Belfast Telegraph

Poll indicates support for bailout

Most Irish people support the multi-billion euro bailout from the international community, but believe it represents a loss in sovereignty, a new poll has shown.

The controversial deal to salvage the state's economy has divided politicians in the Irish Republic, but a survey showed that 51% of people polled said they backed the plan.

But a further 37% opposed the deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Union (EU), which is accompanied by a £3.25billion loan from Britain.

The Dail, Irish parliament, this week voted by a margin of 81 to 75 votes to accept the £85billion euro (£72.2billion) offer, but an Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll has reflected public divisions on the issue.

When pollsters asked if Ireland had surrendered sovereignty by accepting the bailout a total of 56% agreed it had, though 33% disagreed.

Many of those surveyed were undecided on both counts, with 12% unsure whether or not they supported taking the loan, while 11% had no opinion on whether sovereignty had been compromised.

The survey took place on Monday and Tuesday, ahead of Wednesday's Dail vote.

The opinion poll included a representative sample of 1,000 voters and involved face-to-face interviews at 100 sampling points in all 43 constituencies.

The issues continue to bitterly divide Irish political parties, with other surveys suggesting the Fianna Fail/Green party coalition faces major losses in the next election.

The government is committed to calling an early General Election in the new year.

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From Belfast Telegraph