17 OCT 2010
Reuters (EU says Ireland needs consensus on budget)
(Reuters) - The European Union has warned the Irish government and opposition parties there must be political consensus on budget measures to ensure international markets continue lending to the country next year, Ireland's Sunday Times newspaper reported.
An agreement in cross-party talks involving Prime Minister Brian Cowen; the leader of junior coalition partner, the Greens; and the leaders of the two main opposition parties, Fine Gael and Labour, would increase international confidence in Ireland's ability to bring its 18 billion euro (15.75 billion pounds) budget deficit back within euro zone guidelines, a spokesman for Olli Rehn, the EU economics commissioner told the paper.
"From a political point of view, there is no doubt that strong political support of the plan will inspire more credibility," Amadeu Atlafaj Tardio was quoted as saying.
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