Daily Archives: July 29, 2010

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‘There are no limits to the hypocrisy in this country’

 

THE CLOSE aide to President Demetris Christofias who resigned on Tuesday over a nepotism row said yesterday there were no limits to the hypocrisy in Cyprus.

In his first comments since submitting his resignation, Vassos Georgiou, who headed the President’s Private Office, and who was cleared of any blame in the scandal, said: “We are burying our heads in the sand if we think we do not live in a country where everybody knows that people regularly ask all kinds of political figures for favours. Have we only now discovered the wheel? Hypocrisy has reached new heights in Cyprus these days.”

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Our View: When humbug is the main currency of political life

THE HYPOCRISY of our politicians knows no bounds. The universally indignant reaction to the Antenna report about the presidential palace’s ‘rusfeti list’ defied belief, as politicians pretended to be shocked by what had happened. In Cyprus, the people living in glass houses are only too happy to throw stones when a fellow-culprit is caught in the act, because they think this proves their own innocence.

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Climate Change: The Last Resort

IT MAY seem premature to talk about last-ditch measures to deal with runaway climate change, but Ben Lieberman has it right. Lieberman, an energy expert at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington think-tank, responded to the news that the US Senate will not pass any climate legislation this year by saying: “It’s pretty clear that no post-Kyoto treaty is in the making — certainly not in Cancun, and maybe not ever.”

The Cancun meeting next December is where the optimists hoped to untangle the mess left by last December’s abortive climate summit in Copenhagen and create a new treaty to replace the Kyoto accord, which expires in 2012. It was always a slim hope, but the US Senate has decisively crushed it. Big Coal and Big Oil win again.

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Building better relations with dinner diplomacy

THE TWO leaders yesterday spent the morning in talks and the evening building a “better relationship” and “friendship” at a dinner hosted by Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and his wife Meral at their residence in the north of Nicosia.

President Demetris Christofias and First Lady Elsi walked out of the Eroglu home in good spirits just before 11pm last night, along with the two leaders’ respective aides, Georgios Iacovou and Kudret Ozersay, UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer and their spouses. The dinner lasted over two hours.

Christofias thanked the Eroglus for their hospitality, noting the dinner was held in a “very positive climate”.

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Teachers over 60 ‘mentally and physically tired’

PRESIDENT Demetris Christofias was yesterday accused of discrimination when it emerged that one of his reasons for vetoing a law extending teachers’ retirement age was “the mental and physical weariness that occurs in teachers over 60 years old”.

The President, who himself is 64 years old, and is engaged in negotiations to secure the political future of the entire country,  won himself no favours – in the teaching as well as among older members of the public – with his comments, which were read out during an extraordinary House Education Committee session yesterday.

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Joint crime committee gets its own building

THE Joint Communications Room (JCR) – a project run by the bicommunal Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal Matters (TCCCM) will today inaugurate its own, dedicated building in the buffer zone in Nicosia.

The aim of the JCR is to facilitate the timely exchange of information between the two sides in relation to crime.

The TCCCM is one of seven specialised committees formed as a confidence building measure between the two communities with UN support.

The committee is a mechanism for information sharing and joint initiatives on crime and criminal matters on the island.

The JCR operates on a daily 24-hour basis and until now it was housed in temporary accommodation within UN protected area at the defunct Nicosia airport.

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Suspect in Papadopoulos theft was ‘afraid’

AN INDIAN man implicated in the theft Tassos Papadopoulos’ remains was “worried and afraid” when he asked the family of the former president for €100,000 to reveal the location of the body, witnesses told the Nicosia court yesterday.

Witnesses said Sarbjit Singh had contacted the family asking for the money to reveal where the body was located after it was stolen on December 11, 2009 – a day before the anniversary of Papadopoulos’ death.

The body was recovered three months later, buried in another grave in a cemetery not far from Deftera where it was stolen.

Convicted double murderer and rapist Antonis Prokopiou Kitas, his brother, Mamas Prokopiou, Singh have been charged in connection with the theft.

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Ministers urge hoteliers to use state incentives

THE COMMERCE and Interior Ministers yesterday sent a joint plea to the tourism industry to take advantage of the government’s newly announced town-planning incentives, as part of efforts to boost the ailing sector.

Interior Minister Neocles Sylikiotis, along with Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister , Antonis Paschalides, yesterday presented the package of extra support measures that approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday.

The package is part of a €500 million broader plan to help the tourism and construction sectors, which have been adversely affected by the financial crisis.

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Full speed ahead on Limassol marina

CONSTRUCTION WORK on the Limassol marina is in full swing, with plans to build a new marina and waterfront on schedule for the autumn 2012 launch date, said a statement by Limassol Marina Ltd yesterday.

According to the announcement, the companies Joannou and Paraskevaides Ltd, J&P-AVAX  S.A, ATE Athens and Cybarco have begun work on construction for the mooring of yachts and development of residential, commercial and cultural buildings earmarked for the €350 million project.

Dredging work has already begun in the sea area of the marina, with the use a floating crane to remove various materials from the seabed. Construction work is also continuing on the new waterfront and the provision for access to the southeastern breakwater.

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Cyprus and UAE strengthen ties with bilateral agreements

THE UNITED Arab Emirates and Cyprus have an opportunity to strengthen ties in tourism, renewable energy and port management, said UAE’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan yesterday.

During an official visit to the island, Sheikh Abdullah and his Cypriot counterpart Marcos Kyprianou signed a deal on visa exemptions for holders of diplomatic, special and service passports, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral political consultations between the two ministries.

The UAE minister noted that relations between the two countries were “developing rapidly” and thanked the Cyprus government for “facilitating an effort towards building bridges between the rest of the world and the Palestinians living in Gaza”

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