Truth or scare? A layman's guide to the fiscal treaty

The Yes side says it's a buffer against future disaster. The No side says it's a recipe for decades of austerity. It's time to read between the lines, writes Cliff Taylor.

5th May, 2012
European leaders prepare to sign the fiscal treaty in Brussels last March: the treaty is a response to the desires of the big countries, particularly Germany, to ensure countries have responsible budget policies. Photo: Bloomberg

During the Lisbon Treaty debate, there was plenty of argument about whether people discussing the treaty had actually read it.

This time around, it's easier. The fiscal treaty is not an easy read, but it is generally understandable, albeit with plenty of economic jargon.

Here is a guide to the gist of it. To highlight the key arguments, we focus on the essential bits and the arguments made about them. The positions of the Yes...

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