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25 May 2012 Edition

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EOIN Ó MURCHÚ

Bagairt aerach é go ndíbreófaí na Gréigigh as an euro

NACH raibh sé dána do mhuintir na Gréige gan glacadh leis an moladh soiléir ón nGearmáin go gcaithfidis leanacht ar aghaidh le déine, le hocras agus le héadóchas.

Nach dtuigeann na daoine seo go bhfuil compord na mbancaeraí Gearmáineacha ag brath orthu, agus mura n-íocann siad a gcuid fiacha (mar dhea) go mbeidh sé ina thubaist don Eoraip ar fad.

Tuige nach féidir leó dea-shampla  géillteach na hÉireann a leanacht?

Agus anois tá bagairt láidir ann go ndíbreófaí an Ghréig as an gcoras Euro.  Mar a tharlaíonn, ámh, níl aon phróiseas chun iad a dhíbirt amach más mian leó fanacht leis.

Ag deire thiar tá an chaint seo dhá déanamh ar mhaithe le faitíos a chur ní hamháin ar vótóirí na Gréige ach ar vótóirí na tíre seo leis.

Ach céard faoin Euro?  Dá mbeadh a n-airgeadra féin ag an nGréig - nó againn féin - bheadh an baol ann go bhféadfadh na speculaeraí idirnaisiúnta brú a chur ar an airgeadra le dí-luacháil neamh oiriúnach a dhéanamh.

Ach i ndáiríre is beag an dochar sin i gcomparáid leis na deacrachtaí a chothaigh an tEuro dona Gréigigh agus dúinne.  D’fhulaing an dá thír as rátaí ísle úis nuair a bhí cinn arda ag teastáil le gal a bhaint ón eacnamaíocht; agus ní raibh athluacháil ar fáil nuair a bhí comortasaíocht le feabhsú, ag fágáil gan ach bealach amháin in ann, eadhon an déine.

Níl aon dabht ach go mbeidh deacrachtaí agus déine in ann dona Gréigigh má dhiúltaíonn siad a gcuid fiacha is dá bhfillfidis ar an drachma.  Ach tá déine mharfach acu cheana féin, agus creideann saineólaithe eacnamaíochta go mbeidh seans maith acu th’éis sé mhí nó mar sin tosaí ar fhás arís - díreach mar a tharla san Íoslainn.

Anois tá an Íoslainn i ndiaidh éalú ón déine cé go bhfuil na Gréigigh fós sáinnithe sa bhfaolpach - agus muide beagáinín taobh thiar díobh.

Mas bagairt é go ndíbreófaí as an Euro muid, b’fhéidir go bhfuil féadarachtaí fiúntacha ann sa treó sin - ach beidh athrú rialtais ag teastáil sula mbeidh an cnamh droma sách laidir ag polaiteóirí na tíre seo dul ann.

Where, oh where, has Fianna Fáil’s radicalism gone?

Fianna Fáil logo

WHEN MÍCHEÁL MARTIN made his pitch for the leadership of Fianna Fáil after the Brian Cowen debacle, he argued that the party would have to return to the radicalism of its foundation if it were to have a chance of rebuilding.

But, having won the prize, far from turning the party radical, Martin is just carrying on with the same old tired — and rejected — set of policies: have a blind faith in Europe, create the conditions for business to flourish, and hope that once again there will be enough crumbs left on the table to give the majority of the people a taste of the good times.

Two points illustrate this in particular. First of all, Martin appointed Michael McGrath as his finance spokesperson. McGrath is commitedly right-wing, with a firm belief that the rich must be protected. He claims that if we tax the rich they will leave the country (and by his definition their wealth-creating contribution will be lost).

He ignores the fact that because we are not taxing the rich the poor are leaving the country, including even the sons and daughters of the middle class who are being driven to new homes in Australia and Canada.

Nothing radical about that, and nothing radical either about Martin’s stance on the European Union. Whatever Europe proposes we must accept, and the debate on the Fiscal Compact/Austerity Treaty shows this clearly.

As Éamon Ó Cuív, the out-of-favour Fianna Fáil TD from the West, has said: Martin is totally blinkered by Europe, and because he can’t see outside of that box he can’t present any alternative vision inside or outside.

Strategically, of course, it is all a mess. A ‘Yes’ win in the referendum will benefit the Government, especially Fine Gael. Fianna Fáil will, at best, be seen as an irrelevant extra to the right-wing army. But a ‘No’ win will show up Martin even more — and either result will strengthen the challenge of Ó Cuív  — a challenge that really poses the question of whether or not that party can return to its radical roots.

But it’s hard to see what Ó Cuív can actually achieve inside Fianna Fáil, as he has no support amongst fellow TDs. His future is bleak but Fianna Fáil’s radicalism, it seems, is stuck in the graveyard of history.

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