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Debt Payments Cause Political Woe in Ireland

The Irish government's credibility with voters would suffer sharply if it failed to win a deal to ease repayments on its huge bank debts, but the lack of an agreement probably wouldn't cause the government's immediate collapse, according to experts.As talks with the European Central Bank have appeared to falter in recent weeks, some government lawmakers have warned that requiring Dublin to keep repaying 31 billion euros ($41.89 billion) of promissory notes as scheduled would damage the government's ability to implement further budget cuts and reform the public sector.While those claims are partly intended to put pressure on the ECB and European Union leaders to ease the repayment terms, political analysts say they aren't without foundation.Ben Tonra, associate international relations professor at University College Dublin, said the recent warnings are "not gamesmanship on the part of the government. It's serious."The promissory notes pledged to now-defunct banks by the previous governm...

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