Martin tells Taoiseach that latest deal insufficient and presses him on bank debt

Published on: 13 December 2011

In a briefing this morning, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin has told the Taoiseach that Europe’s political leaders are failing to address the core issues at the heart of the crisis in the Eurozone and urged him to ensure that the critical issue of Ireland’s bank debt be kept front and centre in Ireland’s dealings with Europe.

Deputy Martin said: “The point that I have been making for many months is that by focussing on fiscal controls rather than debt, the EU is failing to address the crisis at hand and may actually be making matters worse. The outcome of this latest Summit has just continued that trend, with the split it has caused possibly leading to another crisis.

“When speaking to the Taoiseach this morning, I made three key three points:

-That EU Leaders, including the Taoiseach, were concentrating on the wrong issue and that the summit itself did not address the core crisis, namely how do we restore confidence in European sovereign debt.

-That Irish bank debt remains the biggest threat to this country and sustainability must remain central in the Government’s interaction with Europe.

– That the Irish people should be allowed to speak on these new arrangements through a referendum. There is no reason to wait to make a decision on this.

Deputy Martin continued, “Ireland is at a disadvantage with Britain withdrawing from the table on this occasion. I did ask the Taoiseach why Ireland did not consider supporting the British view that there was no need for a new treaty and that what is being proposed could have been dealt with through changes to existing treaties. Ireland and Britain have much in common and would have found common cause in previous negotiations on a wide range of issues. Ireland is not best served by having one less ally in the discussions.

“I told the Taoiseach that I felt this summit was rushed and that there did not appear to be sufficient preparation in advance to develop a coherent Irish position. I also asked the Taoiseach to publish the Economic Impact Assessments that have been done on the impact of the deal on the Irish economy.”

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