Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just what needs rescuing here?

The Irish government are still trying to resist the pressure from the EU to accept an economic "bailout". The Irish say that they don't need it and haven't asked for it, but the EU says they do and if piling on intense pressure to force the Irish to accept.

It's not the first time in recent years that the Irish government have come under intense pressure from the EU. After the Irish people rejected the Lisbon Treaty through a referendum, the EU forced the Irish government into holding a second referendum with barely concealed threats that a failure to gain acceptance for the Lisbon Treaty would hold dire consequences. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Now they are being pushed into accepting loans they don't want. Worse still, they are being forced to do this not to rescue the Irish economy - no, this has nothing to do with Ireland except superficially.

This is about rescuing the euro. Unless Ireland accepts this bailout there is a very strong possibility - no, strong likelihood that Ireland will leave the euro. And once Ireland leaves it is likely that others - notably Greece, Portugal and Spain - will follow. The leaders of the EU know this and this is why they are trying to force Ireland to accept the bailout.

Of course, they can do this because it isn't their money they are throwing around left, right and centre - it's our money. It's very easy to chuck other peoples money down the drain - especially when those people have no say and no way of holding those doing the chucking to account.

If Ireland accepts this loan they will be crushed entirely as an independent nation. Their economy will be controlled almost entirely by faceless and unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, Strasbourg, Paris and Berlin. At the very least they will be forced to increase their corporation tax - the mechanism by which they attract the investment which enabled the Celtic Tiger to be born.

The alternative for the Irish government would be to pull out of the euro - but then they'd have to go through the pains of recreating their own currency - not an inexpensive business at the best of times, but even tougher when your banking system is on the verge of collapse.

However, there is another option - accept the pound as their currency. In comparison to starting their own currency this would be relatively straightforward to do and their would be benefits for both nations.

Of course, it won't happen. For starters, our government would not do anything that might upset their EU masters and secondly there might be just too much baggage between Ireland and Britain for the Irish people to accept such an arrangement.

So, Ireland will concede to the dictations of the EU - and in that lies a certain irony. After less than 100 years of independence, Ireland will have become a dependency and more subservient to the EU rule than it ever was to British rule.

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

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