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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More