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Gonzalo Lira: If Ireland Doesn’t Take The Bailout . . .

Rightfully, the Irish people are pissed. Now the question is, Will the various political factions in Ireland manage to maneuver Irish public opinion, and get them to accept the austerity budget? This is what we spectators have to be looking at: Whether Irish public sentiment will go along with the deal—or turn against it. This is very, very possible—after all, the Irish have already flipped off the EU once before, on a very big-ticket item: They gave The Big Middle Finger to the EU Constitution back in 2008, by a margin of 53% to 47%—and that’s when times were good and everybody wanted to be European. Now? Not so much. What happens in the streets of Ireland will likely not be the deciding factor in the continuation of the EU and the Eurozone; not in my estimation. I still think, as I have argued, that Spain is the key to the Eurozone’s survival. But if the Irish reject the austerity budget on December 7, it is obvious that the Spanish problems will come to a head a lot faster. An Irish rejection of the bailout would send the bond markets into a frenzy—Spanish debt would immediately come under pressure, likely crashing before Christmas. Italy would come immediately next. The whole Eurozone could be ablaze by the New Year’s.

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