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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C

The 9 at 9 Nine things to know by 9am: FF prepares for crunch meeting on Áras, is Greece going to withdraw from the Euro?, and Europe’s women reveal their biggest turn-off…

EVERY DAY, brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.

1. #RACE FOR THE ÁRAS: The ongoing furore over Fianna Fáil’s election policy will come to a head today, when its parliamentary party meets to decide whether individual members can back non-party candidates of their choice. The hopes of Labhrás Ó Murchú, Dana and David Norris will all rest on how the vote swings – they will all need the support of FF TDs and Senators to get nominated.

2. #COUNTY MANAGERS: The Irish Independent this morning reports that the controversial ‘special’ payment made to Dermot McCarthy on his retirement can also be paid to the country’s 34 county and city managers – with bosses also liable to claim pensions based on years they have never actually worked.

3. #GREECE: There’s still no deal between the Greek government, the EU and the IMF on where the country can cut spending and raise taxes, ahead of further talks between the parties today. Greek needs to get the EU and IMF’s backing for its cuts before they release the next batch of €8bn in bailout funds – or else the country faces default. Greek newspapers are this morning reporting that the country is considering a referendum on quitting the Euro.

4. #BAILOUT: Back in Ireland, today the Oireachtas will begin debating the bill which signs Ireland up to Greece’s second bailout – and which confirms its participation in the permanent bailout fund being created from 2013.

5. #ITALY: There’s worries elsewhere in the Eurozone – because Standard & Poor’s has downgraded its rating of Italian debt, to A- with a negative outlook, warning that an austerity package passed last week will do little to rescue its government finances.

6. #PLOUGHING: The biggest agricultural event of the year, the National Ploughing Championships, kick off in Athy today. 200,000 people are expected to attend the 700-acre site over the next three days, and organisers say all accommodation within a 30km radius has been booked out.

7. #COUGH: The Irish Medicines Board has issued new guidelines for the sale of over-the-counter cough medicines – essentially recommending against any cough syrup for kids under the age of 6. Parents have expressed concern that the guidelines mean they will have to visit a doctor just to get a prescription for a child’s cough.

8. #BIG SAM: Dublin’s victory in the All-Ireland football final could be a major economic boost to the capital. The Irish Daily Mail quotes the Dublin Chamber of Commerce as saying the average fan coming from outside the capital spent €250 each – and with the average Dubliner spending €100, the win offered a boost of €8m to the city economy.

9. #BAD BREATH: A new pan-European survey has revealed that bad breath is the biggest turn-off for women across the continent. The Star ports that ED and farting were also among the top turn-offs – while lifestyle traits like arrogance and self-centeredness also ranked highly among women’s bugbears.

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