Irish PM rejects opposition's calls for early budget plan

08:21, November 24, 2010      

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Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen on Tuesday rejected opposition party's calls for an early announcement of budget plan on Dec. 7.

Ireland's opposition party Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny urged Cowen to bring the budget forward to next week.

Cowen was also accused of "clinging to power at all costs" by the main opposition leader, but he said "my sole motivation is to ensure that the four-year plan is published, as agreed with the people with whom we are dealing, and that a budget is passed by the House."

The Irish government is to publish a four-year budgetary plan on Wednesday. The plan is designed to bring Ireland's budget deficit back to within 3 percent of GDP by 2014.

The Green Party, a partner in the government's coalition on Monday called for an early general election in the second half of January next year.

The call was echoed by the two main opposition parties, Fine Gael and the Labour Party. Sinn Fein also called for a no- confidence vote.

Although Cowen said on Monday night that he did not intend to resign over financial bailout, he still faces pressure to resign and call an election.

But Cowen has survived no confidence attempt by some dissident backbenchers of his party during the Fianna Fail parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday evening.

The general consensus emerging from the meeting was that the party would focus its efforts on passing budget 2011 next month before turning its attention to its own leadership issue.

Source: Xinhua


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