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Political infighting engulfed Ireland on Tuesday, threatening to trigger a quick election and delay a massive EU-IMF bailout. Rebels from Prime Minister Brian Cowen's own party pressed to oust him and opposition leaders demanded an election before Christmas.At stake is the future course of the potentially €100 billion ($135-billion U.S.) European Union and International Monetary Fund rescue of Ireland, a nation heading toward bankruptcy next year because the government cannot pay an ever-escalating bill to save its state-backed banks.

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People walk past the front of the Government buildings in Dublin, on November 23, 2010. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was fighting to keep his government together Tuesday after his call for an election early next year failed to stem the political crisis over an international bailout.

Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images/Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images

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A pedestrian walks past a sign outside a cafe displaying a menu relating to the current economic climate in Dublin on November 23, 2010. The European Union urged Ireland on Tuesday to adopt an austerity budget on time to unlock promised EU/IMF funding, responding to a deepening political crisis that threatens to derail the financial rescue.

Cathal McNaughton/Reuters/Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

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An Irish policeman confronts protesters as they break through the front gates of the Irish Prime Ministers office in Dublin on Monday, Nov. 22.

PETER MUHLY/Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images

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Berry Fleming, who lost her job, holds a placard in the main shopping area of Dublin, in November, 2010

PETER MUHLY/Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images

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Workmen repair the offices of Ireland's Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey TD of the Fianna Fail party that was vandalized and painted with the words 'traitors' in the village of Trim, 30 miles north west of Dublin, Ireland, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010. Lawmakers in Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen's own party mounted a rebellion Tuesday to try to oust him, an effort that could trigger a snap election and delay a massive EU-IMF bailout of Ireland.

Peter Morrison/AP/Peter Morrison/AP

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A woman clears debris from the office of Ireland's Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey TD of the Fianna Fail party that was vandalized and painted with the words 'traitors' in the village of Trim, 30 miles north west of Dublin, Ireland, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010. Lawmakers in Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen's own party mounted a rebellion Tuesday to try to oust him, an effort that could trigger a snap election and delay a massive EU-IMF bailout of Ireland.

Peter Morrison/AP/Peter Morrison/AP

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A woman walks her dog past a graffiti in South Dublin November 23, 2010. The adoption of the Irish 4-year austerity programme and the 2011 budget in particular is key for the EU/IMF financial support programme for Dublin now under negotiations, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

CATHAL MCNAUGHTON/Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

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Cranes stand above the unfinished Anglo Irish Bank that was to be the their new headquarters in central Dublin, Ireland, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010. Lawmakers in Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen's own party mounted a rebellion Tuesday to try to oust him, an effort that could trigger a snap election and delay a massive EU-IMF bailout of Ireland.

Peter Morrison/AP/Peter Morrison/AP

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The U.S. market has had a disappointing decade, but investors shouldn't give up on international diversification

STAN HONDA/Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

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