BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — Northern Ireland's power-sharing government is at risk of collapse again, and the British and Irish governments have scheduled talks Tuesday to try to save the peacemaking coalition.
The Northern Ireland administration says it faces a cash crisis as Sinn Fein, the main Irish Catholic-backed party, refuses to support welfare reforms demanded by Britain and supported by the main Protestant party, the Democratic Unionists. That deadlock has made it impossible to pass a bill authorizing the continued financing of government departments.
Britain could resume direct responsibility for Northern Ireland's finances if a breakthrough cannot be achieved, undermining public confidence in the 8-year-old coalition.
First Minister Peter Robinson, the Democratic Unionist leader, is expected to participate in Tuesday's talks. He was discharged from hospital Friday, four days after suffering a heart attack.