News / Europe

Ireland Faces Political Turmoil After Bailout Decision

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen reacts during a press conference at government buildings in Dublin, Ireland, regarding a massive EU-IMF bailout, 22 Nov 2010
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen reacts during a press conference at government buildings in Dublin, Ireland, regarding a massive EU-IMF bailout, 22 Nov 2010

Multimedia

Audio

The Irish government may be heading towards collapse after agreeing to a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Prime Minister Brian Cowen said he will call an election for early next year, but some politicians in Ireland say that's not soon enough.

Ireland's Prime Minister Brian Cowen is facing outrage over how he has handled Ireland's economic and banking crisis. On Sunday his government requested international funding set to be worth around $100 billion to steer Ireland clear from economic collapse.

Budget reductions are tied to the bailout. This week Mr. Cowen's government is to publish a four-year plan that will cut around $20 billion from the country's deficit. And early next month the 2011 budget is to be unveiled.

The junior party in Mr. Cowen's coalition government said it will withdraw its support for the government once that budget is passed.

Mr. Cowen said he will not call an election until Ireland's finances are in order.

"We believe that there is a clear duty on all members of Dail Eiereann [Irish parliament] to facilitate the passage of these measures in the uniquely serious circumstances in which we find ourselves," said Cowen. "The political and financial stability of the state requires no less. It is my intention at the conclusion of this budgetary process, with the enactment of the necessary legislation in the new year."

But for some politicians in Ireland, that's not soon enough. On Tuesday, four lawmakers from one of Ireland's smaller political parties tabled a motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister.

Richard Boyd Barrett is a political activist with the Ireland-based group People Before Profit. He said Mr. Cowen should go now.

"It is outrageous that they're talking about having an election after they have done the deal with the IMF and tied the country into a four-year austerity plan, which will essentially tie the hands of any incoming government," said Boyd Barrett. "So of course he should step down immediately, we should have an election immediately before any deal is done with the IMF or any budget is delivered."

The government is expected to cut the minimum wage and social welfare spending, among other measures.

Boyd Barrett said those cuts are going to hurt Ireland's most vulnerable citizens. And, he said, they're not the ones who should be paying out.

"I think the Irish people are being misled about the nature of the bailout. They are being told that it's a bailout of the Irish people. In reality it's a bailout of the French banks, the German banks, the British banks, and our own banks. And ordinary people in this country - working people, pensioners, students, the vulnerable in our society - are being asked to pick up the gambling debts of the international financial system in Europe and that's absolutely outrageous and unacceptable."

Ireland is the second euro zone country to receive a bailout in just six months. Earlier this year Greece was awarded a $110 billion loan from the European Union and the IMF. On Tuesday it was approved for a third round of funding, although auditors said more work needs to be done to sort out public finances, including lowering wages and making the healthcare system more efficient.

In Ireland, Unions have organized a march on Saturday to protest the planned economic measures. An estimated 80,000 people are expected to turn up.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid