DUBLIN - Ireland will hold a referendum on Europe's new fiscal treaty, Prime Minister Enda Kenny said on Tuesday, setting the stage for the first popular vote on the German-led plan for stricter budget discipline across the region.
After joining 24 other EU states last month in agreeing the pact for stricter budget discipline, Kenny sought advice from the state's lawyer on whether a vote was necessary and told parliament that on balance, a referendum would be required."The Irish people will be asked for their authorization in a referendum to ratify the European stability treaty," Kenny told parliament.
Support for the European Union has cooled in Ireland over three years of economic contraction and budget cutbacks in exchange for aid to prop up its collapsing banking sector.
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