PDF image of Issue No. 1 of Convention newspaper:

Since 1997, the Stability & Growth Pact (SGP) was the system to deal with the debt crisis. It limited deficits to 3% and debt to 60% of GDP – an initiative of Germany.

The SGP failed and both budget deficits & national debt are in crisis throughout the EU, thanks to a frenzy of unlimited lending by the largest banks. The principal defaulters on SGP were Germany and France. Yet last year, Merkel and Sarkozy went solo to propose a stricter policy, with penalties, even to depriving member states of the right to vote, but that wasn’t accepted by others. This has now become the Fiscal Compact Treaty (FCT). This and the last Government tried to ensure that we did not have a vote on this issue.

Thanks to our Constitution, it is our choice to say whether we have confidence in this proposal and its implications or not.

Some say this whole approach is wrong. We are already in a hole and should stop digging!

Some say we need to stick with the ‘European Project’ – It is our right to decide.