MINISTER FOR STATE at the Department of Finance Brian Hayes has warned that blaming Europe or the IMF for the country’s problems will not help Ireland.
Speaking at the annual general meeting of the UCC branch of Young Fine Gael, Hayes said that Ireland is “not a helpless victim of foreign bogeymen”.
He also criticised what he sees as a “national narrative of failure, fatalism and despair”.
Young people must not allow their natural confidence and enthusiasm for life to be undermined by all the negative commentary.
Commenting on the upcoming referendum, the junior minister said that Europe is not forcing Ireland to accept the fiscal compact treaty.
“This is our business,” he told the group of students. “Other countries in the eurozone will decide for themselves.”
However, he did admit that Ireland’s choices are limited and that if the treaty is rejected, a two-speed eurozone will be created.
We stay in the euro and fight our corner; or we leave.
Hayes spoke of how foreign investment is dependent on Ireland’s full and committed membership of the European Union. He also argued that international markets “hate uncertainty” and indicated that without the backstop of the EU, the international money markets could be “unforgiving”.
Warning against a “go-it-alone policy,” Hayes dismissed suggestions of leaving the euro and reneging on debt. He said people advocating such a plan come from the ‘North Korean School of Economics’.
Concluding his speech, Hayes said he is not negative about Ireland’s future but added that the country cannot “magic away” its problems.