The Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen faces a fight for political survival as he rebuffed pressure to resign and a senior Cabinet colleague announced he would challenge him for the party leadership, and leadership be the opt word? This whole party hasn’t shown any leadership at all, if it had any of these qualities then Ireland would not be in the mess is it currently in?
Foreign Minister Michael Martin told the London Times; he had "reluctantly concluded" that Cowen would have to be forced from office since he refused to go voluntarily. The two face a showdown this Tuesday when MP’s of the long-ruling Fianna Fail party gather to vote whether to keep Cowen or promote Martin the London Times money in on Michael Martin.
At stake is the course of Ireland's fight back from a European-record deficit amid a €67.5 billion over £17.5 billion pounds international bailout. The leadership tussle within Fiona Fail meaning "Soldiers of Destiny" in Gaelic (a destiny of a battle they are going to lose, what on Gods earth made the Irish go into the euro?) raised new doubt over whether MP’s would be able to pass a deficit-slashing bill for the second time in four days, Cowen defied expectations and refused to quit on Sunday in the face of mounting opposition within Fianna Fail to his leadership.
Instead, Cowen announced he would ask his party's legislators to take a vote of confidence in him Tuesday. Cowen said he was assured of winning the secret-ballot vote and lead Fianna Fail to a seventh straight election victory.
Hours later Michael Martin one of three Cabinet ministers who have signalled their desire to succeed Cowen became the first to declare a challenge. Martin said he had tendered his resignation as foreign minister because he could no longer supported Cowen and would ask MP’s to back him instead Tuesday. There are within the party a growing numbers of supporters for Martin to take over the leads of leadership.
Many of whom want Cowen to quit immediately in hopes that their party might fare better with a new leader in place for an election expected to take place sometime this spring. Cowen, who was mistakenly made finance minister before gaining the top post in 2008, is closely associated with the property-pushing tax policies that have brought Ireland to financial ruins and the cause of many losing homes, jobs and many of the Irish banks crashing.
Fianna Fail has governed Ireland almost continuously since 1987, but has plummeted to historic lows in recent opinion polls with is total mismanagement of Irish affairs.
Opposition leaders, meanwhile, still intend to pursue their own no-confidence motion in parliament against Cowen and pleaded for Fianna Fail to declare an election date. Fianna Fail has sought to delay that vote as long as possible keeping money in their own pockets for as long as they can? sound very much a leaf taken for the British MP’s book?.
"The longer this Irish government stays in power, the greater the damage that is being done to the Irish economy and to our international reputation. This government should go," said Gerry Adams, leader of the Irish nationalist Sinn Fein party which will be getting more and more support from Irish voters in they have any wisdom.
Cowen rose to power as Ireland's 13-year Celtic Tiger economic boom was giving way to a property-market implosion and banking crisis. He has faced rising accusations in recent weeks of making decisions that benefited corrupt bankers far more than taxpayers, who have been burdened with a bank-rescue bill expected to top €50 billion.
The pressure for Cowen's removal flared last week when a new book revealed that Cowen held dinners and social events, including a daylong golf outing, with top bankers in the weeks before his government decided in September 2008 to insure all of the borrowings of Dublin banks.
That blanket guarantee failed to prevent most of those banks from facing collapse as their loan books heavily exposed to runaway property markets in Ireland, British and the United States began to suffer massive defaults and many of the Irish took their cash out and move it to overseas safe banks and building socityies.
Ireland has now had to nationalize four of the six big Irish-owned banks and repaid tens of billions to foreign bondholders, who normally would be expected to suffer losses when a bank fails all at the expenses of Irish tax payers also sound very much like English tax had to do for the British banks and government.
Ireland spent two years trying to fund the bank bailouts itself, but the cost drove Ireland's 2010 deficit to over 32 per cent of gross domestic product, a post-war European record. Even excluding the exceptional bank-bailout costs, Ireland spent more than €50 billion euros last year but collected just €31 billion as unemployment soared and taxes from property sales slowed to a trickle.
In November, as the state-owned banks found themselves unable to borrow on open markets, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund stepped in to insist that Ireland negotiate a multiyear loan deal. Under terms of the deal, Ireland must slash €15 billion euros from its deficit spending over the coming four years and is imposing the harshest cuts this year on the Irish people.
The Irish parliament has already approved bills that will slash the poor’s welfare benefits and the minimum wage, raise school fees and cut the salaries of Cabinet ministers. But the toughest measures was to increase income taxes across the 2 million-strong work force, raising effective tax levels to 41 per cent or more have yet to be approved in the 2011 Finance Bill without a national election first
Also sound very much like the British government apart for cutting MP’s pay which has gone up? And passing all these extra cost on the poor English tax payers that still vote these half-wits into power? Yes the mind boggles.