Wednesday 13 December 2017

Yes or No, we will still have austerity

Madam -- To summarise both referendum election campaigns so far, vote Yes if you're scared, and vote No if you're angry. A Yes vote will result in more austerity. A No vote will result in more austerity.

You know what will result in less austerity? If we stop taking €3.1bn out of the economy every March, putting it in an envelope marked 'Promissory Notes', and setting fire to it.

We have a debt crisis, and this is only solved with less debt, not more debt. There is a third option on May 31. Vote Yes with an If, or No with a But. I am voting No, but give us a bank debt write-down and I'll happily vote Yes. Sounds wishful? Why should the ECB give us a bank debt write-down? Because if we say it and mean it, it leaves them with a simple choice -- a voluntary Irish banking debt write down in 2012 to bring us into the ESM, or a messy Irish sovereign default in 2014 if we stay out. For the same reason that they allowed Greece a sovereign debt write-down of €100bn in February, they will take the cheaper, easier option.

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