September 2012        


Which side are ye on?

“In autumn 2011 British Chancellor George Osborne, perhaps prompted by Washington, stated that the euro zone should move towards a fiscal union, with supranational control on budgets, taxes and public spending in order to shore up the euro, but that Britain would not be joining that. This marked an important change in British government policy, which has sought since 1961 to be at the heart of the EU, sharing basic EU policy-making with Germany and France. If the Irish State goes along with moves towards a euro-zone fiscal union, while the North of Ireland stays with sterling, it will deepen significantly the political-economic border between North and South in Ireland. Why should Northern Nationalists or Unionists ever consider aspiring to a united Ireland when it would essentially mean exchanging rule from London with rule from Berlin and Frankfurt? Those who style themselves Republicans should ask themselves this question.”
     This is an extract from “Ireland and the euro-zone crisis” (July 2012) by Anthony Coughlan, given to this writer at a debate on the EU in Connolly House.
     The contradictions are even more stark when one considers an article written by Eoin Ó Broin, political adviser to Pearse Doherty TD of Sinn Féin. In an article in which Ó Broin was attacking Stephen Collins of the Irish Times, published on the well-known political web site www.irishleftreview.org on 3 January, he stated: “I am not opposed to the Euro or continued Irish membership of it. Indeed my desire to see the currency stabilised is part of the reason why I and many others are opposed to the measures contained in the treaty.”
     It seems that the republicans of Sinn Féin need to work out what they really stand for in terms of Europe and Irish sovereignty, and they need to find out soon.
[PD]

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