Ireland’s Ruling Party Opens Up for Coalition Talks

Ireland’s ruling Fine Gael party is open to considering others’ policy proposals “within reason” as it seeks to form a government, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said.

The party is willing to consider issues such as water charges, which sparked a vote rebellion last year, Coveney said in an interview with state-owned broadcaster RTE late on Tuesday. Fine Gael is also weighing an offer to rotate the prime minister’s role with opposition parties, the Irish Examiner reported on Wednesday, without citing anyone

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s Fine Gael-Labour Party’s coalition was routed in last week’s election. While Fine Gael is still the biggest party, only an alliance with traditional rival Fianna Fail offers a prospect of stable government.

“We will engage fully and inclusively with other parties, groups and independent” lawmakers to make sure a government is formed, Kenny said in an e-mail statement. He said he looked forward to discussions with other groups, without giving details.

Fianna Fail won 44 out of 158 seats with 2 left to be filled. Fine Gael has 49 seats. Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin demanded talks about parliamentary reform before government formation negotiations begin.

The yield on Ireland’s 10-year bonds dropped to 0.85 percent on Tuesday from 0.89 percent on Friday, making its borrowing costs lower than the U.K.’s.

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