Daily Archives: November 19, 2011

Archives November 19, 2011 posted by

Kazamias: it’s austerity or a bailout


THE government is pushing for a freeze in the state payroll for two years as part of additional austerity measures that also include taxing high incomes in the private sector and a small levy on companies with domestic activities, it was announced yesterday.

The measures aim at restoring Cyprus’ access to the international markets for its financing needs, lost after successive downgrades by all ratings agencies.

“Otherwise, Cyprus joining the EU support mechanism should be considered a given,” Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias said.

Kazamias said the state payroll freeze would save the state around €355 million in 2012 and 2013.

The freeze includes pay scale rises and cost of living allowance payments.

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Archives November 19, 2011 posted by

Our View: There are too many municipalities for local government to be effective

CANDIDACIES for next month’s municipal elections were submitted on Thursday. It was another opportunity to hear the two clichés we hear every time there are local elections – all candidates would improve the quality of life of citizens and ensure more active involvement of citizens in local democracy. 

Once the elections are over, we return to the same old practices of municipal councils struggling to make ends meet and begging the central government for money, primarily to pay their big payrolls and, if there is some cash to spare, to improve the quality of life of their citizens. As for the boast of more power to local government which means more representative democracy, it is a myth. 

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‘Don’t want a bodyguard? Here, have €1,200 a month instead’


GREENS MP Giorgos Perdikis said yesterday that accepting €1,200 a month in lieu of a security detail did not undermine his party’s views on the abolishment of bodyguards for politicians.

Perdikis was outspoken last week when it emerged that some politicians were using their security detail for personal errands. There has also been controversy in the past over the number of officers assigned to low-level politicians on the island.

However, Politis revealed two days ago that between 2005 and 2009, as the leader of the Greens, Perdikis received approximately 1,200 monthly in order to employ a driver under the scheme which provided police officers to guard political leaders. 

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Clerides diagnosed with colon cancer


FORMER President Glafcos Clerides was re-admitted to Evangelistria clinic yesterday evening after he was diagnosed with colon cancer and he is to undergo surgery on Monday, according to his doctor Iosif Kassios.

Kassios said that following the completion of various tests a malignant tumour was found. “We had a meeting and it was decided that the President should undergo surgery,” said Kassios.

Clerides, 92, was admitted to hospital last Monday with ‘chronic gastrointestinal disorder,’ but he was released on Wednesday as his doctor judged there was no reason for him to remain there. 


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Minister says tax evaders are being caught


THE inland revenue department (IRD) has imposed some €50 million in additional taxes on around 3,000 people and companies caught tax evading, the finance minister said yesterday.

The cases include architects, mechanics, lawyers and doctors, among others, who had already declared and paid some €53 million in taxes. 

Closer scrutiny over the past three years revealed they owed the state almost double the amount.

“This is a clear attempt at tax evasion,” Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias said. “It was determined, and they recognised, that they should pay around €50 million more.”

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Scrambling to bring in more revenue


PEOPLE who owe the state money might find themselves having to pay off their debts sooner rather than later according to Justice and Public Order Minister, Loucas Louca.

Louca said that there was no procedure in place for deleting outdated debts but stressed that the ministry was cooperating with all relevant bodies to get a better idea of how much money the state is owed.

The minister clarified that people who had died or had filed for bankruptcy were still sought by the police and the state for uncollected fines or social insurance contributions.

Louca said that there were also several cases of companies that owe the state money, but that have since ceased to exist, a feat that further complicates the issue.

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No work on Tombs of the Kings Road for at least a year


PAPHOS Mayor Savvas Vergas has confirmed that plans to upgrade the busy tourist hub of the Tomb of the Kings Road have been put on hold until late next year.

Vergas also said that plans which had been drawn up to construct a dual carriageway would not go ahead in its current form.

He said: “The plans for works on the Tomb of the Kings Road in Kato Paphos are now delayed because we will make some changes to the existing plans.”

Vergas confirmed that work to upgrade the area would get underway in October 2012.

Stressing the importance of modernising the area in a way which would be acceptable to both the authorities and local businesses the mayor said ‘common ground’ was a priority.

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Women will suffer more from economic crisis


MEN AND women are now on an equal footing in terms of unemployment, according to Labour Minister Sotiroulla Charalambous.

“The rate of unemployment for women has increased from 4.6 per cent to seven per cent and for men from 3.4 per cent to 7.2 per cent,” said Charalambous, who was speaking at a seminar titled ‘Global Economic crisis and European Strategies/Policies for Gender Equalities’ yesterday.

She also said that the rate of employment in men dropped from 85.2 to 81.6 per cent, while for women it was stable at about 68.2 per cent.

Charalambous pointed out though that despite the fact that statistics show that the crisis has affected both sexes, gender inequalities usually get worse during a crisis.

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‘Cancer patients in Limassol being neglected’


AROUND 40 per cent of cancer patients in Cyprus are from Limassol and Paphos, and yet the state has failed to fulfil its 2002 commitment to build an oncology centre and a radiotherapy unit in Limassol, according to the Citizen Action Initiative (CAI).

CAI has complained that Limassol has been excluded from the developments in cancer treatment and lambasted the state’s decision to set up another radiotherapy unit in Nicosia, adding to the island’s sole unit which is also found in the capital. 

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CTO ‘not hiding’ on Dasoudi


THE HEAD of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) yesterday denied allegations that they were avoiding discussing development plans for the Dasoudi forest in Yermasoyia. 

“We are not hiding and we are not doing anything in secret. People should not worry,” CTO head Alecos Orountiotis told the Mail

He was asked to respond to accusations, among others from the Green Party which accused the CTO of ‘hiding like an escapee’ after it failed to show up for a scheduled House discussion on the Dasoudi forest in Yermasoyia. 

The House Watchdog committee was set to discuss the CTO’s plans to develop Dasoudi forest on Tuesday. However the discussion was postponed when no CTO representative showed up. 

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