Ireland 2007

Yearbook 2007

Ireland. On January 1, the Irish became one of the EU’s 23 official languages.

In the early 1990s, Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, who was then Finance Minister, received gifts and large loans from friends and business representatives he did not publicly disclose. He maintained that he had made no mistakes, but the trips around his private economy created new tensions within the government coalition in the spring. The Progressive Democrats (PD), sitting in the government along with Ahern’s own party Fianna Fáil, demanded before the parliamentary elections on May 24 that he should give a full account of his affairs in the early 1990s, which also happened. The election also meant that his appearance before the Mahon Tribunal, which investigates political corruption during this period, had to be postponed until further notice.

According to CountryAAH, Dublin is the capital city of Ireland. The spring election movement revolved around the economy and the long care queues. Before the election, Fianna Fáil had lost support in the opinion polls, but Ahern managed to reverse the trend and his party won its third election in a row. The party received 78 out of 166 seats, 3 fewer than in 2002. The second largest party was Fine Gael, which increased by 20 seats to 51, followed by the Labor party with 20 seats and the Green party with 6. The election’s big loser became PD, who lost 6 of its 8 seats.. Sinn Fein, the political branch of the IRA, had hoped to win new votes since Northern Ireland’s self-government was re-established earlier that month, but the party lost a mandate instead of winning new ones. It was Ahern who soon earned the success in Northern Ireland. The turnout was 67 percent. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McDowell from PD lost his seat in Parliament and resigned as party leader. He was succeeded by Mary Harney.

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In June, Ahern formed a tripartite government which, in addition to his own Fianna Fáil, consisted of the former coalition partner PD and the Green Party. To participate in the government, the Green Party had, among other things, passed a new tax on carbon dioxide emissions in order to counteract global climate change. In exchange, the party gave up its opposition to the Shannon airport in the west being used by US military planes on its way to Iraq and agreed that a new highway should be built northwest of Dublin despite threatening a historically important location.

In September, the Prime Minister testified before the Mahont Tribunal, denying that he and his then partner received bribes in 1994 and 1995. Opposition leader Enda Kenny questioned his testimony and directed a distrust vote against Ahern at the end of the same month. However, this was won by the Prime Minister with a margin of five votes.

In October, Ahern received a salary increase to € 310,000 a year, making him one of the best-paid political leaders in the world. It aroused some attention when it happened while the country’s economy seemed to be deteriorating after a long period of good years. The negative trend was most evident in the real estate market, where prices in their quarters had fallen by ten percent. The debate led to the government deciding that Ahern and other ministers’ salary increases would be incremental until 2010.

In February, Fianna Fáil registered as a political party in Northern Ireland.

During the year it also became clear that Ireland would participate with 80 soldiers in the EU rapid-fire force Nordic Battlegroup led by Sweden.

Climate

Maritime climate: In summer it is relatively cool (around 15ºC), the winters are mild due to the influence of the Gulf Stream (around 5ºC).

The westerly winds bring abundant rainfall from the Atlantic (up to 2500mm on the west coast) which decreases to the east.