Brian Cowen, Irish prime minister, defied calls for a snap election, but said he would trigger a poll in the new year after passing an emergency Budget designed to stave off further financial turmoil, the FT reports. Mr Cowen’s announcement on Monday ended a day of political threats and counter-threats, after his decision to seek a multibillion-euro rescue from the European Union and International Monetary Fund pushed his fragile Fianna Fáil-led coalition to breaking point. The Green party, Fianna Fáil’s coalition partner, precipitated Mr Cowen’s decision after announcing its intention to quit the coalition in January and force new elections in order to appease voters angry with the government’s handling of the crisis. George Osborne, UK chancellor, confirmed London’s intention to commit about £7bn ($11.1bn) to the rescue. Sweden could offer a loan of up to SKr10bn ($1.5bn), Anders Borg, its finance minister, said. FT Alphaville notes that while Sweden’s finance minister has estimated a range of 3 per cent for his country’s loans, we don’t yet know what the UK will charge.
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