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The 9 at 9: Monday

Romance scam, German election results and rising house prices

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Updated Sep 27th 2021, 8:45 AM

GOOD MORNING.

Here’s all the news that you need to know as you start your day.

Romance scam

1. A woman in Ireland who fell victim to a ‘romance scam’ after meeting a man on Tinder said she wants to highlight her experience to help prevent others from being conned in a similar manner.

The fraudster built up the woman’s trust over a number of weeks, scamming her out of over €10,000.

“He was a good looking guy, he had a decent profile with a description about himself and we connected and started talking,” the woman tells Michelle Hennessy in today’s lead story.

Germany

2. Germany is expecting a period of political unpredictability after the Social Democrats narrowly won a general election but faced a rival claim to power from outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative camp.

Preliminary official results showed that the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) narrowly won the vote at 25.7%, while Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democrat (CDU-CSU) bloc sunk to a historic low of 24.1%.

The SPD’s chancellor candidate, Finance Minister and Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz, said he had a clear mandate to govern.

Property market

3. House prices in Ireland have risen by 9% in the past 12 months as the supply of homes remains severely restricted.

Two separate reports by property websites Daft.ie and MyHome.ie found a major increase in prices over the past year, while noting that the availability of properties for sale has dropped significantly.

The Daft report found that the average price nationwide in the third quarter of 2021 was €287,704, a total of €24,000 higher than last year.

Close contacts

4. From today, children who are close contacts of a person with Covid-19 in school will no longer have to restrict their movements if they don’t have symptoms.

The new guidance was agreed after discussions with NPHET and detailed were released by the Department of Health last week.

Existing rules around testing asymptomatic children who are close contacts and contact tracing will still apply for special education facilities.

Fuel allowance

5. The winter fuel allowance kicks in again from today and comes after the government has hinted at widening the scheme amid a surge in energy prices.

The Fuel Allowance consists of €28 per week for 28 weeks. Alternatively, it can be provided in two lump sum payments of €392 each.

Households that have previously been paid the allowance should automatically be paid it again this year if they remain entitled but those who are newly eligible must apply.

Ryder Cup

6. Team USA crushed Europe to regain the Ryder Cup in record-breaking fashion.

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Although Rory McIlroy belatedly found some form to beat Xander Schauffele in the opening match yesterday, the scoreboard was soon a sea of American red as Steve Stricker’s side stormed to an utterly dominant 19-9 victory, the biggest winning margin in the modern era.

Iceland

7. Iceland came close to becoming the first country in Europe to have a women-majority parliament after its election on Saturday, but a recount showed it fell short.

Of the 63 seats in the Althing parliament, 30 were won by women, or 47.6%, following the recount in one of Iceland’s constituencies, the head of the electoral commission in the Northwest constituency, Ingi Tryggvason, said.

Early on Sunday, projections based on final results had credited women with 33 seats, or 52%.

Morning Memo

8. After months of debate, rejection and compromise dominating headlines, is Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe about to waive the white flag on Ireland’s 12.5% corporation tax rate?

Meanwhile, at least as interesting from an Irish perspective as the German general election result and its potential impact on European economic policy is the imminent success of Berlin’s much-discussed housing referendum, Ian Curran and Devin Sean Martin write in today’s Morning Memo.

Sign up to receive our daily business and economics newsletter here.

Weather

9. And finally, the weather forecast. Rain will clear from eastern areas early this morning to leave sunny spells and showers, Met Éireann says.

The showers will become heavy at times in the west this morning, before becoming more frequent and widespread this afternoon along with the chance of localised hail, thunderstorms and spot flooding. Highest temperatures will be a cooler 11 to 15 degrees Celsius.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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