‘Borrowings will be hit by no vote’

IRELAND will end up paying even more for its borrowings if there is a no vote to the Lisbon treaty, the business organisation IBEC has claimed.

A yes vote was a crucial step in restoring Ireland’s international credibility in financial markets, said IBEC’s director general, Danny McCoy.

But the campaign was shaping up so far to be a re-run of last June’s vote, with the no side putting forward what he called ridiculous claims and the other side spending all their time rebutting them, he warned.

Currently, the lack of belief in the country is costing every worker €200 a year as the state is being forced to pay over the odds for borrowing, he claimed.

“If we get a no to the Lisbon treaty again the uncertainty about the country increases with the danger that the cost of borrowing will rise,” he said during a visit to Brussels to meet the presidents of the European Parliament and the European Commission.

The international perception of Ireland was very poor as evidenced by the “Direland” article in Monday’s Financial Times and further negative comments in the Wall Street Journal last week, he said. Voting yes to Lisbon was not a panacea but a vital first step in restoring stability and changing the very poor international perception of the country, Mr McCoy said.

Ireland was having to pay 5%, which was 1.6% more than Germany, for the €26 billion it needed to raise this year alone, and this meant an extra cost to the taxpayer of €370 million.

“This €370m would be the prize for getting our international reputation back,” he said.

Business groups’ message is that a vote for Lisbon is a vote for jobs.

European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek will visit Ireland next week.


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