This time, EU leaders have ensured that Irish voters cannot block the fiscal pact. Unlike earlier treaties, this one does not require unanimous support to become law. It will come into force once 12 of the eurozone's 17 members ratify it.
An Irish rejection would chiefly undermine Ireland's own ability to keep paying its bills. The fiscal treaty proposes to prevent any abstaining eurozone countries from receiving loans from the eurozone's future financial backstop, the European Stability Mechanism.
Economists believe Ireland may require a new round of loan aid in 2013 once its current flow of EU-International Monetary Fund bailout funds runs out.
Don Melvin and Slobodan Lekic in Brussels and Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin contributed to this story.
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