Belfast Telegraph

Greens criticised for election call

The Green Party has been attacked by a Government minister who said the call for a general election suggested the junior coalition partner did not have the best interests of the country at heart.

Tourism Minister Mary Hanafin said the move had left her very annoyed.

"It certainly wasn't expected. I'm not sure that they have shown that they have the best interests of stability of the country at heart but we will just work with them over the next couple of months."

Green leader John Gormley signed the Government's death notice on day one of delicate negotiations on the loans, calling for a date to be set in January for the election.

The Taoiseach was dumped into the political crisis less than 24 hours after the Cabinet signed off on a multi-billion bailout - unaware his two colleagues in the Green Party, Mr Gormley and Eamon Ryan, had spent Saturday plotting an exit strategy.

But an embattled Mr Cowen said he wanted to stay in power to pass the crucial six billion euro savings in next month's budget.

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