Gerry Adams has compared the coalition’s warning for a yes vote in the fiscal treaty to the fear instilled in society by British rule or by the domination of the Church.
The Sinn Féin president also insisted a rejection of this week’s referendum would still allow Ireland to access the EU’s future bailout fund, according to its mandate.
Closing the party’s ard fheis in Killarney, Co Kerry, Mr Adams called for a united Ireland with one economy and one government, which would save financial resources. He said Irish people were sick of fear, forced emigration, and new stealth taxes.
A yes vote would give “unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats in Frankfurt and Brussels” more power, he claimed. “The Taoiseach won’t even debate the issue,” he said.
“That’s not leadership. That’s not showing citizens the respect they deserve. Instead Mr Kenny, Mr Gilmore, and Mr Martin are trying to scare people into voting yes.
“Whether it was British rule or a domineering Church hierarchy, Irish citizens have had enough of being ruled by fear. We are done with that.”
He claimed the European Stability Mechanism, the EU’s permanent bailout fund which will come into operation in July, could be accessed even if voters reject the treaty.
“The legal mandate of the ESM is very clear. Funding will be provided, and I quote, where it is ‘indispensable to safeguard the financial stability of the euro area as a whole and of its member states’. So don’t be fooled.”
The independent referendum commission has said a rejection of the treaty will not allow Ireland access the €700bn fund, according to its rules.
Mr Adams also focused his speech on emigration, cutbacks as well as proposals by the party for job creation.
He accused the Government of forcing people to emigrate and claimed he had been told half of those aged 22 to 26 in Leitrim had left the county.
“In this State, around 70,000 people are emigrating each year. That’s nine citizens every hour.”
The party proposes a €13bn stimulus package to create 130,000 jobs over three years. Funds were available in the national pension reserve fund, the European Investment Bank, and Nama, he said.
Mr Adams also said a united Ireland would create a single island economy.
“It does not make sense on an island this size and with a population of 6m, to have two states, two bureaucracies, two sets of government departments, and two sets of agencies competing for inward investment.”
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