Apple, Brussels, and Ireland’s Bruised Sovereignty
Despite their unequivocal Europeanism, the Irish have been serially mistreated by the EU, most recently in 2009, when German banks were allowed to free ride on the country's unsuspecting taxpayers. But in maintaining a sweetheart tax deal with Apple, it is the Irish government that has been abusing the European commons.
ATHENS – Despite their unequivocal Europeanism, the Irish have been serially mistreated by the European Union.
When Irish voters rejected the Treaty of Lisbon in 2008, the EU forced them to vote again until they delivered the “right” outcome. A year later, when private Irish banks imploded, threatening their (mainly) German private creditors with severe losses, Jean-Claude Trichet, the European Central Bank’s then-president, immediately “informed” the Irish government that the ECB would shut down ATMs across the Emerald Isle unless Ireland’s unsuspecting taxpayers made the German banks whole.
Ireland acquiesced, its public debt ballooned, emigration returned, and the country remains bruised and despondent. With the EU still refusing meaningful reduction of a debt burden unfairly borne by the younger generation, the Irish remain convinced, correctly, that the EU violated their sovereignty on behalf of foreign bankers.