Austerity-weary Ireland votes in uncertain election

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DUBLIN: Ireland votes on Friday in a parliamentary election that could see it become the latest eurozone country to face political instability as anger against hardship and austerity weakens the outgoing government. Polls indicate that the coalition led by Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael may struggle to form a majority for a second term due to a potential collapse in support for junior partners Labor, whose center-left base has been alienated by austerity cuts. Under the coalition, Ireland became the eurozone’s champion of economic growth after exiting in 2013 a bailout program brought in following a deep financial crisis. But there is anger over tax increases and cuts to services, with many voters pointing to increased homelessness and poverty and asking: ‘what recovery?’

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