Material relating to the referendum to be held on 31 May 2012 will be available below.
Thomas Pringle in Sweden
Björn Elmbrant and Thomas Pringle
People’s Movement patron Thomas Pringle TD was in Sweden from February 8th to February 10th at the invitation of the Swedish People’s Movement. During his visit he spoke to leaders of the main opposition Social Democratic and Left Parties. Both parties are currently deciding what stand to take on Swedish right-wing Alliance government plans for the country to sign up to the EU’s Permanent Austerity Pact.
Thomas also addressed an enthusiastic meeting of activists in ABF House, Stockholm’s main trade union centre.
The Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, will vote on the Permanent Austerity Treaty on 9th March. Sweden is not in the euro zone and there is thus no good reason why it should sign up to the treaty.
The only argument put forward by the government is that as a signatory Sweden will be able to sit with the new euro Council once per year, but that the articles in the pact are not binding for Sweden.
The People's Movement is prominent in the opposition to the Permanent Austerity Pact.
Twenty-two trade union and social groups have signed up to the ’No to the Austerity Pact Appeal’ to date. Among them are the national trade unions for electricians, dockers and transport workers, as well as the Left Party and Social Democrat EU-critics. The Left and Green Parties will probably vote against ratification. The Swedish Democrats, a party with which the People’s Movement will not work because of its anti-immigrant stance but which has the support of almost 10%, will also vote against ratification.
The Social Democrats under a new europhile chair, Stefan Löfven, will probably support the government. Nevertheless, Thomas had a productive meeting with Lena Sommerstad, chair of the Social Democrat women’s organisation . He also met Stellan Hermansson, who is the general secretary of the Left Party and the party's MEP, Mikael Gustafsson.
The activist meeting was chaired by journalist and author Björn Elmbrant. Last autumn Elmbrant’s new book 'Det som skulle bli så bra' ('It should have been so good') was published. The book describes the consequences of permanent austerity demanded by the 'Troika', and puts the austerity measures in a political context. He visited all the so called PIIGS countries when writing his book and needless to say the book contains an 'Irish chapter'.
Elmbrant captured the sentiments of the meeting when he praised Thomas’s courage in challenging the legality of the European Stability Mechanism all the way to the European Court of Justice.
The final result of the referendum on the permanent austerity treaty was: 'Yes' 60.3%, 'No' 39.7%. However, the turnout was just 50%, which means that only 30% of the electorate yielded to the threats of the government, the establishment parties and the EU.
This was an unimpressive and a reluctant majority - one that was based more on fear than an hope. More and more, ordinary people are coming to realise that the EU's 'ever closer union' will mean an 'ever stricter control' for Ireland and other small member states.
The People's Movement thanks all those members and supporters who generously gave their time and money to support our campaign. A battle has been lost, but the fight to restore our political and economic sovereignty continues and Thomas Pringle's constitutional challenge to the ESM will be heard in the High Court on June 19th.
Kenny and Noonan clash
People's Movement spokesperson Frank Keoghan has pointed out that the taoiseach and the minister for finance have contradicted each other in relation to the sources of funding available to Ireland. Read his statement here.
Final press conference
Among the speakers at the final People's Movement press conference of the referendum campaign were (from left to right) Catherine Murphy TD, Maureen O’Sullivan TD, Robert Ballagh, Patricia McKenna and Finian McGrath TD
A statement issued after the press conference is available here.
As others see us
Cartoon by Khalil Bendib; first published on Corporate Europe Observatory.
Congratulations from Denmark
Johanne Langdal Kristiansen from the Danish People's Movement presenting the letter to the Irish ambassador
On 25 May, four political movements in Denmark presented Brendan Scanell, the Irish ambassador to that country, with a letter which welcomes the Irish referendum on the Austerity Treaty and notes that Ireland is the only country to allow its citizens to vote on the treaty.
Even the Taoiseach ...
... keeps on eye on what the People's Movement is saying! Get you own copy of the leaflet here.
The above paper is being distributed by the People's Movement. To get your copy in PDF format (890 KB), just click here.
A trade union's advice
The head-office of Mandate
What are they trying to hide?
Patricia Mckenna speaking at the press conference
'Ming' Flanagan TD and Robert Ballagh attended the press conference
At a press conference held on 17 May, the People's Movement issued a statement which drew attention to a treaty that has attracted little attention to date, although it and the permanent austerity treaty are described as 'complementary'.
A useful commentary on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Treaty and the Fiscal Treaty, written by solicitors Mary Linehan agus Joe Noonan, has been made available on the website entitled A Tale of Two Treaties.
Sources of funding
The People's Movement has issued a leaflet that addresses the question 'where will we get the money?' if we vote against the Permananent Austerity Treaty on May 31st.
Press statement - 29 February 2012
A press statement from the People's Movement has called on the Irish people to give a massive 'no' to the EU's permanent austerity treaty in the forthcoming referendum.
The austerity treaty
They want your cash - for the bankers!
The People's Movement has issued a commentary on the proposed permanent austerity treaty (also known as the 'fiscal compact'). In addition, a separate leaflet on the treaty has also been issued by the Movement.