The European Union says Apple owes Ireland 13 billion euros. 13 billion euros would shave six percent off the country's national debt, or it could fund the entire health service for a year, but Dublin doesn't want the money.
Multinational firms like Apple are a big part of Ireland's economy, they create almost 1 in every 10 jobs in Ireland and a number of jobs indirectly. While some see the ruling as bizarre, many others agree with the government and are relectant to scare such firms away.
Reuters chief correspondent in Ireland, Padraic Halpin, says it's not clear if the minority party in the ruling coalition will go along, "If it doesn't, and if it pulled out of government, then Fine Gael, the largest party, would no longer have sufficient support in the parliament to pass legislation, so it would likely lead to the government's collapse."