Wednesday 11 December 2019

Time to be grown up about our future

• We live in the eurozone. We are Irish and proud of it and the reforms our country is going through are tough. But when we come to vote on the referendum at the end of the month we have to think beyond this.

Today, Ireland is funded by the EU and the IMF but our way out of our current crisis is to be able to get funding on our own from the international money markets.

Where and who are these markets? They are primarily based in London, New York, Paris, Hong Kong and other major financial centres. The people working for the funds that will provide us with money are not Americans, French, Chinese or British -- they are businessmen and women who want to invest money and gain a return.

They don't know the difference between Ballyfermot and Ballyvaughan; they only know the difference in bond risk between Dublin and Berlin. This is not an invention of our modern world. It is how the world has worked since money was invented.

Now let's imagine we vote No and let's put ourselves in the shoes of these money lenders who will, as painful as it is to admit, bring us back on our feet by financing our own affairs. They will look upon our country and make the decision whether to lend to us or to some other European country.

If we vote No, we will stand out as the only country to refuse to sign up to rules on responsible budgeting and the only country with the arrogance and stupidity to deny itself access to the EU bailout mechanism and its fail-safe, the ESM.

These are the same people who will have to fund our banks. These people -- and what they think about and see in Ireland -- will determine a lot for our future.

Ask yourself if a trader in Hong Kong has even heard about the household charge? Are we going to risk this country's future for a €5 septic tank levy?

Irish politics is dominated by parish pump politics and the pandering to vested interests.

As a result, most of our politicians are at best semi-literate when it comes to economics. This treaty will ensure that there is somebody to prevent the destruction of our country again.

Eric Keane
Burren, Co Clare

Irish Independent

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