Statement By Richard Boyd Barrett
Richard Boyd Barrett TD, for the People Before Profit Alliance and a member of the Oireachtas Finance committee has condemned the government’s stance on Greece in advance of today’s emergency meeting of the Eurozone Finance minister’s – describing it as a “betrayal of all the victims of austerity across Europe, including those here in Ireland.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett, who attended the Finance committee meeting last night, where Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan laid out the government’s position on Greece, said that:
“The Irish government should be supporting Greek calls for a debt write-down instead of stabbing the Greek people in the back and siding with Angela Merkel and the ECB, as they appear to be doing.”
“It is in the interests not only of the Greek people but of ordinary citizens here and across Europe that we stand with the Greek government now and demand that the issue of odious debt in Europe be addressed and that the failed policies of austerity be abandoned. It is really inexplicable that we are failing to do this when the Greek elections have presented us with the best opportunity to date of putting Europe on a new and better path.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett condemned, in particular, the position articulated in the last few days Simon Coveney, where the Agriculture Minister suggested, on the one hand that Greece should not get a write-down on its debt, but that if it did Ireland should get one also.
Deputy Boyd Barrett said:
“The position articulated by Minister Coveney was truly shocking, suggesting the government would oppose a debt write-down for Greece, while simultaneously insisting that if Greece, managed to secure a write-down that Ireland should benefit from it. So, we will do nothing to help the Greeks but will piggy-back on anything that they might achieve. A more dishonourable and spineless position is difficult to imagine.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett, who was the first to challenge Minister Noonan at the Finance committee over Minister Coveney’s comments noted, that the Finance Minister had not fully distanced himself from the stance the Agriculture Minister was proposing.
Deputy Boyd Barrett concluded:
“It is pretty clear that the Irish government is lining up with the merchants of austerity, like Angela Merkel, against the traumatised people of Greece but also against the tens of millions of victims of austerity across Europe, including here in Ireland. It really is disgraceful and utterly treacherous.”
“The people of Greece have been crushed with the failed policy of austerity and the saddling of ordinary citizens with the debts of bondholders and financial gamblers, and we are refusing to stand with them, now that they have risen up against these unfair and failed policies. It is truly shameful”