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Cowen: Government to be dissolved in the New Year

Taoiseach has no plans to resign, saying that passing the Budget is the greatest issue facing the country at this time.

Brian Cowen speaking on the steps to Government Buildings this evening.
Brian Cowen speaking on the steps to Government Buildings this evening.
Image: ulien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

TAOISEACH BRIAN COWEN has announced the government will be dissolved following the enactment of bailout measures.

Speaking among his Fianna Fáil cabinet colleagues, Cowen said that the vital national interest was financial stability, which he said would be brought about by publishing the government’s four year economic plan and:

“By adopting a budget which effects a €6bn adjustment in 2011, by taking the necessary legislative and other measures to give effect to the terms of the budget, and by concluding negotiations on the programme for support by the European Union, the ECB and the IMF.”

Listen to Cowen’s statement >

Budget delays would ‘weaken’ Ireland

He said “the biggest statement of confidence that can be given by this country at this time is to pass the Budget”.

He said that any delay in passing the Budget would further weaken Ireland and do “great damage” to the nation’s interest, and the importance of passing the Budget went beyond any personal interests.

Cowen denied that the Green Party’s call for a general election this morning had pushed him into dissolving the government before the end of its term, saying that calling an election was at his “constitutional discretion”.

No intention to resign before election

He said he doesn’t intend to announce his resignation before the general election, saying his party colleagues had provided “full support” because of the national importance of the job they have undertaken.

He said that Fianna Fáil had “democratic methods” to deal with issues that arose within the party.

He said there would be a time for political accountability to the electorate, but the interests of all our people would not be served by delaying the steps necessary to secure the country’s economic and financial stability.

The Taoiseach said the government will continue its negotiations with the EU, ECB and IMF, and will present its Budget on 7 December.

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