Belfast Telegraph

Bid to block ESM treaty rejected

The Government will begin official proceedings to ratify a European treaty on Wednesday - aimed at ensuring Ireland has access to emergency funds.

A spokesman said a document will be submitted to the general secretariat of the European Council, stating that the Government is ratifying the treaty on behalf of the State.

Earlier, Chief Justice Mrs Susan Denham rejected a challenge from Independent TD Thomas Pringle to block the Government from doing so.

The South West Donegal TD said the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) treaty involves a transfer of sovereignty that makes it incompatible with the Constitution.

His lawyers argued the treaty, which provides for a permanent bailout mechanism from Europe, could therefore not be ratified without a referendum.

However, the Chief Justice rejected his claims.

"The court is of the opinion that the ESM treaty does not involve a transfer of sovereignty so as to make it incompatible with the Constitution," she said.

The treaty is the next step in Europe's measures to tackle the ongoing eurozone crisis.

In May, the Irish public voted in a referendum to ratify the European fiscal treaty, which aims to impose stricter rules and guidelines on budgeting and borrowing for member states.

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