Double-talk on the Irish referendum

And yet I think they are wise:

Take the the following quote from Karl Whelan, professor of economics at UCD. It is a prime example. The fragment used by Sinn Féin is in italics.

“All that said, although I think the economics of this treaty are pretty terrible, on balance, the arguments favour Ireland’s signing up to it.”

Similarly Colm McCarthy, also of UCD and one of the most influential of the economic rock stars, was quoted by Sinn Féin as saying the following: “As an exercise in addressing the euro zone’s twin banking and sovereign debt crisis, the fiscal compact makes no worthwhile contribution”. But in the same article – and overlooked by Sinn Féin – he states: “If there has to be a referendum, the electorate would be well advised to swallow hard and vote Yes, notwithstanding the inadequacies of the proposed treaty.”

The story is here.

Why wise?  Under one reading, Ireland needs to stake out its alliance with the European Union at all costs, and let other nations be the ones to strike down bad treaties and silly ideas.  Under another reading, Ireland should to some extent defect, but they will get the best “defection deal” if they wait until Greece, Italy, and Spain are to some extent settled.  Both mean voting “yes” on the treaty referendum, even though the arguments for the treaty are weak.


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