Fiscal pact update
Friday 01 June 2012
The latest opinion polls showed a swing in favour of a ‘yes’ vote in Ireland’s 31 May referendum on the ‘fiscal pact’, which introduces the ‘golden rule’ for a balanced budget, punishable by sanctions if not respected. Nevertheless, around a third of the voters said they were still undecided,. Low participation in the referendum could overturn the predicted outcome.
The day before the vote, Prime Minister Enda Kenny recalled that “This is about stability, bringing confidence to the euro”. An Irish ‘no’ would not compromise the implementation of the treaty, which is to enter into force as soon as the 12 eurozone countries have ratified it. However, it would deprive Ireland of access to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and would send a negative signal at a time when the eurozone crisis has yet to be overcome.
Meanwhile, on the same day, the Danish, Swedish and Latvian parliaments approved the ratification of the ‘fiscal pact’.
Denmark now awaits royal consent and Latvia presidential consent. Denmark, Sweden and Latvia are EU member states, but are not currently members of the eurozone. The Greek, Portuguese, Romanian and Slovenian parliaments have already ratified the pact, but presidential consent is also still required.