What it says in the papers

Rail safety warning; Airbnb owners targeted; Donohoe rejected rent subsidy plan

22nd December, 2016
The main headlines from today's newspapers

IRISH TIMES

- The Irish Times says the Commission for Railway Regulation has warned the Government of "strategic safety" issues arising on the railways over time unless senior management at Iarnród Éireann changes the way it deals with safety regulation.

- The paper says Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has played down suggestions by British Prime Minister Theresa May that the status of Irish people living in Britain could be altered in the post-Brexit period. The paper quotes senior Government sources in Dublin as saying that they had received no indication from the British that such a move was planned.

- The Irish Times quotes a Department of Finance spokesman as dismissing suggestions that a ruling by the European Court of Justice yesterday on tax concessions given to Spanish companies represents a setback for the state's appeal against the Apple tax ruling.

- The paper has obtained what it calls a "harshly worded e-mail" from the assistant secretary of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform which said some of the analysis carried out by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council lacked "basic coherence".

FINANCIAL TIMES

- The Financial Times leads with a report that Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena is to be rescued by the Italian state using a new €20 billion bail-out package, as a last-gasp private sector salvage plan for the world's oldest bank crumbled, forcing losses on bondholders.

- The FT says the European Court of Justice has deemed Britain's surveillance laws illegal, throwing into question the fate of the country's new Investigatory Powers Act. The court said the legislation allowed "illegal and indiscriminate" retention of electronic communications.

- The paper says the head of Deutsche Borse, Carsten Kengeter, has pushed back hard against calls from German politicians to shift its planned combined headquarters with London Stock Exchange Group from London to Frankfurt following their proposed merger.

- The FT says Goldman Sachs has been ordered to pay a fine of $120m by the US derivatives regulator over claims that its traders tried to rig a vital benchmark in the $300 trillion market for interest-rate swaps.

IRISH INDEPENDENT

- The Irish Independent leads with figures from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, which found that 38 per cent of 500 randomly selected pre-schools, play groups, nurseries, creches and other services had not complied with the law to have all childcare workers vetted.

- The paper says proposals to bring in a new state subsidy for families struggling to pay their rent were vetoed by Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe. The idea was tabled during talks on Housing Minister Simon Coveney's rental strategy.

- In business, the Irish Independent reports on accounts which show that profits at developer Gerry Gannon's company Gannon Homes fell by almost a quarter last year to €3.1m.

- The paper says the country's biggest hotel group, Dalata, has described growth in the Dublin hotel market as "very healthy" despite being lower in the second half of this year. It said trading overall in the final four months of the year had been marginally ahead of expectations.

IRISH EXAMINER

- The Irish Examiner leads with a report that Housing Minister Simon Coveney is targeting Airbnb owners who regularly let out properties in a bid to boost the number of homes available for renters. The minister has written to local authorities to ensure Airbnb providers are not operating like B&Bs or hotel owners.

- The paper says Communications Minister Denis Naughten and the Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty have clashed over controversial ads for Eircode, with Doherty describing the broadcasts as "stupid".

- In business, the Examiner quotes the new head of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, Seamus Coffey, as saying that economic conditions had clearly improved, but challenges remain, including Brexit and the sustainability of corporation tax revenues.

- The paper says hotels group Dalata yesterday lodged its planning application for a hotel in Cork's South Mall. Dalata has indicated it will put €22m into the development. A hotel project was started on the site in 2007 but the project fell by the wayside soon after.

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