Ulster after Ian Paisley: between conflict’s legacy and economic crisis

Tuesday Charles Flanagan, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Ireland, welcomed the new American ambassador Kevin O 'Malley and expressed the hope that the American involvement in the solution of current stalemate in Northern Ireland politics continues.

A woman cycles past a mural with the Red hand of Ulster and a Scottish Thistle on the Lower Newtownards Road in East Belfast July 5, 2014. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughtonThe economic crisis it’s the most obvious threat that jeopardizes the peace process, the solution of social problems is a necessary step to be taken in order to overcome the conflict, therefore many agree with Sinn Féin leader Martin McGuinness (Ulster Deputy first Minister), that last week said: “British government welfare cuts and austerity measures are creating huge difficulty for our administration.”

Northern Ireland Secretary, Theresa Villiers, speaking Sunday on the opening of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, stressed the importance of dialogue between political parties that in Belfast have been fighting for decades and that now share Northern Ireland’s government. But Stormont (Ulster autonomous assembly) is now stumbling on a stone sent from London: two hundred and twenty million pounds to be cut in the budget of various social sectors, a risky assignment in the peacemaking context.

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