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Should the Irish damn the debt?

On Pearl Harbour Day, Ireland will seal its fate. It’s hard to swallow that the Irish Greens (those who remain) have helped to bring the country to its knees.

On December 7th, the current regime will get its budget passed. They will then lose the elections in less than three months’ time. The €64 billion question is whether a new coalition, including Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein, will reject the budget and tell the IMF and European Central Bank where to go?

If they do, then the Irish will once again show their ability to put a spanner in the Brussels machinery and the Euro. Their rejection of the EU treaty sent panic through the EU elites. They were forced to vote Yes eventually.

Well, the Lisbon Treaty (which the Greens in England & Wales reject) may become a historical curiosity. once this crisis has run its course.

The Irish may well decide not to stick their head into the noose. This IMF-inspired programme will condemn them to a lost decade, if not generation.

And for whom? The European banks of course.

When the pips squeak, they are going to have to return to the drawing board. The banks are going to have to be forced to take a haircut – slash 50% of their bond values. If not, a debt default (in real terms) is not out of the question.

Let’s remember the IMF could browbeat cowed Latin American regimes in the 1980s – just one phone call away from a military coup.

The European public have no such threat hanging over them.

The Irish opposition (the nascent, real one, not Fina Gael) will have to convince the people that the days of  12% Corporation Tax must end, that the likes of Google can pay more into the kitty, that investment in smaller scale firms is the way and that an entire generation must refuse to be lambs to the slaughter.

If the banks won’t share the pain, the Irish should refuse to pay through the nose.These one-sided deals to protect the banks have to end.

Debt Repudiation or ‘damn the debt‘ should be the slogan of this second decade.

If not, this debt crisis will leave a trail of wreckage across European economies.

This story will continue. By no means should we think these agreements or deals will stand.

Farid Bakht

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