This was the reaction of Marian Harkin MEP to today’s ‘Yes’ vote which, she said, had now to be used effectively by the Government to negotiate a sustainable resolution of Ireland’s sovereign and domestic debt.
She said: “Ireland’s debt position must now be dealt with in the context of changing attitudes in EU capitals. Europe-wide calls for a greater emphasis on growth grow louder by the day, and the evolving treatment of Spain and Greece clearly means that Ireland, having now enshrined the discipline of the Fiscal Treaty in its constitution, must be given a fresh hearing.
“This must involve a retrospective deal covering the recapitalisation of Ireland’s banks and the promissory notes. Ireland, having endorsed the Treaty and thus recognised the need for common rules for a common currency, must have this commitment acknowledged and any concessions given to Spain or any other EU country provided equally to Ireland.
“This Treaty is just one piece of the jigsaw puzzle, and while fiscal discipline and fiscal responsibility are part and parcel of being part of a common currency, these rules must be accompanied – and soon – by a growth compact and ideally a roadmap for project bonds, Eurobonds and some kind of redemption fund to bring down excessive debt.”
“I profoundly disagree with those on the ‘no’ side who claimed that rejecting the Treaty would give us more leverage for negotiating with our EU partners. In fact, I believe that this result – which represents a re-affirmation of Ireland’s belief in European values and the single European currency – will be our greatest negotiating asset when we next sit down to resolve our shared issues,” Marian Harkin MEP concluded.