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We’re All Speaking German Now – Apparently

So who’s in charge? That’s the big question on everyone’s lips as the latest demonstration of the emasculation of Ireland’s nationhood plays out in the media. The revelation that members of the German parliament have been privy to Ireland’s upcoming budget has led to claims and counter-claims in abundance. It seems humiliation on an international stage is to become our national sack cloth and ashes for the next decade or so no matter what spin Irish government and European Union PR folk put on it.

According to the Herald:

“DETAILS of December’s Budget were leaked to several EU countries, it was claimed today.

The EU/IMF Troika was today blaming the European Commission for “mistakenly forwarding” the sensitive budget document to Germany and other EU countries.

The gaffe has caused major embarrassment for the Government who have lodged a complaint with the Commission.

The details emerged in the German Bundestag yesterday but sources now say that the EC sent the document to all member states on the EU’s Economic and Financial Committee.”

Well, that’s ok then. The Journal has the details and they make for grim reading:

“The package of documents also includes:

  • a firm commitment that domestic water charges will be introduced by the end of 2013
  • plans to broaden the income tax base in 2013, along with increases in excise duty and other indirect taxes
  • plans to cut social welfare spending and the public payroll even further in 2013
  • a government agreement to prepare a draft programme for selling state assets, to be discussed with the Troika by the end of this year
  • a request from Michael Noonan and Patrick Honohan to ‘frontload’ the bailout loans for 2012 – with deductions from the second, third and fourth instalments to make up for an extra-large first instalment
  • an update to the EU-IMF deal outlining that ”any unplanned revenues must be allocated to debt reduction
  • a commitment to “initial resolution funding” of €250m for Ireland’s credit unions
  • further commitments to open up ‘sheltered sectors’ like pharmacies, GPs and legal services

Next month’s Budget proposes to make €670m through the VAT increase, €160m through the new €100-per-house ‘household charge’, and €100m through the reform of capital gains tax.”

Which begs the question: how much pain can one nation, or society, take before it breaks? I would suggest that we are closer now than most people will admit – or perhaps even suspect. However some see the writing on the wall, as The Journal reports again:

“THE DETAILS DISCLOSED in draft documents which outline Ireland’s proposals to meet the terms of its EU-IMF agreement have been heavily criticised by Dáil opposition this evening.

Speaking to this evening Independent TD and Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee member Shane Ross said while the detail was “pretty predictable” the measures were “tyrannical” and “in keeping with the craven attitude of this government to the EU-IMF deal”.

“It’s a humiliating document because the measures which are in there are at the whim of are European masters,” Ross said.”


“Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty was also critical of the documents’ disclosure to the other 26 EU member states before the Irish people, saying it was  ”quite outrageous”.

Doherty was also angered by the disclosure in the documents that all unplanned revenues such as those that come from the sell-off of State assets must go towards servicing the debt burden.

This disclosure contradicts the government’s public statements that it hopes to use the money from the sell-off of State assets to fund job initiatives. Doherty said the sale of State assets is “a disgrace”.”

Meanwhile, amongst the citizenry:

“THE mortgage crisis has hit a new high with 100,000 homeowners now struggling to meet their repayments.

Figures released by the Central Bank today show that the number of borrowers who are now in arrears of more than three months is 62,000.

And another almost 40,000 have already restructured their mortgage repayments.”

But hey, we all know who are really to blame.

“Banks are blaming rumours of a debt forgiveness scheme for the fact that many people have stopped meeting their repayments.

They say there has been a spike in arrears because some people thought there would be a scheme put in place to help people in debt.”

Selfish “people”. Expecting help. We help banks in debt. Not “people”.

Just ask the Germans. Oh, hold on. We have to ask the Germans.

1 comment on “We’re All Speaking German Now – Apparently

  1. For pure stupidity on the part of the individual(s) who leaked this information, I can only shake my head in shame for Ireland. It is clearly an ethical violation, if not a legal one on some level. The whole European Union deal looked bad from my vantage point in the States, from the begining. Why? Because there was even then too much difference between the haves and havenots. We refer to the 1% vs. the 99% in the States. Now that markets all over the world are dropping, and monetary values refuse to remain stable, no one really has a solution that does not hurt someone else. I really see all of this coming to a head in many countries, we all thought were safe from dangerous times. Brutal austerity brings back a hauting that many do not want to see. I hope each country who is a part of the European Union and the world for that matter, thinks about this before someone does something that pushes the ‘slippery slope’ that may already be in the works.

    The very thought of another country controling the soveriegn funds of others, to the point of influencing the very quality of life of the citizenry was once unheard of and unthinkable. Now it has become a commonplace, even for the United States. I suspect there will be a reckoning. Good article.


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