Irish political unrest could upset the bailout
A person withdrawals money from a AIB Bank Automated Teller Machine in Dublin, Ireland November 21, 2010. Allied Irish Banks was rocked Friday as it revealed customer deposits have plunged 13 billion euros (17.8 billion dollars) since January and said ongoing EU/IMF bailout talks could affect its future. European Union finance ministers will address Sunday night an imminent bailout request from Ireland after the government in Dublin began discussing a recommendation to call for aid, diplomats told AFP.
TEXT OF INTERVIEW
STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Ireland has been on the brink of defaulting on its debt. Now those same economic problems are wreaking havoc inside its parliament. Yesterday, the country's Green Party leaders withdrew their support from the ruling party and called for a new election.
Reporter Louise Williams is in Dublin with the latest. Good morning.
LOUISE WILLIAMS: Good morning.
CHIOTAKIS: Is this going to threaten the big bailout -- the $100 billion of Ireland -- that Europe granted last year?
WILLIAMS: That really is the big question. It's one of the conditions in order to access this money is to pass this finance bill. Now Fianna Fail who's in government, say, "Oh we need to take our time with this." And of course they're being accused of, you know, dragging their feet. Labor, in the opposition party, they're saying this needs to be passed by Friday, we're going to have three all night sessions in order to pass the finance bill. Then we need to hold elections as early as February 18th. Elections are currently scheduled for the 11th of March. This afternoon we'll learn more about the schedule for passing the finance bill.
CHIOTAKIS: Louise, what does this mean for the global economy? And for our listeners here in America, how is this going to affect them?
WILLIAMS: Ireland is a flash point for global concerns about the stability of the Euro and you know, these concerns have also been expressed about Portugal, about Span and about Greece. Now the lack of stability in Ireland means a huge uneasiness for all of the 17 countries in the euro zone. A lack of confidence in Ireland now is going to undermine the Euro. A lack of a strong fiscal policy that's being seen to work for the Euro is going to undermine the effectiveness of the euro in creating a strong currency for Europe.
CHIOTAKIS: Reporter Louise Williams is in Dublin, thank you Louis.
WILLIAMS: Thank you Steve.