Daily Archives: January 30, 2010

Archives January 30, 2010 posted by

Chief issues gag order on police

THE CHIEF of Police has banned non-designated members of the force from talking to the media, warning that violators will be disciplined, it emerged yesterday.

In a circular, police chief Michalis Papageorgiou bans any officers from giving reporters information about an investigation without the permission of the leadership.

The practice by investigators to brief reporters should stop immediately, the circular said.

“The aim of this circular is to put communication between the police and the media on a correct basis,” Papageorgiou said yesterday. “Nothing more nothing less.”

The chief said the force intends on providing timely, accurate and objective information.

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Our View: CTO has done little to halt tourist decline

THE CYPRUS Tourism Organisation’s 10-year strategic plan for tourism completes its cycle this year and the consensus is that it was a spectacular flop. None of the main objectives set out in 2001 were realised, presumably because none of the grandiose plans it envisaged were ever implemented. The plans remained ideas on paper, discussed at countless inter-departmental meetings by disinterested bureaucrats, who never had any intention of putting them into practice.

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Legal highs on the way to being banned

A PROPOSAL is due to be approved by the Cabinet next week to ban the six of the most common active ingredients in so-called legal highs currently being sold at many kiosks throughout the island.

“The Minister of Health said he is ready to take the proposal to the Cabinet to declare these substances banned.  I would add that they are already banned in many of the countries in the EU,” said DISY deputy Tasos Mitsopoulos.

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Second round of intensive talks close

THE SECOND round of intensive talks ended yesterday with the two leaders “feeling positive” after making “significant progress” on the governance chapter.

UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer said the leaders authorised him to say that “significant progress has been made in a series of areas of governance”.

The two leaders met for around four hours yesterday morning after which they departed, leaving their aides to continue negotiations at the UN-controlled Nicosia airport.

“The leaders have left the meeting feeling positive and there will be a bit more to say next week when the Secretary General is here,” said Downer.

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New blow for Orams couple

THE ENGLISH Appeals Court yesterday turned down the Orams’ request to appeal the court’s recent decision regarding a Greek Cypriot owned property in the occupied areas.

The British couple, Linda and David Orams who illegally built a villa on land belonging refugee Meletis Apostlides in Lapithos were told that they would not be allowed to appeal the court’s decision. The court also rejected the Orams’ legal team’s efforts to secure a 42-day stay of execution to see how the decision to demolish the house could be implemented.

Apostolides’ lawyer, Constantis Candounas, last night told CyBC radio that the court had also instructed the couple to pay £600,000 sterling in legal expenses.

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Average house price at half a million euro

THE AVERAGE price per house in Cyprus has reached €2,000 per square metre and €1,865 per square metre for an apartment, according to the first-ever quarterly Cyprus Property Price Index (PPI), launched yesterday.

The average home purchase price in Nicosia at the start of 2010 is €523,438 compared to €496,250 in Limassol but when it comes to apartments, the situation is reversed with the average price in Nicosia at €171,155 and Limassol €177,978. Office space in Nicosia is the highest in all areas at €758,000 per unit on average.

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Cyprus has failed to protect grass snake

THE EUROPEAN Commission is taking Cyprus to court for not following grass snake conservation directives.

Barbara Helfferich, Spokeswoman for the Environment at the Commission said yesterday “The Commission considered that the Cypriot Authorities had not taken the necessary measures to protect the Cyprus Grass Snake, contrary to the requirements of directives on the conservation and habitats of flora and fauna.”

The case concerns a local species of snake, Natrix Natrix Cypriaca, which is an endemic priority species and which needs strict protection.

After sending an initial notice, requiring the Government to designate a conservation area or Site of Community Importance (SCI), the Commission sent a “Reasoned Opinion” on July 6 2008.

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PrimeTel project finally looks set to be completed

THE MULTI-MILLION PrimeTel project to install next generation fibre optic telecommunications cables in Cyprus finally looks set to go ahead after a decision to move the controversial landing station to another location.

After being refused a licence  from the Yeroskipou local council to build a landing station by last year the fibre optics project, which will cost billions. ground to a halt.

There are only three areas designated suitable for landing stations by the government for the installation of sea cables in Cyprus. The one for the Paphos region is in Yeroskipou.

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Adventurers and dreamers targeted by CTO

DREAMERS, adventurers, house cats and the quiet types are just some of the categories representing the sorts of tourists who come to Cyprus, according to a recently-completed study funded by the EU.

The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), in cooperation with private enterprises, has just completed the 12-month study aimed at revitalising the tourist market in Cyprus at a time when it is experiencing a sharp downturn.

The main aim of the study was to enable business people and the CTO itself to produce more targeted initiatives to encourage tourism in Cyprus and to help in the development of more productive marketing campaigns.

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Bulgarian teen says she was kept prisoner in sham marriage racket

POLICE ARE investigating a case of kidnapping and indecent assault, after a 19-year-old woman claimed she had been detained against her will for a week by a stranger who wanted her to enter into a fake marriage.

The teenage Bulgarian arrived at Paphos airport on January 21 with two friends, a Bulgarian man and woman, to look for work. In her statement to police she said she was met at the airport by another Bulgarian woman who took her to Nicosia. The teenager was then driven to an Indian man who took her to a flat in the capital, where he reportedly kept her locked up for a week.

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