The Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman has said that Irish citizens should vote no in today’s referendum on the Fiscal Compact Treaty.
“I’ve thought about it, it’s hard. I would say vote No,” the New York Times columnist told BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday morning.
Today the Irish will take to the polls for a referendum on a fiscal compact that is designed to impose discipline in government finances.
Krugman dismissed claims that a no vote would annoy the Germans and see Ireland cut off from the Eurozone.
“At this point the Germans need to face the reality that this cannot work and that the Irish, who’ve been such good soldiers in this crisis, if even the Irish say no then that would actually send a helpful message,” he said.
He added that austerity was a “deeply destructive policy” which is “failing dismally”.
“The whole intellectual framework has been tested to destruction in the Eurozone,” he said on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.
The Princeton professor criticized the single European currency.
“European currency union was a mistake since the day the Maastricht Treaty was signed,” he said.
The treaty is expected to pass by a six to eight point margin according to opinion polls but many are adopting a wait and see to the result given the anger that politicians are encountering at the doorsteps at the shape of the economy.
“It should pass, but it may not if that anger translates into votes,” said former Irish Times columnist Eddie Holt , "It may be a lot closer than people think".
Ireland’s good weather is expected to boost turnout as well, which may help the 'no’ vote.