Ireland’s Green Party calls for elections

Ireland’s Green Party has called for January elections, adding more political uncertainty to the country’s already dire outlook.

The Green Party announced it will quit the government after next month’s budget is passed and talks with the European Union on an aid plan are completed, leaving Brian Cowen, Ireland’s prime minister, without a majority parliament.

Ireland is to receive a bailout package of between £65 billion and £75 billion, after European finance ministers agreed to a bailout yesterday evening. (article continues below)

The rescue package, which includes contributions from Britain and Sweden in the form of direct loans, is an attempt to assist Ireland’s struggling banks and prevent a crisis spreading throughout the eurozone.

Investors already fear contagion may spread across the eurozone after Ireland. Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Portugal are scheduled to tap bond markets early next year.