Daily Archives: January 6, 2010

Archives January 6, 2010 posted by

Our View: There can be no going back on smoking ban

IN THE end, fears that the smoking ban introduced on January 1 would be ignored proved unfounded. The overwhelming majority of people complied, with only 49 violations reported at the weekend. Forty-seven of these were in Limassol which experienced the largest number of inspections – almost twice as many as the other towns.

Police said they had not reported all violations – in several cases officers made do with verbal warnings to law-breakers – and added they were satisfied with the general respect shown for the ban. We should not be surprised, as Cypriots have complied with smoking bans in theatres and cinemas for many years while the more recent ban imposed in airports has also been observed.

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State offers compensation to Amathounda landowners

INTERIOR Minister Neoclis  Sylikiotis yesterday confirmed that following a cabinet decision, owners of land at Amathounda in Limassol will be offered a generous compensation package in exchange for the reclamation of land at the area’s archaeological site.

“This problem has been going on for 40 years now, but the Christofias administration has finally fully satisfied the landowners’ interests,” said Pambos Ioannou, President of Ayios Tychonas Council.

Some of the landowners in question have already received compensation in exchange for the land reclaimed by the state, but have been embroiled in a decades-long struggle demanding larger amounts.

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Madison Mall battle heats up

THE FATE of the new Madison Mall, which continues to trade without a permit, hung in the balance yesterday as mandarins resumed their legal battle.

Christos Ktorides, Director of the Town Planning Department, said: “(The Mall) has no temporary permit and so it is illegal. They (ADSG) must stop immediately or face very strict punishments.”

On Thursday, the Town Planning Department (TPD) secured a court order to close Madison Mall. In the meantime, Mall managers AD Shopping Galleries Ltd (ADSG) have applied to a town planning derogation board for relaxation of provision of use for the building. ADSG have also lodged a hierarchical appeal to the Interior Ministry.

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New property tax will not affect the majority

THE MINSTERS of Finance and Interior yesterday sought to quell concerns over an adjustment to Immovable Property Tax (IPT) saying the higher ceiling would apply only to real estate worth €1 million and over, but would not be applied to those owners actually living in these properties.

Currently IPT is charged on a sliding scale to land or property, which was worth €170,000 (CY100,000) in 1980. By upping the value to current market rates, the state hopes to rake in another €70 million per year.

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Army objectors a no-show for alternative service

THE MINISTRY of Defence has called Police Chief Michalis Papageorgiou to initiate a criminal investigation into a group of individuals who have been dodging social work, as part of the army’s alternative service scheme.

Following complaints by civil servants against individuals placed in the public service as part of the scheme, it has become apparent that the law provides for no sanctions if they don’t show up for work.

“It has been proven that the law previously submitted by the Ministry of Defensc and voted by parliament is problematic because it does not provide mechanisms for  effective enforcement in order to ensure discipline and compliance to the provisions of the law,” said MP Yiannakis Omirou, president of the House Defense Committee.

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333 SMS messages sent per second on New Year’s Eve

SOME 16 million text messages were sent over the New Year weekend, phone companies have said.

Semi-government company Cyta said 11.42 million text messages were sent by its subscribers between 8pm on New Year’s Eve and noon Saturday, January 2.

On New Year’s Day, Cyta subscribers sent 7.7 million text messages, the company said.

In the first hour of 2010 Cyta recorded an exchanged of 1.2 million text messages – an average of 333 messages per second.

Private telephony provides MTN reported 4.4 million messages on New Year’s Even and New Year’s Day. This was a 25 per cent increase compared to 2008, the company said.

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Leaders gear up for round of intensive talks

LEADERS of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities yesterday changed some of the days of their upcoming intensive talks to allow for more discussion of the issues, the United Nations said yesterday.

President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday held their first meeting for the year ahead of the intensive talks scheduled to start next Monday.

“The leaders during the meeting shared views on governance and power-sharing as well as on EU matters,” UN special envoy Alexander Downer said afterwards.

The representatives of the two leaders are scheduled to meet today to discuss EU matters further, Downer added.

The first round of intensive talks is scheduled for January 11, 12 and 13 and will remain as is.

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