Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has told the Irish parliament today that the government has decided to subject the Eurozone fiscal compact to a popular vote. Although the government was clearly tempted to bypass a popular vote, and there were indications that the wording of the compact had been designed to facilitate this, the calculation clearly was that if they were forced into a referendum by legal action they would definitely lose it, whereas a pro-active campaign can avoid the distractions of legalities and move directly to the big Yes/No question on the compact itself. Â In fact, various comments ranging from David Cameron’s initial opposition to the compact to Mario Draghi’s interview with the Wall Street Journal last week had made it clear that many people outside Ireland see sovereignty issues with the compact, and these views would have inevitably informed the debate in Ireland. Having now upped the ante, the government will find it hard to resist the temptation to say the vote is essentially in/out of the Euro and indeed in/out on EFSF support — but the mentality of an already under-water investment banker (go even deeper!) is not necessarily good politics. [Note: the fiscal compact does not need Irish ratification to take effect].Â Nevertheless, as with Greece, parties outside the EU consensus will relish the opportunity of the debate. Â One thing still to be seen is whether the government has lined up some sweeteners from the troika especially as regards the debt burden from support to the insolvent banks.