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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 November 2010

Ireland: 'Not simply a crisis but an absolute disaster'

THE ECONOMY in the Irish Republic is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and the government may be forced to go, cap in hand, to the European Union to obtain a bailout.

The Irish Independent reported that finance minister Brian Lenihan asked if money from the EU's emergency fund could go directly to Ireland's failed banks rather than the government in order to avoid political embarrassment and to save face.

Irish Socialist Party MEP Joe Higgins remarked at the recent Socialism 2010 event in London that the economic situation in the Irish Republic "is not simply a crisis but an absolute disaster".

The country is braced for a third austerity budget on 7 December as the government attempts once again to prop up the failed banking system as the expense of workers' living standards.

"We will not pay this bill. The Irish working class didn't create this crisis, we won't pay a cent to the dictatorship of finance capital," said Joe.

At the end of October the Irish banks were carrying €130 billion of debt and foreign investors are pulling their money out. Last week the Bank of Ireland reported that it had lost €10 billion in corporate deposits.

The Irish economy is in a deep recession which, according to the Financial Times, is "so severe that more than one-third of all men under 24 are unemployed". Overall unemployment officially stands at 13% of the working population and the economy has contracted by 14% since the onset of the crisis.

The financial meltdown in capitalism is not restricted to Ireland. A number of other countries in the Eurozone too are facing bankruptcy, including Portugal and Spain; while Greece, whose Pasok government accepted a massive EU bailout after pushing through a severe austerity budget earlier this year, remains in 'critical care'.

The economic crisis is giving rise to a new political crisis in Ireland. The governing coalition of Fianna Fáil and the Greens are expected to be annihilated at the next general election, the date of which could be announced very soon.

However, the Labour Party also accepts the dictats of capitalism. "We need a workers' alternative", said Joe. The Socialist Party will contest a number of seats in the next election as part of a wider united left alliance. For more on this see Ireland: United Left Alliance to challenge at next general election

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In The Socialist 17 November 2010:


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for your future!

Massive student demo shows anti-cuts anger

24 November - Strike against fees and cuts

Defend student protesters!

10 November demonstration: Students fighting back


War and occupation

Afghanistan: Withdraw the troops now!


Socialist Party workplace news

Kirklees - fighting £400 million budget cut

Protests and meetings against the cuts

Victory in law centre battle

Jobs threat in Knowsley

Ballot cancelled in BA dispute

National Shop Stewards Network: Anti-cuts conference

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

Universal Credit - a thinly veiled attack on the sick and unemployed

Coalition turns back the clock on justice

Tories promote fast food nation

Fast news


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition launches its campaign for the 2011 local elections


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: 'Not simply a crisis but an absolute disaster'

Ireland: United Left Alliance to challenge at next general election

Support the Laura Ashley strikers


Socialist Party review

Britain's trillion pound horror story


 

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