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The Writing is on the Bridge – EU/IMF Out!

04/07/12

As representatives of the Troika arrived in Dublin yesterday (July 3) to begin their seventh review of the Twenty-Six Counties’ austerity programme, éirígí activists took the opportunity to highlight the growing opposition to their presence in Ireland by erecting a banner on one of Dublin’s most iconic structures. The banner which read ‘EU/IMF OUT OF IRELAND!’ was seen by thousands of people as they passed by the Ha’penny Bridge which spans the capital city’s river Liffey.

Speaking in relation to the arrival of the Troika representatives in Dublin, Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson said, “Despite all the recent talk of possible debt restructuring and debt reduction, the Troika has made it clear that its austerity programme is set to continue. Recent media speculation suggests that the entitlements of the older generation are next on the list of Troika targets; entitlements such as free travel, phone and fuel allowances and even the basic old age pension appear to all be under threat. It is completely unacceptable that the Troika should be able to carry out such acts of social vandalism against one of the most vulnerable sections of Irish society.

EU-IMF Out of Ireland

“It is now abundantly clear that the policy of austerity-led recovery is a failed one. In numerous countries across Europe and the globe it is has been shown that reducing government spending and investment does not lead to economic growth. In reality austerity programmes have achieved the exact opposite of their stated goal, resulting in economic stagnation and contraction, poverty and mass unemployment.”

Leeson continued by outlining the steps that need to be taken as an alternative to the Troika’s austerity programme, “There is simply no painless way out of the current crisis. We in Ireland have a choice. We can choose a path which is austerity-focused, as the Stormont and Leinster House regimes have chosen, or we can choose a path which involves the democratisation of our economy and society.

“The first path will result in poorer public services, greater wealth inequality and an overall reduction in the quality of lives of the vast majority of citizens. The second path will result in better quality, sustainable public services, a reduction in wealth inequality and an overall improvement in the quality of lives of the vast majority of citizens. It really is a no-brainer. Choosing the path of a socialised, democratic economy may be considered a radical departure by many, but in fact it is far more logical than the chaos capitalism that is currently being imposed by the Troika.

“There is still plenty of wealth in Ireland, on both sides of the border. The problem is the fact that this wealth is not being distributed in a way that is either socially just or economically productive. We in éirígí believe that tackling this wealth, and subsequent power, inequality is an absolute perquisite for the creation of long-term economic growth and stability.

“There are a number of relatively straight-forward steps that need to be taken as an alternative to the Troika’s austerity programme. These steps would not only provide the state with much needed revenue, but would also start the process of tackling wealth and power inequality. These steps include the permanent nationalisation of the banking, financial and insurance sectors; the creation of an equitable taxation system which would ensure that the wealth of Ireland’s super-wealthy elite is redistributed to the people who actually generated the wealth in the first place; the nationalisation of Ireland’s hydro-carbon and other natural resources and a major programme of public investment to stimulate economic activity and generate employment.”

Leeson concluded, “It’s indicative of the ideological bent of the administrations north and south that rule over us that neither is willing to consider options that will lift from the shoulders of ordinary working class people the burden of a crisis they didn’t create. Ultimately it will fall to the people to demand and set about creating a more just and equal society.”

 

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