Ireland is poised for a major shift toward more conservative government at the polls today, spurred by a financial crisis that has left it with enormous debt, a housing bust, and high unemployment.
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen resigned as party leader, the ruling coalition collapsed, and six ministers quit. Some say the volatile week may actually help the country get back on its feet.
The budget unveiled yesterday proposes tax increases and spending cuts across all sectors of Irish society.
The Irish government says a $112.5 billion bailout will come with a 5.8 percent interest rate. The public appears unhappy with the bailout, but uncertain where to direct its anger.
Ireland is negotiating with the European finance officials over an aid package that could come with strings attached.