Saturday 24 March 2018

Use Lisbon to extend crazy 2014 deadline

THE arbitrary date of a 2014 compliance deadline with the EU's Stability and Growth Pact will irreparably damage our small, open economy, leading to the ESRI's prediction of a 'lost decade' for Ireland.

Three weeks ago in the European Parliament, I challenged EU Internal Market Commissioner Barnier about the 'mindless austerity' being imposed on Ireland with dire consequences for our economic future, and the absolute requirement of an extension beyond 2014.

The initial decision by the European Council was taken at a time of crisis, when it was necessary to ensure the future stability of the euro, and there was a well-founded fear of contagion. We are now past that point and in this period of relative stability we must reassess the situation. Brian Lenihan claimed an extension of the deadline was not feasible. However, this ignores the fact that he has a key weapon at his disposal -- the Lisbon Treaty.

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