Friday, October 31, 2008

Bruton: We need second Lisbon vote

EU AMBASSADOR to the United States and former taoiseach John Bruton has called for a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty because Irish people did not understand it when they rejected it the first time.

Mr Bruton said people should be given a “second opportunity” to vote on the treaty, but warned that another rejection would be “a very serious setback” for the country. Addressing the special Oireachtas Committee on the Lisbon treaty, Mr Bruton said: “If I was pushed into a corner and asked I would say I would favour a second referendum.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

State ratified 145 treaties last year

THE Government ratified almost 300 European and international treaties in the seven years leading up to the failed Lisbon Treaty referendum -- 145 of them in the last year alone.

The treaties -- none of which were placed before the electorate -- included agreements on defence, organised crime, extradition, air services, chemical weapons, taxation and mutual assistance in criminal matters.

Details of the treaties emerged as an all-party oireachtas committee begins a review of our contentious referendum process.

The review will examine whether the bulk of future EU treaties can be ratified by parliamentary vote.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

EU plans to force second Lisbon vote

PLANS to isolate Ireland and force the country to hold a second referendum on the Lisbon treaty by next March were discussed at a European Union meeting 10 days ago.

Minutes of the event, and of a separate dinner with the French minister for European affairs, record how key French politicians and other MEPs said that Ireland should be put in an “untenable position” by pressing Poland and the Czech Republic to ratify the treaty by December.

The minutes were made available by a high-level source who attended both events. They tally with publicly available EU minutes but include direct quotes rather than the diplomatic language of the official record.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ministers and civil servants to take 10% pay cut

Cabinet ministers and ministers of state are to have their salaries cut by 10 per cent as part of the budgetary cutbacks, announced today by Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan.

In his Budget speech to the Dáil, Mr Lenihan said: “Other public servants in leadership and senior positions may wish to consider whether it is appropriate for them to make a similar move in current circumstances.”

Friday, October 10, 2008

Active rebuttal of Lisbon misinformation urged

IN THE wake of the Irish vote on the Lisbon Treaty, the European Commission's vice-president has called for a more vigorous engagement by the commission in responding to "misinformation" about the treaty and the EU.

Sweden's commissioner Margot Wallström, in an internal letter to fellow commissioners on the lessons to be drawn from the Irish vote for EU communications policy, calls for the setting up of a "rebuttal function" within the EU executive to counter the type of misinformation she argues was spread by anti-EU forces during the referendum campaign.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tempers flare at first Lisbon 'think-in'

THE NEW Oireachtas sub- committee on Lisbon was set up in a bid to reconcile the 'Yes' and 'No' sides following the fallout from the referendum.

But instead it began with yet another row as it attempted to get down to business yesterday.

The cross-party committee is due to meet 24 times over the next eight weeks in a frantic effort to establish 'Ireland's future in Europe' before Taoiseach Brian Cowen travels to Brussels for a crucial EU summit in December. At its opening session yesterday, Senator Pascal Donohoe pleaded with members to "look to the future" and not "bore" people with the same old arguments about the treaty.

But he was then attacked by the sole Sinn Fein member, Senator Pearse Doherty, who
complained that the committee could be used to make the case for a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Warning on dangers of migrant segregation

THE CLUSTERING of migrants in some areas may develop into segregation unless social integration is made a key aim of housing policy, according to a Government-funded report to be published tomorrow.

Although it has found there is currently little evidence of segregation, the study warns this could change where low incomes narrowed newcomers' choice of neighbourhood and Irish residents chose to move out because they felt their area had become too diverse.

The emergence of segregated schools could compound the problem.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bilderberg Group says Ireland set for Lisbon 'dog house'

IRELAND will be in Europe's "dog house" if we reject the Lisbon Treaty in a second referendum, according to the chairman of the secretive global businesss organisation, the Bilderberg Group.

Viscount Etienne Davignon issued the stark caution in a rare interview ahead of addressing an international conference on Lisbon in University College Cork (UCC) on Wednesday.

"Ireland will be in the dog house if it says no for a second time", Davignon told the Sunday Tribune." The other states who ratified the Treaty have now become hostages of the Irish position and the Irish should have had some respect for the opinions of the other states.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Non-Irish seeking unemployment benefit up 80%

The number of foreign nationals applying for unemployment benefit has increased by almost 80 per cent over the past year, new figures show.

The increase has been felt most sharply by members of former EU accession states where numbers have jumped by some 144 per cent since September of last year.

Overall, a breakdown of live register figures for last month by the Central Statistics Office shows a total of 240,000 people were signing on last month, an increase of almost 50 per cent compared to the same period year.

Of this, the vast majority were Irish (83 per cent, or 199,000) and the remainder were foreign nationals (17 per cent, or 41,200). The CSO's figures - based on data supplied by the Department of Social and Family Affairs - do not provide a breakdown by nationality.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

EU anger over Irish bailout solo run

The Government's decision to guarantee the debts and deposits of the country's six largest banks drew a thinly-veiled attack from the Brussels Commission today.

The bailout plan was hatched and announced without consultation with the EU's competition authorities who will have to approve the deal.

And today, as EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes still awaited formal notification from Dublin, she pointedly praised British government cooperation with Brussels over the Bradford &Bingley bailout and made clear her displeasure that Ireland had set up bank rescue plans without consultation.

Britain angry as billions flood into Irish banks

Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan was coming under increasing pressure from Britain today as billions of pounds flowed into Irish banks because of the Government two-year guarantee on savings.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alastair Darling intervened twice with the Irish Government on behalf of UK banks yesterday, amid fears that the Government's blanket guarantee was causing a flood of funds across the Irish Sea.

British Treasury sources, quoted by The Times of London, said Mr Lenihan was told "in no uncertain terms the scheme was a problem for the UK."