Daily Archives: November 27, 2011

Archives November 27, 2011 posted by

Expat outrage at tax disparity

ANGRY Britons in a Paphos village who are paying up to five times as much in council tax as their mostly Cypriot neighbours are taking their case to Europe.

And British candidates in next month’s municipal elections in Kouklia have made the fight against what they say is blatant – and costly – discrimination a major part of their election campaign.

Ray Smith, one of four British candidates standing in the elections as part of the Kouklia Independent Coalition, has been directly affected by what he views as the two-tier community charges.

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Our view: Safeguarding foreign firms must be a priority

HAVE OUR politicians, in their great wisdom, decided that they no longer want Cyprus to be an international business centre? Or have they not realised yet that their unpredictable decisions combined with their failure to provide a financially stable environment could eventually force international businesses to re-locate. The consequences of an exodus would lead to a drastic contraction of the economy, as the sector is by far the biggest net contributor to our GDP.

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Tales from the coffee shop: Pontificating Paphite thunders back into view

WE WERE overjoyed to see the unlikable former foreign minister and AKEL defector, Yiorgos Lillikas back in the political spotlight. Nobody knows how long the pontificating Paphite will be able to hog the limelight, but we can only hope it will be no longer than the last time an opportunity presented itself, because he is sufferable only in small doses.

The latest opportunity was provided by the attorney-general who decided to take legal action against Yiorgos over decisions he had taken as commerce and industry minister in the Ethnarch’s government in 2003. Before he was made foreign minister, forging strategic alliances with big powers and turning the screw on the Turks, he honed his diplomatic skills by haggling with cow farmers.

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Orphanides: economy on ‘the edge of the precipice’

CYPRUS needs an effective fiscal consolidation plan to regain trust of the markets, but failure to do so will trigger an “exceptionally unpleasant” downward spiral, Central Bank governor Athanasios Orphanides said yesterday.

Orphanides said delays in addressing economic problems would ultimately lead to painful cutbacks and steep taxes, impacting Cyprus’ role as an international finance centre.

“It is the obligation of all to support an adequate fiscal consolidation package,” Orphanides said.

“If we also fail this time to apply a credible package of measures, Cyprus will be in an exceptionally unpleasant situation with profound economic and social implications for our future and that of our children.”

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Businessman in custody on fraud charges

A HIGH-PROFILE businessman and his associate were yesterday remanded in custody for seven days in connection with property fraud worth €6.0 million.

Lambros Christofi and his associate Giorgos Constantinou were arrested on Thursday.

Both deny any connection to the alleged fraud.

The remand hearing took place on Friday, but the court reserved its decision until yesterday.

Police told the court that the suspects stole €6.0 million using their position as executive directors of a company, Advantage Capital holdings Plc.

Christofi is the founder of the Christofi Group, which is currently involved – according to its website – in many industries including finance, real estate management and development as well as food and beverage outlets.

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Attack on house of ref in Omonia case

A REFEREE involved in a controversial decision to ban the coach and chairman of Omonia football club complained to police on Friday that a window at his Larnaca home was smashed by a stone hurled at his house.

Christos Elia told police that he had been sitting in the kitchen when he heard glass shattering in the living room.

The ref found the stone in the living room but saw or heard no one outside.

Police scoured the area around the house for clues but found nothing.

Investigators speculate that the stone was hurled by someone passing by on a motorbike.

Police said the ref refused to give a statement but asked for security measures to be taken.

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First steps to getting help for cerebral palsy sufferers

RUNNING from one activity to the next is the daily life of any parent but running from one therapy to the next for an indefinite number of years is the life of a parent who has a child suffering from cerebral palsy.

The issue will be the subject of the first conference of its kind, which is taking place tomorrow, and focuses on informing parents what treatments are available in Cyprus and worldwide.

“It’s an endless process of running about taking him from speech and occupational therapy to physiotherapy,” said Yioula Pitsalli, speaking of her eight-year-old son Nicolas.

Pitsalli is organising the conference with Angalia Elpidas secretary of the association set up to confront the situation.

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Mari criminal investigation nearly complete

THE attorney-general is very close to announcing criminal prosecutions in connection with the July naval base blast that killed 13 men, it was reported yesterday.

According to the Athens News Agency, examination of the sizable case file is almost complete and possibly on Monday, Attorney-general Petros Clerides will convene a meeting with investigators to discuss the case.

The July 11 blast was the result of the explosion of 98 containers holding munitions originating from Iran and bound for Syria, which were confiscated in 2009 and were exposed to the elements for over two years. 

An independent inquiry found President Demetris Christofias personally responsible for the tragedy, together with the former ministers of defence and foreign affairs.

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UNDP spending €28m on projects

THE UN Development Programme – UNDP – is spending just under €28 million on current projects in Cyprus, the organisation said this week.

The funds are used for the promotion of reconciliation between the two communities and the protection of the island’s cultural heritage.

Around €9 million is being used for the building of urban infrastructure in the Turkish Cypriot community, €4 million on the waste-water treatment plant at Mia Milia, €2 million for works at the Limnitis crossing point, €1.9 million for the exhumation of missing persons and €1.5 million for projects involved in the protection of cultural heritage.

The remainder of the funds are for 17 projects aimed at reconciling the two communities.

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Ayia Napa cafes gutted in blaze

A FIRE that broke out in the early hours yesterday destroyed three shops in Ayia Napa, police said.

No one was hurt in the blaze, which started at around 3 am in a cafeteria in the Limanaki area and spread to the two other shops.

Police and fire experts investigating the cause of the fire did not rule out any possibilities, including arson.

The owners told police they have no differences with anyone, a spokesman said.

Only one of the three establishments was covered by insurance.

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