Thursday October 29, 2020

What Thursday's papers say

Cowen criticises EU crisis stance; Irish Water's reservoir concerns; Britain softening tone on EU workers?

27th July, 2017
The main headlines from today's newspapers


- The Irish Times leads with comments from former Taoiseach Brain Cowen, who accused the EU of a "lack of solidarity with small countries who were in difficulty" during the financial crisis, saying Ireland was forced to implement "inappropriate" decisions such as protecting bondholders. The remarks were made at an event last night where he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the National University of Ireland.

- The paper says incoming chief justice Frank Clarke was nominated after pre-cabinet discussions between Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Attorney General Séamus Woulfe, adding that his was the only name brought to cabinet.

- In business, the Irish Times reports that a state-backed fund, the Irish Infrastructure Fund, is set to buy 78 per cent of broadband firm Enet, in a deal that values the company at up to €200m.

- The paper says a final decision on plans by tech giant Apple to construct an €850m data centre in Athenry has been postponed until mid-October. An Bord Pleanála granted permission last year, but the project is now the subject of a judicial review after appeals.


- British Home Secretary Amber Rudd, writing in the Financial Times, has promised the country's businesses she will not close the door to European workers after Brexit, in what the paper describes as a softening of the British government's tone on EU migration.

- The FT says the US Federal Reserve last night signalled it was ready to start unwinding its crisis-era stimulus programmes as soon as its next meeting in September, suggesting that it remains confident in the US economic outlook despite weak inflation figures.

- The paper reports that Amazon's market capitalisation broke through $500 billion yesterday, as investors pushed the company's share price to a record high ahead of its earnings report today.

- The FT reports on comments from new GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Emma Walmsley, who said yesterday that the company would cut more than 30 drug development programmes and may sell its rare diseases division.


- The Irish Independent says Irish Water is closely monitoring water levels in more than 50 parts of the country amid concerns it could be forced to restrict supplies. This is due to a lack of rainfall over the winter and spring which has led to the amount of water stored in reservoirs falling to low levels.

- The paper also reports on Brian Cowen's comments last night, with the former Taoiseach saying measures his government had taken had facilitated the "remarkable" recent turnaround in the Irish economy.

- In business, the Irish Independent quotes Permanent TSB chief executive Jeremy Masding as saying he would be "amazed" if the government were not considering a mini-Nama to take problem mortgages and other loans out of the banks, adding that he would jump at the chance to move loans into a new bad bank.

- The paper says Freedom of Information documents released to it show that senior Central Bank officials raised concerns about attempts to assign the bank responsibility for a national database of motor insurance claims, arguing that it would be inappropriate.


- The Irish Examiner says the Port of Cork company's five-year plan to expand its cruise liner trade is ahead of schedule with a record-breaking number of luxury passenger ships - expected to be more than 100 - due next year, boosting the region's economy by more than €30m.

- The paper says the nomination of new chief justice Frank Clarke was approved unanimously by the cabinet, with independent ministers raising no objection to the Supreme Court judge despite his Fine Gael background.

- In business, the Examiner says Goodbody chief economist Dermot O'Leary has called into question the accuracy of figures used by officials to assess the depth of the housing crisis. This came after a private survey by GeoDirectory suggested a lot fewer homes were under construction than currently thought.

- The paper quotes figures from Ryanair's annual report showing that chief executive Michael O'Leary has had a 3 per cent pay rise, increasing his earnings to €3.26m, which includes a salary of €1m and a bonus of €955,000.

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