A drafting error in the Fiscal Compact?

Eagle-eyed, Cormac Lucey:

Article 4 states that countries with government debt levels above 60% of GDP must reduce that “at an average rate of one twentieth per year”. But those who signed the Treaty appear to have intended that countries with government debt levels above 60% of GDP must reduce that at an average rate of one twentieth per year of the excess over 60% of GDP as Council Regulation (EU) No. 1177/2011 makes clear.

The implications of this difference could be quite significant. If a country’s debt was 80% of GDP the Treaty, as currently drafted, would require it to reduce its debt by 4% (80%/20) of GDP each year when it is generally believed  – apparently by the Referendum Commission too – that the Treaty intended that the country should reduce its debt by 1% ({80%-60%}/20)of GDP each year.

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  • cynic2

    The mark of a hurried bodge up

  • aquifer

    ‘must reduce it at an AVERAGE rate of…’

    So we can have bad years and good years, with lots of bad ones first.

  • Mick Fealty

    The those terms it is pretty much unenforceable in any timely way….. Though I guess it could open the government up to a Supreme Court challenge in retrospect…

    Less an error than an intention to create the appearance of wanting to do something…

  • wee buns

    Funny you should say that Mick – a conversation took place (admittedly it was late on Patrick’s night) on the question of why on earth did Enda & Co. agree to this ‘blackmail clause’ knowing a referendum may sink the treaty? It was suggested that maybe, just maybe, our bold Mayo symposiarch and his cohorts are executors of a canny game of pretense co-operation with the euro overlords, by signing a flawed treaty that the people will almost certainly reject – unconstitutional and untenable as it is ….

    Or – just another bureaucratic balls up. My erroneous copy came through the door today.

  • Alias

    “our bold Mayo symposiarch and his cohorts are executors of a canny game of pretense co-operation with the euro overlords”

    He has always been a low-rent europhile, so that’s just wishful thinking.

    The actual ‘canny’ game afoot is to lead the plebs who are opposed to (or in two minds about) the treaty to think that they can vote for it safe in the knowledge that they won’t be getting what they duly voted for and therefore they can set aside their opposition and worries and vote on the dotted line.

    The sad thing is that the gullible Irish will fall for the tricks as they always do. After they vote for it, there will be no more careful hints that they didn’t vote for it and won’t be getting it.

  • wee buns

    ‘He has always been a low-rent europhile, so that’s just wishful thinking.’

    You are kidding? It was the black stuff what thunk it – and you are of course correct, but given the unadulterated haemes FG have made so far….

    Cormac Lucey:
    ‘’the Referendum Commission explains what the drafters of the Treaty appear to have intended. But this is at variance with what the text of the Treaty actually says….’’

    SO much for impartiality of the Referendum Commission which has acted foremost as an interpreter of the text, not as factual analyst.
    Also three cheers for the ‘stability’ of the treaty’s ‘rules’.
    O ‘Cuiv should enjoy this. The bigger the union gets the more incompetent it becomes.