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ICTU Troika walked all over Irish people

Friday, January 17 15:03:44

The Troika mission to Ireland repeatedly violated core European Union principles and foisted the entire burden on to the very people who bore no responsibility for the debacle.

That's what the Irish Congress of Trade Unions today told an EU Parliamentary inquiry into the operations of the mission in Eurozone programme countries.

Addressing the EU Parliamentary team's hearings in Dublin, Congress Assistant General Secretary Sally Anne Kinahan said: "Solidarity and social dialogue are fundamental building blocks of the EU and are enshrined as core principles in many treaties. Yet they were repeatedly violated and ignored in the actions and operations of the Troika in Ireland."

"Solidarity was absent in the mission's determination to ensure that the blame for the crisis and the entire burden of adjustment fell on working people - who neither caused the crisis nor benefited greatly from the false boom that preceded it," Ms Kinahan said.

"The failure to engage in social dialogue saw a point blank refusal to countenance all but one policy prescription - grinding austerity - despite the abundance of evidence proving it to be counterproductive, to say the least. While there were regular meetings with Congress - the largest civil society body on this island - there was no dialogue. The Troika was ideologically blind," Ms Kinahan explained.

She said Congress welcomed the EU Parliamentary inquiry into the operation of the Troika but regretted that it had "arrived at least three years too late."

"In 2009 - before the Troika's arrival - Congress warned that a policy of deflation and austerity would result in a 'lost decade' for Ireland. Tragically, that now seems to have come to pass. "During the Troika years, Ireland was subjected to a painful ideological experiment whose aim was to engineer the shrinking of the state along with the erosion of labour rights and the wider European social model."

"The Troika's legacy is one of corrosively high unemployment, weakened social provision, frightening levels of emigration and the prospect of a 'lost generation' of youth, along with an entirely unpayable debt."