Wednesday, 20 June 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
During Committee Stage last week I indicated I would bring forward on Report Stage amendments to the Irish language version of the treaty, as held by the European Commission. The amendments are necessary to ensure consistency of the Irish translation of the treaty with other language translations and to correct grammatical and typographical errors in the Irish version. In the course of preparing the European Stability Mechanism Bill 2012 it emerged that some corrections were required to the Irish language version of the treaty, as held by the European Commission. Before correcting the Irish version of the European Stability Mechanism treaty attached to the Bill, the Irish version of the treaty held by the European Commission had to be amended. The method of correction is known as procès-verbal of rectification, PV. The PV procedure is a simplified process of rectification of the text of the treaties where an error being corrected does not involve a substantive change to the treaties and the contracting states are agreed that there is an error that can be corrected as proposed. It is not a procedure for amending the treaty. In the case of the EU treaties, the procès-verbal is conducted by way of written procedures, where the ratification is made once member states indicate they have no issue with the proposed amendment. This procedure has been completed and the Irish version of the ESM treaty has been corrected. Amendments Nos. 1 to 17, inclusive, will carry through these corrections into the Irish version of the treaty set out in Part 1 of the Schedule to the Bill.
|An Comhalta de SCE||Líon na scaireanna||Suibscríobh caipitiúil (EUR)|
Deputy Joe Higgins: The Order of Business seems to have finished earlier than usual. Perhaps some spokespersons were caught short, although I am not too sure. It might have been an idea to suspend the sitting for five minutes as a consequence.
Deputy Joe Higgins: I repeat my outright opposition to the Bill which I opposed on the earlier Stages. It is clear that it represents a continuation of the general policy of the European Union and the European Central Bank to offload the consequences of the crisis within the European financial markets onto the shoulders of working and poor people throughout the Union. That policy which has been most notably implemented up to now in what are referred to as the peripheral states, including Greece, Portugal and Ireland, has had disastrous consequences for the economies of these countries, the living standards of the peoples concerned, public services and many other aspects of life.
It is fundamentally unjust that a crisis of the financial system, which means a crisis brought about by the activities, speculation and workings of the major financial institutions, including hedge fund operators and speculators of various kinds, should result in a huge bill being presented to ordinary people throughout Europe. I refer to circumstances in which the financial system goes awry, as happened spectacularly in the past four or five years. The Bill, which is extraordinary, is continuing that policy. That the agency being set up is not subject to any judicial or real democratic check is absolutely incredible. While we do need a solidarity fund within Europe, the fund proposed is not a solidarity fund but involves a continuation of the predatory practices of the financial market system.
According to recent articles in The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, there is €2 trillion in uninvested profits sitting in the bank accounts of major corporations and private companies in the eurozone. There is a need for an emergency tax on these profits which have been made through the labours of ordinary people. That they have not been invested, at a time when there are 17 million or 18 million unemployed in the eurozone, is social criminality. We need an emergency tax on speculation in the financial markets throughout Europe and in that way to set up a genuine solidarity fund to be used for investment in society to create the millions of jobs needed to develop services and society to ensure the well-being of the majority, rather than continuing to cater for the private profits of speculators in the markets. This is a disastrous system which shows all of what is wrong with capitalism and how its financial policies are implemented. We need a clear alternative. Therefore, I oppose the Bill.
Deputy Pearse Doherty: Tá mise, fosta, ag cur in éadan an Bhille. Mar adúirt mé ar Chéim an Choiste, aontaíonn Sinn Féin gur chóir go mbeadh ionad i gcroílár na hEorpa inar féidir airgead práinneach a thabhairt do thíortha atá taobh amuigh des na margaidh idirnáisiúnta. Ach ní seo an t-ionad atá de dhíth.
Tá lochtanna iontach móra sa Bhille. Go háirithe, tá an t-airgead ag teacht ó thíortha a bhfuil cuid acu ag fáil airgid ón IMF agus ón ESFS iad féin, agus caithfidh na tíortha sin, Éire ina measc, airgead a chur isteach sa chiste seo sa dóigh is go mbeifear in ann airgead a thabhairt do bhancanna ar fud na Spáinne agus, b’fhéidir, san Iodáil agus sa tír seo, agus a leithéid. Ní bheidh buntáiste ar bith ag dul do ghnáth shaoránaigh ar fud na hÉireann agus ar fud na hEorpa. Tá an Bille iontach lochtach.
Léiríonn an Bille an locht agus an laige atá ar cheannairí na hEorpa agus iad ag déileáil leis na fadhbanna móra eacnamaíochta atá sa tír seo. Tá sé rí-shoiléir nach bhfuil seo ag dul i ngleic leis na fadhbanna sin. Má tá soiléireacht de dhíth orainn níl le déanamh ach féachaint ar an Spáinn, agus ar an mhaoiniú de €100 billiún, atá sí ag dul a fháil ón chiste seo fá choinne bainc mhóra na Spáinne. Feicimid an léamh atá ag na margaidh idirnáisiúnta ar an phróiseas. Is é sin, tá an ráta úis a bhfuil na margaidh idirnáisiúnta ag gearradh ar an Spáinn níos áirde ná mar is gá. Beidh an ráta céanna á ghearradh ar an Iodáil.
Ní bheidh an ciste seo mór go leor le dul i ngleic leis an fadhbanna sin. Sin an fáth go bhfuil dearcadh Shinn Féin air seo iontach soiléir. Is muide an chéad pháirtí, cé go bhfuil páirtithe eile anois den bharúil chéanna, adúirt go gcaithfidh go mbeidh an ECB ar an eagraíocht a chuirfidh an t-airgead práinneach seo ar fáil dos na tíortha agus dos na bainc ar fud na hEorpa. Caithfidh sin a tharla nuair a bhéas an pian roinnte amach.
I object to the passing of this legislation. It is crystal clear that it will not deal with the problems of Europe. It is wrong that Irish citizens should be asked to contribute to this fund to bail out banks in Spain and Ireland and, potentially, in other European countries such as Italy. Since it was conceived at European level, it is clear that the fund is neither big enough nor structured appropriately to deal with the problems being experienced here. If we need a crystal clear example, we need only look at what is happening in Spain where an injection of €100 billion in Spanish banks has not stemmed the tide of contagion, rather it has made it more difficult for the Spanish Government to borrow on international markets and the spillover will creep into Italy.
Sinn Féin has been consistent. The Minister has missed an opportunity. He should have used this as a bargaining tool to have the ECB as the lender of last resort. The ECB, not citizens of this or other European states, should be funding this vehicle and banks should only be funded when bondholders take a hit. The Minister stated yesterday in committee that he would like to see bondholders taking a hit. Therefore, this was an opportunity to join other countries, including Spain, which wanted to see a separation of sovereign and banking debt. It is neither right nor appropriate for the Minister to ask taxpayers to allow bondholders in Spain, like those in Ireland, to be paid in full, including some who bought bonds at a reduced rate of 40% or 50%——
Deputy Seamus Healy: I record my opposition to the Bill which is part and parcel of a policy, at European and national level, under which ordinary people, known as the coping classes, are being made pay in a recession that they had no hand, act or part in causing. Effectively, the private debts of bankers and bondholders are being placed on the backs of ordinary people, while very wealthy individuals are paying little or no tax; they certainly are not paying their fair share. There is little or no accountability or transparency in the European Stability Mechanism. It is wrong that there should be no legal, political or public accountability. On that basis, I am opposed to the Bill.
Deputy Michael McGrath: The bottom line is that before us is legislation which enables ratification by the State of the treaty. It is one we cannot change on our own and we must make a decision based on the merits of what is before us. I reiterate my party’s support for the Bill. The lending capacity of the ESM will in time be proved to be inadequate and the issue will have to be revisited, but we must make a decision based on the content of the treaty, as it stands. The European response to the banking crisis has been a spectacular failure and the sooner the issue of the link between sovereign and bank debt is revisited on a European-wide basis the better. It is inevitable that this will happen, it is only a matter of time. It is a pity the lessons are being learned slowly. My party advocates a much more open process in that regard. However, it supports the Bill. I wish the Minister well in his meeting with the euro group tomorrow and ECOFIN on Friday.
Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): We had a constructive debate on the importance of the European Stability Mechanism Bill as it passed through Second, Committee and Report Stages. I thank the Ceann Comhairle and the Deputies who contributed to the debate, as well as the officials involved in the passage of the Bill through the House.
Ireland’s ratification of the ESM treaty is important, not only to facilitate, in the public interest, the financial stability of the European Union by establishing the ESM but also to ensure in the future that Ireland will have access to a credible funding backdrop, should it ever be needed. This is important in terms of Ireland’s re-entry to the markets and leaving the EU-IMF programme of support.
I have stated on numerous occasions that this is a time for unity among euro area countries to ensure fiscal stability. I reiterate that Ireland must play its part and stand in solidarity with its fellow euro area members both in the interests of this country and the interests of stability in the euro area. Therefore, I urge Deputies to support the European Stability Mechanism Bill 2012 which I commend to the House.
|Barry, Tom.||Breen, Pat.|
|Broughan, Thomas P.||Burton, Joan.|
|Butler, Ray.||Buttimer, Jerry.|
|Byrne, Catherine.||Byrne, Eric.|
|Calleary, Dara.||Carey, Joe.|
|Coffey, Paudie.||Collins, Áine.|
|Collins, Niall.||Conaghan, Michael.|
|Conlan, Seán.||Connaughton, Paul J.|
|Conway, Ciara.||Coonan, Noel.|
|Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.||Coveney, Simon.|
|Creed, Michael.||Creighton, Lucinda.|
|Daly, Jim.||Deasy, John.|
|Deering, Pat.||Doherty, Regina.|
|Donnelly, Stephen S.||Donohoe, Paschal.|
|Dooley, Timmy.||Dowds, Robert.|
|Doyle, Andrew.||Durkan, Bernard J.|
|English, Damien.||Farrell, Alan.|
|Feighan, Frank.||Ferris, Anne.|
|Fitzpatrick, Peter.||Flanagan, Charles.|
|Flanagan, Terence.||Grealish, Noel.|
|Griffin, Brendan.||Hannigan, Dominic.|
|Harrington, Noel.||Harris, Simon.|
|Hayes, Brian.||Hayes, Tom.|
|Healy-Rae, Michael.||Heydon, Martin.|
|Howlin, Brendan.||Humphreys, Heather.|
|Humphreys, Kevin.||Keating, Derek.|
|Keaveney, Colm.||Kehoe, Paul.|
|Kelleher, Billy.||Kelly, Alan.|
|Kenny, Seán.||Kyne, Seán.|
|Lawlor, Anthony.||Lynch, Ciarán.|
|Lyons, John.||McCarthy, Michael.|
|McConalogue, Charlie.||McEntee, Shane.|
|McFadden, Nicky.||McGinley, Dinny.|
|McGrath, Mattie.||McGrath, Michael.|
|McHugh, Joe.||McLoughlin, Tony.|
|McNamara, Michael.||Maloney, Eamonn.|
|Martin, Micheál.||Mathews, Peter.|
|Mitchell, Olivia.||Mitchell O’Connor, Mary.|
|Moynihan, Michael.||Murphy, Dara.|
|Murphy, Eoghan.||Nash, Gerald.|
|Naughten, Denis.||Neville, Dan.|
|Nolan, Derek.||Noonan, Michael.|
|Ó Cuív, Éamon.||Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.|
|Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.||O’Dea, Willie.|
|O’Donnell, Kieran.||O’Donovan, Patrick.|
|O’Dowd, Fergus.||O’Mahony, John.|
|O’Reilly, Joe.||O’Sullivan, Jan.|
|Penrose, Willie.||Perry, John.|
|Phelan, Ann.||Phelan, John Paul.|
|Reilly, James.||Ring, Michael.|
|Shatter, Alan.||Sherlock, Sean.|
|Shortall, Róisín.||Smith, Brendan.|
|Spring, Arthur.||Stagg, Emmet.|
|Stanton, David.||Timmins, Billy.|
|Troy, Robert.||Tuffy, Joanna.|
|Varadkar, Leo.||Wall, Jack.|
|Walsh, Brian.||White, Alex.|
|Adams, Gerry.||Colreavy, Michael.|
|Crowe, Seán.||Daly, Clare.|
|Doherty, Pearse.||Ellis, Dessie.|
|Ferris, Martin.||Fleming, Tom.|
|Halligan, John.||Healy, Seamus.|
|Higgins, Joe.||Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.|
|McDonald, Mary Lou.||McGrath, Finian.|
|McLellan, Sandra.||Murphy, Catherine.|
|Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.||O’Brien, Jonathan.|
|Ross, Shane.||Stanley, Brian.|
|Tóibín, Peadar.||Wallace, Mick.|
|Last Updated: 10/01/2013 11:01:26||Page of 164|