Irish plan to announce EU referendum date Tuesday

March 26, 2012 - 5:16 AM

DUBLIN (AP) — Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny says his government will announce Tuesday a date for Ireland's referendum on the European Union fiscal treaty.

The treaty lays down new spending and deficit rules for members of the 17-country group that use the euro as their currency. The pact will become law next year once at least 12 of the 17 eurozone members approve it through their parliaments. Ireland is the only member requiring a national vote.

Kenny made his comments Monday while visiting China. He said the referendum date would be announced after Tuesday's Cabinet meeting in Dublin.

Irish voters have rejected the previous two EU treaties in referendums, then approved both in reruns. Rejection this time would undermine Ireland's own financial options, restricting its access to future European bailout funds.