Daily Archives: July 14, 2010

Archives July 14, 2010 posted by

Omonia off to a great Champions League start


DEFENDING champions Omonia’s bid to become the third successive Cypriot team to reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League is off to a good start after a dominant 3-0 victory over FK Renova of FYR Macedonia in the second qualifying round first-leg at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia on Tuesday night.

Michalis Konstantinou opened the scoring with a penalty after only seven minutes and by the 28-minute mark, the visitors were two goals behind and down to ten men.

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Life in Sector C

Dust-infested Arroub, a Palestinian refugee camp located in the southern West Bank along the Hebron-Jerusalem road, has the unmistakable look and feel of a shanty town.

Concrete run-down houses straddle the ‘main street’ – a stretch of dirt road – and the site expands to the overlooking hill. A handful of children kick about a deflated leather football, clotheslines hang on tiny balconies, women in headscarves bustle about. Our taxi was the only vehicle traversing the main street at the time.

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Overhaul needed of state earnings

THE OVERLY complicated system of allowances paid to MPs, state officials and other senior figures, which sees them paid up to €33,000 tax free, needs an overhaul, DIKO Vice-President Nicolas Papadopoulos said yesterday.

He said some of the allowances given in the public sector should be regarded as taxable. “But they are not treated as such, and that’s a problem.”

“Some allowances are given on a regular monthly basis and cannot be viewed as, for example, attendance expenses, as there is no proof whatsoever that they are being spent as part of carrying out one’s duties. So in practice, they are being given to someone who uses their discretion as to how they are used. Since such payments are made on a regular basis, they should be counted as income,” he added.

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Our View: Compromise a dirty word for police officers too

IT IS REALLY no surprise that the Association of Cyprus Police has started behaving in the same militant way as the public servants’ and teachers’ unions. The leaders of the association, the policemen’s union, have not failed to notice that we have become a union-run country, in which arrogant union bosses call all the shots, and have decided to take advantage of the prevailing climate.

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British toddler drowns while on holiday in the north

A BRITISH toddler has drowned while holidaying in the occupied areas last week, it emerged yesterday.

Rosie Bastin, aged two, fell into the pool at the villa owned by Glen and Sue Rawlings, her grandparents, at the Carrington Marina development in the northern town of Kalogrea.

According to media reports, paramedics were called to the villa after Bastin was pulled unconscious from the pool. The paramedics took her to the nearby Kyrenia hospital; however doctors were unable to save her.

The tragedy occurred at around 6.30pm last Wednesday as the family’s two-week summer holiday was coming to an end.

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Matsakis released on illegal entry charges

FORMER MEP Marios Matsakis was yesterday released by police pending a court appearance to answer charges concerning illegal entry into an army firing range.

On Monday afternoon Matsakis entered the Kalo Chorio firing range and caused damage to targets within it that are used for army practice. He will reappear in a Larnaca court on September 16.

In a bid to disrupt military exercise, the political firebrand entered the firing range at around 3pm on Monday. He was arrested by police six hours later and spent the night in a cell.

“I was carrying out a peaceful and legal protest against the dangers of the firing range,” Matsakis said yesterday.

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Solid basis for DIKO to stay in coalition

BROKEN BUT not shattered is how the government and its sole remaining partner DIKO yesterday described their relations after a head to head meeting between President Demetris Christofias and DIKO leader Marios Garoyian yesterday.

“The meeting was held in a constructive climate… and I think it serves as a solid basis for the continuation of our cooperation,” government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said.

Similar sentiments were voiced by Garoyian who, however, added that “there is room for improvement in certain areas.

“[As a partner] we nevertheless reserve the right to express our disagreements,” he noted.

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Excessive deficit puts Cyprus under EU supervision

HOURS AFTER Cyprus was formally placed under EU supervision for its excessive budget deficit, the Finance Minister yesterday put on a brave face, saying the government would go it alone, if it had to, in efforts to better the state of public finances.

“In the absence of consensus from the political parties… the government is launching a major drive to cut expenditures and reduce the state payroll,” Charilaos Stavrakis said.

He was referring to last week’s defeat in parliament of two government bills aimed at increasing IPT and corporate tax, which the administration wanted to push through to increase state revenues.

He went on to call on parties and social partners to “help us in our effort to streamline state finances.”

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CYBC could face €8,000 fine

STATE BROADCASTER CyBC could face a fine of up to €8,000 for broadcasting a scene from a satirical TV show deemed inappropriate by viewers and one anti domestic violence charity.

The scene in question, taken from the Cypriot satirical series Patatas Antinaxtes (‘fried potatoes’) involved bandits from the infamous Hasamboulia gang threatening a Paphite village resident.

Neophytos Epaminondas, Director of the Cyprus Radio and Television Authority, CRTA, said that in the scene, a bandit threatened to murder and rape a woman living in a village house. At this point a fellow bandit said that they should rape first and then murder the woman.

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Parole board held up by government delays

DELAYS BY government departments to prepare reports are hindering the newly-appointed Parole Board’s ability to examine prisoners’ applications, the House Human Rights Committee was told yesterday.

Speaking after the meeting, Committee Chairman, DIKO’s Sophocles Fyttis said the Board had received 73 applications so far, of which 29 were deemed premature – based on the Board, the Prison Director and the Attorney-general’s advice.

For the remaining 44 applications, reports were requested from the relevant state departments – such as Social Welfare, the Mental Health Department, the police and Prison Director. But according to Fyttis, only the Prison Director has responded for 18 cases.

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