Daily Archives: July 6, 2010

Archives July 6, 2010 posted by

CyTA board resign en masse

THE ENTIRE board of the telecoms semi-government organisation announced their resignation yesterday following a series of allegations made by different board members of irregularities regarding the sale of phone cards and double dealings in the bidding for a digital platform.

The leadership of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA) was thrown into disarray yesterday when what started as a trickle became a tidal wave of resignations. The first board member to resign was Stelios Amerikanos on Friday who presented his resignation to President Demetris Christofias saying that the situation at CyTA was not allowing the board to operate properly.

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Our View: CyTA falls victim to the big state

CYTA, once the pride of public sector, for the high standard of services it offered and the big surpluses it made, has fallen into disrepute. Suddenly the organisation’s public image is in tatters, with members of the board viciously attacking one another before resigning en masse, politicians slamming its policy decisions and its unions vociferously demanding the closure of CyTA subsidiaries. What had been cited as the best-run state organisation is now, supposedly, a shambolic mess plagued by incompetence.

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Chaos as Omonia fans flood airport to greet new players

HUNDREDS of frenzied soccer fans laid siege to Larnaca airport Sunday night, where they gathered to greet the arrival of Omonia football club’s new signings.

Chanting slogans and jumping up and down, the supporters – at least a thousand – lit torches and Bengali lights as authorities seemed at a loss to deal with the crowd.

The smoke from the flares triggered the terminal’s fire alarm system, automatically shutting down elevators and rolling staircases. With fans virtually taking over the lower deck of the airport, arriving passengers and their waiting friends became trapped inside a cauldron of football craze.

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IMF: ‘cut public wage-bill urgently’

THE government needs to act more forcefully and urgently to contain the public wage-bill and related expenditure in the public sector, in order to correct the “fundamental imbalance” in public finances that has fed the current budget deficit, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said yesterday.

Describing the targets for fiscal consolidation contained in the government’s 2010 Stability Programme as “very ambitious”, IMF Consultation Mission leader Bernard J Laurens said that they “need to be backed by very concrete action – policy measures that are credible – so that they can be delivered”.

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Hell-raising pop star snaps up Makarios’ old house

II’S a good thing the late Archbishop Makarios was blessed with a great sense of humour – and was no prude otherwise he might be turning in his Troodos grave.

Because an icon of altogether different sort is about to move into the north London house where Makarios spent five months after he was violently ousted by the coupist regime in 1974.

Amy Winehouse – as infamous for her hell-raising, drug-fuelled lifestyle as she famous is for her fabulous, husky voice — has snapped up the 1.5 million pound sterling Georgian mansion in Camden Town.

According to the Daily Mirror, the 26-year-old British artist has signed the papers on the mansion in the trendy north London area, much to the dismay of her prospective neighbours on the exclusive street.

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Positive start to new bus service

THE revamped islandwide bus scheme was successfully launched to positive public response yesterday despite protests from bus drivers opposed to the scheme, who parked outside the Presidential Palace, the Ministry of Communications and Works and Solomou Square in Nicosia.

Communications Minister Erato Kozakou-Markoulli, who was at Solomou Square in Nicosia yesterday morning, stated that she was delighted with both the running of the new system and with the public response.

“A revolution is happening in our country and I hope everyone realises this,” she said. “All the bus drivers, who for years now have contributed to transportation in Cyprus, will take part in this endeavour to modernise transportation in our country.”

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AG to decide on fate of spy’s laptop

IT IS up to the Attorney-general to decide whether to hand over the laptop of suspected spymaster Robert Christopher Metsos to the US authorities, but the chances are slim if it only contains “personal moments”, said Justice Minister Loucas Louca yesterday.

The government received a request for court assistance from the US authorities last Friday, including access to the confiscated personal items of the alleged spy who is currently on the run after jumping bail from Larnaca last Wednesday.

The request specifically asked for access to “any objects or documents found in the possession” of Metsos, 54, who is suspected of being the paymaster of an alleged Russian spy network operating for years in the US.

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Thousands in airline protest

SEVERAL thousand Turkish Cypriots took to the streets yesterday in support of what was billed as a general strike over the proposed selloff of half of Cyprus Turkish Airlines (CTA) to private Turkish airline Atlas Jet.

In Nicosia, protesters backed by 34 trades unions gathered around the Turkish Cypriot ‘parliament’ chanting slogans and calling on the ‘government’ to resign. Many were angry at what they see as Ankara’s forcing the Turkish Cypriot administration to sell off the ailing ‘state’-owned airline.

“Down with AK party, and down with its partner UBP,” they chanted referring to their ‘government’ and Turkey’s ruling AK Party government.

Hundreds of riot police surrounded the building and the Turkish Embassy, which face each other on the same road.

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Tax evasion and title-deeds: mine-field legislation put on hold

PARLIAMENT yesterday decided there was not enough time to conclude discussions on the much-debated tax evasion bills before it wraps up for summer this week, sending them for further discussions in September.

“During the chapter discussion of the government’s bills to combat tax evasion, we spotted huge efforts by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and all relevant departments – especially the Certified Accountants’ and banking association – to agree on a draft that can preferably be passed unanimously by parliament,” said the Chairman of the House Finance Committee, DIKO’s Nicolas Papadopoulos yesterday.

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