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Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
The 9 at 9 The nine stories you need to know this morning, including: Greece definitely NOT leaving the eurozone (for now), Enda versus the protesters, and man bitten by snake in supermarket…

EVERY MORNING, brings you the nine stories you need to know about this morning.

1. #GREECE: The head of the eurogroup of finance ministers Jean-Claude Juncker has ridiculed suggestions that Greece may exit the eurozone, dismissing the speculation as “nonsense” and “propaganda”.  His comments came as the latest attempts to form a coalition government in Greece failed last night, leaving the door open for another general election.

2. #PROTESTERS: Taoiseach Enda Kenny was subjected to angry protesters on a visit to Athlone with one accusing him of being responsible for his children emigrating. In another confrontation, Kenny told a protester: “You could do with a day’s work, I’d say”, as he canvassed for a Yes vote in the upcoming Fiscal Compact referendum.

3. #OUTBREAK: Parents have been urged to ensure their children have been vaccinated against measles after 25 children have become infected with the disease in West Cork. The HSE said the majority of the cases have been among young people aged between 12 and 18 and none of the young people had been vaccinated.

4. #HEALTH INSURANCE: The Health Minister has confirmed that 76,000 people have dropped their health insurance over the past 12 months,  with new figures showing that less than half – 46.6 per cent – of the population now has private health insurance cover. Dr James Reilly said that the 4 per cent drop was “modest” but that he was concerned about rising costs making it harder for older people to afford health insurance.

5. #REVENUE: The Revenue Commissioners has spent €31,000 on hiring interpreters over the past five years, according to new figures. The top four languages for which the interpreters were required last year were Slovakian, Czech, Lithuanian and Romanian, making it the first year since 2007 that Russian and Polish were not among the top four languages for which Revenue required interpreters.

6. #LA FRANCE: Francois Hollande is to be sworn in as the new president of France later today, becoming the first Socialist leader of the country since 1995. Hollande will travel to Berlin within hours of his swearing in to discuss the future of the Eurozone with German leader Angela Merkel.

7. #NORTHERN IRELAND: The PSNI has said there was “nothing untoward” about a suspicious item that was removed from a plane at an airport in Fermanagh last night. An army bomb disposal team was called to the scene at St Angelo Enniskillen Airport and removed the item for examination. The security alert at the airport is now over.

8. #REFERENDUM: Businessman and campaigner Declan Ganley has said there are “no good options” when it comes to Ireland’s problems and the upcoming vote on the Fiscal Treaty referendum. In a column for today, the chair of Libertas said that Europe’s bank debt is the core problem that needs to be tackled in order to escape the current crisis.

9. #SNAKEBITE: A US man is recovering after he was bitten by a rattlesnake in supermarket chain store Wal-Mart. The 47-year- old said he was shopping in the garden department of the store in Washington when the reptile pounced on him, the BBC reports. The man was treated with anti-venom after his hand suffered serious swelling. Ouch.

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