From Goldhawk at Phoenix Magazine, December 3, 2010, pp.3-4 – The National Interest: Why this Budget Must Be Defeated (subscription required – or just buy it in your newsagent):
This economic death warrant planned by the government now faces the elected members of the Oireachtas who must debate and hopefully reject the budget next week in what is, effectively, a precondition for implementation of the so-called ‘bailout’.
It may be the most important Dáil session since the Treaty debates 90 years ago. But while some in the media, many moderate economists and much of the public have excoriated the agreement, the main Opposition party, Fine Gael, as well as highly vocal Fianna Fáil dissidents and various Independents are prevaricating about whether or not to oppose the budget.
The budget must be voted down for two very simple reasons. Firstly, because it will then provide the only opportunity that is possible to renegotiate the iniquitous conditions of this ‘bail-out’. Secondly, it will rid the country of an administration that is patently incapable of negotiating a fair, sensible and workable solution to a temporary problem, the roots of which may be Irish but the blame for which must be accepted partly by our European “partners”…
… What can be so difficult about opposing the most damaging ‘agreement’ foisted on the Irish since the Treaty of Limerick? The phrase ‘national interest’ is one that springs to the lips of FG politicians almost daily and the party’s spokespersons have excoriated the agreement in emotional terms. So what is there to agonise about?
Could it be that the most pro-European party in the State shrinks from offending Euroland bureaucrats, bankers and their political counterparts in the EU? …
As for Fianna Fáil:
If the FF rebels had any real political nous they might realise that an entire generation of Irish voters would thank any of them who had the courage to stand up for their country and what indeed is the “national interest”.
Goldhawk breaks down “The so-called ‘bail-out’” – and “the real scandal” of the EFSF and EFSM – as follows:
Total borrowing – €60,500,000,000 – from:
- International Monetary Fund (IMF): €22,500,000,000; repayments start @ 4.5 years, end after 10 years; uniform interest rate, weighted average of US, Japanese, UK, Euro-state bond yields = 3.12% for first 3 years, approximately 4% afterwards. Goldhawk: “… transparent and conform to established precedents. And at least the IMF doesn’t aim to profit from the borrowers in need of their assistance.”
- European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF): €17,500,000,000; “Service Fee”: €88,000,000; Margin (profit): €4,000,000,000! Goldhawk: “Regling and his sharks in Luxembourg will be ripping out €4bn of the €17.5bn before it even gets to Dublin, while charging interest rate on the full whack!”
- European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM): €22,500,000,000; Allegedly “on terms and conditions similar to the IMF”; Greece – 5.2%; Ireland – 5.7%!
As every schoolboy knows, the Irish banks could not have run wild had they not been flooded with funds from the European (especially German) banks – with some subordinated bondholders pulling down a 13% interest rate for their money. Now the Paddies are to pay back every cent to those financiers, although their loans to the banks were commercial, indeed speculative, and certainly not sovereign. We are doing the honourable thing and playing our part to prevent the spread of the dreaded contagion in the euro zone. And what do we get in return? A profiteering kick in the teeth from the selfsame bankers that we have so honourably saved from their own foolishness.
It is in the national interest to throw out this budget – and the truly appalling administration with it.