Business World

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Price of having shared currency is democracy

The European Commission has finally been given the powers it's been after to vet the budgets of eurozone countries before they are voted on at home.

Ireland and the other 16 members of the euro signed up to the so called "two-pack" arrangements two years ago, but finalisation of the plan was only signed off by the European Parliament yesterday.

Backers of the scheme – dubbed the "two pack" for reasons best known to Olli Rehn – say co-ordinating national budgets is part of the price of having a shared currency.

Critics though wonder how unelected European Commissioners based outside this or any other democratic state can have a credible role in deciding tax and spending measures that will not affect them.

Any such concerns were batted aside when the agreement was originally reached in 2011 during the height of the debt crisis, regardless of the Punt's admittedly old-fashioned fears for the fate of parliamentary democracy.

It doesn't mean the measure won't yet prove controversial though.

The Punt is already relishing the consternation on Merrion Street next November as details of Budget 2014 arrive early courtesy of those notoriously leaky Europeans.

Irish Independent

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