In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett, People Before Profit TD and Finance spokesperson for the United Left Alliance, noted that Ireland would be obliged to pay €11.1 billion to the ESM fund in order to help set up the fund. ESM members are required to pay the required amount of paid-in capital within the first five years from the ESM’s creation or even sooner – as per the modified ESM Treaty with under article 41(3) can accelerate the payment process even further. The state will be legally obliged to the ESM for €11.13billion: €1.28billion in cash and the rest in the form of callable capital and guarantees.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said: “The Taoiseach keeps claiming that we must vote for the fiscal treaty as an insurance policy in case we need ESM funding in the future. This is utter nonsense. Signing up to the ESM will cost this country €11.1 billion and will provide no insurance for the citizens of this country against further austerity. Rather it is an insurance policy for European banks and bondholders paid for through brutal austerity being imposed on ordinary citizens in this country and across Europe. The ESM Treaty could enter into force as early as July 2012, which means that Ireland could very soon become obliged to begin paying that €11.1 billion which we would have signed up to if the Fiscal Treaty is ratified.”
“The government keeps chastising those opposed to the Treaty by asking ‘where will we get the money otherwise?’ Well, where exactly do they plan to get the €11.1 billion that they will need to pour into the ESM fund? We will obviously have to borrow that money, only to give it to our lenders, who will then lend it back to us again. The whole set up is so absurd it beggars belief.”
“Not only that, but lending to Ireland will take place under strict economic policy conditions. If we don’t implement the further drastic austerity set out in the Fiscal Compact, then we won’t even be eligible to borrow our own money.”
“This absurdity is taking place for the simple reason of imposing more austerity and thereby guaranteeing the ongoing repayment of the gambling debts of banks and international speculators.”
Richard Boyd Barrett also said: “There are also many other worrying aspects about the ESM which the government are deceptively suggesting will be our savior in the case of future funding difficulties.
For example, there a clause in the ESM Treaty demanding that the ESM ‘cooperate very closely’ with the IMF at a ‘technical level’ It is stated clearly in the ESM Treaty that private sector involvement will play a role in providing what is deceivingly termed as ‘stability support’. In plain English this means that the ESM Treaty, like the IMF, will aggressively seek to privatize anything that moves.”
“Irish Water, which is being set up to oversee the distribution of water services, is the first step towards the privatization of our water, as was done in the UK, in France and in Spain.”
“It is imperative that people take the time to join the dots and recognize that the first step in opposing the disastrous agenda of austerity and resisting the privatization of our natural assets and resources is to reject this treaty.”