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The 9 at 9: Friday

Nine things to know by 9am: All eyes on Merkel over EU’s future, BoI hits the stress-test target, more pressure on Iran – and is Joxer heading to Kiev or Warsaw?

Image: cogdogblog via Flickr

EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know before 9am…

1. #EUROPEAN UNION: After last night’s landmark speech from Nicolas Sarkozy, all eyes turn to the Bundestag this morning where Angela Merkel will tell us where she stands on potential reform change. Last night Sarkozy said he backed proposals to bring forward a new treaty to re-form Europe – saying it was the only way to ensure the stability of a single currency – and also had a pop at Ireland’s corporation tax.

2. #NURSING HOMES: One of the two Co Laois nursing homes earmarked for closure by the HSE received a glowing inspection report from HIQA inspectors just four weeks before its closure was announced. The HIQA report, published yesterday, praised the standard of care offered at St Brigid’s Hospital outside Portlaoise – and said any concerns about the facility would be addressed within six months.

3. #PRESIDENCY: Michael D Higgins may still only be warming to the job, but today the Dáil turns its attention to the manner in which his successor could be elected. TDs will debate plans for a referendum, proposed by independent Catherine Murphy, which would reduce the term of office to 5 years, allow the public to submit petitions for nominees, and reduce the minimum running age to 18 years.

4. #JOB DONE: Bank of Ireland has announced it’s raised €350m by buying back some mortgage-based securities – meaning it has met its stress test target for recapitalisations without taxpayer support. The Bank – the only Irish institution which remains outside of full government ownership – has raised €4.2bn since the stress tests of March 2011.

5. #JOBSWATCH: Irish Distillers has announced the creation of 60 permanent and 250 temporary jobs in a major new investment of its facility in Co Cork. The distillery – which produces Jameson – says it has to invest more into the plant because it’s already operating at full capacity, but the world just wants more drink.

6. #BUDGET 2012: We’ll get an indication today of just how tough the Budget will need to be, when the government announces its Exchequer Returns for November. The November tax take is considered a vital indication of whether last year’s targets for tax revenue have been met – and a strong performance could allow the government to take the edge of next week’s €3.8bn package.

7. #IRAN: The United States has followed Europe in protesting at Iran’s nuclear programme – with the Senate last night unanimously backing sanctions against its Central Bank.

8. #BOYS IN GREEN: Ireland’s population of Joxers will find out today whether they’ll be driving their Hi-Ace vans to Warsaw or Kiev, when the draw for the Euro 2012 finals takes place in the Ukranian capital. The Republic of Ireland are in pot 4 for today’s draw – but England boss Fabio Capello last night told reporters he wouldn’t be keen to be drawn against us.

9. #TOY SHOW: It’s the first Friday of December, and we all know what that means… yes, it’s that night of year where we all sit down and watch a grown man wearing a ridiculous jumper while he tries to stop small children from running over his foot on a tricycle. RTÉ allowed some snappers into the studio yesterday for a sneak peek at the Late Late Toy Show studio, and here’s what they saw.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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