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Lisbon Treaty Referendum 2 What can you believe

category national | eu | opinion/analysis author Thursday September 10, 2009 03:01author by Johnfitz - various Report this post to the editors

Buy a used car from a EU leader? U buy a pup?

President Jacques Chirac, who campaigned hard for a "Yes" vote, accepted the voters' "sovereign decision", but said it created "a difficult context for the defence of our interests in Europe".

Lisbon Treaty Referendum 2 What and whom can you believe

The Treaty we're being asked to vote on started life as a Constitition for the EU. It was rejected by
France 55% of people voted "No", with 45% YES. Turnout about 70%.
Netherlands 61.6% voted No Turnout of 63.3%.
President Jacques Chirac, who campaigned hard for a "Yes" vote, accepted the voters' "sovereign decision", but said it created "a difficult context for the defence of our interests in Europe". Spain and Luxembourg voted Yes but as all members needed to vote Yes the
The Constitution was abandoned. Or was it? After much deliberation a very complex Lisbon Treaty emerged.

"The difference between the original Constitution and the present Lisbon Treaty is one of approach, rather than content ...The proposals in the original constitutional treaty are practically unchanged. They have simply been dispersed through the old treaties in the form of amendments. Why this subtle change? Above all, to head off any threat of referenda by avoiding any form of constitutional vocabulary ... But lift the lid and look in the toolbox: all the same innovative and effective tools are there, just as they were carefully crafted by the European Convention."
- V.Giscard D'Estaing, former French President and Chairman of the Convention which drew up the EU Constitution, The Independent, London, 30 October 2007
- - - - - - - --
" The most striklng change (between the EU Constitution in its older and newer version ) is perhaps that in order to enable some governments to reassure their electorates that the changes will have no constitutional implications, the idea of a new and simpler treaty containing all the provisions governing the Union has now been dropped in favour of a huge series of individual amendments to two existing treaties. Virtual incomprehensibilty has thus replaced simplicity as the key approach to EU reform. As for the changes now proposed to be made to the constitutional treaty, most are presentational changes that have no practical effect. They have simply been designed to enable certain heads of government to sell to their people the idea of ratification by parliamentary action rather than by referendum."
- Dr Garret FitzGerald, former Irish Taoiseach, Irish Times, 30 June 2007
"The substance of the constitution is preserved. That is a fact."
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speech in the European Parliament, 27 June 2007
"The good thing is that all the symbolic elements are gone, and that which really matters - the core - is left."
- Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Danish Prime Minister, Jyllands-Posten, 25 June 2007
"The substance of what was agreed in 2004 has been retained. What is gone is the term 'constitution' ".
- Dermot Ahern, Irish Foreign Minister, Daily Mail Ireland, 25 June 2007
"90 per cent of it is still there...These changes haven't made any dramatic change to the substance of what was agreed back in 2004."
- Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Irish Independent, 24 June 2007
"The aim of the Constitutional Treaty was to be more readable; the aim of this treaty is to be unreadable ... The Constitution aimed to be clear, whereas this treaty had to be unclear. It is a success."
- Karel de Gucht, Belgian Foreign Minister, Flandreinfo, 23 June 2007
"The good thing about not calling it a Constltution is that no one can ask for a referendum on it."
-Giuliano Amato, speech at London School of Econmics, 21 February 2007
Surely those comments tell us why our EU leaders didn't make the few "symbolic" changes to the "readable" Constitution and why they didn't need to read the unnecessarily, and it seem intentionally complicated Treaty!

"Public opinion will be led to adopt, without knowing it, the proposals that we dare not present to them directly ... All the earlier proposals will be in the new text, but will be hidden and disguised in some way."
- V.Giscard D'Estaing, Le Monde, 14 June 2007, and Sunday Telegraph, 1 July 2007
"France was just ahead of all the other countries in voting No. It would happen in all Member States if they have a referendum. There is a cleavage between people and governments... A referendum now would bring Europe into danger. There will be no Treaty if we had a referendum in France, which would again be followed by a referendum in the UK."
- French President Nicolas Sarkozy, at meeting of MEPs, EUobserver, 14 November 2007
Saturday, June 27, 2009 EU leaders' attitude to No vote realistic, says McCreevy. HARRY McGEE, Political Staff

IRELAND'S EU commissioner Charlie McCreevy has said that every political leader in Europe knew that a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty would have been rejected by 95 per cent of the 27 (Charlie exagerating again since 2 that voted had accepted the Constitution Johnfitz) member states. Mr McCreevy yesterday expressed the view that the attitude of the leading politicians in other European states to last year's No vote on Lisbon was realistic and understanding. Why wouldn't it be? Bertie's comment below put it rather subtly to them that they were utter hypocrites in denying their citizens a vote and might just be exposed. Charlie's comment seems to underline Bertie's!
" I think it's a bit upsetting... to see so many countries running away from giving their people an opportunity,' Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern said on Sunday 21 October, according to the Irish Independent. 'If you believe in something ...why not let your people have a say in it? I think the Irish people should take the opportunity to show the rest of Europe that they believe in the cause, and perhaps others shouldn't be so afraid of it,' he added. "
- Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, EU Observer, Brussels, 22 October 2007
"Sometimes I like to compare the EU as a creation to the organisation of empires. We have the dimension of empire but there is a great difference. Empires were usually made with force with a centre imposing diktat, a will on the others. Now what we have is the first non-imperial empire."
- Commission President J-M Barroso, The Brussels Journal, 11 July 2007
So that's how democratic our EU leaders are! How about our MEPs who collected large salaries for many years while arguing that they were virtually powerless? They now want the Lisbon Treaty passed to allow them to share the power taken from TDs with EU colleagues.

In February 2008 the European Parliament voted by virtually 4 to 1 499 to 129 MEPs, to reject an amendment to a report on the Lisbon Treaty stating that "The European Parliament undertakes to respect the outcome of the referendum in Ireland"

To sum up- We're now to vote on a minimally modified Constitution (the impenetrable Lisbon Treaty) with just the symbolic elements removed to deny other Europeans who rejected the Constitution from having a say. And we must say Yes, or else we're doomed according to all the "experts" who brought us, with considerable aplomb, to the current financial meltdown with the major crises for many ordinary citizens of job loss, home loss etc.

The importance of truth and accuracy in politics, media, etc for the functioning of democracy is long known. Noam Chomsky in many books (e.g. Media Control- The Spectacular achievements of Propaganda) highlights the role of media in the demise of genuine democracy. Many others chronicle that demise e.g. Pallast's "The Greatest Democracy Money Can Buy", Pilgers 2007 film "The War on Democracy",
"Democracy is Dead" New Internationalist issue 373 Free markets have eaten democracy for breakfast. Paul Kingsnorth wonders what's for dinner. See http://www.newint.org/columns/essays/2004/11/01/democracy/
Global Media, Empires of the Senseless New Int. Issue 333- shows the extent to which media are now controlled by mega corporations http://www.newint.org/issues/2001/04/01/.

US Senate Speech On Global 'Free' Trade And The Destruction Of Society at http://www.wiseupjournal.com/?p=1101


"So, if as you’ve heard today, you have freedom of movement of capital, freedom of movement of technology, and you can employ people for forty or fifty times cheaper who are skilled, and you can import their products back anywhere in the world­that’s the basis of global free trade ­how can those investments, how can these trans-national companies who have 4.8 trillion dollars of sales invest anywhere other than where it's cheapest and where their return is greatest? the system [...] forces them to do it; otherwise they go bankrupt .

"All my business life I've worked to increase our profitability; but I believe that when you get to a system whereby so as to get the best corporate profits you have to leave your own country, you have to say to your own sales force, good-bye, we can't use you anymore, you're too expensive, you've got unions, you want holidays, you want protection, so we're going offshore; and you destroy your own nation­I think that's short-term thinking, that's the real short-term investment because that is like making a profit on the deck of the Titanic, playing cards, and as clever as opposed to a wise way.

"Two developed countries, U.K. and France: let me remind you in France since we progressively moved towards this global free trade the economy rose by 80­eight-zero­percent during the twenty-year period, fine performance, and unemployment went from 420,000 people to 5.1 million . Let me give you, if I may, Mr. Chairman, for the United Kingdom: between 1971 and 1991 gross national product rose by 49.5 percent, but the number of people living in poverty has risen from 6.6 million to 13.6 million ; the number of children being brought up in poverty­this is a developed country, one of the great old economies and nations­4.1 million, 32 percent of children in the land officially designated as living in poverty."

Read the full article here: http://www.wiseupjournal.com/?p=1101

author by johnfitzpublication date Thu Sep 10, 2009 03:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pallast's book correct title "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy"

author by paul o toolepublication date Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Very clear work there Mr Fitz.

I read the Government pamphlet dropped in my door and it clearly states, in the last line, that.....
' This European Council Declaration on Workers Rights is a political statement. It is not legally binding.
So much for the 'guarantees'......

Fianna Fails pamphlet states that ...'The EU has re-affirmed the central role of workers rights and social protections across all policies'... Failing to comment on the Lavalle case where the EU Comission on Workers Rights ruled against Sweedish unions to uphold their right to a minimum wage, where polish workers on €1.64/hr were allowed to continnue to work in Sweeden building schools with Polands minimum wage.

So when they say that the rights of workers are upheld, whos rights are they specifically talking about. Irelands minimum wage can be set by the Government of this country, and in contradiction, the EU says it upholds this minimum set by the Irish government AND in reality has ruled that the minimum in accession states is ALSO upheld.
The contradictions will be played out when an Irish worker and a worker from one of the new accession countries go for the same job...deliberately pitting workers against each other.

author by johnfitzpublication date Thu Sep 10, 2009 14:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"So when they say that the rights of workers are upheld, whose rights are they specifically talking about.

Yes Paul. Irelands minimum wage can be set by the Irish Government.

It is as you say meaningless! since the EU accepts the freedom of companies to import workers from very low minimum wage member states thus undermining the Irish minimum.

You'll probably find also Irish companies setting up in low wage members, hiring workers there, maybe even Irish(not certain of this), under those conditions and then using them here.

Competitiveness at whatever cost has been the policy envisaged since the EU White Paper "Growth Competitiveness and Employment issued in 1993. Only now it's been put into effect.

And since capital is totally mobile now, the race to the bottom will be with China and other Euro an hour wage rates. Some Irish companies have gone that route already

author by Savvy.publication date Thu Sep 10, 2009 16:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Irelands minimum wage can be set by the Irish Government."

It is REALLY set by the Irish Economy.

If the economy goes down the tubes ... wages will follow.
House prices are already in the tail spin which has been long predicted.
As is our credit rating.
And our competitiveness.
And our indebtedness.
As is our plummeting GDP.
As is our soaring unemployment rate.

This is not some ideological necromancy.

As Bill Clinton once famously said:
"It's the Economy stupid."

Ten years ago the Economist Magazine called Ireland "The Shining Light of Europe."

All has changed. Changed utterly.

Last week the Financial Times re-named Ireland.......... "Dire Land." :



author by Pete.publication date Fri Sep 11, 2009 07:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Let me give you, if I may, Mr. Chairman, for the United Kingdom: between 1971 and 1991 gross national product rose by 49.5 percent, but the number of people living in poverty has risen from 6.6 million to 13.6 million."

We are into "definitions" here.

In Britain "poverty" is defined as having less than 60% of the average national income ..excluding the rich.

It is therefore a moving target.

Good thumbnail analysis of how Britain's poverty is measured here:


"But no one in their right mind would suggest that one fifth of the population in modern Britain are as steeped in poverty as their Victorian ancestors.
Essentially, how poverty is measured has evolved. The social scientists have being busy moving the goalposts. "



author by Paul o toolepublication date Fri Sep 11, 2009 13:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

So pete ,, i take it that your voting NO?? Also
Most people I know are voting no, ant those voting yes are not sure why......

!,2 milion Irish voters are voting for 500 million..

author by jan jan 63publication date Fri Sep 11, 2009 22:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Labour Court acknowledged this when it stated that ‘It seems reasonably if not absolutely clear to the Court that …contractors from other Member States could exercise their freedom to provide services in this jurisdiction under the EC Treaty at the same rates and conditions of employment as apply in their country of origin’.

Commissioner for the internal market, Charlie McCreevy, KINDA recently opined that there had been capture of financial regulation by the industry. Despite this realisation, he still appointed a group of former bankers to advise him

author by jan jan 63 - worldpublication date Sat Sep 12, 2009 03:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ganley's entry / re-entry into the Lisbon Campaign is designed to divert public attention away from the NO Campaign being presently waged , which i contend is concerning the Neo-cons because without Ganley there is only one coherent NO argument in town.

Brussels that assures the fundamentalists ( Ganley ) that abortion or gay marriage will not be imposed on holy Ireland. When it comes to saving Europe's free market economy and its security apparatus, morsels of comfort can be thrown to the ignorant. trodgen

author by Gearoidpublication date Sat Sep 19, 2009 22:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hello All,

We have been a part of a developing EU for 35 years.

The general tenor of the 'debate' in Ireland regarding Lisbon seems to indicate we don't know that.

The dichotomy between potential and achievement in Ireland may well be relatively pathetic, but just imagine how it might have been were it not for our EU membership.

I can understand rancid racists on the far right moaning about the EU, but I really don't get the concerns of the left. I doubt Monet and Schumann et al would either.

Look at the bigger picture.

author by good europeanpublication date Sat Sep 19, 2009 22:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

is the referendum about Europe as it is now, or about what a scary bunch of neo-cons want to turn it into?

Look at the real picture a chara, not the rose tinted one the elites want to show you.

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