Belfast Telegraph

Gilmore slams 'lunatic' euro claims

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has accused left-wing campaigners of employing "lunatic economics" for saying Ireland could do without the euro if a "No" vote in the referendum led to the collapse of the currency.

The Labour leader criticised People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett following the launch of his party's anti-treaty campaign on the European fiscal compact.

Mr Boyd Barrett said Britain and other states within Europe do well without the single currency, pointing out that some of the biggest multi-national US companies are based in the UK.

The Dun Laoghaire TD also accused European bailout masters of making hollow threats to withhold emergency funds if Ireland rejects the treaty, saying they would never risk Ireland going under and dragging the euro with it.

The Tanaiste described the remarks as irresponsible and incredible.

"The euro is our own currency, it is the money in our pocket," said Mr Gilmore.

"It's lunatic economics to suggest you collapse your own currency - nobody in their right mind suggests that - the impact of that for our workers, for our services, for our country.

"We need to take the sensible and responsible route in relation to our currency. A 'Yes' vote would ensure our currency is stable."

The attack came after Finance Minister Michael Noonan was under fire for warning that a "No" vote could result in a dramatically tougher budget in 2013.

Despite being accused of using bully-boy tactics and scare-mongering, the minister insisted he stood by his comments.

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