Poll shows a stiffening of support for the Fiscal Compact…

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…


  • Alias

    There was never any doubt that the Irish would vote to surrender their fiscal sovereignty to the EU, so these steamroller polls are all redundant.

    They always put self-interest before national interest, so if they believe that their ATMs will note deliver notes due to a No vote then they’ll vote Yes on the basis that a hundred years of sovereignty isn’t worth a few months of inconvenience. That’s post-nationalism in practice.

    With Lisbon 2, their bluff was called when the government told them a No vote would hit their pockets (Vote Yes for Jobs) and this time round they absolutely believe it.

    I’d be surprised if the Nos get above 30%. The eurogombeens and bogtrotters have it in the bag.

  • Zig70

    Maybe Enda should do a Dev and ask Gerry to lead negotiating the debt restructuring on Anglo. The Nordies are probably less impressed with Irelands negotiating with Troika after living through years of talks and missed deadlines. Maybe the Irish realize you can’t predict how this Euro/bank experiment will play out. So you freeze and leave it to others you hope know better. The bit that I don’t understand is when people say the Irish don’t have a strong negotiating hand. To me the ability to bring the whole euro region to financial collapse is a pretty good hand.

  • Mick Fealty


    How would that work exactly? I know that this is what a lot of British Eurosceptics are hoping for, but I don’t see how Ireland can do that, given the current structure of play.

    It’s best ‘hope’ for that kind of outcome is to set up a contagion effect. But outside friend alias, I don’t sense that many in Ireland want that outcome.

  • Alias

    “The bit that I don’t understand is when people say the Irish don’t have a strong negotiating hand. To me the ability to bring the whole euro region to financial collapse is a pretty good hand.”

    What you don’t understand is why the Irish don’t act to promote own national interest, right? But if promoting their own national interest was a factor at government level, wouldn’t that have excluded the underwriting of debts that belonged to eurosystem banks?

    The government is not acting in the national interest because it forfeited that obligation in respect of the derogated sovereign powers when the Maastricht treaty was ratified. It is now constitutionally obligated to act to promote the ‘common good’ of the EU.

    When the government pays lip service to “the national interest” it is only to avoid the glaring contradiction between its actions in indenturing the nation to eurosystem bondholders and Article 6 of the Irish constitution. They resolve this contradiction by claiming that it promotes the “common good” of the Irish nation for its state to promote the common good of the EU.

    For example, when the government will says that it is acting on the advice of the Governor of the Irish Central Bank in these matters, the people assume that the Governor of the Irish Central Bank is acting in the Irish national interest as they assume the government is. However, neither party is acting to promote the redundant national interest.

    Here is Article 107 of the Maastricht treaty:

    When exercising the powers and carrying out the tasks and duties conferred upon them by this Treaty and the Statute of the ESCB, neither the ECB, nor a national central bank, nor any member of their decision-making bodies shall seek or take instructions from Community institutions or bodies, from any government of a Member State or from any other body. The Community institutions and bodies and the governments of the Member States undertake to respect this principle and not seek to influence the members of the decision-making bodies of the ECB or of the national central banks in the performance of their tasks.”

    In other words, the Irish Central Bank is an executive instrument of the ECB and takes its policy and guidelines from the ECB. It is now unconstitutional for the Irish government to offer any advice to the Irish Central Bank and for the Irish Central Bank to promote the Irish national interest. It must act exclusively to promote the ECB’s interests, which in turn must promote the EU’s interests. Therefore, any advice that the Irish Central Bank offers to the government to underwrite eurosystem debts is advice that is offered for the express purpose of promoting the EU’s interests, not the redundant national interest.

    The reality is that no party is representing the Irish national interest here, and that is why you’re up sh*t creek without a paddle.