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Bye-Bye to Ireland

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Recent protests agaisnt the austerity budget and the IMF in front near the statue of trade union organizer Jim Larken (Photo by Peter Morrison/AP).


Obviously, Ireland has been in the news lately with its looming budget cuts (it’s already had some already), Eurozone and IMF bailouts upcoming (there’s a good Planet Money podcast on this issue), and elections, the island nation of my ancestors will soon be in much more trouble then it already finds itself in.  And that’s saying a lot, considering the country’s economy has shrunk nearly 30%.

With the upcoming bailouts and austerity measures the dissident socialist republican organization Eirigi states:

A review of these programmes, carried out over four years from Asia to South America, concluded that “adjustment policies contributed to further impoverishment and marginalization of local populations while increasing economic inequality”.

Further examples demonstrate that privatisation has little to do with the public interest and everything to do with private profit interests. In South Africa, 25 per cent of the country’s 44 million people had their water and electricity disconnected after the service was privatised, while, in Mexico, between job losses and anti-trade union practices, membership of the rail workers union fell from 90,000 to 36,000 in the 1990s after private owners took control. In Britain, the privatisation of the water service created a profit boon for investors and company executives. Between 1989 and 1995, there was a 106 per cent increase in water rates and a 50 per cent increase in service disconnections, while company profits soared by 692 per cent and salaries for CEOs increased by 708 per cent.

This is what the future holds for working people in the Twenty-Six Counties if the Dublin government and IMF are allowed to proceed with this insane plan.

The same austerity measures are being pursued in the British occupied territories of Northern Ireland.  The newspaper of the republican political party of the Provisional Irish Republican Army, Sinn Fein, reports:

In the North, as a consequence of the British Government pursuing the same austerity agenda, the Northern Executive is faced with a situation where severe cuts will be imposed on spending.

Sinn Féin has repeatedly pointed out the need for fiscal and tax-raising powers to be transferred to the North so that its budgetary policy is not dictated by Britain.

Faced with cuts from London, Sinn Féin has put forward an economic document which shows where savings can be made and where revenue can be found. The party has pointed to the role that all-Ireland co-operation can play in rebuilding the economy on both sides of the border.


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