March 2014        

They haven’t gone away, you know!

The usual spin from the Government proclaimed that Ireland has left the bail-out programme and that we have regained our sovereignty. This turns out to be no more than a puff of smoke. As Shakespeare said, all that glisters is not gold; and although the Troika had supposedly left Ireland, it now appears that this is not so, and this failed state will face a “post-bailout” review at the end of April.
     The Troika are still in charge, and the EU and IMF’s “post-programme monitoring” of the Irish economy and the implementation of Government policy will make sure everything is in line with the needs of the EU and the IMF.
     The EU Commission will lay down its plans for the Irish people in this surveillance. The government will be subject to two review missions from the EU and IMF every year until three-quarters of the state’s bail-out loans are paid back. The last ESM instalment is scheduled to be repaid in 2042.
     In spite of the earlier spin from the Government, these six-monthly reviews will form part of the EU’s regular economic surveillance and control of member-states’ economies. Ireland’s post-programme surveillance will be a separate procedure. A written report and analysis will be compiled after each review, which is then expected to be published and furnished to euro-zone finance ministers.
     It has now also come to light that the IMF has a permanent representative here, Peter Breuer, to monitor the Government’s economic policy, to ensure compliance with the IMF’s conditions, and to see that austerity is applied permanently, so protecting the interests of global banks and transnational corporations. Breuer has stated that the IMF’s post-programme monitoring will also take place twice a year, to coincide with the EU’s programme.

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