Lisbon Treaty: Europe holds breath over Irish referendum vote

14:11 by Editor · 0 Post a comment on AAWR

Europe held its breath on Friday as Irish voters went to the polls to vote in a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

The EU is counting on Ireland to ratify the treaty after the country, accounting for less than 1 per cent of the EU's nearly half a billion population, held up the reform charter's introduction in a "No" vote last year.

Opinion polls suggest this time around Ireland will say "Yes" after securing concessions from Brussels and amid fears a second rejection would isolate the country as it battles one of the worst recessions in the western world.

But anger with the government, evidenced in protest marches, anti-Lisbon posters and sometimes obscene graffiti decrying the demise of the "Celtic Tiger" economy, could make for a tight result.

Irish 10-year debt yields have widened more than 20 basis points over the German benchmark bund since Wednesday as risk-averse investors avoid a punt on an easy "Yes".

"It's just a risk that's probably not worth taking," said Alan McQuaid, chief economist at Dublin-based brokerage Bloxham. "If there were to be a 'No' vote bond yields would just spiral out dramatically on Monday."

In the leafy middle class Dublin suburb of Booterstown, the vast majority of people asked as they departed a polling centre said they had voted in favour of the charter.

But many were doing so through gritted teeth.

"I begrudgingly voted 'Yes' because I felt I had to, to a certain degree," said David Early, a 28-year-old photographer.

Prime Minister Brian Cowen, who could lose his job if he presides over a second defeat, has warned rejection could spark an exodus of foreign investment and has urged people to set aside their feelings about him when they tick the ballot paper.

But his pleas have angered many people struggling with unemployment, higher taxes and the possible prospect of lower social welfare payments in the next austerity budget.

"I wouldn't vote for anything this government wanted," said unemployed Patrick Nalty, 50, after voting in inner city Dublin, where walls have been plastered with campaign posters.

Turnout was slow across the country but polling centres are open until 2100 GMT.

The Lisbon Treaty, designed to speed up decision-making in the EU, give it a long-term president and a stronger foreign policy chief, needs to be ratified by all 27 member states in order to take effect. continues here

EDITOR'S Comment: It would seem as if media pundits are talking this up as a foregone conclusion, this in itself is telling, yet if truth be told, such a refusal to accept the wishes of a nation-state, speaks more about the lie of democracy™ than endorsement by any gaggle of perfidious politicians. We await the outcome of this vote, yet realise fully, that all the forces of anti-nation have and are being used, against both this small nation, Ireland and its people and indeed other nations in eastern Europe, quite simply the democracy™ they tell you, you have, is a lie, agree, parrot the party-line and liberty is yours, dissent and freedom is a yearned for state.

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