Ireland: EU treaty rejected

Issue 

The pro-corporate European Union Lisbon treaty has been rejected by voters in a referendum in the Republic of Ireland, according to a June 13 BBC.co.uk report.

The treaty, which would impose conditions favourable to corporate interests on all 27 EU-member countries, needs to be ratified by all EU countries to take affect. Ireland is the only country that is constitutionally required to hold a referendum to accept or reject the treaty, meaning its fate largely lay in the hands of Irish voters.

According to BBC.co.uk, which described the outcome as a "major blow" to European leaders, the "No" vote received 53.4% of the votes cast. The turnout was 53.1% of registered voters.

In 2005, an even wider-ranging draft EU constitution was defeated in referendums in France and Holland.

In Ireland, the result occurred despite a strong campaign from the political establishment in Ireland in favour of the treaty. Sinn Fein was the only party in parliament to oppose the treaty and campaign for a "No" vote. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said the vote showed that people "want to make sure there's maximum democratic power".

Declan Ganley, from the Libertas coalition that campaigned against the treaty, commented: "The people of Ireland have shown enormous courage and wisdom in analysing the facts presented to them and making the decision they have."

"It's a great day to be Irish", Ganley said.