The World

Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey's government averted an election after only four months in office when the main opposition party abstained in a parliamentary vote on spending cuts for the National Health Service. The Fine Gael party's decision to abstain gave Haughey's ruling Fianna Fail party an easy victory on the cuts, which would lead to a loss of 3,500 jobs in the nation's hospital service and force closure of several hundred hospital wards. Haughey says the cuts are needed to help Ireland offset its $33-billion debt. Haughey had warned that he would call a new election immediately if he was defeated on the vote.

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