Pringle Expresses Outrage at Government’s Negative Campaigning on Referendum

Deputy Thomas Pringle has today expressed his anger at the Government’s negative campaigning on the upcoming referendum, describing their approach as “Machiavellian”.

Speaking at Leaders’ Questions to the Tánaiste on the matter, the Independent TD for Donegal South-West outlined his concerns: “Doubt about future funding is the stick that this Government is using to beat the Irish people into submission on May 31st.”

Deputy Pringle put forward that “If the EFSF funding will not be available, why then did European heads of state in a statement on March 30th state that any member state in a programme will be funded up to the point that they can return to the markets?

“Applications for this funding can be made until the end of June 2013 – this is where Ireland is currently getting its funding from and therefore will not be considered a new applicant when the ESM is due to take effect, so we will not be subject to its conditionality for future funding.”

“Michael Noonan has said himself that there is a commitment that European authorities will continue to supply countries that are in programmes with money even when the programme is concluded, providing they fulfil the conditions of that programme. This situation has not changed; the Government would just like us to think that it has in order for this Treaty to be passed.

The fact is that regardless of the Treaty vote, Ireland is guaranteed funding under the current programme – as long as it meets its targets. A Yes or No vote will not change this” said Pringle.

“The Government is scaremongering the people of Ireland into voting Yes by making threats which are simply untrue. It certainly says a lot when these bully-boy tactics are what is being resorted to in an attempt to get this referendum passed.

“Regardless of the outcome of this referendum, the people deserve to know the truth about our funding situation, something which the Government has so far denied us.

“Ireland will not fall into a black hole of funding uncertainty if people decide to vote No. In fact, the uncertainty lies if we become subject to the dire fiscal regulations of the Treaty” stated Pringle.

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