IRISH voters have sent a clear message to the EU, regarding the country’s place in Europe and their continued participation in the European process.
It has been an inherently turbulent time for this country, as for so many others in Europe and around the world. And it’s still ongoing, and may be for years.
This fiscal treaty is by no means the panacea to any of our ills.
The fact that it has been voted through is, in itself, noteworthy. The austerity and pain foisted on us has been extremely onerous. The level of debt we are carrying is to a degree unrealistic and unfair, especially when one considers the behaviour and practices of banks across Europe during the boom.
Meanwhile, the whole EU and Euro project remains in a perilous state, with a number of variables in the mix, with the potential for huge instability.
Yet Irish people have made the calcutation that, for the moment, we are better off with the degree of certainty the treaty seemingly offers, rather than the uncertainty and greater degree of pain that a No vote might mean.
The Yes vote keeps alive the possibility of renewed European funding, which we may well need in a year or more.
However, its now incumbent on the government and the EU leaders to heed Ireland’s affirmation and to provide some return for our support.
As a people and society we have taken our medicine very well. There has been no disorder on the streets and our attitude has been to get on with it. It should always be highlighted that people are hurting very badly and many in absolutely dire straits.
Some relief is needed, and soon.
The Yes vote provides the government with renewed capital in their dealings with our partners in the EU. It should use and exploit this new enhanced standing at the upcoming summit of a growth package and in the upcoming Presidency of EU which commences next January.
Irish people deserve some return and thanks for their continued confidence in the EU.
Our relationship with the EU is now very complex and last week’s result contains a lot of challenges and signposts to the politics of the future. For example, last week’s vote seem to break down on class lines, with many working class areas opting for No.
Politics here as elsewhere is in flux. It is time that the Government yielded some results from our endorsement of this treaty.