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Endgame begins for Government
[Posted: Mon 22/11/2010 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
The Green Party is calling for a General Election to be held ‘in the second half of January 2011'.
The announcement means the party has effectively pulled the plug on the coalition.
The current Government, probably the most unpopular in the history of the State, and now clearly falling apart, is likely to be replaced at an election by early in the new year.
According to the party's leader, John Gormley, the past week has been a traumatic one for the electorate, with people feeling ‘misled and betrayed'.
He said that three things must now be done in the coming months to safeguard the future prosperity and independence of the Irish people:
-Producing a credible four-year plan to show we can make our budgets balance by 2014.
-Delivering a budget for 2011.
-Securing funding support from the EU and IMF which will respect vital Irish interests and restore stability to the Euro area.
He explained that the Green Party had always said that its involvement in the Government ‘would only continue as long as it was for the benefit of the Irish people'.
"Leaving the country without a government while these matters are unresolved would be very damaging and would breach our duty of care. But we have now reached a point where the Irish people need political certainty to take them beyond the coming two months. So, we believe it is time to fix a date for a general election in the second half of January 2011," Mr Gormley said.
He insisted that since entering the Government in June 2007, the Green Party has ‘worked to fix and reform the economy'.
"It has been difficult. We have taken tough decisions and put the national interest first," he said.
However the party took its momentous decision last Saturday after a ‘long series of meetings'.
"Despite our difficulties and disappointments, I believe we can get out of this situation. We must all work together to ensure the best outcome for everyone," Mr Gormley added.
It is understood that he discussed the party's decision with the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, who expressed disappointment about it.
The Government is also facing rebellion from indepbdent TDs who have previously supported it - Michael Lowry and Jackie Healy-Rae.
The likelihood of an imminent election means Mary Harney's six-year term as Minister for Health is now coming to an end. To date, she has not confirmed whether she will stand at the next election.
The disintegration of the Government, on top of the country's bail out calamity, is also likely to hasten the departure of Taoiseach Brian Cowen as leader of Fianna Fail.
Public anger is now at fever pitch in particular at the perception that the Government over the past week misled people about the likelihood of an imminent IMF/EU bail out.
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