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Ireland

Yearbook 2012

Ireland. According to countryaah, the issue of the EU's so-called financial pact, which, among other things, means stricter budgetary rules for member states, dominated politics in the spring. As it was a constitutional amendment, the Irish government had to let voters vote in a referendum, which was held on May 31. Most of the major parties pleaded for a yes to the pact; The exception was Republican Sinn Fein, who argued that a no would make it easier for Ireland to renegotiate the terms of its crisis loan from the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Jasidan won clearly with just over 60% of the vote. More than half of the voters participated in the election.

2012 Ireland

Even though it meant a clear victory, there was still a clear dissatisfaction with the two government parties, the bourgeois Fine Gael and the Social Democratic Labor. Particularly the latter of the parties lost in support of opinion polls, while Sinn Fein and its leader Gerry Adams gained a boost in opinion. Among Labor's constituents there was a great dissatisfaction with the government's tough austerity policy.

New cuts of € 130 million in healthcare also led to strong tensions within the government coalition. At the same time, the IMF felt that even greater savings would be made within the welfare system. In December, the government presented another savings package, this time the budget would be slimmed down by more than EUR 2 billion, including through reduced child support and the introduction of a new property tax.

The economic crisis persisted, but the bright spot was that the export industry was still doing relatively well. The Bank of Ireland, the only one of the country's banks not taken over by the state in connection with the economic crisis, was able to show a small profit in February for the first time since 2008, thanks in large part to a tax refund. In March, it was announced that a major oil discovery had been made in the sea off Cork in the south.

At the same time, emigration from the country continued. From April 2011 to April 2012, more than 87,000 people had left, of whom just over half were Irish. Most people applied to the US, Canada and Australia.

In May, new demands were made for Sean Brady, leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, to step down. According to a television documentary, the cardinal in 1975 had decided that the church would not report to the authorities that the priest Brendan Smyth was suspected of sexual assault against a 14-year-old boy. Smyth then went on to commit a series of new offenses before being sentenced in 1994 to four years in prison in Northern Ireland.

Ireland's harsh abortion legislation came to the attention in November after a 31-year-old Indian dentist, Savita Halappanavar, a resident of Galway, had passed away after being denied an abortion. Although the doctors knew that the fetus could not survive, doctors at the Galway hospital refused to do the surgery as long as the fetal heart was beating. In several Irish cities, vigils were held to honor the dead woman and to protest against the abortion laws. Abortion opponents also gathered for manifestations. In 2010, in connection with three legal proceedings, Ireland had been criticized by the European Court of Human Rights for lacking clear legislation on what would apply if women's lives were in danger. This is despite the fact that the Supreme Court already in the 1990s ruled that abortion would be allowed in such cases.

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