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Ireland’s “Yes” vote on Europe means Germany must act

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"Yes" vote on Fiscal Treaty keeps Ireland in the game
A “Yes” vote  on the European treaty has kept Ireland in the game a senior Irish government official told me yesterday.

“This is as much about psychology as any reality about the treaty” he said, pointing out that a “No” vote would have slammed the door in several European capitals on Irish efforts to have the Anglo Irish bank debt renegotiated.

It is easy to see that reality. With Germany, in particular, assailed on all sides these days, a “No” vote in Ireland would have been a very unwelcome development in a very bad week for the Euro project.

Now Ireland can at least point to its success in passing a pro-European referendum despite a massive anti Europe mood across the country and indeed the continent.

It allows the Germans in particular more breathing space while they consider the overwhelming question that needs to be addressed.

Is the EU about full federal monetary union where like in the US the federal government bails out individual states if that is called for, or is it just a loose and increasingly unworkable arrangement between states with vastly different economic profiles?

It needs to be the former for the Euro to have any chance to survive, but whether Frau Merkel sees it that way remains the one overwhelming question.

Yesterday’s win in the Irish referendum shows that the Irish for one, continue to believe in the European project but the future still lies with the big boys of Europe, especially the Germans, who are failing to act decisively as Europe teeters on the brink.

The bad news on the American economy yesterday merely highlights the need for quick and decisive action in Europe. The last time Europe dithered like this the Second World War ensued as Hitler swept to power. We could be  looking at an economic equivalent if the Germans do not act soon.

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