The Irish government is on course to become another casualty of the global financial crisis. Prime Minister Brian Cowan’s Fianna Fail party has fallen into third place behind its main rivals for the first time since polling in the country began.
Its latest plan to shore up banks and revive the economy has done nothing to stop a steady slide in the government’s popularity. It involved a 7 billion euro bank recapitalisation, but also a public sector pay freeze. The Finance Minister unveiled the package on Wednesday, but the news was eclipsed by the eruption of a banking scandal that has further undermined the government. Fianna Fail has been the dominant force in Irish politics since the 1930s. But the survey indicates its in line for a drubbing in local and European elections in June. Analysts say it reflects anger of the kind that caused Iceland’s government to collapse last month.