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Ireland's Referendum- an Opportunity for Change

By John Perkins

May 16, 2012 "
Information Clearing House" -- On May 31 Ireland will put the EU's new treaty for fiscal discipline to a referendum, giving Irish voters a chance to overturn this controversial agreement. The crisis in Ireland is symbolic of ones facing many European countries, as well as the United States, and is a direct outgrowth of policies implemented against developing countries when I was an economic hit man (EHM). The upcoming decision by Irish citizens is a harbinger for other countries around the world, as well as crucial to Ireland's financial future.

If voters agree to sign this treaty for fiscal discipline, it will obligate Ireland to run low government deficits and maintain drastically reduced levels of public debt; in other words, the country will be forced to implement even stricter austerity measures on its already beleaguered citizens. It is important to remember that Dublin accepted international aid in 2010 in order to deal with a huge budget deficit brought on by the previous government's pledge to bail out Irish banks for billions of dollars in bad loans. The Irish Government has been "asset stripping" –selling off public resources, including gas from the west coast, utilities, and forests in attempts to reduce the debt. This is an old tactic that was perfected by economic hit men in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East during the 1970s and 1980s. Many Irish are vehemently protesting such acts and are opposed to signing the EU treaty, declaring them a loss of sovereignty for a nation that fought a bloody battle for full independence less than a century ago.

The Awaken Ireland Movement is an example of an approach aimed at empowering the people to create a different future, bringing the people together in a community-based grassroots movement to share information on viable alternatives and to encourage conversations towards a vision for a better future. The challenge will be to base the movement on formulating realistic solutions at local levels in ways that respect differences and allow a voice for the many. Austerity measures are killing the European economy. Not surprisingly Goldman Sachs and other investment organizations are at the root of the problem; they are strategically staffing Europe's government and the Central Bank with hard-hearted investment bankers more interested in the concerns of the financial sector than those of the people. These ex-European Commissioners and former central bankers are helping the banks gain access to those in power.

I'm looking forward to speaking in Ireland as they are on the verge of these crucial economic changes. From May 21-25 I will be teaching a course at Schumacher College in Devon http://www.schumachercollege.org.uk/courses/hoodwinked-what-wrecked-our-economy-and-how-to-fix-it . Followed by a brief speaking tour, "Financial Terrorism Exposed", around the UK where I will be speaking in Dublin (May 27), Manchester (June 2), and London (June 3). For more information on this tour please visit www.economichitman.co.uk , or my website: http://www.johnperkins.org/?page_id=21 .

As Chief Economist at a major international consulting firm, John Perkins advised the World Bank, United Nations, IMF, U.S. Treasury Department, Fortune 500 corporations, and countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. He worked directly with heads of state and CEOs of major companies. His books are published in over 30 languages. John's Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (70 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list) is a startling exposé of international corruption.

 

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