Interesting to note that since the referendum was announced support for the fiscal compact has stiffen considerable since the Sunday Business Post last polled on the matter in late January, when yes shaded it by 53 to 47. With the announcement that widens to 60-40:
What’s interesting to see how the trend goes. This is not likely to be like either of the Lisbon debates, a document which was obscure and argument hard to follow or even verify. Not signing the fiscal compact has immediate implications for Ireland alone that hard to avoid.
It would not, as pointed out here previously, automatically mean that Ireland leaves the Eurozone. But it would mean a search for funding on the bond market that without either a substantial haircut on the bank debt, or in the worst case scenario a full scale default.
Lisbon for all it represented a revolt first time round, the result of the second demonstrated some of the economic vulnerablity felt by the country:
Colm McCarthy further underlines the objective weakness of the those advocating a No vote:
The country is subject to objective reality, rules or no rules. The objective reality is that the Government is bust, unable to borrow from volunteer lenders and reliant on the goodwill and forbearance of the EU and the IMF.
The banks are also bust and would close tomorrow without the support of their foreign owners or, in the case of the domestic banks, the provision of credit from the European Central Bank.
Objective reality cannot, unfortunately, be suspended through referendum. Nor can the decision to abolish the Irish currency and join Europe’s ill-designed and unreformed currency union back in 1999. The bank bondholders, rashly guaranteed in the autumn of 2008, have largely been paid. None of this can be undone by voting against the treaty.
Sinn Fein will line up against, regardless of ‘objective reality’ (its residual, ‘No is good for publicity’ stance).
The two government parties will continue to calm they are negotiating to get some restructuring of the debt from the now long dead Irish Anglo Bank,
And Fianna Fail will play its constructive opposition (which means attacking on the things it did not have it’s fingers on in the last government.
No one, but no one thinks the compact will sort the basic problems out. But you could argue that it was never intended to. It will test the political will of all countries in the Eurozone to make a conscious decision whether to to stay on board or jump off…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty