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Yearbook 1996

Ireland. In January, the coalition government presented a budget that improved the conditions for long-term unemployed people. According to, unemployment is traditionally high and reached 17.4% in the early 1990s. In October 1996 it was about 11%. In 1995, 55,000 new jobs were created, including thanks to societal contracts between employers, farmers and trade unions. The contracts guaranteed low wage increases, which also led to increased foreign investment in the country. The Republic's economic growth in 1995 was estimated at between 7 and 9%, which can be compared with Sweden's 2.7 and Germany's 1.9%. The positive trend continued in 1996.

1996 Ireland

Important meat exports declined drastically due to the uproar around mad cow disease in the UK. However, beef exports increased during the autumn. In June, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling by a 1995 referendum that gave married couples the right to divorce. Divorce supporters won the vote in 1995 by the smallest possible margin - 0.5% or 9,118 votes. 80,000 couples were waiting to be separated when the law was ratified.

During the summer, the Irish government took part in the peace talks on the future of Northern Ireland. Foreign Minister Dick Spring supported Britain's demand that the IRA's political branch, Sinn Fein, not be allowed to participate until the ceasefire was resumed (see also Britain).

Investigative journalist Veronica Guerin was murdered on June 27 by order of a drug syndicate. The murder involved an escalation of the war between the authorities and the syndicates that increasingly use I. as a transit country for drugs. President Mary Robinson and Prime Minister John Bruton were among the approximately 1,000 funeral guests.

Ireland took over the alternate presidency of the EU Council of Ministers and more than 230 committees on 1 July.

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