LESS than three years ago, I was sitting in an RTE studio opposite Micheal Martin, then Minister for Foreign Affairs. A referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was only days away.
Micheal was dismissive of my fears about the dangers to Ireland’s 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate. Like many others, I was afraid that the passage of the Lisbon Treaty would be followed by a Franco-German assault on our economy’s lifeblood, our low tax rate.
Anyone who had bothered to read Le Monde or study other French media outlets at the time would have seen clear evidence that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was holding his fire until the Treaty was passed in Ireland. The signs were ominous that once he took over the European presidency — an imminent event — he would launch an assault on our corporate tax regime.