Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • Experimental Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • IMF stands behind Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

Europe

Major protests expected against government's austerity plans

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-11-27

In the wake of the most draconian budget in the history of the state, tens of thousands of protesters are expected in Dublin on Saturday against austerity measures planned by the Fianna Fáil government to cut its record-high budget deficit.

AFP - Debt-laden Ireland's embattled government faced a major protest against its sharp cutbacks Saturday, a day after Prime Minister Brian Cowen's party took a battering at the polls.
   
Tens of thousands of protesters were expected to join a national demonstration called by the trade unions against a draconian austerity package designed to slash the one-time "Celtic Tiger" economy's massive deficit.
   
The demonstration comes after voters inflicted a humiliating by-election defeat on Prime Minister Brian Cowen's Fianna Fail party, cutting the FF/Green coalition's parliamentary majority to just two.
   
The austerity package, announced Wednesday, will cut the minimum wage and slash 25,000 public sector jobs, as Ireland strives to bring its deficit back under three percent of gross domestic product by 2014. It is currently running at 32 percent.
   
The by-election defeat, and Saturday's protest, increased the pressure on Cowen to call an immediate general election even as the government battles to finalise an international bailout.
   
European Union heavyweights Germany and France are urging a rapid conclusion to talks on assistance for Ireland worth 85 billion euros (113 billion dollars), with a possible announcement on Sunday.
   
Irish Congress of Trade Unions president Jack O'Connor, the head of Ireland's biggest union SIPTU, said the government had promised "the harshest budget since the foundation of the state.
   
"This is the result of allowing speculators, bankers and developers to run riot, pillaging and ruining our economy," he said.
   
The country's national sovereignty was at stake as a result of the government's policies, he added.

Source: The Irish Times


  
"We must not stand idly by while the final nail is driven into the coffin."
   
O'Connor dismissed suggestions that the rally could turn violent, as happened in recent protests against austerity cutbacks in neighbouring Britain.
   
Police Chief Superintendent Michael O'Sullivan said a large turnout was expected but warned there were "individuals and groups who seek to exploit such events for their own ends."
   
However, officers were "alert to and prepared for this possibility," he added.
  
Opposition parties wasted no time in ramping up the pressure on Cowen after the socialist Sinn Fein party won the north-western Donegal constituency Friday, previously a Fianna Fail stronghold.
 
They said the prime minister had no mandate to push through the cutbacks and should call a general election immediately.
   
Ireland's austerity plan and a budget on December 7 are crucial steps to show fellow members of the 16-nation euro area that it is putting its finances in order.
   
But Cowen has refused to go to the polls until lawmakers have passed the budget, which is unlikely to happen until January.
   
Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said Fianna Fail "has neither the political mandate nor the moral authority to make the crucial decisions the country now faces."
   
The Irish Times in an editorial in its Saturday edition, said the budget would probably go through given the pressure from the EU and the IMF.
   
"There is a general consensus that Mr Cowen’s days are numbered..." it added.
   
"Powerful forces within Fianna Fail are pushing for a leadership change in early January to present the electorate with a different image."
   
Sources in Brussels told AFP that the bailout talks with Ireland would wrap up Sunda

y, probably in order to make an announcement before markets opened on Monday.
  
Meanwhile Michael Noonan, finance spokesman for the Fine Gael main opposition party, described as "very disturbing" an RTE report that Ireland might be charged 6.7 percent interest on its nine-year emergency loans.
   
"This rate is far too high and is unaffordable on any reasonable projection of growth," he said.
   
The Irish Times newspaper, citing a source involved in the talks, said the interest rate would be lower than that, but still higher than the 5.2 percent charged to Athens for its bailout, as the Greek loan was only for three years.

 

Date created : 2010-11-27

  • EUROZONE

    Merkel seeks to calm euro breakup fears as markets lose faith

    Read more

  • IRELAND

    Irish austerity plan leaves voters irate and markets cool

    Read more

  • IRELAND

    Troubled Irish govt unveils four-year austerity plan

    Read more

COMMENT(S)