Support is growing in the Irish Republic for the Lisbon Treaty, according to a poll for the Irish Times newspaper.
The big turnaround is due to Ireland’s deteriorating economic situation. Voters now believe saying yes to Lisbon will help Ireland’s economy. The latest survey shows when undecided voters are excluded, the “Yes” side has now 60 per cent support with 40 per cent in the “No” camp. Ireland’s main opposition party Fine Gael is now urging the government led by Prime Minister Brian Cowen to hold a second referendum in April, months earlier than previously proposed to help deal quickly with Ireland’s economy. The Lisbon Treaty, aimed at streamlining decision making in Brussels, must be ratified by all 27 EU member states. Now with new concessions for Ireland, like maintaining traditional military neutrality, the Irish are on course to say “yes” to the Treaty having rejected it last June. Meanwhile the Czech senate has postponed its debate on the Lisbon Treaty, angering the 25 states who have already ratified it.