Ireland’s prime minister says the EU’s Lisbon reform Treaty is about “the survival of the country”.
Brian Cowen has just launched his campaign for a “Yes” in the second referendum on the treaty, on October 2, as his government’s popularity fell to a record low. He is focusing on Europe as a safe haven during recession. As for his own prospects, should the referendum fail, he said: “I don’t contemplate defeat. I honestly believe the people, taking acount of everything, will vote for this referendum, and we want to campaign on that basis.” Last year, Irish voters rejected ratifying the treaty, designed to streamline EU decision-making. After securing key policy guarantees, polls suggest a majority of people are in favour now. With the Czechs and Poles, the Irish are among the last to ratify the treaty.