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Daily Fix

The Daily Fix: Thursday

In tonight’s Fix: The low-down on Greece (and why it’s extra bad for Silvio), some good news for mortgage holders and the best picture of Michael Noonan you will see for a while.

EVERY EVENING, brings you a roundup of the day’s main news – plus any bits and pieces you may have missed.

Greece teetering…

  • Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou has backed down on plans to hold a referendum on whether the second EU bailout should be ratified. He has called for a position of national unity between ruling and Opposition parties but reports this evening have suggested that a dramatic walkout was staged by Opposition MPs during a parliamentary debate.
  • The PM’s speech to parliament today did little to clear up the confusion caused by Greek plans so‘s Christine Bohan has been examining what exactly will happen if Greece leaves the euro.
  • Similarly, Michael Freeman has looked at how the country could actually leave (or be forced out of) the eurozone.
  • Earlier today, Greece’s Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos issued an extraordinary public letter criticising the PM’s idea to call a referendum. In a speech to parliament this afternoon, he reiterated that Greece needs to categorically state that such a referendum will not be held.
  • The eurozone crisis has been tough on Silvio Berlusconi as well. The Italian Prime Minister has had to put his musical ambitions on hold, delaying the release of his latest album of love songs so he can deal with the economic crisis.

And in other news today…

  • Ireland is to close its embassy in the Vatican as part of the government’s spending cuts. Embassies in Iran and East Timor will also be shut.
  • A woman in her 60s has died following a fatal single-car collision at Ballyduff in Waterford today.
  • A Finnish student has plunged to his death at a cliff at Achill today. Coast Guard units will continue the search for his body tomorrow morning.
  • In some bad news on the jobs front, the rate of unemployment in Ireland rose to 14.4 per cent in October.
  • However, there was some more positive news with significant job announcements from retailer Iceland and aviation company Dublin Aerospace.
  • There was also some rare good news for mortgage holders as the European Central Bank decided to cut the main interest rate by a quarter point to 1.25 per cent.
  • The Minister for Education has given his approval to proposals which will see significant changes introduced to the Junior Certificate examination.
  • Workers at Aviva have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action following the insurance company’s recent announcement that 950 jobs in Ireland will be cut.
  • The Irish ship MV Saoirse is en route to the Gaza strip as part of a two-boat flotilla aiming to break Israel’s blockade. The vessels entered international waters today but Israel’s navy insists that it is ready to stop them.
  • Earlier, we asked you to come up with a caption for this photo:

We received some stellar entries but our favourites were from Caroline O’Reilly:

“I know we promised to get rid of ministerial cars, but this is ridiculous!”

and from Sharrow:

“Right you go first, that way if I have a bit of a wobble they won’t notice.”

  • Students at Harvard walked out of an economic class to join the Occupy movements that are sweeping the world. In our poll today, we asked are these anti-capitalist protests a good thing?
  • Jerry Springer has come to town, bringing with him a strange array of guests…and controversy. The operatic version of his television show is being performed at the Grand Canal Theatre and its star Simon Delaney took a few minutes to talk to today.
  • TG4 has launched a new Irish language application and thanks to our reader Liam, we now know that ‘app’ as Gaeilge is feidhmchlár.
  • A new Irish character has been introduced to the American television programme Glee. In his first episode he is mistaken for a leprechaun, wears only green and says things like “pot o’ gold”. Seriously.
  • President Mary McAleese gave President-elect Michael D Higgins and his family a tour of the Áras today ahead of his inauguration next week. In preparation for that ceremony, the Irish Defence Forces has informed us that it will be practising its 21 Gun Salute in Dublin tomorrow. So if you hear shots, don’t worry, the noises are from blank ammunition which pose no danger to the public.
  • Finance Minister Michael Noonan has come under pressure for allowing the payout of a €700 million Anglo Irish Bank unsecured bond to go ahead. At a press conference today, the minister was photographed in this unfortunate position as he was counting (using his fingers) – but maybe it is him showing us what he really wants to say to those bondholders.

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