Tens of thousands protest EU-IMF bank bailout in Ireland

From World Socialist Web Site:  http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/nov2010/irel-n29.shtml

By Chris Marsden
29 November 2010

Saturday’s demonstration by between 50,000 and 100,000 in Dublin against the bailout of banks was massive by Irish standards and in relation to its workforce of 2 million. It was a powerful expression of the determination of workers, young people and students to resist the savage austerity measures being imposed by the Fianna Fail-Green Party coalition as a precondition for an €85 billion package of loans and guarantees from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The pain involved only gets worse. The deal reached with the EU finance ministers late Sunday means Ireland will have to pay a staggering 5.8 percent interest rate on its loan, compared with 5.2 percent for Greece. The Irish State will also funnel €17.5 billion into the coffers of the banks from the National Pension Reserve Fund and other sources. It has been estimated that by 2014 interest payments on the loan will have increased from €2.5 billion to over €8 billion per annum, around one fifth of all tax revenue.

Yet there is a fundamental political dilemma facing those looking to defend themselves from a further 10 percent cut in wages, tens of thousands of job losses, tax hikes and the elimination of social provisions—set to cost families that have already suffered an average €4,000 loss in income an additional €4,000 a year. It found symbolic expression at the rally at the end of the march, where the two main representatives of its organisers, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, were subjected to catcalls and booing that on occasion drowned out their speeches, even over the PA system.

The reaction to David Begg, the ICTU’s general secretary, and Jack O’Connor, the leader of Ireland’s largest union, SIPTU, was manifestly hostile. But this solicited precious little comment in the mainstream media. The Irish Sunday Times noted, “Jack O’Connor, the ICTU president, and David Begg, its General Secretary, were loudly heckled. Angry marchers shouted at O’Connor ‘to get off the stage’.

Continue reading at:  http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/nov2010/irel-n29.shtml

One Response to “Tens of thousands protest EU-IMF bank bailout in Ireland”

  1. Andrea B Says:

    The 17.5 billion Euro from the pension funds, was specifically asked for my the IMF, not the EU. The EU did not ask for the pension funds to be put on the table and apparently some politicians in Europe and EU are uncomfortable with aspect of the IMF demands, as was the EU negotiation team.

    The Greens and Fianna Fail will be lucky to win any seats and I hope they win none. They have held back sustainable development and stood in the way of any structural reform as well as ensuring that no new railways are built or reopened in favour of cars. There route for a motorway through Tara which has buildings older than the pyramids is not only a national disgrace, but an international disgrace. There is a perfectly good, disused, very straight railway line through that area stopping at every large town which could have been reopened by both Fianna Fail and the Green party decided instead to route a motorway through there like a snake on LSD through every piece of land owned by the catholic church they could find, so as to fill the coffers of the catholic church with more money than they were fined for raping every child they could get there dirty hands on.

    As for David Begg and Jack O’ Connor. I await them being tried after the next election and the key being thrown away. As they both are such fans of the roman empire and civilisation as defined by the romans, I hope they are both put in Crooke Park to fight to the death for our entertainment.

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