Thursday, September 8, 2016

An awful shower!

They are an awful shower, those Europeans.

Imagine, the cheek of them! Telling us Irish that poor oul’ Apple owe us €13 billion plus interest in taxes, at a time when we’re doing our best to lure in the multinationals and bring our young people home from the four corners of the earth.

Over €13 billion in unwelcome taxes? No wonder the country is up in arms. People must be enraged.

They must be ringing their TDs all the way from Cork to Donegal to tell them to fight it all the way to the top Court in Europe.

Have those pesky Europeans no idea how we do things in the land of the stroke, the hand-shake, the wink, and the banana?

Have they no idea how important it is for us to provide "sweeteners" to keep the big boys on board in the greatest little country in the world to do business in?
Taoiseach Enda Kenny: doing his best to fight the unwelcome
€13 billion-plus windfall from the European Commissionn

Some eejits are wondering what €13 billion might do to help us tackle our homelessness crisis or our hospital waiting lists, or at least abolish the deeply unpopular water charges, but this time the European Commission have just gone too far.

They can’t just force us to take tax off one of the biggest corporations in the world.

So the Government is up in arms and rightly so. This is a new Emergency, in the only country on earth which had its own name for World War Two.

Our leaders are off to Brussels, or Strasbourg, or wherever these big decisions are made, to fight tooth and nail for Irish sovereignty.

Funny, there were no Government delegations heading off to Brussels to fight for Irish sovereignty in those far off days following the 'bailout', when the toxic banks were taking almost €9,000 from every man, woman, and child in the country.

There weren’t too many calls, from official circles at any rate, for the Europeans to stop meddling in Irish affairs when the State spent €60 billion to stabilise those toxic bankers.

Figures released three years ago showed that the financial crisis cost Ireland 25% of GDP, but there was no talk of forcing the Europeans to change their minds.

Come to us with a €13 billion windfall, however, after Apple set up a global HQ in Cork, and the Europeans are threatening Irish democracy.

There was no talk of bullying within the EU – and not much solidarity from the Irish – when the Greeks were tied into a bailout which seems set to cripple their economy for decades.

It cost us €60 billion to “bail out” the banks and yet I’ve never met a single person who felt that Anglo Irish Bank should have been saved. The net cost has been estimated at about €43 billion, as the Government is set to recoup some of this sum.

But, in all those dark years of austerity since 2008, we never heard the Government challenging the Europeans or telling them that they had to re-think their financial policies.

There was no point in complaining when the offshore Irish were forced to pay for 42% of Europe's banking debt.

Now they are offering us €13 billion, plus interest, and the nation is up in arms.

Apple: their decision to set up a HQ in Cork could
yet have huge implications for the Irish economy
So … impose water charges, force the low-paid to pay the ‘Universal Social Charge’, or bailout the banks to the tune of €60 billion, and our European masters are only doing their jobs.

Sorry, lads, there's nothing we can do, because the lads out in Brussels said so. And we can't change their opinions on anything.

Vote the wrong way in two European referenda and, instead of accepting the result, the little Irish “pixie-heads” have to vote again until they come up with the “right” result.

Demand a return of some of our fisheries rights, or an explanation as to why we gave away our natural resources in the Atlantic at a knock-down price, and you'll be told these decisions were irreversible.

But tell us we are due €13 billion plus interest in unpaid taxes, and those European bullies are suddenly threatening the very fabric of our democracy.

After years of inertia by our leaders in the face of European bullying, it's great to see Enda Kenny out battling on behalf of the Banana Republic ... standing up for the rights of the poor little Irish in the face of this unwelcome windfall.

An awful shower, indeed, those pesky Europeans!

(find me on twitter, @ciarantierney)

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