Mick Wallace Great that the Circuit Court Jury found in favour of Colm and Dave, who's only crime was trying to highlight that t… https://t.co/N3cicPvo6D
Mick Wallace I voted against CAP proposal today. It fails to guarantee required minimum Space for Nature in GAEC 9, protection f… https://t.co/c7Ny2qzzZb
Mick Wallace We will continue to fail to deal with the challenges of #ClimateCrisis until we accept that the Capitalist system a… https://t.co/kgGThJsxQ5
Mick Wallace The #OAS is no longer a credible organisation - their complicity in the abuse of democracy and support for the Righ… https://t.co/6Hzo1NxExj

Dáil Diary no 25. 26th March 2015

The TTIP, Kicking the Greeks, And a Taoiseach who doesn't want to listen…

When Ireland joined the European Union, we were told that this was going to be a group of nations that would work like a family, all looking out for each other. Sadly, that’s not how it’s worked out – Now, it’s more a case of everyone for themselves, the strongest rule and the weaker nations make do, as best they can. The Greeks are in a poor place at present, and the EU seems keen to keep them there – Germany, with the backing of other members, are determined to teach the Greek voters a lesson – Did the Greeks honestly think that democracy was relevant in the modern day European Union? Meanwhile, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is likely to be signed into Law across the board in Europe, early next year – This will further undermine the rights of citizens in Europe, as the rights of Corporations are given greater advantage over those of people, in future trade disputes. Here’s my contribution this week at European Statement’s with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who happened to politely leave the Chamber as I was about to speak.- 

The departing Taoiseach spoke in glowing terms about the TTIP, calling it an ambitious, comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement. Recently, a legal document from the regulatory co-operation chapter of the agreement was leaked, which makes the Taoiseach's statement seem naive or willfully deceptive. The leaked document clearly outlines how the TTIP is being used to undermine democracy by putting the concerns of corporations before the interests of the people, which Governments are supposed to be serving. Business Europe and the US Chamber of Commerce, as far back as 2012, have been lobbying for the regulatory co-operation mechanism. They want to establish a private forum that will come into being after TTIP has been implemented, where any legislation or regulations proposed by any EU member state that affects their profits, can be brought to their attention before the legislation or regulation comes into effect. To quote Corporate Europe Observatory "This means businesses, for instance, at an early stage, can try to block rules intended to prevent the food industry from marketing foodstuffs with toxic substances, laws trying to keep energy companies from destroying the climate, or regulations to combat pollution and protect consumers."

On top of this, laws and regulations that affect trade will have to pass an impact assessment. If it is found that the interests of corporations are infringed in any way, a report by the proposed regulatory co-operation body will cite a detrimental impact on transatlantic trade. The new rules also outline how a regulatory exchange must take place if a party requests it on the basis that planned or existing regulatory acts of member states are likely to have an impact on trade and investment. When it was pointed out by the director of trade policy today, that the leaked document has yet to be finalised, striking articles are contained in the chapter as it stands and they pose grave questions about the value of democracy in the western hemisphere.

In another attack on democracy coming from the EU, which is repeatedly and publicly supported by this Government, Greece is denied the autonomy of a breathing space to construct an alternative to destructive austerity. Any economist worth his salt, and not in the pay of the financial sector, knows that austerity only serves the short-term interests of the elite and furthers the gap between rich and poor, which serves no one in the long term. The newly elected Greek Government was given a clear mandate by the public to find an alternative to austerity. Syriza is trying to place the will of the people before the interests of the elites and the banks and is paying a high price for it. The rules of engagement in the eurozone are rigid and the masters in Berlin and Brussels allow little space to negotiate a path between the extremes of austerity or euro exit. The Greeks are looking at a situation where they must choose between denying the democratic mandate and breaking all their promises by submitting to the demands of the unelected, yet most powerful institutions in Europe, or staying true to the ideals of democracy as best they can in negotiating the turbulent waters of an exit from the eurozone. What is frightening is the manner in which the Brussels group, the troika and Germany have behaved. They show little or no mercy and no compromise. The brutality of the response to Greek demands illustrates that the EU no longer has an interest in democracy. Whenever there is an election and whoever gets elected and whatever they promise their people, they must subordinate everything to uphold the logic of the markets as dictated by the only true sovereign these days, which resides in Frankfurt, Brussels and Berlin. God be with the days when Europe was a place where all nations were treated fairly.”

Mick Wallace.

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