Opinion The Tattoo

A plea to the Irish to save civilization again

Portloaise, IRELAND — Last summer, in the only national referendum on the Nice Treaty that would make it easier to enlarge the European Union, the people of Ireland rejected the pact by a 54-46 margin.

You would naturally assume that the June 7 vote was the end of that.
But it isn’t.

The present administration of Ireland — Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats — decided to ignore the wishes of the electorate. The vote would be held again, they said, until the people gave the right answer.

The reason we must vote “Yes” on the second referendum day, Oct. 19, is so our eastern European neighbours can be admitted to the union, supporters say.

Those nations, which once lay behind the iron curtain, are vying for membership so they can enjoy the benefits that Ireland gets.

In the 1970s, Ireland joined the Union and from there on was given billions in aid to resurrect our outdated infrastructure, free trade got rolling and we were given enormous sums to help build up our own industries to bring Ireland up to the standard of the other European nations.

None of this has been done, by the way.

Thanks to years of incompetence by successive Irish governments, Ireland lags behind European nations such as Germany and France .

The government’s goal was the “quick fix.”

So instead of building up Irish industry, leaders wasted millions trying to attract foreign multi-nationals. Instead of properly building a good transportation system, they spent a menial proportion of European Union grants on infrastructure updates. Dublin , for example, is only now building a subway system.

But the Nice Treaty – signed in the southern France city of Nice (pronounced “Neece”) is not required for the enlargement of the union to go ahead.

As Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission has said, “Legally, ratification of the nice treaty is not necessary for enlargement. It’s without any problem up to 20 members, and those beyond 20 members have only to put in the accession agreement, some notes of change, and some clause. But legally, it’s not necessary. This doesn’t mean that the Irish referendum isn’t important. But from this specific point of view, enlargement is possible without Nice.”

When the Irish people rejected the treaty, they were denounced as “selfish, narrow sighted, ungrateful” by foreign ministers and prime ministers throughout Europe .

How could the Irish, those people who most benefited from the E.U. not allow others to join in on the fun? Because the Nice Treaty isn’t really about enlargement.

The underlying reality is that the Nice Treaty is about changing the way the E.U. operates.

Right now, all member states have an equal say. However, with the Nice Treaty, that will change.

The larger nations like Germany and France will have more of a say, and the smaller nations, like Ireland and Greece , will have less. Our representation at the European Parliament will erode.

The interests of small nations, just like the interests of the Irish people on the treaty itself, will be conveniently ignored. From there on, the E.U. will be governed in favor of Germany , France and the United Kingdom .

This transfer of power is alarming.

It’s a contradiction of the initial purpose of the E.U., to cooperate together in harmonious unity and end the division of Europe by wars and self-interest.

Yet here, the Nice Treaty is erecting the very divisions that allowed two world wars to happen in the last century.

So why is this happening? What do the French and Germans plan to do with the increase of power?

They plan to coerce every other E.U. nation into the “United States of Europe.”

This wouldn’t be a bad thing, this “U.S.E.” if it was built fairly and with the full consent and cooperation of all the members, but it’s not.

The United States of Europe concept built by the Nice Treaty would be founded on inequality.

The reason that other nations have to be coerced, with whatever means necessary, is because those with the power will exploit the smaller nations.

Just as kings and kaisers had done in the 18th and 19th century, chancellors and presidents will do in the 21st century if the treaty goes through.

Instead of member states, Ireland, Greece and the rest of Eastern Europe, will become economic colonies, subject to the desires of the Big 2 – Germany and France.

Ireland, after a long and bitter struggle, won her independence from the U.K. in 1921.

Now in 2002, if we go along the treaty terms, we will blindly enter our hands into chains and once again become a colonial slave.

What those in control of the United States of Europe plan to do after they have finally dominated and enslaved all other nations is anyone’s guess.

Most likely they’ll start World War III, in an attempt to further subjugate other peoples across the globe.

If the Nice Treaty is accepted on Oct. 19, the final nail will be struck in coffin of the E.U.

The salvation of democracy is in the hands of the Irish people.

Kieran Holland is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.

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