (s)ocialist party. I think I should retire now. Being a right wing ideologue shouting in the public square is not to my taste. @veronica The Middle classes and SME sector in which a significant amount of them are working have been the biggest losers in this financial crisis. But, they have the balls and get up and go to push on with their lives with a sense of realism unlike the SF and the other Lefties who live in a begging bowl mentality. The SF have got away with murder in this referendum in not being made to explain how Government can be funded with no access to funding. SF are the cleverest Politicians around at not answering a straight question. Even Vinny Browne cannot get Shinner M L Mc Donald to come clean. Her condescending attitude does get up one’s nose. But as in life everything that goes up must come down and the people will eventually cop on that they are dealing with three card trick merchants who would steal your wallet without you knowing it. @scorpio By the way, Ireland apears to be the only country that needs a belts and braces approach to the democratic system. A little bit of Europhile disingenuous on show there scorpy – the reason other countries do not do plebiscites on European issues is because of the failed attempt to enact the European constitution. Of course the solution of the political elites in Europe to their failure to win enough votes at the ballot box was to no longer offer the opportunity to vote on EU policies or direction directly. This was naturally so – public enthusiasm, particularly from the increasingly commodified non-professional classes, for the European project is steadily diminishing while enthusiasm among the moneyed, connected and mobile is steadily rising – (and why wouldn’t it?). The Soviets failed to build a workers paradise but the EU/ECB mighty be able to build a managers one. Everyone seems to have fallen for the Shinners’ line that this was a vote for austerity. The populace knew better. They voted to keep access to cheap official loans – the antithesis of austerity! They knew that a No vote would mean possibly no funds at all, and then we would really be in for Austerity with a capital A. @Seafoid A soap opera starring Enda and Mick with the other mick from cork in a supporting role…next episode …payback time…starring a thrifty housewife from Germany who falls in love with Enda and agrees to forgive him (his debts) but that Alexis fellow is about to spoil the party. In the meantime that funny guy from Spain causes consternation when he admits he was bluffing and hasn’t got the 24.5 euros for his entrance to the bullfight of the cajas. @Brian Woods II Everyone seems to have fallen for the Shinners’ line that this was a vote for austerity. Merkel certainly views it as an austerity pact and she created it, so this is an understandable ‘mistake’ to make. The best quote of the day..from the one and only Silvio…. “We must tell Europe with strength that the ECB has to start printing money. The ECB has to change its mission. I’ll tell you the crazy idea that I have in mind: let’s start printing euros with our national mint. If Europe doesn’t pay attention to our demands, we should say ‘ciao ciao’ and leave the euro. Leaving the euro wouldn’t be the end of the world. Britain is a solid country and has never joined the euro.” @CP “But we can’t blame Inda…he’s only following Angela’s instructions” Angela’s hatchets PressEurop Editorial Don’t betray Ireland’s trust Paradoxically, it is one of the fiercest advocates of “No”, the businessman and vigorous eurosceptic Declan Ganley who probably uttered the most accurate words about the meaning of the vote for the Irish, who are now the European citizens bearing the highest private debt in the world (more than 41,000 euros per capita): “The majority of the electorate here have expressed trust and faith in our partners in Europe to do the right thing by us with regard to this bank debt.” The Irish have once again decided to place their trust in Europe – that same Europe that imposed draconian conditions to get the country out of the debt crisis that carried away the Celtic Tiger with it. Let’s hope that this trust will not be betrayed. http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/editorial/2101121-don-t-betray-ireland-s-trust Time now for Fg and Ff to begin talks for amalgamating. At last we have the clear blue waters between the striving urban and rural middle-classes and the rest as shown by the voting patterns in this referendum. @Brian Woods 11 +1 @Tull, Take a break if you must, but please don’t retire. re- Dork quoting Ganley’s : “we have transfered our fiscal sovereignty (the tiny bit remaining to a unaccountable and unelectable agency.” RTE’s favourite coathook for NO campaign, Deco, was interviewed by CNBC a while back, peddling his usual co-opting of issues concerning the banking piracy and pro-sovereignty; while the other side of his mouth was advocating the United States of Europe. He really only gets involved when he sees a space for profile enhancement, and seems to be using Ireland as a back door to inveigling himself into a position holding some leverage in the Empire. Brian Woods:’They voted to keep access to cheap official loans – the antithesis of austerity!’ – In part. Though the govt. have lost the defence that losing the referendum wd. have given them re- the non-causal (vis a vis the result) dole cuts & tax hikes on the way. And Bank bailout #II. Shay:’the European project is steadily diminishing while enthusiasm among the moneyed, connected and mobile is steadily rising – (and why wouldn’t it?). The Soviets failed to build a workers paradise but the EU/ECB mighty be able to build a managers one.’ – Absolutley. What procession of bleak alternative, frying-pan-or-the-fire scenarios will they have to engineer next to push the troublesome on to the next stage of democratic, social and economic degeneracy ? They have their hand up the behind of the far-right muppets, for a bit of good-cop/bad-cop. Perhaps they’ll compromise alternatives to the Grand Design by creating subsidence beneath them. They’ve run out of track as far as consensual participation goes. How long before ‘She says No but means Yes’ ? David O Donnell:”a warm .. er .. BANK_holiday weekend.” – Wonder if that’s why Enda was looking so pale before lunch. News from Spain ? Re- David O’D. Ganley is a federalism-supporter – he aint no eurosceptic Firstly I would like to thank BBC radio which allowed myself and Paul Krugman to simultaneously address the people of the UK and Nothern Ireland and advocate a No vote. Unfortunately if the joint broadcast had been a day earlier I feel it might have been a swing factor. We have thrown all our gambling chips away and betrayed our fellow european neighbours who are struggling with austerity. Raymond Crotty must have turned in his grave when the result was announced. We betrayed Raymond as well. In a country that elected the corrupt Charles Haughey and continues to vote Michael Lowry to top the poll it is of no great surprise. The most sophisticated electorate in the world–what a joke. The logic was simple if you vote No you get two votes –if you vote yes only one. Two is greater than one. Simple maths. The train has left the station for Ireland and we have our bank debt forever tied to our throats. The oligarchs and their fellow travellors who frightened our people into buying vastly overpriced houses etc used the exact same tactics to frighten the voters into voting for a disastrous deal for Ireland. The soft landing professors and the other useful idiots did the rest. A sad day for Ireland. We betrayed ourselves and our fellow europeans. The No people –fought the good fight–finished the course–kept the faith. The thing that pleased me most about the vote was Dublin South topping the Yes percentages, not just because I had a bet on it. Shane Ross’ ego will be hurt as he sees his grandstanding as having had no effect. Let me assure him it had an effect alright, it ensured that Dublin South beat the odds – PaddyPower had Dun Laoghaire hot hot favourite for that honour. Ross’ supporters are pretty p*ssed off with his approach on this and also how he has got all palsy walsy with the looney tunes in Kildare Street. Ross can be sure he won’t be re-elected. Re- Tull: ‘SF will be the major beneficiary as it appeals to both extremes at the same time-being a (N)ationlaist (s)ocialist party. ‘ – It is an accident of history that nationalism is associated with the Right; and the obverse of the same accident is that the Left has been divorced from the ‘national’ side of self-determination; which – divested of unnatural symbiotes that 20th c. history has attached to it – should find it’s natural home in expressions of self-determined communities. For instance, several Left groups in Europe have criticised EU free-movement in recent years; rightly recognising that it has nothing to do with equality and social justice and everything to do with libertarianism in the human commodity. The EU keeps Geert & Le Pen close at hand – they like to determine the form that opposition to the Project takes, whenever it looks like it’s gaining momentum Schlage vor Deutsch als zweite Sprachoption des Blogs anzubieten! @Georg R. Baumann The memorandum argued that once a common European currency had been established, the obvious next step would be adoption of a common language. Practical considerations dictated that this language be English, with a few improvements. Thus, the memorandum suggested that the superfluous hard “c” be replaced with “k,” eliminating one source of konflikt; that in order konfusion to avoid writers the verbs at the end of the sentence put should…. http://web.mit.edu/krugman/www/kompete.html Link to an example where a government tried (still trying?) to implement an international agreement but their courts found the implementation of the agreement to be unconstitutional: http://www.openeuropeblog.blogspot.se/2012/06/data-entry.html The outcome of the referendum removed the possibility/risk of legal challenges of the implementation of the fiscal pact in Ireland. Next week there’ll probably be some changes in the yields on Irish government bonds. Will those changes be statistical noise on the price/value of a thinly traded asset, a manipulated indicator of the price/value of a thinly traded asset or will it show the opinion of (one side of) the (unfallible…) market? @ All I posted this comment on the thread dealing with the job on offer at the DOF. — With apologies for going off topic, but on a closely related issue, that of the appropriate division of powers between people, parliament and government, in international affairs, Mr. Justic Gerard Hogan has some interesting things to say in his recent High Court judgement which were simply not picked up by our totally inadequate main stream media. http://www.thejournal.ie/high-court-ruling-pearse-doherty-referendum-commission-468476-May2012/ In an EU context, the principle is that of loyal cooperation without which the EU could not work. In short, as governments are for the most part also the federal executive, they cannot be frivolous in the decisions that they participate in and having signed up to do one thing suddenly reverse engines and do the opposite. To be continued when the learned judge gives his full opinion. —- What is certain is that major institutional changes in the EU are on the cards and there is a crying need to sort out the confusion in relation to Ireland’s involvement internationally and to return the country to the normal international practice in modern democracies in this regard. There is nothing wrong with the Irish Constituton as originally drafted in this regard but the ministrations of litigants, judiciary and politicians have made a royal mess of it (including giving a platform to assorted personalities that represent nobody but themselves). To do so would not be an attack on democracy but a defence of it. Can’t help thinking that some who comment on or run this website publicly, albeit cautiously, committed themselves to the ‘Yes’ camp as not to ruffle the feathers too much with regards to their professional careers. It’s quite an indictment, but Irish academia is a small world and their choice is tragic, but understandable. Mind, I was and still am ambiguous about the results of either choice and as a result did not vote. Re-Marky – A few I know abstained in like manner. Though they were the few of my acquaintance who had hitherto remained pro-EU (ie; after Nice). The rearguard have become the vanguard, and the goalposts have been switched. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-01/euro-area-is-running-significant-risk-of-breakup-rehn-says-2-.html …and the Euro is up on the day 😉 @ Jesper That is, indeed, one of the ironies. The two courts that have made the biggest incursions into the freedom of their governments to act in EU matters are, respectively, the Irish and the German. The latter, of course, weighs more heavily in international affairs. @DOCM Re that job offer at the Dept of Finance – in your humble opinion, surely there is noone better qualified than your good self? Re- DOCM – Are you in support of ending referenda on Constitutional changes ? @DOCM on not bothering the citizens with pesky decisions on the future of the country that might confuse the poor dears. To do so would not be an attack on democracy but a defence of it. I am all in favour of popular democracy but it needs to be reformed as as to make it relevant for the complexities of European politics. It is curtailing democracy to protect the European project and its stake holders from the will of the people, I suspect that many on the pro treaty side would leap at the opportunity to have Germany’s 5% minimum representation rule. Re- DOCM: ‘the freedom of their governments to act in EU matters ‘ ? We hear oft enough about the need to restrict the power of National governments; whose corruption contributed to these crises; the implication being this power should be curtailed by transfering it Frankfurt-wards. But now it is the interference of the people in exercising control over their governments that is under attack. If the Dáil performs the will of the commission/ECB, fine. If the Dáil is bound to obey the will of the people that it only exists to serve, then something has to be done to stop this ? The pretense is getting pretty blatant at this stage. I think we all better watch out for the hijacking of the Constitutional convention, if the whole thing isn’t EU mandated to begin with. H’mmmm I am pondering. Will we be asked to vote again as usual? I suspect this vote will be blown away in the big wind that’s a-coming. I will ponder some more. Only 33 days and then I’m off to my retreat. I have pondered. Computer says ‘no’ @ John Corc I can only assume the “me and Paul Krugman address might have a swing factor” is somewhat tongue in cheek – I can’t believe that anyone, anywhere, is residing that far up their own proverbial. As for the “the electorate betrayed Europe and are stupid” – how very magnanimous of you post enormous defeat. Perhaps you’re just annoyed that they didn’t all sign up for ultra long term upward only rent reviews like some people. Or that they didn’t go to LSE. Or that they don’t share addresses to the nation with Krugman. It’s one of those that really galls you, maybe all three. Yep, by tomorrow it will be forgotten in Europe, and before the end of next week here. Enda even today seemed to have bigger weights on his mind in two seperate appearances. My final thought. Nobody in Europe (anywhere in Europe: core or periphery) gives a toss how Ireland voted. A few Germans will make some patronising noises for their own PR purposes. That will be it. We are so bollixed. One final thought: don’t know who was rattling on about SF and their begging bowl above (and I’m no fan of SF) but come on…. the government’s central argument was we need to keep the ‘insurance’ of the begging bowl in case we need it. Not that we will mind you but just in case. We absolutely won’t need a second bailout. Nope. No sireee. Hahahahaha @ DoD Here’s an interesting-looking book for Patricia the sov in exile http://monthlyreview.org/press/books/pb2532/ featuring Peadar Kirby, “When banks cannibalize the state: responses to Ireland’s economic collapse”; and From subprime farce to Greek tragedy: the crisis dynamics of financially driven capitalism” Re- PR – Enda’s position is to first present himself like a Bonobo Chimp and then proffer the empty McCoffee cup. ‘It’s (all in) a day’s work !’ @ PR guy How long will you be gone for? There is so much material in this car crash. This experience is going viral all over the periphery @PR Guy Nobody gives a rats despite the assertion of Enda…. “the vote will send a powerful signal around the world…” ignored on CNBC, CNN and I don’t even see it on Bloomberg ticker. I hope he doesn’t send any more powerful signals…the DOW is down 267 points. @ BEB JC’s metier is marketing. He’s doing his job. Any sign of that NTMA roadshow ? @Kevin Donoghue Wow. That Krugman piece is simultaneously dated and eerily prophetic. In retrospect the effect of the mispriced DM to Euro exchange was just around the corner to save Germany manufacturing at the expense of a credit bubble in the periphery but the part on German philosophical preferences explains why we have a Fiscal Compact and not something useful. The real divide between currently successful economies, like the U.S., and currently troubled ones, like Germany, is not political but philosophical; it’s not Karl Marx vs. Adam Smith, it’s Immanuel Kant’s categorical imperative vs. William James’ pragmatism.. What the Germans really want is a clear set of principles: rules that specify the nature of truth, the basis of morality, when shops will be open, and what a Deutsche mark is worth. I used to wonder why everyone was so afraid of the Germans, not any more. They loves rules more than life itself, they have a learned contempt for weakness and everyone else in the Eurozone is weaker than them. The smaller countries of Europe should perhaps have been more alert to this….. For off, just in case you thing I am a bad looser, let me congratulate everyone on the “Y” side on your marvelous pyrrhic victory. I wonder will the Euro still be around when Ireland comes to draw on its “insurance policy” from ESM or will we be looking towards the IMF and Special drawing rights (SDRs) which we can then use to claim some real money, just a thought. I see Silvio has a cunning plan. An interesting article “Europe’s legal order: Who is the boss in Brussels?” : http://www.euractiv.com/future-eu/europes-legal-order-threat-boss-brussels-analysis-512884 ‘Germany will see the Yes vote as an endorsement of their policies’ says RTE. No they won’t – at least not when Recapitalisation II appears later this year, and then Bailout II. At least the gagging-order on mentioning the implications and meaning of ‘Fiscal Integration’ in the national broadcaster seems to be lifting. It’ll be interesting to see how FF/FG/Lab will try to sugar-coat the transfer of taxation & expenditure… Nowhere to hide now I really really don’t get this Krugman man love thingy on this site. I mean all that facial hair and stuff…….. In the real world of almost static oil supplies where Broken glass is just broken glass and not a potential stimulus opportunity….. The French are also happy they can borrow off our account. More recent springtime construction activity…. Trouble in Le Mans (line 2 ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ8Lp3CDB9M Tram train (64Km) Nantes Chateaubriant progressing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzGCQPajKsU Tours http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSeG6hXbrL0 Le Harve http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxj-fyMQjzA Valenciennes (line 2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M75K87RBapA Toulouse http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jO_cMSF8xYs Brest & Dijon Trams are now in the test phase to begin operations in June & the end of the year respectively. The Paris operations are of a different and larger scale…… Re- Jesper – The problems highlighted in that have been mentioned here often enough, but I’m afraid the solution lies more in the direction suggested by the repondent to the article, ‘Freeborn John’. An intermediate stage should be returned to, and ‘integration’ jettisoned. @seafóid “How long will you be gone for?” All of July and August. I need to finish writing my bonkbuster about high jinks in the financial services sector and will be away in France and away from the usual daily distractions. I have tales that would make your toes curl…. but I will stick to the sex because it’s more interesting. Phew what a scorcher! @TRP, My point was that the entire public debate on the referendum, on both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ sides, was framed around the size and dimensions of the Irish begging bowl and that the broader EU context never got a look in.I think that’s a pity. I’m also dismayed that the referendum results are further being framed around which petty faction ‘won’ or ‘lost’ political ground, whilst the rest of the world is falling to bits around our ears. It all reminds me of that old story from the early 1930s about a query from the US to the Irish Department for External Affairs asking about the impact of the Great Depression on the Irish economy. The reply went something along the lines of: ” We have no information on this matter as the Great Depression is not relevant to Ireland.” Plus ca change… @ PR Guy: Enjoy your ‘break’. Where in France? I go to Toulouse to ‘escape’. Safe journey. Brian @David O’Donnell – not trying to flame you, or anything, but can you give Blind Biddy a rest? Not funny, never was, never will be. Diminishes, rather than adds to, your posts. not joining a beat down but have to echo the blind biddy thing. Its had its day leave it in peace. @prguy sounds like a hell of a read. @ Mark et al No! I am not a supporter of ending referenda for constitutional changes as the Constitution provides that this the only manner in which such changes can be effected. I am opposed to unnecessary changes to the Constitution. If the TSCG required a referendum to change the Constitution, why not the ESM as they are closely linked in the opinion of the High Court? More generally, if the logic of the Crotty judgement was applied to the generality of Ireland’s involvement internationally, we would have needed a referendum to join the UN. I have total respect for the will of the people and their commonsense, must recently demonstrated as late as yesterday. That is not the point at issue. The legal fraternity in Ireland has demonstrated over the years’ of Ireland’s membership of the EU the same capacity as the other sectors of the governing establishment. Further institutional changes in the EU are on the horizon. The issues that arise need to be addressed. It may be that the Irish people have such little faith in the manner in which representative democracy functions in terms of the quality of the representatives that seek, and that they choose to elect to, membership of the Dáil (as adverted to recently in an article by Dan O’Brien in the IT) that they wish to keep the option of ultimate control by frequent recourse to direct democracy. If so, this is one of the issues that needs to be addressed. Coverting the counties to cantons on the Swiss model might be one of the options (I jest!). @ aiman Amen to that! “It was FF who swung it ” Quoted on the RTE news http://www.rte.ie/player/#!v=3305500 they have no shame. Amazing level of consensus on this website. “The Irish are idiots and the Germans are to blame”. Is this a British site? We all work for MI6 @aiman, wow. docm text from Blind Biddy O’Nuff: Aesthetically turning the other cheek – Read my Lips! http://www.irisheconomy.ie/index.php/2012/05/30/in-which-paul-krugman-and-ken-rogoff-agree-on-many-things-and-krugman-displays-the-patience-of-a-saint/#comment-290402 Hic! Axel says Hi. @seafoid Peadar’s head of dept, Maura, had an excellent op-ed in the Irish Examiner yesterday. But in public Peadar has been far too silent in the Irish Public Sphere, as with most others in our academic intelligentia … @ DOD Take our word for it! A more boring character in the blogosphere, I have yet to come across. @ DOCM You aren’t far off the pace yourself . @seafoid But back to the ‘challenge’ of intellectual disability. For most people, who don’t have experience of them, intellectual disabilities are scary. I think this is because without understanding, we lack empathy. I’m not saying that everyone understands physical disability, but at least a lot of us think that we do. Maura Adshead is head of politics and public administration at the University of Limerick http://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/writing-is-a-challenge-a-downs-syndrome-child-is-about-acceptance-brby-maura-adshead-195700.html Blind Biddy concurs. On the warpath to radicalisation ever since X-Minister Hanafin cut her blind disability allowance and fuel allowance to pay the debts of bondholders, and the EU financial system. And 60% of the 50% who voted YES yesterday explicitly or implicitly support such madness. The war goes on …. This is a very good take on the hopeless debt issue and how it affects daily life in Ireland http://www.rte.ie/player/#!v=1151715 @ DoD Re UL I just finished reading “Understanding Limerick” by Niamh Hourigan, about Southill and Moyross. Even without the crash Ireland wasn’t doing particularly well. System breakdown is very expensive. i would like to congratulate the Y side and the “Referendum commission” on their great PR work over the last six weeks in getting the “Stability Treaty” over the line well done all you deserve your rewards pity about the rest of us a big mistake played out today i think @seafoid Yes. The Irish welfare state was constructed by the middle class for the middle class and this class continues to garner the vast majority of state funded benefits. This middle class state funded middle class segment will have voted predominantly ‘yes’ yesterday …. There is a lack of a Geographic understanding of this crisis me thinks which goes beyond the classic we are a island thingy that Brian Lenihan astutely observed. The Core had a relatively static oil consumption post mid 80s , they subsequently pushed out their (Arab) excess oil to the periphery and earned a mercantile and interest income from this oil opium experiment. They somehow wish to continue to earn euro dominated interest from the hands and feet of Europe but with the excess oil now gone to China. Any look at the Greek map would tell you the place cannot be serviced (islands , mountains in the interior) without a vast expenditure of oil for a small return or indeed now at current oil prices, a negative return) Completely different from France or Germany after reunification – which also hold classic 19th century centralized nation state baggage & structure. No doubt the blood is flowing to the core European body parts as can be evidenced by the EIB which is becoming a disturbing quasi fiscal agenecy in my opinion although some of their investments have been good (some not so good – solar wind stuff etc.) But the amounts flowing to France has been obscene , perhaps because they have the expertise and knowledge of energy dynamics over and above all other nations withen the Eurozone but still ? Even I think this is a bit much (not really a fan of high speed) http://www.eib.org/attachments/press/lgv-sud-europe-atlantique-en.pdf I mean the EIB contributed 1.2 Billion to one project…..!!! @PR guy – you lucky sod Bon Voyage http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwCoUvKAf18 60% of 50% of the people who were eligible to vote voted Yes to the treaty, that’s 30% of the voting public. On the No side it was 40% of 50% which is 20%. I was relieved to hear the passing of the referendum. You see I’m an insider who works in the public service. I am overpaid for what I do and can be incompetent at times. The status quo and not rocking the boat with Europe suits me. As a middle manager I do believe my wages and the wages of those who are paid more than me, can and should be cut, along with pension entitlements. Because the country can not afford to pay so much to certain sections of society. I feel Irish and European. The debate could have been better. A simple explanation would be to characterise it as a battle between fear and anger. But there is logic amongst the anger. And in the fear you can find some elements of hope. So, it’s never that simple. Nothing is ever simple. I was heartened to read Dan O’Brien to write today about our need of political reform. I’d like to hear more debate about that. If we get good people into influential positions we can make some positive changes in this country. I don’t mean that to be too harsh a criticism of our current political class. The whole political and administrative class is not rotten through and through. There are good people trying to do right by the country, but the system does not help them. It can work against good choices. 60% of 50% of the people who were eligible to vote voted Yes to the treaty, that’s 30% of the voting public. On the No side it was 40% of 50% which is 20%. I was relieved to hear the passing of the referendum. You see I’m an insider who works in the public service. I am overpaid for what I do and can be incompetent at times. The status quo and not rocking the boat with Europe suits me. As a middle manager I do believe my wages and the wages of those who are paid more than me, can and should be cut, along with pension entitlements. Because the country can not afford to pay so much to certain sections of society. I feel Irish and European. The debate could have been better. A simple explanation would be to characterise it as a battle between fear and anger. But there is logic amongst the anger. And in the fear you can find some elements of hope. So, it’s never that simple. Nothing is ever simple. I was heartened to read Dan O’Brien to write today about our need of political reform. I’d like to hear more debate about that. If we get good people into influential positions we can make some positive changes in this country. I don’t mean that to be too harsh a criticism of our current political class. The whole political and administrative class is not rotten through and through. There are good people trying to do right by the country, but the system does not help them. It can work against good choices. Download 5MB (right click & “save target as / link as”) @Bond.E.Bond @Seafoid Above is the link to BBC radio Ulster on 30th May at 8.25 am “Coletta’s live in Dublin ahead of the polls opening for the Fiscal Treaty Referendum vote-we hear what its all about and the divisions in the business community between the two camps” I was driving in to Grafton street to do this piece and I was listening to BBC radio 4 on the way in. They mentioned they were going to have Paul Krugman in at 8.20 and I was disappointed because I would miss it. I and Ian Talbot CEO of Chambers Ireland debated the issue. Ian was for a Yes and I for No. So when I discovered later that Krugman had advised Irish voters to vote no I realised we were both speaking simultaneously on BBC radio advising a no vote. Please ring BBC radio Ulster and confirm or if the above link dosen’t work please email me at email@example.com and I will email you the podcast. I always admire and respect any comments you both make. Sorry below is the link; http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/northernireland/nibusiness/nibusiness_20120530-1602a.mp3 I mean what in the name of God is this ? http://www.eib.org/projects/pipeline/2011/20110628.htm Is this Ruairi Rory or whatever Quinns pet project or what ? There is the monetary equivalent of German U Boats parked outside the Old Head of Kinsale sinking Tankers all over the shop and he wants to build flipping schools. How many schools were built during the emergency ? Send them out into the fields for Gods sake – Hedge schools will do them the world of Good. They badly need a bit of that old Gerrit van Gelderen thing anyhow. As their impoverished souls have become MTVised or I guess internetised to the point of destruction. I guess the EIB is supplying the Finance for the cotton wool budget of 100 Million or so. @ Seafóid Touché. I was referring to Blind Biddy. @ All Back on the topic of the referendum, the cartoon and headline in today’s Irish Independent, and the headline (and a similar one in the IT) serve to underline the juvenile nature of the debate which the Irish media seem incapable of overcoming. The idea that the Irish government will be recompensed for extricating itself from a hole of its own making does not stand up to serious examination. http://www.independent.ie/ The low turnout, and the evident disdain of a majority of the Irish people for the process, is an indication that something is seriously wrong in the management of Ireland’s relations with Europe. The subject is up for discussion and cannot be avoided. The manner in which referendums area actually conducted also needs to be addressed. (Who is Declan Ganley and who does he represent?). The very idea of the national broadcaster being required to treat the opposing sides in a referendum debate as if it was a timed chess match may be defensible in terms of domestic issues when a change to the Constitution is required but to limit an elected (i.e. mandated) government’s ability to defend changes that it has negotiated in the context of the country’s involvement internationally is somewhat unusual, to say the least. cf. http://www.independent.ie/ @ All Correct seecond link. http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/johnpaul-mccarthy-balancing-act-as-government-and-parties-shackled-by-courts-3119618.html Irisheconomy.ie was a good site with interesting discussions. Now I find that after the initial article the posts are not great and not worth reading. Would it be possible to provide a filter to exclude all posts other than those which come from the economists allowed to initiate posts? I’m sure that many of these no longer post relies as they would just get lost in the noise. @Holbrook Fields Interesting to see a piece of apparently honest comment about public service performance the structures within which people work and the current unaffordable,to the country, remuneration levels.(I wonder how many of the regular contributors to this site are in the same boat?). Essentially you are verifying that we need to change structures and processes in a radical overhaul of all services provided through the public purse if we are to develop an effective apparatus for services development and delivery. Chances of that happening?Slim and none.Vested interests of the well entrenched senior administrative coterie protected by inept politicos and agreements like CPA will ensure oscillation. Your view is interesting and important – particularly if it reflects a commonly held view by people at similar levels to your own. @DOCM, I see you continue to fight the good fight. Long may it continue. Though I will miss the interesting and enlightening exchanges with you and others here, I expect this should be my last comment here. I have been reprimanded more than once and have had some comments pulled because it has been deemed that I have been excessively critical of some academics with knowledge and competence in the policy and regulatory areas. There is little point in continuing to comment when one never knows when a comment will be pulled. Major flaws have been revealed in the disciplines of economics and political science (sic!) when it comes to practical application in the policy arena, but, not surprisingly, highlighting these is not welcomed by those who profess these disciplines. These flaws are apparent in all the developed economies, but they are more obvious in Ireland – and have a greater (detrimental) impact. Minister Gilmore, in today’s UK Guardian, presents a perfect example of the optical illusion the Government continuously seeks to project and which is designed and intended to avoid tackling immediate and pressing challenges, but which is never formally contested by those with knowledge and competence: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/01/ireland-referendum-yes-recovery The Minister, for example, asserts that Ireland has met all the targets set by the Troika. This is both disingenuous and misleading. It may be true in relation to fiscal adjustment and the banks, but in the are of structural reforms, which were originally intended to counter-act the inevitable detrimental impacts of fiscal adjustment, the Government, pandering to the various influential sectional interests, has succeeded in whittling these down to almost nothing – and, apparently, has been successful in pulling the wool over the Troika’s eyes. It is possible that the Troika has been persuaded by the Government that pursuing meaningful and badly required structural reforms would prejudice progress on other fronts. The Government may be congratulating itself on its ability to suspend disbelief – but, unfortunately, reality has a habit of crashing in – and at the most inconvenient times. @AntoinB From 1999 onwards David McWilliams was screaming to every professor of economics, and lecturer in economics in Ireland, that there was a property bubble–somebody please do something the house is on fire. Some professors in Trinity and elsewhere stated on the record “have no fear there will be a soft landing -the fundamentals are fine”. Below is the link to the simple property valuation error that created the greatest bank and property crash in the history of mankind: http://www.independent.ie/opinion/letters/bubble-values-3034584.html There may be a coat tail available in the form of EZ Bigwigs pushing for ESM recaps of Spanish banks. Ireland has to push for the same deal on IBRC. Enda’s comments reported widely today seem highly relevant. What should the stance be? @Paul Hunt Hang in there! @Tull You were spotted on the way to Croke Park shouting “Crisps and Icecream – CRISPS AND ICECREAM – GET YOUR CRISPS AND ICECREAM and still wearing that BostonRedSox caipin …. if you get lost just head south until you cross the liffey ….. and ask for directions to queenstown .. @JohnPaul McCarthy You’re so reactionary that we might even refer to you as DOCM_Og .. maybe you are? BTW – I hear you dropped that PhD from Oxford that you were holding onto for ages … Blind Biddy picked it up and put it up on eBay but there were no takers. You can have it back for one and four pence. Paul Gillispie has no need of such puerile props …. ‘Leon Trotsky spent four years from 1929 to 1933 on this island in exile from the Soviet Union, before moving to Mexico. Here he observed the 1929 crash, the efforts of European governments to respond by budgetary retrenchment, and the dramatic political fallout in the radicalisation and polarisation of European politics. The eruption of Nazism in Germany and the disastrous Stalinist policy of refusing co-operation with the Social Democrats in opposing it opened up the way to the Nazis’ victory in 1933. Looking out on the sea from a lovely airy villa, which is now sadly decayed and overgrown, Trotsky wrote his autobiography and his masterly History of the Russian Revolution. Parallels between that period and this are plain to see. Generalised retrenchment can turn recession into depression and transform political forces and events. Trotsky’s vision of a socialist united states of Europe survived that catastrophic defeat until his assassination ordered by Stalin six years later. He always took seriously the Austro-Marxist slogan from the early 1900s: “federalism is democracy’s answer to empire”. That remains true in the current setting, even though it is far less intense than the early 1930s. It might be amended for the EU to read: “federalisation is democracy’s answer to intergovernmentalism”. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/0602/1224317132634.html @HRH Patricia the Irish_Sovereign_in_Exile is presently sailing up the Thames and will join you for the celebrations later in the afternoon. @grumpy lapdog or terrier? empirics suggest …. @ Grumpy there was an FT article on the referendum during the week and a senior mandarin was quoted as saying”we don’t do megaphone diplomacy” so when I saw Enda Kenny ‘s pledge on the bank debt I thought maybe they have got some traction on this and they’ll get something- maybe down 100-150bps as a concession to political theatre with the rest to come either gradually or in one go when the deficit is fixed. Bankia isn’t going to get the IBRC treatment, I’m sure. @AntoinB “Would it be possible to provide a filter to exclude all posts other than those which come from the economists allowed to initiate posts?” See link below for software which enables you to create such filters yourself. My simpler solution is to use the scroll-wheel to bypass the stuff about Blind Biddy and the Grand Panjandrums and suchlike. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greasemonkey @Paul Hunt Reading that article in the guardian one gets the impression that all is rosy in the Irish garden. Gilmore forgot to mention the 50 million a day we are borrowing to keep the show on the road. Interestingly Colm McCarthy comes out today saying Croke Park will have to be revisited and social welfare cut. Timing? @ grumpy One other thing- the philosophy of the IBRC deal was “pour encourager les autres” but it didn’t really work innit. @ The Dork of Cork Says: June 1st, 2012 at 2:58 pm +1 @ BEB ‘Comprehensive win for Yes camp. ‘ In concrete terms what did they win? How has this moved anything on? Would you sign a half written contract? I listened to some on the radio stating why they voted Yes. The Government attempted to talk a civilised and reasoned argument and with a few noteable exceptions (LC) it sounded reasonable to some degree – but the message the public sector, pensioners, guards, nurses etc. heard was along the lines of this … http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TZfzAOooEOU @ Paul Hunt Thanks for the link, above video and echo the sadness of you proposed exit from this site & CB too I might add. I am no idealogue from any perspective, I have heard reason from all sides but am coming to the conclusion that the real enemy of Ireland is itself. @ Dan O’Brien ‘The executive branch of government is as weak. It is peopled by part-time amateurs who are usually inexpert in their ministerial briefs, rarely pro-active and, more often than not, more interested in constituency affairs than effectively managing their departments.’ +1 @ Holbrook Fields Do yourself a favour as I did – get the hell out of there. Life is better when you live with the honesty of yourself and your own efforts. @Brian Woods Snr Carcassonne. Practically next door. But don’t pack me off just yet. I will be working right up until I get on the ferry at the end of June (and popping in here up until then). From that point, the mobile gets ditched and interweb access is something I will do once a month to check my email for 5 minutes. I am so looking forward to some decent foie gras and cassoulet again (and my kitchen is full of wine I laid down 10-12 years ago – hic!). But back to the topic. I see Kenny is sounding off about getting a better deal on bank debt and making no bones about the fact that it’s the Germans he’s got to get permission from. I used to have a relationship with my Mum a bit like Ireland and Germany’s. “Can I have an advance of my pocket money Mum?” “Nein. Go and find a paper round and give me all the money you earn into eternity.” “How about a growth pact then?” “Don’t get ideas above your station or I’ll wallop you.” This Constitutional amendment was to cede power to a foreign entity. The Constitution also states the people are sovereign .Well this is a contradiction as the people are now no longer sovereign regarding the framing of money bills by their elected reps in the Oireachtais. As a no voter I see this as a betrayal by the 60% who voted yes.Who represents my interests in Ireland now? Certainly not FF/FG/Lab or SF for that matter. The notion of an Irish state and an Irish nation has been ceded by Nice2,Lisbon 2 and now the fiscal treaty. As the Irish state no longer exists to serve exclusively the Irish people is it possible we will return to a 19th century style low intensity civil disobedience as in tugging the forelock to the lord of the manor whilst poaching his salmon. ? The states use of military aircraft to spy on turf cutters breaking EU law is a current example. I am not advocating the above but it surely is a probable outcome. @AntoinB ‘Economists only posting on this site?’ A plea for ‘groupthink’? From Der Spiegal… “”We are seeing a perfect storm,” Raj Badiani, an economist at IHS Global Insight, told the Financial Times. Losing Ground Spain, though, is far from the only concern. Recent economic numbers have indicated that the situation is getting worse rather than better in Ireland and Portugal, two countries that have already been forced to take advantage of European bailout money.” No comment necessary! It doesn’t seem to merit more than a shrug of the shoulder that there’s about to be a 4th Eurozone country in clutches of the Troika. Welcome aboard Cyprus. Was it Ollie that came out with…. Pacta sunt servanda ……only a few weeks ago? Seems Enda has a cunning plan… http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/frontpage/2012/0602/1224317134002.html Pity the Germans are not keen… “There was no sign, however, that Germany was willing to lift its opposition to any restructuring of the debts of the former Anglo Irish Bank. In addition, the diplomatic source said that any push to allow the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund to directly recapitalise Ireland’s banks was likely to face strong resistance.” @ Paul Hunt That is sad news. I agree with your diagnosis of the dysfunction that is the system of Government. The damage was more or less limited to working class areas in the past so 30 years of doing nothing properly for Moyross resulted in a parallel dystopia but now the system is failing large swathes of the middle classes too. Reading the IT on a regular basis it’s clear much of the legal system is decades behind the rest of Europe. The PS is a long way from project management competence. Maybe it didn’t matter when there was money around but now it’s lethal. Gurdgiev estimates the hangover of the debt load represents a drag of 2% of GDP per annum. Institutional failings are probably worth at least another- 1% of GDP. I’m sure you’ll be vindicated. And I wish you well. @Seafoid Interesting article along the same theme.. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jun/01/austerity-debt-realism-kenneth-rogoff @ Ceteris A lot of really tough times ahead. The sole (but important) result of the yes victory is that we can not be blamed for what will follow. Our government must now negotiate with the conviction of somebody who has done everything that was asked of them. It can be a very powerful position from which to negotiate if used correctly. @Paul hunt I think I would be far fro alone in suggesting you should just refuse to let the b@$£@&ds grind you down. I found all my posts were being deleted a few months ago and, as Karl w might note, nobody gets paid anything. It can be annoying. Antoin above might not approve, but you obviously have insights and competence in areas I and most other contributors don’t, so your public contributions to Irish economic debate are potentially very valuable. Personally I know and understand quite a bit but like everyone, am clueless in certain areas. Somebody throwing a bit of light on the details of energy policy and economics along with managerial practices would be very useful. It is probably futile to point out the existence of conflicts that we all know are not going to be dumped by the beneficiaries because somebody goes on about them- the natural reaction is to close ranks and ears just don’t waste your time. Explaining stuff to people curious and nerdy enough to read this blog is probably, in the long run, not a waste of time – though it might not feel like it. There are some very touchy, grand people around, and yet the economic situation is not one in which open irritation is necessarily inappropriate. Some of them might benefit from being yelled at by the inhabitants of a trading floor – just for the character building aspect. Don’t let their pettiness take you out. Tell us stuff we don’t know and don’t understand properly. @Grumpy I concur. @Eureka Agree with most of what you say but timing is everything. Angela is preoccupied with Greece, Spain and maybe Italy. I’m sure she isn’t giving much thought to the pesky Irish. A few platitudes maybe while she tries to figure how to get out of the swamp. When you are up to your arse in alligators…… @Eureka WHAT ? You don’t seem to understand – Ireland is not a country anymore – its a conduit. Its not a goverment – its a county council at best , at worst…. its a rent collector for the various absentee landlords. Although to be honest It was always so to various degrees. Indeed the only thing refreshing now is the honesty of our Landlords. People wanted Ireland inc and by God they will get it. The Bankers have “built a rat ship (Europe), a vessel for sea going snitches” with not one politican with a inbuilt Garavitas that is somehow willing to challenge these Bastards. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZZvWmxM5ZA Every time we have reached a crossroads we have taken what appears the easier path with devastating long term consequences. It all over for Ireland – withen 20 years or less all those newborn Babies popping out all over this kip will be in deep deep trouble. @ Ceteris Yes – ultimately the gamble is on how Merkel will react to everything happening around her. She has defended Germany’s interests in a way that you wish our politicians could have done with ours. Unfortunately she has a rather austere personality and does not strike me as a lover of much of life’s good things. She has the mindset of a Calvinist. And that’s fine. The world needs a mix of everybody. She will not go for Eurobonds. She will not countenance the ECB printing money. She will unashamedly pursue her country’s short term interests at the expense of everything. But at least now, when the thing begins to fall completely apart, our position can be clear. At least we won’t have half the country blaming the other half for landing us in it (which would have happened if the No’s had won). It’s just going to be a little bit easier to face into the chaos Whatever else you can say about Greece it is not a snitch….. they are made of sterner stuff then us. We sadly are hiding in Big Daddies pocket. Long term Greece has a better future then this sorry country. @ Eureka: “She will unashamedly pursue her country’s short term interests at the expense of everything.” That is the primary responsibility of a soverign government. Protect your state -even if it brings down other states. Simple. The Eurozone is not a soverign. If push comes to shove: it gets the shove. @ All The signposts for the weeks ahead are contained in this informative piece by the Telegraph’s retail (!) editor. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9307560/Spanish-premier-Mariano-Rajoy-calls-for-eurozone-centralised-control-authority.html When it comes to the immovable object and the irresistible force, it is usually the ECB that moves and little change may be expected on this score (cf. last sentence). On the other fronts, these may be listed in order of probability of something significant happening; banking supervision, deposit insurance and bail-in arrangements (no treaty change required) coupled with an agreement to open debate on institutional change with any direct financing of banks or any other form of risk-sharing firmly down the field other than in terms of a possible outcome of advances on the other fronts. The UK risks once again being odd man out. (A mini-summit of Germany, France, Italy and Spain is reported to be on the cards after the outcome of the Greek elections isknown). Meanwhile, it is absolutely certain that tomorrow’s Irish media will constitute a paroxysm of irrelevant national navel-gazing and postmortems on an unnecessary referendum which has inserted still further text into an already over-burdened section of the Constitution. @ Eureka We may not have long to wait if the Spanish Finance Minister is correct… http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jun/01/euro-future-decided-in-weeks And Bild is calling for Greece to leave the Euro…. http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_02/06/2012_445097 And the latest and last (I think, moratorium) poll shows Syriza on 31.5% a full six point ahead of ND. Some volatile mix! @ Brian Woods Snr Eaten bread is soon forgotten: thank you Germany for mainly funding welfare for our farmers over 40 years and now PFO. @ Wolverine the people are now no longer sovereign regarding the framing of money bills by their elected reps in the Oireachtais. This is what happens when a majority elect people who bankrupt a country. Like Dev and symbols, ‘sovereignty’ is a great abstract concept but when we rely on foreign firms for most of our exports, they can do things that a citizen will be jailed for 6 years if engaging in similar activities. Have you not noticed that for some decades, ministers have been going to America looking for jobs and Brussels money? As for enforcing EU regulations, another way to look at it is that it should be a national shame that for example clean water standards are only given serious attention when an EU directive deadline is due to expire. Of course it’s always easy to blame the foreigner than reform broken systems at home. @DOCM I wonder how the Spanish people would react to Spain giving up its sovereignty. Maybe they need a referendum. All in all the proposal looks too late to achieve the objective. @DOCM Quentin Peel recently in the FT said that Merkel was moving beyond the ideas of eurobonds and a banking union. She wants to go straight for a Fiscal Union. This has to be good news. It was always clear that this would eventually be necessary to make the Euro work. It is good to see it being considered now. As for the problem of treaties and so on to allow this, I rather agree with Paul Krugman on the Business this morning when he said that in his experience officials are always able to find justification for doing what they want to do regardless of the restrictions of laws or mandates. No where is this more true than in europe. Krugman also said that 2012 would see either Fiscal Union or break up. Maybe he’s got Angela’s ear. @ CP Spain already operates as a federal state with lots of autonomy at the regional level so it might actually be easier for them to accept a federal EU easier than we would? @ rafo hijo et al I am not a great fan of the Telegraph and linked to the article in question because it seemed to me to be a very good summary of the current situation (unlike, with respect, the other links above). I think that Quentin Peel may be right if for no other reason than the fact that Merkel does not wish to go down in history as “the East German that broke the euro” (as I recall Wolfgang Munchau rather inelegantly putting it). But not as the beginning of a process but the end to be achieved by it. Calling for such a step at the outset is just another example of Merkel as the master of the short-term tactical move but with no overall vision or strategy. The slow spiral downwards politically at home of her government suggests that this is becoming more and more evident to her electorate. In my observation, American academics, no matter how eminent, are politically clueless when it comes to the institutional workings of Europe. Krugman would do better to stick to his academic last and avoid giving uncalled for advice to the populations of other countries as to how they should vote whether in referendums or national elections. Assuming the Greek elections go as well for her as the Irish referendum, the end of June summit may see a break-through of sorts but it will be the usual messy compromise with the ECB again being required to act as fireman (no matter how much Draghi may protest). There will be a real problem for Cameron. However, the next period of seven-year programming of the EU budget has also to be agreed – imperative in the context of the ritual obeisance to the “growth agenda” – and his domestic position is not such that he can afford to quit the field of play as he did in respect of the TSCG. @ All This article just published by Der Spiegel, quoting official sources, is closer to the political reality of the current situation. Spanish pride may be in for a dent. If you have allowed your banks to run riot, the bill eventually comes due. If you have not got the money to pay it, and the markets will not adavance it to you at a tolerable cost, you can only rely on the “kindness of strangers” (to quote the now silent MK). http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/deutschland-will-spanien-unter-den-europaeischen-rettungsschirm-draengen-a-836636.html @Bond Eoin Bond. Good point. As new treaties would in all likelihood require another referendum here, the government is unlikely to get an easy ride on explicit surrender of sovereignty. @DOCM Krugman is entitled to his opinion…..on economics. He doesn’t need to understand the minutiae of European institutions… nor does Nouriel Roubini. Both are world class economists. As for the Greek elections going well for Angela…that is simply not going to happen. Samaras is becoming increasingly desperate with renewed attacks today on Syriza. And the Syriza vote keeps getting better. @ Ceterisparibus That is exactly my point. If these “world class economists”, whatever that means, do not understand the institutional workings of the EU, why do they regularly offer opinions on the political choices with which it is confronted? @ BEB The EU is not a federation involving any direct loss of sovereignty. It involves sovereign states agreeing to exercise powers in common under a precise set of rules set out in a treaty which limits their sovereign right to act; according to a categorisation of competences fought over for ten years and set out in the Lisbon Treaty, two of which, relating to economic and social policy respectively, involve only “coordination”. There is no watertight separation between the powers of the sovereign states and the EU. The states are the executive of the EU. There is no large-scale federal government. (It would be twice the size of that of the US on a comparable population basis). What is at issue is changing the situation in which the word “coordination” has even to be inserted in the title of the treaty for which the Irish people have given their endorsement to actually submitting themselves to common action. The relationship between the government in Madrid and its regions is not relevant other than, perhaps, in educating the Spaniards in the risks involved in limiting their sovereign national government’s ability to participate in the exercise. If these “world class economists”, whatever that means, do not understand the institutional workings of the EU, why do they regularly offer opinions on the political choices with which it is confronted? The premise is dubious to say the least. But the question is interesting nonetheless. Come to that, why does the Group of 30 have 32 members? http://www.group30.org/members.shtml @Frank Galton “Welcome aboard Cyprus.” Bloody upstart little queue-jumpers! Spain was supposed to be next in line. How long have they been in? 4-5 years? Is it a case of the smaller you are, the quicker you can go bust by joining the Euro? @ Kevin Donoghue Thank you for the link. I presume you have it on a wall, surrounded by votive candles! The world and European economy is in such good shape, of course, that no prayers are required. Part of the answer to DOMC’s question is that Krugman can cut through the institutional stuff which so fascinates DOMC. The result is posts like this, the latest on his blog: I often compare Spain with Florida: both had huge housing bubbles followed by busts. Florida, however, has its retirement and much of its health care paid for from Washington. So how big are the transfers? He concludes: So as I read it, between falling tax payments without any corresponding fall in federal benefits, plus safety-net aid — not counting Medicaid, which would make the number even bigger — Florida received what amounted to an annual transfer from Washington of $31 billion plus, or more than 4 percent of state GDP. That’s a transfer, not a loan. And it’s very big. Oh, and we should also add both FDIC costs and Fannie/Freddie losses in Florida. Aid on that scale is inconceivable in Europe as currently constituted. That’s a big problem. Now maybe it’s not inconceivable any more. Maybe the EU is really getting to grips with this at last. I’d really love to believe that. But something tells me that, as much as I’d like to believe it, “that shit ain’t the truth.” (It sounds better when Samuel L. Jackson says it.) @ All To come back to more serious matters, FYI. http://www.independent.ie/business/european/the-euro-is-in-his-hands-3125851.html Surely, the Germans must also be to blame! @ Kevin Donoghue The EU is not the US. It is time that Krugman woke up to this simple fact. @ BEB FYI in the context of “federalism” as she is exercised in Spain and Germany. (At least, they have something in common!). http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/inland/schaeuble-warnt-bundeslaender-bei-fiskalpakt-nicht-weiter-taktieren-11771886.html @docm You might be over-egging it there, just ever so slightly, with the list of simple facts Super-K is unfamiliar with. The EU is not the US. It is time that Krugman woke up to this simple fact. I think that’s precisely the point he’s making. He wants the EU to wake up to the implications. As Shelby Foote remarked: until the civil war, the US was plural. After the war people wrote “the United States is” in their sentences, without any notion that they were flouting the rules of grammar. “The war made us an ‘is’.” The EU isn’t quite there yet. Blather about institutions never made a nation. @Kevin D I think the idea you have there about the (sort of) necessity for a European war is, possibly, not to be dismissed out of hand – provided every state can be persuaded to use only conventional tag-teams, made up the respective Central Banker and Finance Minister. Either all-in wrestling or cage fighting – either would do, and Enda could stay out of the fray. @ grumpy You are probably right! @ Kevin Donoghue Your position is now clear! Fortunately, the EU came into existence by a different route and my personal conviction is that it will continue on it. Herewith a speech by LBS on the life of Padua-Schioppa that you may find of interest. http://www.ecb.int/press/key/date/2011/html/sp110128.en.html I really don’t get the club of 30 conservative badge thingy. In mean if you plot to wreck the planet via the credit / oil mechanism what are you trying to preserve ? Oh yes – the Imperium of the money masters. Globalisation is always a disaster – making countries overly specialised and thus vulnerable to various shocks both artificial & natural….you could almost think its designed that way. The Marxist Economist Yanis V. openly stated Paul Volcker plotted to wreck the global economy post Bretton woods – & succeeded. And in this case I believe him. You could argue this was a logical American Nationalist position of laying waste to competitors but Central Bankers are not loyal to any country. Very strange this period me thinks. Although not unique by any means. Grot economy experts rule the world….. perhaps they always have. We are on the edge of a catostrophic western breakdown crisis. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwkXY6dMRbU The Blow back from all of the various post war operations is beginning to build up a head of steam. @grumpy I didn’t mean to imply that we need a war. If wars were likely to help we’d have had a United Europe since the time of Trajan at the latest. I really don’t know just what is needed before Germany gives money to Spain as freely as California gives money to Alabama. But I’m pretty sure that the EU is at least a generation away from that degree of unity. Since the Eurozone can’t possibly survive in continual crisis for a generation, I conclude that it’s time to abandon the experiment. I’m certainly interested in arguments against that line of reasoning if any are forthcoming. PS: not tonight however; time for my weekly dose of Nordic Noir on BBC4. @ MH: Funny you should mention ‘farmers’. I take some interest in the vomitings of the IFA leadership. I presume these are one of Paul Hunt’s ‘looting brigade’. They represent only the wealthy, minority section – the rest of us are just a source of revenue. I am a member of IFA! Watching this on BBC4 the other night. I think there is a bit of dramatic licence in it but it seems to capture that summer of 1929 feeling (as I imagine it) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4jq7oRxw-g http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzhb3U2cONs @ KD: Thank you for reminding me about Shelby Foote. His trilogy was marvellous. I then had to read Catton’s trilogy to get some ‘feeling’ for that conflict. I doubt that one could understand US politics absent a clear understanding of the politics of the war between the states. @Kevin d There was the USSR, but that of course didn’t last. Maybe if the Allies had been rather less gentlemanly in the West, there might already be a USoE? The appetite for transfers by a much less assertive Germany was used up by the farming community. With the disparate retirement ages, pensions, tax rates, wage rates – not to mention cultures – I think those thinking the Fiscal Compact is itself a gateway (that will be used) to a transfer union are very likely wide of the mark. @Michael Hennigan …”This is what happens when a majority elect people who bankrupt a country…” …”Like Dev and symbols, ’sovereignty’ is a great abstract concept….” …”Of course it’s always easy to blame the foreigner than reform broken systems at home.” There is little above that is inconsistent with my post.Where I differ is that sovereignty is real and when you don’t have it you are extremely vulnerable. My observations were written in a mood of despair at what I perceive is self immolation at the ballot box.I agree with you there has been an ongoing process of self destruction for decades. The US Civil War might have centralised political power (kind of), but surely air conditioning homogenised the country? Im not so sure another European Civil War would do much good. @DOCM “There is no watertight separation between the powers of the sovereign states and the EU. The states are the executive of the EU” Up to a few weeks ago the entire EU was run by Merkozy. Now it is run single handed by Merkel, as our very own Enda acknowledged this week. Peculiar how treaties, regulations and laws are ignored, as you acknowledge above will happen to mr. Draghi, when matters get desperate. Btw, by world class I mean recognized by his peers worldwide with the added acknowledgement of a Nobel. @michael h Have you not noticed that for some decades, ministers have been going to America looking for jobs and Brussels money? Indeed. I had lunch today with a mate of mine whose son has had to seek work in the UK. Even up till four years ago his son employed 46 people (‘men’), the majority of whom were crane operators. His father erects fencing, agricultural market. In Official Ireland because such people haven’t invented stuff such as a new social network or the latest gizmo to measure your daily hair loss level at ten kilometers they rank as a regressive type of cretin in the employer hierarchy recognized by government. If there was genuine reform of government expenditure, including the rationalization of many public services, there would be that bit more to go around. But how many university professors, when they are finished fretting over the ins and outs of treaty remote from the lives of many, will take a hit on their 150K salaries to help out a crane man or a sheep wire handler? It is most cost effective, from one perspective, to go to Boston, the Northern Europeans are asking awkward questions. I had to go to London to get work, as well as a number of other countries. It aint that bad to be honest. I never had 46 men working for me though, so perhaps it doesnt count. The problem with Ireland wasnt a government captured by social media types, or even the ‘parish pump politics’ mentioned above. It was a government captured by the crane operators and ‘agricultural market’. Politics, whether domestically or globally, is not ‘remote from the lives of many’. We need experts to actually study these phenomena. Just better ones. @DOCM The point Krugman and Roubini and others are making is that economics has spent a lot of effort and time drawing conclusionas from studies of previous major events and developing a theory of macro-economics. To simply ignore this and pluck ideas from some ideological nonsense – or equivalently to argue that this situation/ country/ continent is different is irrational and part of the reason we gotr here in the first place and are stuck here now. It is not about understanding the subtleties of euro-politics or institutions. It is about fundamental economics. I don’t agree with Krugman on everything. I voted for the treaty, because I think I have a better understanding of my situation than Paul Krugman has, but I agree that certain fundamental truths apply. The treaty is an irrelavance ecnomically, but important politically. Krugman is well qualified to comment on the former. And it is important to see the situation from the viewpoiint of an academic outside the political aznd institutional melee. We are too prone to groupthink. Too prone to get bogged down in the detail and forget to look up and think about where we are going or to question whether anything is working. More broadly, there is little point in talking about structural reforms, and whether this or that person is taking a cut in their wages. None of that will have any effect on the recovery. When we are recovered we can think about those reforms seriously – and maybe then this treaty will make us do that. For the moment it is completely irrelevant. @ rafa hijo: “When we are recovered we can think about those reforms seriously – …” We are not going to ‘recover’ rafa. Some folk know this. When your vessel is foundering you tend to consider survival, not a different design. Those who know where the life rafts are located will be fine. But you have step UP into a life raft from your foundering vessel. The ones who jump down will perish. @Brian Woods Snr There will be a recovery. Whether with or without the euro is a separate question. Yes. The design doesn’t matter now. Survival, getting out of this mess matters. But the point of countercyclical policies is that when things are going well again it is necessary to take the difficult decisions. To cut and trim and make efficient. And of course when we are all feeling good we don’t see the need to reform and economise. That is where the fiscal treaty may have some value. I don’t like the idea of institutionalising particular policies, but it is clear that we have no appetite to do the right thing when there is no pressure on us. We will survive, we will recover. @ Brian Woods Snr We agree on most stuff. Notice the “short” term in there. It’s really not in Germany’s interests to let this unravel but it will. Once Greece goes it will be absolutely impossible to contain the contagion without a mega gesture from Germany. It will make it almost impossible for business to be conducted in the Euro for the at-risk states. It will cause business to grind to a halt. Say you’re a Canadian company about to close a deal with an Spanish outfit. How will you have that contract denominated (in Can Dolls if you have sense) but what happens if Spain goes Escudo and the exchange rate is unworkable – i.e. contract is unworkable. If Greece leaves the Euro the whole thing will fall apart. Docm , personally I think that article you linked to is a load of rubbish. Imagine the villainous rajoy trying to avoid heaping the entire burden on spanish taxpayers’ shoulders. Why it’s like something those communist radicals on the financial times op-ed page would propose. How myopic these spaniards must be that they can’t see how well the bailout programs are going in Greece and Ireland, it’s pretty mysterious why anyone wouldn’t want to follow our example. @Ciaran Imagine the villainous Rajoy trying to avoid heaping the entire burden on spanish taxpayers’ shoulders. You may note a certain thematic consistency in DOCM’s posts. * Do not mention the global financial crisis and especially do not mention the European financial sectors role in this crisis. * Support the far sighted ECB in supporting Europe’s glorious banks by looting our awfully mismanaged and frankly outdated nation states to fund them. * Borrowers are to blame for lenders making bad decisions (risk management is unEuropean, moral hazard only applies when a financial capitalist might make a loss) It is quite possibly harmless trolling rather than something more sinister, but remember that the malefactors of great wealth are still out there and they are playing a good game. Also, what Kevin O’Donoghue said. @ All The general coverage in the Sindo is much more sober than I had anticipated and far from parochial. The outstanding contribution is by Colm McCarthy which, no doubt, will get the honour of a thread of its own. http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/only-europewide-action-can-help-tackle-debt-crisis-3126358.html @ rafa hijo We appear to be talking about different subjects. In my case, I was addressing the general issue of the mistaken parallels being drawn by Americam academics, Krugman in particular, between the EU, qua institution, and the US, not the merits or demrrits of the TSCG. (Given the small contribution that it can make and the main motivation behind it, coupled with the dissension that it has given rise to, the latter probably outweigh the former at this stage). @ All Unsurprisingly, the stand-off between Berlin and Madrid is front-page news in Spain this morning. http://news.google.ie/news/story?ncl=duZOnqDK8tgiaDMLkZy6GazqCCSvM&ned=es&topic=h This is so obvious a game of political chicken, it should be recognisable in all cultures. Each side has to worry about the markets and their banks tomorrow but Merkle/Schaeuble have considerably less need for concern. And it is Berlin that is putting up the money and it is going to hand it over on its terms or not at all. @ Eureka: Yeah. Experience with politicians is that they get real twitchy when they face into the uncerainty of an election. They can make ‘bad’ decisions which look ‘good’ at the time and from the perspective of their local frame of reference. But which ‘blow up’ sometime later. This Euro situation has all the bad ingredients available. Its wait-and-see time, but make sure you KNOW your exit IS clear. Lots of dopey folk THINK, but do not confirm. Bad mistake! @ rafa hijo: I quite admire your negative pessimism. Our western developed economies cannot ‘recover’ as long as the larger ones in Asia and S. America are attempting the same thing at the same time. They need to sell their stuff overseas in order to ‘grow’. A buying country is not a growing country. You need to trade. So who will do all this buying bit? Not us clapped-out debt slaves in the West. Western economies will be forced into economic regression. Ireland appears to have successfully regressed back to the late 1990s. That spells real political trouble. Docm , I think krugmans point is simply that certain institutions are necessary for a currency union to work. I’d regard this as pretty inarguable. Official Referendum Result: A_pat_hetik serfs: 50% Willing citizen_serfs: 30% Resistant citizen_serfs: 20% Inde_kon reports that greater than 80% of the Hibernian citizenry is content with austerity and its serfhood into eternity within the dodgy financial system; the 20% std. statistical error is simply due to the standard dubious validity and ‘upper_echelon’ reliabilty that such analysis entails and it is a function of the political establishment to ‘root out’ such errors of judgement. The usual disclaimer on “N” applies. END. DOD Your post illustrates the ultimate reason for the unpopularity of the left. You do not take defeat well and you insult the electorate when they do not vote the right way. The people are sovereign, they voted Yes one by one for individual reasons. You and your lot cannot stand it, get over it and go and get a life instead of spouting endlessly on here about Bilnd Biddy etc. etc. @Colonel Tull (FRRA anon.) Glad you made it home in one piece from Croke Park – where would the ranting roight be without you? Hope you made a profit on selling all those stale crisps to the hungry serfs. DOCM will be truly (sic) miffed at your resurrection from the blue-none hangover. Take two aspirin, go back to bed, and try to remember your real name; assuming that is, that you have one! Oh for the good ol days of the PeeDees and wrecking the economy … Now that we’ve had the referendum can we get back to BAU and bring the focus back to the government’s economic performance since they came into power? I think I will cut out and make several copies of Constantin Gurdgiev’s article in the Sunday Times today, have them framed and give a copy to every minister I can find so that they can stick it up on the wall to remind/measure themselves. No link (it’s behind a paywall) but it usually goes up onto his trueconomics blog about a week after publication. http://trueeconomics.blogspot.ie/ @Grumpy “There may be a coat tail available in the form of EZ Bigwigs pushing for ESM recaps of Spanish banks. Ireland has to push for the same deal on IBRC. Enda’s comments reported widely today seem highly relevant. What should the stance be?” Very simple. No begging bowl, No flat cap. We get the same deal as Spain or the case goes to the ECJ. There used to be a solidarity clause in the EU treaties to my knowledge. @DOCM “….And it is Berlin that is putting up the money and it is going to hand it over on its terms or not at all.” I would not agree with you analysis on this ie. that Germany will have to ‘hand over’. The FT had a weekend article [Victor Mallet and Peter Spiegel] quoting a Spanish Budget minister, Christobal Montoro, reminding anybody that was listening that a significant piece of Spanish debt is domiciled in France and Germany. The obvious solution is a robust bank resolution scheme. I do hope that Spain will not wait for an EZ or EU version as that would be far too late in arriving. There is broad agreement that debt , particularly bank debt, will have to be written down. The objectors are the holders of that debt and their host countries. For the moment they have hegemony but it is slipping fast. Spain would be doing Europe a great favour by slaying that particular dragon once and for all. @Joseph Ryan “We get the same deal as Spain or the case goes to the ECJ.” My fear is that Spain etc. will get a better deal and all we’ll get is: “that was then, this is now.” @DOCM The comparisons with US are because the US is a federation with a common currency and the history of how that currency developed and how the need to mutualise the debts of the individual states lead to a common currencya and ultimately a much strongere federal government. There are few if any other examples of the creation of a new currency across separate states bound only in a loose federation. As such it is important to reflect on the lessons from that. I don’t think anyone is unaware of the differences, but the points of coincidence are very revealing. @BWSnr Of course we can’t all export our way to growth. And if we all attempt to do so, we will delay the recovery for everyone. But it is almost in the nature of things that when an economy has created a lot of wealth, there are increasing pressures to redistribute it more equally and thus general prosperity and consumption increases. As the BRICS mature they will consume more and offer markets to others like europe and the US. Of course there is a permanent loss of potential growth. We are back in the 1990s perhaps but when growth returns we will forget about the lost decade or whatever it might be. We will consider that we have recovered. @PR GUY re “My fear is that Spain etc. will get a better deal and all we’ll get is: “that was then, this is now.”” We have to be much tougher this time. We have to tell the ECB that if Spain gets to apply ‘bank resolution’, which I suspect they will, then so does Ireland. At this point, the only place for the ‘great axe’ to fall in Ireland’s case is the monies due to the ECB. As it was the ECB that enforced this clearly partisan policy then it is the ECB that should pick up the tab. Otherwise don’t repay the ECB and lets go to the ECJ. The documents will make interesting reading in court. PS: My impression from today’s C McCarthy article is that there a lot of scrambling going on at ECB/EC level to put a bank resolution scheme in place before Spain decides to do it for them. No doubt once again the ECB/EC bank resolution version will seek to protect the national interests of Germany and France rather than those of Spain or anybody else. [It is in this area that the game of chicken is being played out.] Still this time I feel Spain will beat them to it. They have little choice. They cannot absorb the debt. So its an agreed bank resolution or Spain’s bank resolution. I hope you enjoy your sabbatical. It would be ungraceful of me not to use this opportunity to thank the following for their aid during the referendum no campaign. Sincere thanks to Michael Hennigan of FinFacts,Bloomberg TV, France 24 TV,Spanish TV,Thomson Reuters,Danish newspapers,De Telegraaf Holland, RTE radio Morning Ireland, Newstalk downtobusiness and BBC radio which organised the joint broadcast with Paul Krugman. I am sure I have omitted many and for that I apologise. @ rafa hijo: Ah, your enthusiasm is wonderful, but I regret to say somewhat misplaced. Wealth is never distributed equitably. That is, the land we live on and the water we drink. These are the only wealth that matter to humans. No land, no food. No water, no life. That’s about it. Anyhow, if you want to understand the dreadful dilemma we have worked ourselves into look no further that an innoculum of a single viable cell into a closed container which contains a fixed quantity of liquid nutrient and dissolved oxygen. Put container into an incubator. Lovely plot line of ‘growth’ v time: sigmoidal. Ends badly I’m afraid. That’s us. Cells in a closed container, all growing together. I’m not sure whether the econ chaps who inhabit this site actually know enough physics, chemistry and biology to comprehend how a physical system (our economy) actually works. Because if you do not comprehend how the immutable laws of physics and chemistry absolutely constrain a closed system of finite resources … … Ends badly I’m afraid. Our Biosphere is indeed a very large container. But its closed, and our resources are finite. We are having a taster of the consequences of the econs seducing themselves (not all of them, but enough) with numbers and mathematical expressions. Are they really so clueless about nature? Appears so. Nature is one nasty bitch. “… nature is not fooled” [Richard Feynman]. I agree with your take on the US. States cannot run deficits nor coin their own money. Some have run up deficits and are insolvent and its going to boil over after the Congressional elections in November. FYI Andy Storey : The debt crisis and the fiscal treaty referendum in Ireland Things, however, will not get better or less scary for most Irish people any time soon. In fact, they will likely get worse. A ‘breaking news’ headline in one of the country’s national newspapers on the morning of the referendum count read: “Bad news back on agenda now vote is over”, referring to the fact that issues such as the introduction of new taxes, discussion of which was cynically deferred during the referendum campaign, will come roaring back with a vengeance. Furtherswingeing austerity is to be imposed for years to come, copper fastened in place by the treaty’s rules. Those who have borne the brunt of the cutbacks to date already understand this – working class communities tended to vote ‘no’ to the treaty, while the ‘yes’ vote was highest in middle- and upper-class constituencies; even one government minister conceded that the vote reflected a “class divide”. There is no disguising that the referendum result is a disappointment. However, the fact that the ‘no’ vote was 40% is, under the circumstances, a very decent showing, especially given that the three largest political parties (only two of which are in government), all major newspapers, business groups and various civil society elites were unanimous in their calls for a ‘yes’ vote. And it is worth bearing in mind that the fear factor discussed above pushed a lot of people into the ‘yes’ camp despite their opposition to the broad thrust of current policy. Nor can those who abstained be counted as having given the current regime a ringing endorsement. In other words, almost the entire weight of establishment Ireland could barely manage to persuade 30% of the electorate to back the treaty, and a good number of those did so only through gritted teeth and at effective gunpoint. The courage of those who voted ‘no, coupled with what will inevitably be the growing anger and sense of betrayal felt by many of those who voted ‘yes’ or who did not vote at all, provides a solid basis for developing a serious alternative agenda to, and mobilization against, the debt and austerity programme in the years to come. http://www.irishleftreview.org/2012/06/02/debt-crisis-fiscal-treaty-referendum-ireland/ @Tullmacadoo The people are sovereign? Even if they had voted ‘No’? Really? No rerun? @ BWSnr Fortunatley we are not bacteria in a petrie dish. We innovate and thus push out the limits of growth. The USA is on course to be self sufficient in energy in five years or so. Unthinkable a few years ago. Growth is driven largely by innovation. New products new technologies create new demand. As for the finite earth, we already have companies set up to mine asteroids. The earth may be finite though our innovation constantly realigns our relationship with it, but the universes is a lot bigger. So there is room for some optimism. As for the bankrupt states in the USA, the point is that they receive transfers automatically from the federal government to mitigate this. The eurozone lacks these automatic transfers and that is one of the problems that was evident to those who knew american history. The mutualising of the debts of the various states after the war of independence (Ithink) was crucial to the strengthening of the federation as opposed to a confederation. American economic history is very instructive in terms of eurozone, because it is the only(?) other example of the creation of a single currency across states. Tim, I advocated a No as I thought it would be a powerful catalyst to cut over generous PS pay and SW – say by 30%. Let’s face facts the No’s lost. All this stiff about turnout is BS. The govt ran an effective campaign and won the day. FF were a bit of a revelation and are not dead. Who knows if there would have been another vote. With Spain about to go for up to a 400bn bail out perhaps the door would have remained shut. It is all irrelevant anyway. Events have moved on. A dissolution of the euro looks likely and then we will get the neccessary changes here. @Joseph Ryan “We have to be much tougher this time…… there a lot of scrambling going on at ECB/EC level to put a bank resolution scheme in place before Spain decides to do it for them.” I couldn’t agree more but 1) where are the tough guys? 2) I doubt that the EU/ECB can move quickly enough? On the subject of voting – trying not to stray too far off topic 😉 – interview with Alexis Tsipras (SYRIZA) in Kathimerini: http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_23492_03/06/2012_445183 Only a couple of weeks until Greece votes. It’s difficult to see a coalition being formed given the current polls. I’d say all bets are off on Greece if they can’t form a government second time around. Military coup anyone? And I bet that after the usual huff and puff, the Troika would end up doing business with them too, trying to scratch out whatever’s in their best interests, bribing a few Colonels, blackmailing where they can, etc. It’s a dirty old world out there. @PR Guy Maybe you are right but fears of a Greek exit have driven Danish 10 yr yields below 1% . That means the markets are expecting a Japan scenario over the next decade. Is pigheadedness over Greece that important? @BMSnr “I’m not sure whether the econ chaps who inhabit this site actually know enough physics, chemistry and biology to comprehend how a physical system (our economy) actually works. Because if you do not comprehend how the immutable laws of physics and chemistry absolutely constrain a closed system of finite resources … … Ends badly I’m afraid. Our Biosphere is indeed a very large container. But its closed, and our resources are finite.” The reasons for endless inconclusive narrow theoretical discourse by econs with little reference to abundant economic and business data have more to do with ‘business development’. Beyond the tactical discussions in this blog about economics and politics, there are also larger questions which confront Anglo countries in particular concerning growth prospects, BRIC relationships, wealth and continued influence. In my observation such strategic questions are dealt with in a far more balanced, fact-based and compelling way by organisations with broad research and professional skills. Readers more interested in better truths and predictions than in signalling their own knowledge may appreciate an example of quality fact-based analysis and insight presented by Moynihan of PA Consulting at LSE in February: @All Looks like we got out answer: ” Bruno Waterfield #euref Irish Yesmen betrayed already RT @lindayueh: German Finance Ministry sees no need to change terms of#Ireland rescue programme About 29 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®FavoriteRetweet “ @PR Guy Looks like we got out answer: This is how it feels to lose an argument you are correct about. Stomach turning. rafa and Tony: Thanks for your responses. US self-sufficient in energy?? That’s PR guff, so I will let it pass. They MIGHT get there if they reduced their use by 70%. You cannot drive 4 x4s on electricity. Nat gas is too hazardous for domestic vehicles and is of limited use in commercials. Their energy infrastructure is called Sh*tsville for a very good reason. Innovation is I believe, a technology related matter. Tech has its limits and as you approach them your energy consumption increases exponentially. Its our energy supplies that are a problem. Tony, my comments about the ignorant econs reflect my experiences. They sure know how to do complex dy/dx stuff, but after that its a pretty sad state of affairs. Facts are ignored if they conflict with your embedded beliefs. Facts can be a tad inconvenient. But in 15 years or so the global supply of liquid hydrocarbon fuels (which are critical to sustain all other energy generation processes) will be significantly less than we enjoy to-day. Lets see how the econs can dy/dx that predicament. It sure will not be funny. FYI Der Spiegel International [good graphic on Ireland’s DECLINE Banking Woes Ireland Still Long Way from Overcoming Debt Crisis By Christoph Pauly in Dublin Irish voters have approved the fiscal pact in a closely watched referendum, to the relief of European leaders. But the country is still a long way from solving its debt crisis, and its banks will soon need additional billions in fresh capital. …….. Illusory Confidence In 2010, the European Union had to support the country to the tune of €67.5 billion ($84 billion). Ireland’s local banks had gambled and lost on real estate loans, and had been bailed out with comprehensive state guarantees. Soon thereafter, the Irish and their fellow Europeans throughout the continent had great hopes that the worst was over. Recently, the Irish were considered a paragon for the entire euro zone. In 2011, the economy even grew, albeit only by 0.7 percent. But such confidence proved illusory. As things now stand, Ireland will have to be bailed out a second time. The banks have proven to be a bottomless pit. They have to be recapitalized once again. The previous write-downs of the 10 largest consumer banks, amounting to €118 billion, are still not enough. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/ireland-still-faces-problems-in-overcoming-debt-crisis-a-836758.html May we have another referendum please? I’d like to VOTE NO AGAIN. CARTOON OF THE DAY http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/bild-836758-358885.html Blind Biddy fails to see any funny side! Yes vote an expression of grim fatalism The Yes campaign had effectively stopped trying to argue that the treaty, as a response to the euro zone crisis, had any intrinsic merits. The only real issue was, as one voter quoted in a vox pop put it so succinctly, “I am going to vote Yes because we need the money and I don’t see us getting it anywhere else”. This is the surreal state we’re in: people voted Yes not in spite of their belief that Government is bullshitting when it says a second bailout is ludicrous but because they believe it is bullshitting. This is not “a loud expression of confidence in the Irish economy”, it is a loud expression of the belief that the Irish economy is likely to be on life-support for at least the rest of the decade. It is not “another reminder that Ireland is dealing effectively with its problems”, but an expression of grim fatalism. People, by and large, do not believe the policy of austerity for the poor and lavishness for dead banks (what should we call it – banksterity? austravagence?) is leading either to economic growth or to a restoration of sovereignty. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/0605/1224317295825.html Comments are closed.