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Ireland voters approve EU fiscal treaty

Voters in Ireland have approved the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance [text, PDF] aimed at improving fiscal discipline and promoting greater financial information disclosure between EU member states, according to official results Friday. In a national referendum that took place on Thursday and had a turnout of around 50 percent, 60.3 percent voted in favor [AP report] of the fiscal treaty while 39.7 voted against it. Supporters of the treaty argued that it would ensure the stability of the country's current financial situation, while opponents criticized the treaty because it may result in more public cuts lowering further the quality of citizens' lives. Ireland currently has an unemployment rate of 14.3 percent while the Irish banking debts would cost the nation's taxpayers an estimated €68 billion (USD $85 billion).

The fiscal treaty was signed [JURIST report] by leaders from 25 EU member states in March. Only two countries, the UK and the Czech Republic, did not sign the measure. The EU has continuously sought methods to deal with financial instability. In February Germany's Federal Constitutional Court [official website, in German] held [JURIST report] that use of a parliamentary subcommittee to fast-track decisions related to eurozone bailouts is unconstitutional. In September the same court rejected [JURIST report] as unfounded that three constitutional complaints against German and European legal instruments and other measures in connection with both the European Monetary Union rescue package and the financial aid package for Greece. In 2010, the court also rejected [JURIST report] a temporary injunction against the German government's €22.4 billion (USD $28.5 billion) contribution to a bailout package for Greece, which had approved [JURIST report] austerity measures to avoid bankruptcy few months earlier.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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