Monthly Archives: December 2012

Archives December 31, 2012 posted by

Man City draw on recent memory for New Year title fight

Champions Manchester City go into 2013 facing a daunting seven-point deficit on Premier League leaders Manchester United and a testing encounter against stubborn Stoke City on Tuesday.

Roberto Mancini’s side ended the year which delivered their first Premier League title with a gritty 4-3 triumph over Norwich City, proving their high-profile players also have the mettle for a fight.

It is early days in the long title run-in but United, who travel to Wigan Athletic on New Year’s Day, are traditionally strong in the second half of the campaign.

Mancini, however, does not need to trawl the memory banks too far for inspiration, as United threw away an eight-point advantage with only six games left to play last season.

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Archives December 31, 2012 posted by

Baghdatis through to second round in Brisbane

Marcos Baghdatis needed just over an hour and 15 minutes to overcome local wild card entrant Benjamin Mitchell 6-4, 6-4 in the opening round of the Brisbane International on Monday.

In the second round Baghdatis will take on sixth-seeded German Florian Mayer, who became the first player of the 2013 ATP World Tour season to record a match win in singles main draw action, defeating Colombian Santiago Giraldo in straight sets.

The 27-year-old Cypriot beat Mayer 6-3, 6-3 in their only meeting on the tour in the quarterfinals of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle in 2007.

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Archives December 30, 2012 posted by

Cyprus problem takes a back seat


IF YOU’RE reading this, it’s highly likely the world did not end on December 21 as the doomsayers predicted, which should be good news to most. 

However, if the Mayans were right, and we all just fell off the cosmic cliff, congratulations! Not only have you entered the seventh dimension, you also managed to take a copy of the Sunday Mail with you. Either that or you nabbed it free in the online ether world. 

In any case, some bad news: the world is actually still turning and despite the relative improvements in personal hygiene over the centuries, it remains a pretty messed up place. 

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Archives December 30, 2012 posted by

Decades of mismanagement have come to haunt us all


THE ECONOMY is undoubtedly the biggest story of the year and will probably remain so for years to come. 

There is no point delving into the causes of our economic collapse. They have been reported ad nauseam and are quite clear to the objective observer who opted not to pay attention to the bitter blame-game, the recriminations and the political cacophony the public has had to endure this past year.

Beyond the state profligacy, the woeful (mis) management of the economy, and bankers’ greed, there is one underlying cause for the mess.

It is best summed up by a couple of excerpts in a letter written by a Greek national to the Economist. It was published in February and it was in response to the journal’s coverage of Greece’s economic woes.

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Archives December 30, 2012 posted by

A looming power struggle over gas


THIS TIME last year we wished that seriousness would prevail vis a vis the handling of the natural resources – the gas – with which the island is endowed. Alas, ‘twas not to be. If anything, things took a turn for the worse in 2012. A little troika here, a little electioneering there, and common sense took a hike – more than usual.

Irrespective of the financial crisis, the hoped-for bailout and the inflammatory rhetoric of looming elections, there are nagging signs that we are nowhere near ready to handle the plentiful bounty lying at the bottom of the sea. Certainly we talk the talk, but can we walk the walk?

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Archives December 30, 2012 posted by

Memorable profiles with only a few duds


MUSICIANS make good profiles. Politicians make terrible profiles. Undertakers, it turns out, make superb profiles. Artistic types in general – theatre actors, avant-garde filmmakers, visiting choreographers – are a safe bet, but almost too articulate for their own good; you always feel they’ve said it all before, in previous interviews. Chinese people tend to fall back on bland generalities while in profile mode, based on my limited experience of Chinese subjects. Rwandans will chuckle good-naturedly even when recounting the most awful stories, based on my equally limited experience of Rwandans.

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Archives December 30, 2012 posted by

Quotes of the year


“Everyone must understand that they will face difficulties in the next two, three years, but I don’t believe any public servant will starve if a part of their wages is cut. We need to get a grip on reality and not have our heads in the clouds if this country is to move forward”

Archbishop Chrysostomos 


 “Disability benefit, which is a pitiful €337 [per month] is being reduced to €330, so of course this will affect us because we can’t work to make a living and we depend on benefits” 

Protester Andreas Potamitis


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Archives December 30, 2012 posted by

Did gambling clampdown target the wrong culprits?


WHILE politicians and bankers have been busy gambling with our economy, police launched a clampdown this year on those playing for far lower stakes: card-playing grannies and buskers.

It started in early March when dozens of gambling grannies – most of them in their seventies – were summoned to appear in court for a crime committed back in 2009.

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Archives December 30, 2012 posted by

Central Bank lashes out at critics

CHAIRMAN OF the House Finance Committee Nicolas Papadopoulos yesterday accused the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) of “amateur” handling of the negotiations with the troika, saying that its methodologies will lead to the bankruptcy of the state and hurl Cyprus into a recession that will last “decades”. 
The DIKO vice-president made the hard-hitting comments in a letter written in response to a CBC announcement on Friday night which accused the supervisory authority’s critics of running scared after two investigations were launched into the near demise of the island’s banking system.

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Archives December 30, 2012 posted by

Lies and self-pity win few supporters for a discredited president


IT HAS been said that it is unfair to criticise President Christofias for all he does and says as it has become widely accepted that he has no awareness of his deeds and words. There is logic to this. But there is also logic to the opposite view as well – that as president of the Republic, such ‘mitigating circumstances’ are no justification for exempting him from criticism.

The fact of the matter is that his words and deeds are those of the president and not of just anybody. There is therefore no justification for him enjoying immunity because he has lost touch with reality. That he chose Christmas Day to launch a new, impudent attack on his political opponents is something which, apart from everything else, also betrays his unappealing personality.

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