Update: Ireland To Hold Referendum On EU Fiscal Treaty
–Adds Comments From Irish PM Kenny And Further Details
PARIS (MNI) – Ireland plans to hold a public referendum on EU the
fiscal compact treaty, Prime Minister Enda Kenny said Tuesday.
Kenny said he would sign the treaty on Friday and that arrangements
for a vote would be made in the coming weeks, RTE News reported.
Kenny said previously that he would seek advice from Ireland’s
attorney general on whether a referendum was legally required. He said
the advice from the attorney general at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting was
that on balance a vote should be held.
“The Irish people will be asked for their authorization, in a
referendum, to ratify the European Stability Treaty,” Kenny said,
according to the text of his speech to parliament. The referendum would
allow voters to “reaffirm Ireland’s commitment to membership of the
Euro, which remains a fundamental pillar of our economic and jobs
strategy,” he said.
The Irish government had wanted to avoid a vote on the treaty
because of fears that anger over the austerity programs required by the
country’s bailout would cause voters to reject it.
Irish voters initially rejected EU treaties the last two times
they were brought before them. In 2009, voters approved the Treaty of
Lisbon only in a second vote after the government was able to get
concessions from Brussels.
Whatever the outcome, the Irish referendum is unlikely to be a
deal-breaker for the treaty, because only 12 countries out of 25 need to
ratify the pact for it to come into effect.
Countries that don’t ratify the treaty will be ineligible for
financial help from the EU’s permanent rescue fund, the European
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