Daily Archives: November 4, 2011

Archives November 4, 2011 posted by

What will happen next in Greece? Scenarios explored


Whatever the outcome of Greece’s confidence vote today political instability will almost certainly keep markets guessing whether Athens will be able to ratify a 130 billion euro bailout deal in time to avoid a messy default in December.

Greece has to pay nearly 3 billion euros in bonds maturing in December with big bills falling due from Dec. 19 onwards. Finance Minister Evengelos Venizelos told parliament on Thursday the state can meet its obligations until December 15.

Greece must pay 1.172 billion euros on a 3-year bond due Dec.19, 978 million euros on a zero-coupon bond due Dec. 22 and 714 million euros for one-year paper maturing Dec. 30.

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Papandreou’s masterstroke

IS GEORGE Papandreou simply a man at the end of his tether, blundering from one political disaster to the next? Or is it possible that his move on Monday in announcing a referendum was a political masterstroke, calling everybody’s bluff? 

When Greek PM George Papandreou announced a referendum, his political opponents, several of his colleagues in the Socialist PASOK party, European leaders, the pundits and the media were unanimous in their condemnation. Just days after negotiating a further tranche of bail-out money with the European Union, which included the so-called haircut that effectively halved Greek’s debt, he had thrown a spanner in the financial works.  

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Reigning champ Hanninen rolls out of Cyprus Rally contention

THE five-way battle for this year’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) crown became a four-way fight early yesterday when defending champion Juho Hanninen rolled his car on the first stage of the day in the Cyprus Rally.

The rally kicked off on Thursday evening with a thrilling race round the streets of Paphos which saw thousands of spectators crowding into the area around the Municipality to watch the cars tackle the LTV Super Special Stage.

Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen, who won the Golden Stage Rally here last year, took the honours, blasting round the 3.2km circuit in just 2 minutes, 48.9 seconds in his Skoda Fabia S2000, with Finland’s Juho Hanninen 3.1 seconds slower, and current IRC leader Jan Kopecky of the Czech Republic third fastest.

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Nicosia's Solomou bus station open for business


THE LONG-AWAITED Solomou Square bus terminal was finally delivered and officially inaugurated on Friday by Mayor Eleni Mavrou and Communications Minister Efthymios Flourentzos.

“Today is a special moment for our city and for urban public transport,” said Mavrou, adding that the completion of the project was the answer to the city’s contemporary needs.

The €4.8 million bus terminal is now fully functional and open to cars, buses and pedestrians alike.

Work began in September 2010. It was originally meant to be completed last month.

Solomou Square “as we know it today is not even comparable to the one we knew a year ago,” said Flourentzos. He said it was no longer “a mess of buses, cars and pedestrians” all in one place.



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Mars crew 'lands' after 520 days in isolation

Pale-faced but smiling, the crew of a long-duration isolation study emerged bleary-eyed to daylight and applause on Friday after 520 days locked away in windowless, cramped cells to simulate the length of a journey to Mars.

The $15 million Mars500 experiment aims to answer one of the big unknowns of deep-space travel: can people stay healthy and sane during six months rocketing to the Red Planet?

The six male volunteers were allowed to briefly embrace family and friends before being ushered into a three-day quarantine period at the end of an experiment to recreate the psychological strain of a real Mars mission as closely as possible.

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Vatican stunned by Irish embassy closure

Catholic Ireland’s stunning decision to close its embassy to the Vatican is a huge blow to the Holy See’s prestige and may be followed by other countries which feel the missions are too expensive, diplomatic sources said on Friday.

The closure brought relations between Ireland and the Vatican, once ironclad allies, to an all-time low following the row earlier this year over the Irish Church’s handling of sex abuse cases and accusations that the Vatican had encouraged secrecy.

Ireland will now be the only major country of ancient Catholic tradition without an embassy in the Vatican.

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A bibliophile’s paradise

If you are a bookworm and love nothing more than to have your nose in one book or another, then the Moufflon Bookshop Book Fair is a must visit for you. An annual event held every autumn; it brings together for the public a selection of primarily second-hand, out-of-print and rare books.

For the gadget-savvy, a book fair might appear to be something of an anachronism. Since 2007, when Amazon.com introduced its revolutionary Kindle, e-books have been invading the book industry. People are beginning to forego the trouble of visiting bookstores and are simply browsing virtual shelves.

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Spanish piano master Javier Perianes comes to Nicosia


Right on the heels of the Iannis Xenakis – in Memoriam International Conference, comes the Pharos Arts Foundation concert & recital series.

Over the past few years, the Foundation has organised over 300 concert and recitals. Among the artists who have given extraordinary performances and thrilled listeners are Grigory Sokolov, considered the world’s greatest living pianist, Joshua Bell, who is perhaps the most famous violinist of today and the legendary soprano Emma Kirkby.

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AEK: Cyprus is not just a tourist destination


AEK Larnaca manager Ton Caanen was pleased with his side’s performance in a goalless draw against German giants Schalke in their Europa League Group J clash on Thursday night at the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen.

“We played a very good game despite all the injury problems we had,” Caanen said. “However, we must not be greedy. Maybe our players do not understand how close we came to a historic victory, but after APOEL beat Porto on Tuesday we showed that Cyprus is not just a tourist destination, we also play quality football here,” Caanen added.

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