Daily Archives: January 16, 2010

Archives January 16, 2010 posted by

A champ again: Baghdatis wins Sydney title

MARCOS Baghdatis of Cyprus overcame the distraction of a lengthy rain interruption to beat France’s Richard Gasquet 6-4 7-6 in the final of the Sydney International yesterday.

Baghdatis, who burst on to the world stage when he made the Australian Open final in 2006, regained his composure after a lapse in concentration to claim his fourth ATP title in the final lead-up event before the first grand slam of 2010.

The 24-year-old made a flying start at the Sydney Olympic tennis centre, breaking Gasquet’s opening service game then taking the first set, but lost his way after a 75-minute delay early in the second set.

Gasquet quickly established a 5-2 lead and served for the set but Baghdatis broke back and eventually sealed victory in the tiebreak.

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Murder route planned for weeks


THREE MEN were remanded in custody for eight days by a Nicosia court judge yesterday in connection with the murder of media mogul Andis Hadjicostis on Monday. Police were last night searching for a fourth suspect after a fourth arrest warrant was issued yesterday afternoon.

The three remanded suspects, aged 30, 33 and 37, all from Nicosia, have been named as Andreas Gregoriou, Theophanis Hadjigeorgiou and Costas Proestos.

The hearing was held at the Hippocration private clinic where one of the suspects, Gregoriou, has been undergoing inpatient treatment. According to police, they have witness testimony that shows the suspects were staking out the crime scene three weeks before the murder.

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Our View: Union bosses and EDEK have become judge and jury in nepotism case

THE CASE of nepotism at the agriculture ministry, in connection with which two senior ministry officials face charges, is fast turning into farce. The minister Michalis Polynikis, who was at the centre of the original allegations – he was accused of practising nepotism in Paphos by an official, whose transfer he had ordered – set the ball rolling a week ago, with a long long-winded statement claiming the Attorney-general’s decision to prosecute the two officials had exonerated him.

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UK court could re-refer Orams case to ECJ


MYSTERY surrounded the outcome of the Orams property dispute yesterday – despite a verdict having already been handed down to the Orams’ London-based legal team and lawyers representing dispossessed Greek Cypriot refugee Melitis Apostolides.

Apostolides’ Nicosia-based lawyer Constantis Candounas remained tight lipped yesterday, insisting he was sworn to secrecy by a British Appeals Court judge, and that divulgence of the result before next Tuesday’s scheduled publication could place him in contempt of court.

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Confusion greets change to student employment

THE Labour Ministry’s revision of approved part-time jobs available to non-EU students – which came into force a week ago – has created confusion and problems for students and employers alike, it emerged yesterday.

From 2007, non-EU students with a valid student visa were allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week throughout the year in a range of jobs specified by the Labour Ministry, such as petrol-station attendants, home helps, bakery workers or cleaners. Students taking courses in hospitality or catering were also allowed to work full-time between 1 June and 15 October in the hospitality sector, as this was treated as work experience.

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Will foreign investor bail out Eurocypria?

Ailing state-owned charter airline Eurocypria appears to have been thrown a lifeline by a foreign investor – said to be a major player in the tourism sector – it emerged yesterday.

According to a statement by the Finance Ministry, Eurocypria’s board of directors met Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis yesterday to inform him that a major tourism sector player was seriously interested in investing in the airline, whose biggest client last year was UK tour operator Olympic Holidays.

Eurocypria was sold by national carrier Cyprus Airways (CY) to the government in June 2006 for around CY£13.4 million (€22.9 million), mainly to provide a cash injection to CY. Since then, the airline has been experiencing a number of difficulties, mainly financial.

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Universities to be linked to centre by cycle lanes

NICOSIA’S five main universities are to be connected to the city centre by dedicated cycle lanes, according to plans currently being moved forward by the Ministry of Communications and Works.

“Our aim at the moment is to get students on bikes,” said Dinos Kathijotis, a senior engineer involved with the project, “To achieve this aim the minimum we need to do is to connect the universities to the centre of town”.

The approach being taken for Limassol, where a coastal cycle lane already exists, is different: there a grid system composed of three East-West cycle lanes and three North-South cycle lanes is scheduled for construction.  One of these, a coastal cycle lane, already exists.

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Was hospital lab equipment destroyed on purpose?

THE SIMULTANEOUS breakdown of two blood analysis machines at Limassol hospital may or may not have been coincidence, Health Minister Christos Patsalides said yesterday during a visit there.

“These things can no longer go unnoticed. While the incident may have been coincidental, it may also not have been so. We must finally realise that such things are checked and investigated because we can no longer tolerate the situation where ‘this breaks’ and then ‘that breaks’ and all we do is run to pay for the damage,” Patsalides said. He has ordered an investigation.

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Overtime not an ‘unreasonable perk’ says ports’ union

A CYPRUS Ports Authority (CPA) trade union has slammed accusations that their overtime is an “unreasonable perk”, saying the CPA uses the same system to charge its customers.

Speaking to the House Finance Committee, CPA human resources manager Anthi Cleridou implied clearly the unions were to blame for the €3.5 million in overtime paid in 2009 –  equivalent to 27 per cent of the €13 million wage-bill. “As soon as we try to touch the pilots’ pay-packets, they threaten to take strike action,” she said.

Michalis Spyrou, general secretary of SYALK – one of two independent unions representing port employees, in addition to PEO, SEK, PASYDY and DEOK – rejected the implication, saying members had never refused to enter a dialogue or taken unjustified strike action.

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Parties gloomy after National Council

THE NATIONAL Council yesterday discussed the conclusion of the first round of UN-led intensive talks between President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

The meeting concluded at around 1.30pm with a statement from Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou followed by statements from party leaders. The latter were predominantly pessimistic.

During the meeting Christofias distributed the negotiation document on governance.

“The President of the Republic has informed that the Greek Cypriot side will submit our complete proposals on the economy, European affairs and property during the second round of intensive negotiations,” Stefanou said. He said each party then submitted its position on the issues.

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