What Easter Monday's papers say

Turkish referendum victory; Glen investigation; Ulster Bank rate cut

17th April, 2017
The main headlines from today's newspapers


- The Irish Times leads with the unexpectedly narrow victory for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in yesterday's constitutional referendum vote in Turkey, which introduces sweeping new powers for the presidency. The yes campaign claimed 51.3 per cent of the vote, but the three largest cities in the country – Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir – voted no. The result has been called into question by those on the no side, who have said that they will call for a recount.

- The paper says that, in a report to the European Union, the government has warned of the "unprecedented" challenges that Britain's decision to leave the EU poses for peace and prosperity in Ireland.

- In business, the Irish Times reports on the stock and renumeration earned by the two founding directors of Cairn Homes in 2016, which it says amounted to €14.2 million. Last year was the company's first full year as a publicly quoted company.

- The paper also reports on the Charities Regulator's investigation into the finances of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen), a high-profile advocacy group – yesterday's front page story in the Sunday Business Post.


- The Financial Times leads with comments from United States commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, who has called "rubbish" warnings about US protectionism from International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde. The paper quotes him as saying that the US is the "least protectionist of the major areas". "We are far less protectionist than Europe," he said.

- The paper also reports on the narrow referendum victory for Erdogan in Turkey, as well as signals from US President Donald Trump's administration that it would hold back from any immediate military or diplomatic responses to North Korea's failed missile test.

- In a move that will "cause astonishment" in EU capitals, Britain will fight to keep two of the EU's most prestigious agencies post Brexit, the paper says. David Davis, Britain's Brexit secretary, does not accept that the European Banking Authority or the European Medicines Agency would have to move from London's Canary Wharf after his country leaves the bloc, the paper says.

- The paper also reports that British Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered officials to develop plans for a diesel car scrappage scheme.


- The Irish Independent reports that Ulster Bank is set to cut its fixed rates for new and existing customers, something that it says could precipitate a "mortgage war". The move, the paper says, will see Ulster Bank offer a three-year fixed rate of 2.9 per cent for those whose loan is 60 per cent or less than the value of the property.

- The paper reports that housing minister Simon Coveney has "hit out" at reports that government housing figures are inaccurate in response to yesterday's front-page Sunday Business Post story, which pointed to unpublished statistics that indicate the level of house-building across the country is significantly lower than figures suggest. Coveney, the Irish Independent says, said that the government has been using the number of new ESB connections as a basis for its housing figures for decades.

- The paper says that Ireland may "seek money" for a post-Brexit high-speed one-hour rail link between Dublin and Belfast. It says that foreign affairs minister Charlie Flanagan has said that the Irish government would need support in "revisiting" infrastructural investment priorities.


- The Irish Examiner reports that half of the cabinet has failed to put any legislation through the the Oireachtas, something said to be creating "internal angst" in Fine Gael. Six ministers, as well as the Taoiseach, have yet to pass legislation since the formation of the minority government last year, the paper says. The government is set to review the "new politics" arrangement after the Easter recess.

- The paper reports on comments by social protection minister Leo Varadkar, who has said that people who claimed the conservation grant but did not pay water charges will not "gain financially". Around 190,000 people claimed the €100 water conservation grant, despite not having paid the charges, the paper says.

- The Examiner also reports on the investigation into Glen.

- The paper says Simon Conveney has warned that the "big challenge" for Fine Gael is "making sure" that the party stays together and operates a functioning government for the duration of a party leadership contest.

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