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August 15, 2022
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Irish parties agree on coalition government

DUBLIN – The leaders of the Irish Republic’s two largest parliamentary parties say they have agreed to form a new coalition government, BBC reports.


Talks between the centre-right Fine Gael and the centre-left Labour Party centred on how to tackle the deficit and public sector cuts. Last week’s election saw Fianna Fail roundly defeated over its handling of Ireland’s economic crisis. Fine Gael fell short of a majority with 76 seats while Labour took 37 seats.


After talks that went late into the night, Mr. Enda Kenny said final details would be worked out early on Sunday for presentation to both parties later in the day. Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said he would recommend the coalition agreement to a special party conference on Sunday afternoon.


Mr. Gilmore has not said how many cabinet positions his party had secured as the junior coalition partner. Mr. Kenny would become Taoiseach, or prime minister. Both leaders pledged in the election campaign that they would seek to renegotiate the terms of Ireland’s 85 bln euro joint European Union-International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout. But the parties differed on the scale of public sector cuts, the split between tax rises and spending cuts needed to reduce the budget deficit and the time frame for cutting the deficit.
Beset by Ireland’s economic meltdown, then-Prime Minister Brian Cowen called an early election. His Fianna Fail was reduced to 20 seats.

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