The Irish government has announced that it will hold a referendum on the new fiscal treaty proposed by the EU. Ireland is dependent on the Eurozone for bailouts, so a “no” vote on the treaty would have serious repercussions.
In other economic news, Portugal is on track to meet the austerity requirements for its next tranche of bailout money. In Greece, however, unions staged walkouts in protest of the new austerity measures. And the Swedish economy shrank in the final quarter of 2011, due to the crisis in the Eurozone.
In other news, the pop singer Erykah Badu caused a controversy in Malaysia when a photo was published in a Malaysian newspaper in which a tattoo reading “Allah” in Arabic was visible on her skin. The photo created an uproar, and despite apologies by the singer and the newspaper, her concert was cancelled.
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