Monday 20 January 2020

Fiscal Treaty: No other funding for Ireland if it’s rejected says Eamon Gilmore

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore

Independent.ie reporters

TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore today rejected claims that Ireland will have access to alternative funding if next month’s fiscal treaty is rejected.

Mr Gilmore was responding on Radio 1’s Morning Ireland to comments made by NUI Galway economics professor Terrence McDonough who said: “Europe is not actually going to ultimately deny Ireland funding. Ireland is small, but scary. Europe did not allow us to let a bank go down.

“I think there will be funds available outside of the ESM (European Stability Mechanism).”

Mr Gilmore disagreed strongly saying: “The EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) is going to be overtaken by the ESM and it won’t be possible for new applications to be made to the ESF once the ESM comes into operation.

“And he seemed to be suggesting that somehow, somewhere somebody would come to our assistance.”

Mr Gilmore also rejected criticism of Central Bank Governor, Professor Patrick Honohan’s entry into the debate advocating a Yes vote, saying he is free to express his views as he in independent of government

“What Governor Honohan is doing is providing advice to us citizens about the content of the treaty,” he said. “It seems to me Sinn Fein want to censor him, just like they misquoted the other three economists they misquoted in their leaflet.”

Finance Minister Michael Noonan also insisted the governor of the Central Bank is free to give his views on the European fiscal treaty.

Mr Noonan said: "Patrick Honohan is independent as governor of the Central Bank and is quite free to express his view.

"He does not require permission from the Government and he does not seek and we do not give him advice as governor of the Central Bank.

"There was a lot of criticism at the time of the financial crisis that the regulators and governors didn't speak out. I'd find it a wee bit peculiar to blame him now."

In a speech last night, Mr Honohan said a Yes vote in the May 31 referendum would be a safer alternative.

The governor was widely commended for breaking ranks with the last coalition Government in 2010 to confirm that Ireland was on course for a bailout before the International Monetary Fund was brought in.

Mr Noonan also had a dig at Sinn Fein over the party's selective quoting of economists as part of its No campaign. The minister suggested the party was not given a chance to censor the governor and "cross out" bits.

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