Monday, February 28, 2011

Irish PM-in-waiting eyes coalition and bailout talks

Also read Mish's commentary on the EU bailout of Ireland here

(Reuters) - Ireland's victorious opposition party Fine Gael set the stage for coalition talks with its traditional partner Labour next week, after a historic election that crushed long-time rival Fianna Fail.

The parties are under intense pressure to clinch a quick deal so they can present a united front to European partners as they bid to renegotiate the terms of a bailout that some fear could bankrupt the former "Celtic Tiger" economy.

"We don't have any time to lose," Fine Gael's leader and prime minister-in-waiting Enda Kenny said after claiming victory. "The country can't borrow money, the banks can't borrow money, we are up to our necks here."

The center-right Fine Gael, swept into power on a wave of voter anger over the country's financial meltdown, is on course for a record 75-plus seats, but the pro-business, low-tax party will fall short of a majority in the 166-seat lower on

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