Ratification of ESM Treaty puts Ireland on a firmer footing – English

Welcoming the beginning of the process to ratify the European Stability Mechanism Treaty, which starts today (Wednesday), Fine Gael Meath West Deputy, Damien English, said access to Europe’s permanent bailout fund gives Ireland enhanced financial security into the future.

“The ruling by the Supreme Court that Europe’s permanent bailout fund is compatible with the Irish Constitution paves the way for ratification process of the ESM Treaty today. This brings Ireland a step closer to copper-fastening access to the €500 billion in funds which the ESM has the capacity to lend.

“Ireland has been making enormous strides in recent months in terms of managing our debt, regaining market confidence and standing on our own two feet. Less than a week ago, we took a major step forward in exiting our bailout programme by returning to the markets, raising €4.2 billion in new investment and a further €1 billion in debt which was due to be repaid in 2013 and 2014 being replaced by longer-term bonds.

“Figures released this week also show that deposit trends at the Irish covered banks are positive, with year-on-year deposits until June 2012 increasing by around €13 billion from the low point of €140 billion at the same time last year. This indicates public and investor confidence in the measures being adopted by the Irish Government in terms of the banking policy that is being adopted.

“While all of these indicators are encouraging, there is still much work to be done in terms of regaining control of our public finances and ensuring Ireland’s ability to pay our own way. For this reason, access to the ESM, which will replace the EFSF, is vital. The security that access to this fund brings, not only for foreign investors but also for the markets, is crucial to ensuing that investment in Ireland continues, and that the jobs we so badly need can be created.

“The Irish people’s strong endorsement of the Stability Treaty back in May acknowledged the importance of having access to Europe’s new emergency fund, the ESM, should we need it. It is our full intention to regain full economic sovereignty and to exit our bailout programme as planned. In the meantime, ratifying the ESM Treaty will give us peace of mind regarding how we will fund ourselves, and how we will pay our doctors, teachers and nurses in the years ahead, should external factors hinder us from doing so.”