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Ireland Approves Euro Stability Pact

A nun casts her vote on the fiscal treaty referendum in a polling station in Dublin on May 31.
Ireland has voted with a large majority to back an EU fiscal pact aimed at fighting deficit in the 17-member eurozone.

According to final results, Ireland's referendum on the eurozone stability pact was approved with 60.3 percent of all votes cast.

The pact seeks to bind eurozone countries to tighter spending limits by imposing penalties on states which fail to balance their budgets.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny said after the result was announced that his government is relieved that voters have approved the treaty and added, "Ireland's place is in the European Union, and in the eurozone."

Ratification by 12 of the 17 eurozone countries is required for the treaty to come into force in 2013.

Four members have already ratified the accord.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP