Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ireland Rebuffs the EU...

...Ireland, with a population of 4.2 million rejected a June 12th referendum deciding whether the European Union gets a full-time president and a single, more powerful, foreign policy chief. The voters in the Irish Republic rejected the European Union's Lisbon treaty by a 53.4% to 46.6% margin.

The poll is a major blow to leaders in the 27-nation EU, which has a population of 490 million. The European Union requires all its members to ratify the treaty. To date, only Ireland has held a public vote.

Declan Ganley of Ireland’s anti-treaty lobby group Libertas said: "It is a great day for Irish democracy." He added: "This is democracy in action... and Europe needs to listen to the voice of the people."

The No campaign was a broad coalition ranging from Libertas to Sinn Fein, the only party in parliament to oppose the treaty.

One of the initiatives that appeared to worry Irish voters was the EU's long-standing ambition to harmonize the way in which corporate taxes are levied. Ireland's economic boom was helped by some of the lowest taxes on corporations in the union.

Irish voters were also reluctant to accept the EU’s proposal for broader powers of a proposed new full-time European president, its planned foreign policy chief, and its embryonic diplomatic service.

The European Union's executive currently has offices around the globe that deal with issues like aid and trade. The idea of the Lisbon Treaty was to give all these a bigger role in supporting the new, more powerful foreign policy chief. But critics worried aloud that the union would assume some of the current responsibilities of national governments and that, among other concerns stopped the Lisbon Treaty being passed in Ireland.


WomanHonorThyself said...

hello my friend!..amazing how Ireland faced off against them all isnt it!!

Roadhouse said...

Maybe there's hope for that side of the pond after all. I think I'll have a pint of Guiness in their honor.

JMK said...

Well Angel, I believe ireland was the first country to hold this referendum.

The Irish government felt they had the votes for EU expansion, but the people were smart enough to realize that it was their LOWER corporate tax rate that attracted business and industry and relinquishing control of that to the likes of France and Germany would not only be foolish, but dangerous to the Irish economy.

JMK said...

A grand idea Roadie!

Though I'll take a "wait & see" approach myself. The last time the Irish people voted down a referendum, the government ran another election a few months later and suddenly "found" the votes that were previously lacking.

Governments are quite nefarious that way.

America's Founders saw government as the source of all oppression...and they DIDN'T mean "other people's governments," they meant our own, as they all came from European governments that had oppressed various groups of people regularly.

Governments are notorious for doing wrong-headed things...things like stifling oil and natural gas exploration off our own coastlines and on public lands (like ANWR)...crazy stuff, like that.

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