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European Journal

Ireland: the pride of the Irish

Ireland is the first country in the European Union in which the euro debt crisis has led to new elections. The governing Fianna Fail party has been sharply criticized for the economic downturn. Smaller parties such as the eurosceptic Sinn Fein are gaining ground as a result.

Watch video 04:18
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen called new elections in the wake of criticism of his leadership in the crisis. His party is accused of backing the financial and property sectors too strongly during the boom years. Since the financial crisis began, public debt in Ireland has ballooned. Many people now fear they will slide into poverty.