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Fine Gael, Labour to form Irish coalition government

Reuters/Yves Herman
2 min

Fine Gael and Labour, the two parties that topped Ireland’s’ parliamentary elections last month, have agreed to form a coalition government, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said Sunday.


"I am happy to tell you that we have concluded an agreement," Kenny told RTE state radio. "Some of the final details are now being worked out for presentation to both parties.”

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Fianna Fail, which was in power when the country was hit by a devastating banking crisis, suffered a rout in the election.

The two parties in the new coalition are from different ideological backgrounds. Fine Gael is a centre-right nationalist party while Labour is traditionally on the centre-left.

The two parties have formed coalition governments six times and Labour has once shared power with Fianna Fail.

During the election campaign they differed over the scale of public-sector cuts, the split between taxes and spending reductions and the time frame for cutting the budget deficit three per cent of gross domestic product, as required by the European Union.

Both parties will put the draft deal on the alliance to their rank and file on Sunday.

Party leaders Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore were handed a blueprint for partnership on Saturday night, the Irish Times reports.

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