Early Count Shows Ireland Approves EU Fiscal Treaty

Posted June 1st, 2012 at 7:15 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Unofficial results show voters in Ireland have approved the European Union's debt-reduction treaty.

Election workers are counting votes from Thursday's referendum on the measure that would impose strict limits on debt and budget deficits in the 17-nation euro currency bloc. Ireland signed the treaty in March, joining most other EU countries, but is the only nation seeking approval by popular vote before ratification.

Officials keeping a tally of the vote Friday say the referendum will likely pass by a margin of nearly 60 percent. Joe Higgins, a leader in Ireland's Socialist Party, says it is apparent the pro-treaty forces have succeeded,

Official results are expected later Friday.

The Irish government has warned its citizens that failure to approve the EU plan would not be in the country's best interest in terms of getting more bailout help. Ireland could need more money when its current $106 billion bailout runs out in 2013. Opponents say the treaty would hamper Ireland's ability to stimulate its economy.

Figures released Friday show more than 17 million people across the eurozone were unemployed in April, taking the unemployment rate to a record-high 11 percent.