Mick Wallace The #US and #EU are increasingly using #sanctions as a weapon against countries that don't bow to their financial i… https://t.co/qMbVI1XYfc
Mick Wallace How bad that the #EU of the so called 'European Values' has supported this Terrorism against the people of #Syriahttps://t.co/wRXMSubfYi
Mick Wallace Western Colonialism never really stopped, it just got a make over - It's now called 'Financial Imperialism'. Are we… https://t.co/KoMpQ69bBw
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: Would mean something for Irish people and the notion of 'Irish Neutrality' if Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs @simoncov

fisThe Fiscal Responsibility Bill was discussed in the Dail on October 11th 2012. The Bill provides a statutory basis for a range of fiscal policy and expenditure management reforms in Ireland. Specifically, it makes provision that the budgetary and debt rules contained in Article 3 and 4 of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union take effect in national law. The Bill also establishes the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC) on a statutory basis and sets out its functions. You can watch Deputy Wallace's contribution here.

A big argument is raging in Europe as to what is actually best for the peoples of Europe. Mr. Barroso has argued that in the age of globalisation pooled sovereignty means greater power for individual members. This does not wash, however, with the peoples of Europe and many claim political virtue and economic interest demand a halt to integration and a reassertion of the powers of national legislatures. There is no doubt that enhanced co-operation on an economic level is desirable in some ways. Unfortunately, however, politically, the likely outcome is a further shift in power away from the elected representatives to unelected technocrats and a further weakening of democracy in Europe. It will lead to greater powers for the bankers at the European Central Bank and lawyers at the European Court of Justice, with the civil servants in Brussels who interpret their judgments. It is amazing how people can sit on either side of the fence, yet both are convinced that their arguments are right. Many in Europe actually believe the real villain of the crisis is the concept of financial capitalism and how it has operated. It is said the crisis did not start in Europe but in America, where the manner in which financial transactions were allowed to be deregulated completely undermined the system worldwide. That is all the more reason to have tighter financial regulation. The proposed transactions tax is one step in the right direction. Ireland is saying "No" to it because Britain is saying "No" and there is a fear jobs will be lost in the financial centre and relocated to London. It is very important, therefore, that Ireland and Britain buy into this idea because we will end up in the same place again, unless we increase regulation in the financial sector. When the crisis began in 2008, there was much talk about doing things differently. The neoliberal idea was undermined, but four years on it is gathering pace again and there is huge pressure on governments not to be too severe in the manner in which they regulate financial institutions. I find this frightening and short-sighted. The world will not solve its problems until it tackles this issue. We have talked over and over about so many ideas. I recently read an extract by Ha-Joon Chang who has written several very good works, one of which I find very definite and clear. Referring to the problems of the 1980s and 1990s, he states: "Throughout the 1980s and 90s, when many developing countries were in crisis and borrowing money from the International Monetary Fund, waves of protests in those countries became known as the "IMF riots". They were so called because they were sparked by the fund's structural adjustment programmes, which imposed austerity, privatisation and deregulation... The IMF programme, in other words, met such resistance because its designers had forgotten that behind the numbers they were crunching were real people. These criticisms, as well as the ineffectiveness of its economic programme, became so damaging that the IMF has made a lot of changes in the past decade or so. It has become more cautious in pushing for financial deregulation and austerity programmes... Given these recent changes in the IMF, it is ironic to see the European governments inflicting an old-IMF-style programme on their own populations. It is one thing to tell the citizens of some faraway country to go to hell but it is another to do the same to your own citizens, who are supposedly your ultimate sovereigns. Indeed, the European governments are out-IMF-ing the IMF in its austerity drive so much that now the fund itself frequently issues the warning that Europe is going too far... [This is scary.] What has been happening in Europe – and indeed the US in a more muted and dispersed form – is nothing short of a complete rewriting of the implicit social contracts that have existed since the end of the second world war. In these contracts, renewed legitimacy was bestowed on the capitalist system, once totally discredited following the great depression. In return it provided a welfare state that guarantees minimum provision for all those burdens that most citizens have to contend with throughout their lives – childcare, education, health, unemployment, disability and old age. ...Instead of it being explicitly cast as a rewriting of the social contract, changing people's entitlements and changing the way the society establishes its legitimacy, the dismembering of the welfare state is presented as a technocratic exercise of "balancing the books". Democracy is neutered in the process and the protests against the cuts are dismissed. The description of the externally imposed Greek and Italian governments as "technocratic" is the ultimate proof of the attempt to make the radical rewriting of the social contract more acceptable by pretending that it isn't really a political change. The danger is not only that these austerity measures are killing the European economies but also that they threaten the very legitimacy of European democracies – not just directly by threatening the livelihoods of so many people and pushing the economy into a downward spiral, but also indirectly by undermining the legitimacy of the political system through this backdoor rewriting of the social contract." We must look at the bigger picture. In the same way that business now works too much on a short-term level in order to achieve short-term gain, the political process is behaving in a similar manner.

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Namaleaks is a project that seeks to uncover possible injustice and poor practice related to NAMA (National Asset Management Agency) and financial institutions in Ireland.


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