Irish Government Collapses After Bailout Deal

Brian Cowen says he will call election after budget passed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2010 4:09 AM CST
Updated Nov 23, 2010 5:59 AM CST
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen pauses as he speaks to the media at government buildings in Dublin Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010.    (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

(Newser) – The bailout deal that Ireland's government reluctantly agreed to over the weekend has come too late to save at least one Irishman's job. Prime Minister Brian Cowen's ruling coalition has fallen apart and he has promised to dissolve the government after the country's 2011 budget is passed in December, the New York Times reports. Elections are expected early next year and few believe that Cowen's leadership will survive.

The Green Party forced Cowen's hand by announcing that it plans to quit the coalition and demand an election in January. Lawmakers from Cowen's own Fianna Fail party urged him to resign. The prime minister "no longer has the confidence of the people right across the country," one lawmaker said. "We must put the country first." Activists from the nationalist Sinn Fein party, demanding immediate elections, stormed the entrance to Cowen's Dublin office and scuffled with police, AP reports.

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