What Thursday's papers say

Pressure on Kenny steps up; German anger over GM plans; Google eyes Treasury Building

16th February, 2017
The main headlines from today's newspapers


- The Irish Times quotes Fine Gael sources as saying that Taoiseach Enda Kenny will face a leadership challenge next week if he does not give a firm indication of when he will step down. This comes after a meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party where ministers Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney told fellow TDs they needed to be ready for an election.

- The paper says more than 20 Irish patients with severe lung disease are facing the removal of a "life-changing" drug within weeks following the rejection of genetic emphysema treatment Respreeza by the HSE on cost-efficiency grounds.

- In business, the Irish Times says Fyffes is preparing to answer allegations of worker exploitation at its Central American operations just as its €751m takeover by a Japanese group is on the cusp of completion. Fyffes is to present its case to a disciplinary committee of the British government-sponsored Ethical Trading Initiative.

- The paper says rating agency Standard & Poor's has warned that it may take another decade before supply matches demand in the Irish property market.


- The Financial Times says companies vying to build nuclear power stations in Britain have been told that they must offer a sharply lower price of electricity than the Hinckley Point plant approved last year, raising further questions about the viability of plans for a new generation of reactors.

- The FT says US president Donald Trump responded to a growing crisis surrounding his White House by rekindling a public war with the US intelligence community, accusing it of mounting a "criminal" campaign to undermine his presidency by leaking information on his aides' ties to Russia.

- In companies news, the paper says Germany is furious that it received no prior notification that General Motors planned to sell its ailing European business to French rival PSA Peugeot Citroen, as concerns grow that a sale could lead to heavy job losses in Germany just months before an election.

- The FT says Yahoo has agreed to a price cut on the original $4.8 billion sale of its core business to Verizon, marking one of the first times that the discovery of a cyber attack has resulted in an acquisition price being revised.


- The Irish Independent says the starting gun on the Fine Gael leadership election has been fired, as a new generation of ministers signalled to Taoiseach Enda Kenny that the time has come to step down. Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveneny and Simon Harris all spoke of the need to be "election ready" at a party meeting last night.

- The paper says regulators are to review the rules governing moneylenders, in a move that could see changes in how they operate. It says door-step lenders are facing a further squeeze as 100 credit unions have now signed up to a state-backed scheme that offers easy access to loans to low-income households.

- In business, the Irish Independent reports on official figures showing that Irish goods exports reached a record level of almost €117 billion last year, but exports to Britain dropped by almost half a billion euro as the Brexit vote took its toll.

- The paper says Google has held informal talks with the owners of the Treasury Building in Dublin with a view to making a formal offer for the property, quoting sources as saying the tech giant is prepared to pay up to €125m for the building, which currently serves as the NTMA headquarters.


- The Irish Examiner says Enda Kenny has been given days to resign as Taoiseach or he will face a motion of no confidence in his leadership early next week. The paper quotes one senior minister as saying that "things are going to move quickly".

- In business, the paper says Heineken's expansion into the cider market helped boost its Irish revenues and market share last year, with its like-for-like revenues up 4 per cent and share of the long alcoholic drinks market rising 0.8 per cent.

- The Examiner says Cork comes bottom of eight regions nationally for labour participation but scores the highest for the most IDA-supported jobs. The figures are contained in an economic study by business group Ibec.

- The paper reports that pre-tax profits at SSE Airtricity tumbled by 65 per cent to €13.4m last year due to a loss of market share as a result of increased competition in the electricity market.

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