Daily Archives: July 4, 2010

Archives July 4, 2010 posted by

Battle lines drawn in bus dispute

MORE than 170 bus drivers packed Makarios stadium with their vehicles in Nicosia yesterday to protest against the start of an upgraded, cut-price, islandwide bus system due to start operating tomorrow.

Bus drivers from all over the island took part in the protest with plans to block the roads in front of the Presidential Palace, Parliament and the Communications Ministry either today or tomorrow.

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Tales from the Coffeeshop: The only thing we didn’t do was give the guy a passport

FOR ONCE we cannot really use the traditional, bungling ineptitude of our state authorities as an excuse for letting the high-profile suspect, wanted by the US, sail to freedom. The furious Yanks will certainly not swallow such a lame excuse, because even by our own high standards of incompetence, what happened was absolutely incredible.

I would love to know what the comrade President told the US ambassador Frank Urbancic at their meeting on Thursday, in order to appease the American government, after we allowed the escape of the suspected paymaster of a Russian spy ring – Christopher Metsos, a Canada passport holder.

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Our View: Nightmare scenario looms large

THE LATEST EU report about prices of basic foodstuffs in member-states showed that Cyprus prices are eight percentage points above the Union average. This was confirmation, if any were needed, that the cost of living is high in relative terms. Food prices are higher than in developed countries like the UK, Italy and The Netherlands where average disposable income is significantly higher.

This is why nowadays it is cheaper to eat at a mid-price restaurant in central London or Rome than its equivalent in Nicosia. Although populist politicians occasionally protest about the high prices, invariably blaming them on profiteering by greedy businessmen, nobody has ever treated the matter with the seriousness it merits.

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Balloon protest before Nicosia cathedral vote

PROTESTORS opposed to the Archbishop’s plans to build a massive cathedral in the heart of Nicosia’s old city floated a helium-filled balloon to the height of 26 metres outside the Archbishopric yesterday to indicate the height of proposed structure.

The idea was to give people the chance to “imagine the height and size of the cathedral, towering over everything else within the walls of Nicosia,” said Christina Charalambous, spokesperson of the protest committee.

The protest came ahead of Nicosia Municipal Council’s vote on Tuesday on whether to endorse the plan. The vote has already been postponed several times.

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US asks for Metsos evidence

THE government was yesterday considering a request from the United States authorities to have access to the confiscated laptop computer of fugitive suspected spymaster Robert Christopher Metsos.

Police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos said yesterday that the Ministry of Justice had received a request for court assistance from the US authorities on Friday evening.

The request specifically asked for access to “any objects or documents found in the possession” of Metsos, who is suspected of being the paymaster of an alleged Russian spy network operating for years in the US.

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Smoking cafe to open in Debenhams

DEBENHAMS’ stores in Limassol and Ledra Street, Nicosia are planning to install indoor “smoking cafe” areas.

George Aniliades, Managing Director of Ermes which operates 10 Debenhams stores in Cyprus, said yesterday “We respect the law (banning smoking in indoor public spaces) and we respect both our smoking and non smoking customers.”

Asked why the stores were introducing closed-off indoor smoking areas six months after the smoking ban was put in place, Aniliades said “We’re trying to give the option to smoke within the law. Many of our customers are smokers and we are trying to give them the option within the law.”

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Economic disruption in north

 

THIRTY-FIVE trade unions have decided to go on 24-hour strike tomorrow in protest against the administration’s package of economic austerity measures.

According to Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Havadis, tomorrow’s action may be followed by a continuous strike.

Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Volkan wrote that the opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) are both urging on the workers to take strike action.

Recently-elected Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has the unpopular task of cutting public spending, on instructions from the Turkish government. In practical terms, Ankara plugs any gaps in the north’s public finances to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

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Fix-it website for residents with gripes

IF YOU’RE fed up with those illegally parked cars on the corner of your street every day, or the rotting mattress on the empty plot of land opposite your house, help might just be at hand.

A new website, fixcyprus.com, is offering the public the chance to alert local authorities to recurrent problems in their neighbourhood. Officials from a number of municipalities are working work with fixcyprus.com and the website serves as a forum where the two groups can communicate. The website’s goal is to help local problems reach each municipality’s attention as quickly as possible.

“We try to keep it simple,” said Giorgos Mili, one of the websites operators. “We try to avoid vague or general complaints so that we can help the municipality.”

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Summer nights in the city

NICOSIA Municipality is making the most of the city’s pleasant summer evenings by putting on a series of free entertainment at various open spaces in and around the old town.

‘Summer Nights in Nicosia’, which runs from July until the end of September, includes a wide variety of musical, theatrical and other performances for all tastes from both local and international artists.

“These unique nights in the capital promise a rich and enjoyable artistic summer to all those who choose to stay in Nicosia,” said Nicosia Mayor Eleni Mavrou. “Nights in our city are truly special and I believe with cultural creativity they become unforgettable.”

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Rich finds at Bronze Age settlement

EXCAVATIONS of the late Bronze Age settlement at Dromolaxia Vizatzia (Hala Sultan Tekke) have unearthed a rich array of imported and local bronze and pottery artefacts.

The finds at the ancient city which were carried out in May by the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, under the direction of Professor Peter M. Fischer, witness the central role Cyprus played during the Late Bronze Age, the Antiquities Department said in an announcement on Friday.

The ancient city was inhabited during the Late Bronze Age, which dates roughly to 1600-1100 BC. The city was once as large as 25 hectares making it one of the largest ancient cities of the period on the island.

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