Did Taoiseach submit #Budget2012 to Berlin for approval?

The Irish government is under pressure this evening as it is having to deny Press Association reported rumours that it has allowed the German government to inspect the budget before it is brought to the Dáil next month (i.e. well before the democractically members of Oireachtas get to see it). The Irish Independent says that Reuters also had the same story, prompting swift denials from Government officials today.

With market driven crises prompting the replacement of existing leaders with technocrats in Italy and Greece, it may be that the current government may be looking over their shoulders. The NY Times take on the current developments may also have struck an awkwardly familiar note: 

On the surface, Greece and Italy seem remarkably alike. Both countries have entrenched patronage networks that predate the European Union by centuries and suffocating regulations and work rules.

So, anyone know any technocrats in need of a job?



Now Bloomberg are reporting that they obtained the draft budget documents from the German government.

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  • non-story the already debunked

    this is ireland’s version of they took r jwbs!, herr brr grumble mumble

  • John Ó Néill

    Bloomberg News are reporting that they have obtained the draft budget documents from the German government so someone isn’t being truthful here.

  • sherdy

    Everybody seems to have seen the document but the TDs in Dublin. Reminiscent of nervy pupil Enda showing his homework to his strict mother Angela for approval, before he’s allowed to submit in Dail school. Whatever marks Angela gave him for effort (no, not Marks) he will lose in class for carelessness in being caught on.

  • Nobody’s caught Phil Hogan “holidaying” in Berlin have they?

  • Comrade Stalin


    You might be able to clear something up for me. I remember Fianna Fáil’s penultimate budget, where the major tax hikes were introduced. At the time the finance minister indicated that there would be some sort of escalator for VAT rates; they’ve gone up once already and they were due to go up again. So why is everyone acting as if this is news ?

  • John Ó Néill

    CS – because (despite lostexpectation’s protests above) the Dail’s finance committee flipped out when it heard about this during the afternoon. The detail apparently available to Bundestag members is greater than anything offered to Oireachtas members. The defence earlier was that all this was in the public domain. On RTE Radio 1 this evening the government defence had moved on to that this was a document passed to the troika that they had leaked to the Bundestag (which was greeted with even greater derision).

    I think this is really a storm in a teacup (did anyone think loss of economic sovereignty would mean any different) but there have been a huge number of budget kites flown over the last week or so and, from the governments point of view, it makes them look pretty daft.

  • Alias

    “I think this is really a storm in a teacup”

    That depends on how the public feel about the Germans hiking VAT on Irish consumer goods so that the public can bail-out German bankers and keep their fräulein mistresses coming back for more.

  • aquifer

    ‘Real Politik’ is in German, no?

    Showing the Germans your books sounds fair enough when you are going to keep asking them for huge loans.

    Better that than lose low corporation tax and inward multinational investment.

    ‘Ourselves alone’ does not take you far economically.

    Remember the Provos, sponsored by imported petrochemicals Arab dictators and sentimental Americans.

  • SethS

    Once again, it’s all about the denial. It is not credible in the least for the government to suggest that this was done without their knowledge.

  • Neville Bagnall

    Missed most of this as outside EU for last few days. But my summary would be:

    Irish Government outlines general spending and revenue plans. As part of EFSF/EFSM these are meant to be circulated to all euro members. As part of ESM all euro members would be required to do this (so Irish Parliament would get to examine German plans). Not sure if non-bailout countries have to do it under EFSF/EFSM. This is the sort of information that appears in spending reviews, policy papers, revenue reports and economic outlooks (i.e. the sort of public information that is used to evaluate a government and economy or examined by a Public Accounts Committee)

    Irish Government outlines detailed plans/options to Troika. As part of bailout it is required to do this. These are not meant to be circulated to other euro members.

    European Commission is secretariat member of both EFSF and Troika.

    Documents get mixed and some detailed documents are leaked from Troika files into EFSF/EFSM files and distributed by E.C.

    As per German Law, what the German Government gets to see in relation to the EFSF/EFSM, the Bundestag gets to see.

    German MPs do their job and examine the documents they are given.

    Misunderstandings, allegations and outrage ensue.

    It is a serious issue that confidential budgetary documents leaked from the Irish Budgetary Process (which now includes the Troika).
    It would be illegal if the Troika members had signed the Official Secrets Act, but I somehow doubt they have.
    It also amazes me that it appears documents in that process are not explicitly marked with approved circulation lists.

    There is an element of storm in teacup – I think everything in the documents has already been flagged publicly. But its more important than that. There is not a sufficiently robust document control policy at a time when leaked documents could be a world market event.

    It is pretty infuriating that members of the German Budgetary Committee don’t seem to recognise the difference between a general strategic commitment preview and review process, versus signing off on specific tactical measures for achievement.

    The ESM process is supposed to be about the former, not the latter.

  • it was already announced earlier this month, the whole story is based on the the 2% vat raise been seen by German politicians before ours but which Noonan already highlighted.

  • OneNI

    It gets worse. What will Chancellor Merkel say when she finds out that Naughty Enda has said he will give £43m to build a road …. in David Cameron’s UK!!!!
    Cant see the the Bundestag agreeing to that one – sorry Marty

  • I think this is really a storm in a teacup ….. John Ó Néill 17 November 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Yes, quite, if bold faced lying to a nation to save face and present yourself as an idiot imagining that such a deceit was wise and that of a leader, is your forte, John. Most sane folk though would think otherwise and realise the country was sold down the river for a song. Well, a fistful of dollars/euros/punts/pounds easily printed and invented out of practically and virtually nothing actually, for that is how easy ponzi wealth is magicked into the system for its banksters and their dodgy friends to purchase whatever idiots think is wise.

    Methinks this squirmish is only the start of a season of fantastic upheavals and perfect storms which will wash away all fake structures which would presume to be bedrock based ….. and let’s have a drink to that.

    Sugar? Milk, John? Or can I tempt you with something stronger and alcoholic?

  • It is a storm in a teacup. What is more, nobody is interested in what’s on the side plate, let alone the rest of the table.

    The rest of the table is full of the awful economic news around Europe. In the end though, it will be Angela Merkel who will face the largest amount of political embarassment. She wont commit the Germans to underwriting the debts of other European nations just yet but it will have to be done, just the same. The Germans will wait as long as possible until they have got whatever concessions they want from other countries. The Italians and the Greeks are being forced into line. The Irish?
    Well, next to other European debtor nations, they are like good children in the kindergarten. They have done all that have been asked of them and more.

    And once Germany eventually does its “u” turn, a sense of economic optimism would return. As for Ireland’s outlook, all the ‘ducks are in a row.’ Provided the European economic turbulence subsides, the Irish national budget is set to be in surplus by 2013. That would give Enda Kenny two years of economic optimism going into the next Irish General election.

    So you see, a little story like this, really is just an insignificant dot, whereas what the Germans do is a gigantic Jupiter and if giving all of Ireland’s financial policy secrets was the price of getting the Germans to support Eurobonds, Enda & Co. would hand them over ‘at the drop of a hat’ and he wouldn’t ‘care a monkeys’ if RTE or the Irish Times “gawked” over the fact.

  • Alias

    “So you see, a little story like this, really is just an insignificant dot, whereas what the Germans do is a gigantic Jupiter and if giving all of Ireland’s financial policy secrets was the price of getting the Germans to support Eurobonds, Enda & Co. would hand them over ‘at the drop of a hat’ and he wouldn’t ‘care a monkeys’ if RTE or the Irish Times “gawked” over the fact.”

    Close but no cigar. A eurobond is of no use to Ireland. The 60% of GDP rule set out in the GDP will still apply, so cheap lending is only an advantage to those states who are not debt-laden and ergo do not have to borrow at unaffordable rates. In other words, if you need a eurobond you are excluded from its benefits, and if you don’t need it then it is of no benefit to you anyway. Ireland, for example, would have to reduce its debt by half before it could avail of a eurobond’s cheaper rate. By that time, with a ratio of less than 60%, it could borrow cheaply anywhere else.

    So who does it benefit? Nobody other than the europhiles who see it as an opportunity to grap more fiscal power from member states. You will note that the first concern of our eurogombeen class is for the welfare of the EU, with the welfare of the nation somehwere far down the list:

    “We look forward to the commission’s proposals with great anticipation,” Ireland’s Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton, said in a statement.

    “The crisis in the euro zone requires brave and unprecedented action. The solidarity involved in a eurobond system would go a long way to stabilising the markets and ensuring the survival of the euro currency,” she said.

  • Alias

    Typo: “The 60% of GDP rule set out in the GSP (growth and stability pact) will still apply…”

  • IrelandNorth

    I suspect he probably did. Indeed, had to! Even the dogs on the street now know that the IMF/ECB, (the monetary wing of the US/EU), have this increasingly unfree state by the economic short ‘n’ curleys. Isn’t it ironic that the power ‘the Brits’ were perennially paranoid about us defecting to over the millenia is now the one we are now a economic colony of? What a difference a century makes. But then, better to get the banking classes to deliver up a nation, than having to invade with tanks and guns and all that mess.