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Ireland's government says it will hold public referendum on European fiscal pact
DUBLIN (AP) ' Ireland's government says the country is to hold a referendum to endorse a new European fiscal pact aimed at setting out tighter spending rules for the 17 countries that use the euro.
Prime Minister Enda Kenny told the country's Parliament Tuesday that the government's top legal adviser said Ireland's ratification of the pact must go to a public vote.
Ireland has been a prominent stumbling block in enacting European agreements in the past because, unlike other European Union members, Ireland typically subjects them to public votes.
Voters rejected the union's previous two treaties in 2001 and 2008, delaying ratification of both painstakingly negotiated pacts for years. In both cases, the government staged second referendums in 2002 and 2009 that overcame anti-EU sentiment.