Karen Coleman: Fiscal compact will pave the way for years of austerity
Published 03/02/2012 | 05:00
Remember Helmut from last week? He was the German plumber from Bavaria I mentioned who resented the tax increases he faced to fund the bailouts for failed entities like Greece and Ireland. And his disgruntlement deepened when he got clarification last week that the Irish had brought their current miseries upon themselves with their greed and over-spending.
There it was laid bare by Chancellor Enda Kenny: the Irish went mad and lost the run of themselves buying up all around them while he kept an eye on the purse strings and avoided the Gucci bags and the SUVs, the holiday homes in Turkey and the shopping trips to New York. No wonder Helmut was annoyed.
But things may be looking up for Helmut with the launch of the latest weapon from the arsenal of EU treaties. This particular missile -- codename, the fiscal compact -- is a short document that's been brokered in record time and it's due to come into force next year if ratified by 12 or more countries. The UK and Czech Republic are staying out of it.