Pringle case against Government opens in High Court

Sue Doherty

Reporter:

Sue Doherty

A case taken by Donegal South West Independent TD Thomas Pringle against the Government opened this week in the High Court.

A case taken by Donegal South West Independent TD Thomas Pringle against the Government opened this week in the High Court.

Deputy Pringle took the case after the Government called the recent referendum on the Fiscal Compact (Fiscal Stability Treaty).

He believes that there is more law involved in implementing the Fiscal Compact - the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and with Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

The crux of his argument is that the Irish people should have had their voices heard on the ESM as well as the Fiscal Compact.

The ESM Treaty sets out the new EuroZone bailout mechanism.

Funding is provided by members of the Eurozone and Ireland is expected to pay €11.145bn of the initial €500bn fund, although that may be negotiated downward because of our current financial position.

The key problem for Pringle is that the ESM Treaty allows the amount of each country’s contribution to be increased “at its sole discretion any time in the future”. He believes the Irish electorate are legally entitled to retain a say in how the country’s money is spent, at least on this scale.

The hearing, which opened in Tuesday, is expected to last 5-7 days.