Facing a stark public mandate to renegotiate the punishing terms of Ireland's EU/IMF bailout, prime minister-elect Enda Kenny of the centre-right Fine Gael and Eamon Gilmore of the centre-left Labor Party have a formidable task ahead of them.
Kenny will attend the European Council meeting in Brussels on Friday, where he will meet with other heads of state as prime minister of Ireland for the first time, before new negotiations commence.
Kenny, as part of his election campaign, pledged to seek better repayment terms for the Irish rescue package. Meanwhile Brendan Howlin, Labour's chief negotiator, told the press a renegotiation of the bailout was in everyone's interests.
"We have to repair broken bridges across our European partners, to build up an understanding of our position," Howlin said. "It's in everybody's interests, not only the national interest of Ireland, but in Europe's interest and in the interest of maintaining the euro, that we have a path that is sustainable out of the economic hole that we find ourselves in now."
Fine Gael's Michael Noonan, a former party leader, is widely tipped to be the nations new finance minister.
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