Let the public decide on debt

Off the fence
Let the public decide on debt

Off the fence

Eoghan O'Neill

The Government plans to pump billions more into failed institutions and to establish two new banks, to be made out of Bank of Ireland and AIB.
This does nothing for the debt crisis, both sovereign and personal. It will do nothing to increase lending to small businesses. It will do nothing to protect family mortgages and savings. It will do nothing to help young couples wishing to buy a house at a reasonable price.
The results of the bank ‘stress tests’ last week reveal the growing cost of the recapitalisation of the failed banking system in this state. A possible further €24 billion will bring the total cost of recapitalising the banks to €70 billion. That’s the estimate for now.
This crisis is broadly being described as the costliest crisis in history; but the question must be asked, Costliest for whom? For senior bondholders—those with capital? No! It is most costly for ordinary working people, their families, and future generations.
Senior bond-holders are not being made to pay, because the European Union says they should not. The European Central Bank stated on the eve of this day of stress for working people that this Government must not respond to popular demands. It cannot represent working people; it cannot represent its electorate. It cannot resort to populism and make senior bond-holders pay, because senior bond-holders are German, French, British and Dutch banks.
The ECB is telling the Irish people that those banks that irresponsibly lent to Irish banks, and flooded peripheral markets in Europe with cheap credit that they could not dispose of in their own economies, cannot be made to pay for the crisis they in part created. Instead, working people must bear the brunt of their disastrous and reckless lending.
The Government’s plan does not represent the interests of the people of this country: it represents the needs of the euro and those greedy institutions and individuals that make billions out of it. It represents the needs of big European finance houses.
Michael Noonan affirmed that Fine Gael and the Labour Party are fully committed to the imposed EU-IMF control of this country, that they are obedient servants of the EU, that they are fully committed to selling off essential Irish assets and companies, to privatising public services, to cuts, and to more job losses.
Today moves Ireland several steps closer to the brink. The only fair way back is to repudiate the debt that is not ours, to make those responsible pay, and to regain control over our economy.
We demand that the people be given the opportunity to vote in a referendum on this massive imposition of corporate debt on this and future generations.

Eoghan O’Neill is Secretary of the Repudiate the Debt Campaign