Daily Archives: July 28, 2010

Archives July 28, 2010 posted by

Top Christofias aide quits in nepotism row

 

VASSOS Georgiou, President Demetris Christofias’ close aide for ten years, resigned yesterday after his name was linked to political favours (rusfeti) requested of the Defence Ministry last February.

Georgiou – who until yesterday headed the President’s Private Office – submitted his resignation to Christofias after TV channel ANT1 revealed on Monday night that someone in the President’s Private Office had sent a request to the Defence Ministry for six national servicemen to be transferred or seconded to other posts.

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Cameron calls for Cyprus solution this year

CYPRUS’ leaders should aim to conclude the re-unification negotiations this year, British Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday.

“Cyprus remains a great, unsolved problem of Europe and we cannot forever leave it to one side,” Cameron told a press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The new British leader had come to Ankara for an under 24-hour visit to promote trade and sign a “strategic partnership” accord with Turkey. He laid a wreath at Ataturk’s tomb, addressed a business forum, held nearly two hours of talks with Erdogan, spoke to British and Turkish reporters, and then flew off to India.

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Dinner diplomacy round two

PRESIDENT Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will dine together tonight at Eroglu’s home in the north of Nicosia, UN Special Advisor to Cyprus Alexander Downer confirmed yesterday.

Downer made the announcement shortly after a meeting with Christofias yesterday.

The dinner at Eroglu’s Kucuk Kaymakli home will also be attended by Christofias’ top aide George Iacovou, Eroglu’s special representative Kudret Ozersay, as well as Downer. All are expected to take their wives.

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Turkish invasion has cost Cyprus over €100 billion

PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS and companies have lost over €109 billion as a result of the Turkish invasion, according to a study by the University of Cyprus (UCY).

The report was prepared by the university’s Economics Research Centre, headed by Panos Pashardis, and published in Sunday’s Phileleftheros. It did not include losses incurred by state and church-owned properties.

According to the study, total losses of per capita income for the period 1974-1990 amount to €4.65 billion at current (2009) prices.

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Airlines scramble to clear backlog

DISRUPTION to Cypriot air travel abated yesterday as air traffic controllers in Greece agreed to suspend their work to rule protest.

After severe delays and numerous cancellations on Sunday and Monday, Cyprus Airways (CY) began the process of catching up, putting on 52 flights including eight chartered especially to replace previously cancelled services.

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Cyprus protests Turkey’s flight ban

CYPRUS has protested Turkey’s overfly ban on Cypriot airlines to the European Union, the Communications Minister said yesterday.

Hundreds of flights were disrupted on Sunday and Monday because of a work to rule protest by Greek air traffic controllers.

Both the island’s airlines, Cyprus Airways and Eurocypria were badly affected since Greek airspace is the only corridor to Europe it can use because of Turkey’s ban on Cypriot traffic, in force since 1974.

Cyprus Airways nevertheless tried to use Turkish airspace twice on Monday, but authorities in the neighbouring country immediately refused the request.

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Government moves to end online gambling

THE government yesterday approved a bill designed to put an end to online casino gambling that has flourished on the island in recent months with millions in turnover.

“It is a very important bill, which tries to resolve a problem that has developed into a social scourge in recent years,” Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis said. “These (on-line) casinos have been created on every corner of Cyprus and anyone, young or old can basically gamble in the same way it is done in casinos abroad.”

The government draft bans online games like roulette, poker, and fruit machines.

It will also regulate internet betting – games such as football or other sporting events – and companies offering such bets will be licensed by the state.

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Police Association mulling work-to-rule

THE CYPRUS Police Association (SAK) is considering the prospect of a work-to-rule protest if the dispute with the police leadership is not settled soon.

According to yesterday’s Phileleftheros, SAK will organise a second protest in the next ten days, following last Saturday’s demonstration outside the presidential palace, but this time at the main entrance to police headquarters in Nicosia.

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Consumer Confidence Up

 

Economic sentiment in Cyprus rose in July as demand in the services sector improved and consumer confidence picked up, a survey showed yesterday.

The economic sentiment indicator (ESI) rose 8.9 points to 71 units in July. Respondents in the services sector reported an improvement in demand and in their financial affairs over the past three months.

More businesses also expected an increase in sales over the next three months, the survey compiled by the University of Cyprus said.

Cyprus’s economy returned to growth in the first quarter of the year after recording five quarters of contraction. Data for the second quarter is due for release by the statistics department on August 13.

 

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Takeover rumour boosts Marfin shares

MARFIN Popular Cyprus’s second-largest lender, is not aware of any takeover proposal, a spokesman said yesterday after the bank’s shares rose on rumours that ING was planning to buy it.

The Daily Mail reported late on Monday that there were rumours Dutch financial group ING would offer to buy Marfin Popular for €2.2 a share.

“We are not aware of any proposal,” said a spokesman for Marfin Popular Bank in Nicosia, who declined to be named. ING declined to comment.

Marfin Popular shares gained as much as 10 per cent in early trading in Athens. The shares were up 7.4 per cent at €1.89 in early trading. In Cyprus the bank’s shares jumped 7.0 per cent, or 13 cents to close at €1.88 . Nearly €2 million of the bank’s shares were traded on the CSE yesterday.

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