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Enda owes us one on mega debt.

Byline: Lord Henry VIEW FROM SLANE CASTLE

REMEMBER the phrase, "Beware the Ides of March". It should be ringing in the ears of Michael Noonan this Christmas.

As Enda Kenny sits in front of a fire dreaming of the glories of being on the front cover of Time and hanging out with the Queen and President Obama, let his daytime slumbers be interrupted by the haunting prospects of being responsible for burning a vast pile of money.

Finally, a Cabinet Minister has spoken the truth. The Rabbitte is out of the hat. The Labour Party's chief joker is getting serious.

Next March we are due to pay down a further [euro]3.1billion of Anglo Irish debt.

"We can't pay," says Pat. Damn right we can't.

The Irish nation has just had inflicted on it one of the most savage budgets in history, costs and increased taxation amounting to around the same figure and yet, as things stand, our Government is set to destroy this vast pile of money.

It makes me sick. I know I have written endlessly about it, but consider this, never has Dail Eireann voted on the issue.

This appalling and deeply-immoral arrangement was put in place without any democratic accountability. Think about that if you are enraged by the cuts in Child Benefit and the Respite Carers Allowance, or your blood is boiling about the burden the Property Tax is going to place on you.

To be brutally frank, I consider this a crime.

A nation held to ransom to facilitate paying off the bondholders and to stave off contagion in the European banking system.

Have we received any thanks for this? Clearly no. Instead, the Greeks have been rewarded for rioting and our passiveness has been thrown back in our faces.

No more. This cannot be allowed to continue. Next year we hold the European presidency. Our happy-clappy Taoiseach has got to display a bit of mettle. If truth be known he owes this, not just to the nation but to Europe as a whole.

JPat If the European project is to have a future, it cannot allow the socialisation of risk.

Those in the corridors of power talk about the difficulties of dealing with legacy debt but the truth is that this legacy is about the future.

It is about prospects for our young people who are being forced in droves to leave our country.

Oh yes, indeed, beware the Ides of March. Next year this arrangement will be tested in the courts. Can the interests of the nation be subjugated by the unaccountable?

This is Ireland, not North Korea. Happy Christmas.

CAPTION(S):

SERIOUS Rabbitte
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 15, 2012
Words:443
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