Newbridge meeting against Austerity Treaty

by Mick Healy

On Wednesday 2nd May 2012, a meeting took place entitled “The EU Permanent Austerity Treaty: is it economic suicide?” at the Liffey Studio in Newbridge, County Kildare .  A standing room only crowd came to hear artist and veteran activist Robert Ballagh of the People’s Movement and John Dore, PRO Kildare Turf Cutters Association.  The large turnout from the people of Kildare seemed to reflect the concerns about the Austerity Treaty.

Robert Ballagh explained that the Treaty would turn Ireland  into a regime of economic austerity, involving deeper and deeper cuts in public expenditure, the privatisation of public services with  more unemployment and emigration.  The Treaty will make a permanent feature of that external interference in our economic affairs that was obnoxious when Fianna Fail surrendered sovereignty to the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.  Ballagh noted, “if  it’s bad in the short term – and it is – it’s even worse when made permanent.”

John Dore spoke of the turf cutters experience in dealing with the EU, explaining that the EU Habitats Directive will prevent families and domestic turf cutters from cutting turf as they have done for hundreds of years.  He noted, “Turf cutters, their families, friends and supporters may wish to take this into consideration when they vote in the referendum on the Austerity Treaty.”

Having previously rejected the turf cutters’ case, the government promised a delegation to travel to Brussels to meet the EU Commission.  However, this approach floundered in Brussels, the EU insisting that  turf cutting must stop.

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Posted on May 7, 2012, in Anti-household and anti-water tax, Democratic rights - general, Economy and workers' resistance, Irish politics today, Public events - Ireland, Turf cutters, twenty-six counties. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Newbridge meeting against Austerity Treaty.

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