Ganley: Treaty is ‘empty posturing’

Declan Ganley has described the fiscal treaty as an “exercise in empty posturing” and said he will be campaigning for a no vote on May 31.

The businessman and head of Libertas said, in the absence of a deal on bank debt, he could not advocate support for passing the treaty. While he no longer has a political party behind him, he said he would be engaging in a limited poster campaign.

Mr Ganley, who previously campaigned for a no vote on the Lisbon treaty, said European politics “proactively rejects the idea of loyal opposition and its bureaucracy is quick to label as ‘anti-European’ all that dare question it”.

Writing an opinion piece in the Sunday Business Post, he said democracy had been shrunk, loyal opposition has been silenced, the individual has been devalued in favour of the collective and there had been a “diminution of competition, merit and innovation”.

Mr Ganley claimed current and future generations of Europeans were being asset-stripped to subsidise “the failure of private corporate interests”.

He described the fiscal treaty as an “exercise in empty posturing”.

“It quite simply will not come remotely close to solving Europe’s economic crisis, designed as it was in the halls of Berlin and Paris with one primary objective in mind — to placate electorates being fed stories of ‘lazy Greeks’ by the tabloid press,” he said.

Mr Ganley said Europe was in dire need of courageous leadership and needed to get back to taking risks and being prepared to embrace “the freedom to fail” both in banking, private corporate institutions and banking.

“Europe has reached a point of insolvency, so realistically we must choose either to unite in a true federal democratic union or see Europe unravel in an unpredictable manner that has the potential to turn dangerously ugly,” he said.

Among other things, he called for:

* A liberal Europe-wide bankruptcy law to be passed allowing for an 18-month “beginning to end bankruptcy”.

* A one-off “full federalisation” of state debts.

* The amalgamation of the positions of president of the European Commission and president of the European Council with the new position subject to a democratic election by Dec 2013.

* The European Parliament to be reformed to give greater balance for population and should be given power to initiate legislation.

* A full insolvency purge of all European financial institutions immediately with a liquidation and asset sale of all unhealthy institutions.

* An EU-wide pension plan putting citizen’s pension assets beyond the reach of “future potentially-insolvent and irresponsible governments”.

As regards this country, Mr Ganley said Ireland is burdened with the failed debts of “certain fake risk-takers” that the country had no moral duty to bear.

“It is beyond unacceptable that anyone would even consider asking Ireland to pass a treaty that does not cut this bank debt burden,” he said.

“Any Irish government claiming that it would be barred from markets for years would clearly be admitting that it is incompetent to hold office.”

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