Daily Archives: January 8, 2010

Archives January 8, 2010 posted by

ECHR: Cyprus failed to protect Russian dancer who fell to her death

CYPRUS has been found guilty by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of failing on multiple accounts to protect 20-year-old Russian dancer Oxana Rantseva, who fell to her death in March 2001 while trying to escape from a fifth-floor Limassol flat owned by a cabaret-owner’s employee. “The failures of the police authorities were multiple,” said the ECHR ruling, published yesterday. The ECHR said the circumstances under which Rantseva had fled the cabaret in which she worked, and had gone to the police in the first place, had been such as to give rise to a credible suspicion that she might have been trafficked.

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Our View: A lax approach to the law only breeds contempt

THE WAY some companies are allowed to show blatant disregard for the law is quite astonishing. Then we wonder why so many of us consider it perfectly acceptable to ignore the law and view people who comply with it as fools. Why should anyone show respect for the law when they see so many people breaking it with impunity on a regular basis?

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End pump rip-off or else…

THE GOVERNMENT warned yesterday it would set a price cap on fuel if petrol stations do not cut their prices when they ought to. Trade and Industry Minister Antonis Paschalides said a recent survey showed forty per cent of petrol stations had not lowered their prices when they took delivery of fuel at lower prices. “The next time such a number of petrol station owners do not comply and lower their pump prices … then a (price-setting) order will be issued without any consultation,” Paschalides said. The minister said checks had been carried out between Christmas and New Year’s Day as well as three days ago. The highest compliance rate was recorded in Nicosia while Paphos was at the bottom.

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‘We’ll close down all the clubs in Cyprus’

CLUB OWNERS yesterday threatened to close down all establishments and lay off staff over the smoking ban. At a meeting in Limassol, the Cyprus Club Owners Association said they were prepared to take drastic measures, including challenging the smoking ban, which came into effect on January 1, in court. “Both on an individual basis and as an association we will definitely be going to the Courts for justice. We have decided to suggest an amendment to the law allowing for exceptions to the smoking ban to small clubs, so that owners themselves can decide what rules their establishment will follow and obtain a relevant licence,” said Fanos Leventis, the association’s president following the ad hoc meeting in Limassol.

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Water cuts to resume after Christmas wastage

PRE-CHRISTMAS water cuts are due to return today following heavy consumption during the Christmas period.
Agriculture Minister Michalis Polynikis said yesterday: “We will be in a position to re-evaluate the situation in one to two months. By this time we usually have a good idea of how large our reserves are.”
Polynikis plans to meet with Ministry of Agriculture and Water Development Department colleagues today to tackle the issue, and while local councils are largely in favour of lifting the restrictions, the Minister is expected to take a more cautious approach and keep the restrictions in place.

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‘We cannot turn schools into fortresses’

PARENTS should keep a better eye on their children at night so as to avoid turning schools into fortresses, the Education Minister said yesterday.
Andreas Demetriou was commenting on the latest arson attack on a Nicosia primary school.
He said incidences of vandalism at schools were usually the work of students who either attended another school or the same school, and who wanted to send some sort of message.
“Society is sensitive to the needs and concerns of these youngsters,” he said.
Demetrious appealed to students to avoid such behaviour as their needs could be handled in many different ways “instead of causing damage to school buildings”.

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Bargain hunters head for the sales

THE WINTER sales officially began yesterday, despite many stores actually launching theirs over ten days ago.
The start of the sales was also met with barely restrained indifference by many of Nicosians, out enjoying the sunshine on Makarios Avenue and in the old town yesterday.
A survey ten shops in the area showed that, despite all but one advertising sales of as much as 50 per cent off, the number of shoppers had not changed dramatically by yesterday afternoon.
The busiest shops were the international clothing chains, such as Zara and Topshop, and seemed to have as many customers as they did before Christmas. The least busy were, as before, the smaller independent stores.

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Turkish Cypriots spent €17m on credit cards in the south of the island in 2009

TURKISH Cypriots spent nearly three times as much in the government controlled areas as Greek Cypriots in the north in 2009, it emerged yesterday.
The total spend on Turkish credit cards in Cyprus in 2009 was €17,350,593 in 293,232 transactions, according to the latest figures by credit card handling agency, JCC Payments Ltd. This compares with just €6,823,609 by Greek Cypriots.
According to the figures, the largest spend was in supermarkets (€3.7 million), closely followed by clothing (€3.6 million). “Other Retailers” received €2.8 million and household and DIY received €2.6 million.

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Turkish side’s proposals handed over

THE UNITED Nations yesterday handed President Demetris Christofias the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposals on governance and power-sharing, which will be discussed during the intensive talks on Monday.
The proposals were given to Christofias by UN special envoy Alexander Downer.
On receiving the proposals the president summoned a meeting of party leaders this Sunday, to discuss the Turkish Cypriot proposals.
Reports said the Turkish Cypriot side has conditionally accepted the Greek Cypriot proposal for a weighted vote or cross vote.
This would mean that both communities will vote for president and vice president though the Greek Cypriot vote would be weighted based on the population ratio between the two communities.

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Spanish EU presidency will tackle crisis, climate and Lisbon

SPANISH Ambassador Juan Jose Urtasun said yesterday his country would focus on tackling the financial crisis, managing the results of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, and implementing the Lisbon Treaty.
The ambassador was speaking at news conference in Nicosia to present Spain’s EU presidency priorities. His country will be the first to assume the EU rotating presidency in the trio with Belgium and Hungary this year.
Urtasun said the trio presidency would ensure continuity, which “fits in very well with the spirit of the Lisbon Treaty,” adding that “this trio will be followed by another trio, in which Cyprus will be present, Poland and Denmark”.

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