The top stories in Monday's newspapers:
THE IRISH TIMES
- The paper reports that much of France, Europe and the world heaved a sigh of relief last night when the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron won a landslide victory in the French presidential election against Marine Le Pen, the leader of the extreme right-wing Front National. Macron surpassed all predictions by winning 65.3 per cent of valid votes.
- The paper's front page also carries a report on the suspension of a consultant surgeon in the Ireland East Hospital Group after allegations were made of poor management of up to 18 of his patients, two of whom died.
- Sources in the camp of Fine Gael leadership contender and Social Welfare Minister Leo Varadkar have claimed that their candidate now has the "momentum" while his main rival, Housing Minister Simon Coveney, warned that political relationships can become "fractious" during party leadership contests and urged colleagues to try and avoid this.
- In its business section, the paper reports that Ireland is on course to be the fastest growing economy in the euro zone for a fourth straight year, according to Davy Stockbrokers. In its latest economic outlook, the firm predicts that Irish GDP will grow by five per cent this year, up from a previous forecast of 3.7 per cent.
- The paper also leads with Macron's victory, reporting that it is a phenomenal achievement for the 39-year old former Rothschild banker who has never held elected office and whose political movement En Marche! was set up barely a year ago. Macron said last night that he did not underestimate the economic difficulties facing France, adding: "A new page in our long history opens tonight."
- Seven European pension schemes overseeing nearly €300 billion of assets have pulled their investments in Ryanair due to concerns about high-profile labour disputes involving the budget airline. Denmark's largest pension fund, ATP, and Folksam, the Swedish retirement scheme, are among the large investors that have sold their holdings in the airline, the paper reports in FTfm, its fund management supplement.
- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is set for a clash at its annual meeting this week as Moscow attempts to overturn a freeze on new lending to Russia imposed in 2014 as part of western sanctions. Russia says the freeze is unfair as it affects lending to the whole economy, not just selected sectors as broader EU and US sanctions do.
- President Donald Trump's promised bonfire of Obama-era banking laws is unlikely to happen, according to an emerging consensus among Wall Street bankers, lawmakers and regulators. Instead, bankers are switching their deregulation hopes to a changing of the guard of US bank supervisors, who have considerable scope to loosen the shackles on banking within existing law.
- The paper leads with Davy Stockbrokers' forecast that the economy will grow by at least five per cent this year while unemployment levels are set to "drop like a stone". But it notes that it comes with a warning that a bad Brexit deal could yet set the economy here off course, leaving the Exchequer vulnerable to any increased spending commitments.
- It also reports that Junior Justice Minister David Stanton is set to crack down on illegal raffles and lotteries at sports clubs, including some raising funds for GAA clubs. He believes they may be operating without approval or in breach of restrictions on the size of prizes.
- Around 1,500 people marched in Dublin city centre yesterday against the ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital being given to the Order of the Sisters of Charity. The protestors marched to Government Buildings to hand in a petition with more than 100,000 signatures.
- Ireland's food exports to Britain face tariffs of up to 35 per cent if UK-EU Brexit talks collapse with no deal. The full extent of the tariffs under World Trade Organisation rules have now emerged, including duties of over 35 per cent for dairy products and 17 per cent for meat products which would devastate a sector that supports 150,000 Irish jobs.
- Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe has delivered a fresh blow to public sector pay demands, saying lower-than-expected tax revenues will impact on what the state can afford. The talks to deliver a successor deal to the Lansdowne Road agreement will begin this month but Donohoe has warned that government spending increases must be "prudent".
- Almost €22 million of taxpayers' money will be spent by the end of the year on just six of the 15 investigations and tribunals that have been announced by government. There are five state inquiries and one tribunal under way, looking into issues including ticket touting, the IBRC, a fatal shooting, abuse allegations at a foster home and a Garda smear campaign.
- In a wide-ranging interview with the paper, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said he would share power with anyone, including Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Labour and Solidarity, to get into government. "I've always said this, it sounds promiscuous but I'd get into bed with anyone. I would. It's just honest."