Ireland votes in a referendum on the European Fiscal Treaty today and the signs are it will be approved.
It is the only country in the eurozone to put it before the public and Brussels is waiting anxiously for the outcome. Speaking on the eve of the ballot Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny nailed his colours to a ‘Yes’ vote.
“I want to see continued investment in our country, and we need to send out that signal tomorrow, that we know where we are headed and that’s on the path of progress and prosperity so that the investments can continue,” said Ireland’s prime minister.
Although a ‘No’ vote won’t block the pact, the ‘Yes’ campaign has warned it would undermine Ireland’s position in the eurozone. Meanwhile opponents have tapped into anger at the government’s austerity drive.
John Kinsella who lives in Kilcoole said he might vote ‘No’: “I mean we’ve lost our identity, we’re being run by Germany and France…. we’ve lost our identity. I wouldn’t mind going back to our old pounds, shillings and pence or whatever, and giving it a try if it’s going to mean jobs, and people going back to work.”
With property prices down 50% since their peak and deep public cuts in the offing, a last minute surge in opposition to greater fiscal discipline cannot be discounted.