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Shane Ross has been calling for the referendum to be delayed for a number of weeks. Photocall Ireland

Independent TDs and MEP to call for referendum to be delayed

Shane Ross, Catherine Murphy and Finian McGrath are among those who want the Fiscal Compact referendum delayed in light of the political uncertainty in the eurozone.

A GROUP OF independent TDs and the independent MEP for the North West Marian Harkin are to call for the Fiscal Compact referendum to be delayed at a press conference in Dublin today.

The group, which includes Dublin South deputy Shane Ross, Kildare North TD Catherine Murphy and Dublin North-Central TD Finian McGrath, are calling for the referendum to be delayed in light of the political uncertainty in the eurozone.

With the election of Francois Hollande in France, the political uncertainty in Greece, the fall of the Dutch government and the electoral blow dealt to German chancellor Angela Merkel at the weekend, the TDs believe that a delay would be in the country’s best interests.

Already the German parliament has delayed its ratification of the treaty and the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund in order to see if EU leaders can agree growth measures at a summit in Brussels on 23 May.

The Bundestag was due to vote on 25 May but has now delayed that vote until late June, a move which independent TD Shane Ross says should be replicated by the Irish government.

“Deferral makes more sense by the hour,” he wrote on Twitter last night in response to Angela Merkel’s party, the Christian Democrats, losing badly in a regional election in the German province of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The calls for a delay have been echoed by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) general secretary David Begg who said last week that the referendum should be delayed while Irish leaders get behind attempts by Hollande to agree growth measures for eurozone countries.

The government has ruled any delay to the 31 May vote, citing the certainty and decisiveness that investors want and which a Yes vote will deliver, in their view.

Independent politicians will call for the delay at a press conference to be held at 10.30am this morning.

Read: Latest opinion poll shows rise in referendum support

Read: Left-wing MEPs to campaign in Ireland against Fiscal Treaty

Read: Martin calls for Taoiseach to meet with president-elect Hollande

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