Irish government collapses – calls for new election

January 21, 2011 05:14

The Irish Government collapsed yesterday, with multiple ministerial resignations propelling Prime Minister Brian Cowen into setting 11 March as the date for a general election.

By Michael Whipple, Editor

His Fianna Fail party, which dominates the government has traditionally been the the largest political party in Ireland but has dropped to 13 percent approval rating. That is the same low that the US congress reached before the elections in November. Recently Ireland made the news for printing its own Euros.

The Independent describes the fall:

When he took over as Prime Minister in 2008 he had already built a reputation as a heavyweight bruiser who had mastered his previous brief as minister for finance. But as the months passed, the economic policies he had helped to formulate came to be seen as ruinous, and he looked incapable of dealing with problems which became mountainous.

Many Fianna Fail members of the Dail, the Irish parliament, have announced they are not standing again, because they are unlikely to be re-elected or because they realise they will face years in opposition.

The election was precipitated during a day of turmoil after the small Green party, which has kept Fianna Fail in power, called for a contest in March. Four Fianna Fail ministers, plus a long-time supporter, then announced their resignations.

Ireland is not the first European country to face financial crisis but the abrupt resignation of cabinet ministers may be a sign of the debt times.

Ireland was one of the ‘PIIGS’ (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) which have been in the news for most of 2010 with collapsing economies from mountains of debt due to over spending.

Sound familiar?

Michael Whipple, Editor

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