Daily Archives: July 9, 2011

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A united front on the economy

AFTER WEEKS of confrontational exchanges, the government and opposition put on a united front yesterday for the sake of the economy.

The two and a half hour crisis summit at the presidential palace ended yesterday evening with talk of a “constructive climate”, “broad consensus” and even passing a package of measures through parliament by the end of the month.

Speaking after the meeting on the economy with party leaders, chaired by President Demetris Christofias, government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said: “The discussion took place in a truly constructive climate characterised by broad consensus and understanding to formulate a common package of economic measures for immediate implementation which will be discussed of course with the social partners.”

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Our View: Incompetence surrounding traffic cameras saga is costing lives

THE EFFORTS by the authorities to have traffic cameras installed has turned into one of Cyprus’ longest-running jokes. The latest invitation for tenders by the state authorities was at risk of falling through after the technical services decided to advise the Tenders Board to declare the procedure null and void. Serious deviations from the terms and condition set had, reportedly, been identified by the technical services.

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Shock over arson attack on turtle protector’s car

ECOLOGISTS were left shocked and outraged yesterday by the heinous” and “barbaric” arson attack on a turtle conservationist’s car in Paphos.

Police are investigating a suspected arson attack against former Fisheries Director Andreas Demetropoulos in Arodhes village near Paphos on Thursday.

In what is believed to be a continuation of longstanding tensions between local developers and conservationists, several unknown assailants set alight Demetropoulos’ jeep outside his home, causing €10,000 worth of damage.

Demetropoulos, current chief of the Association for Protection of Wild Life said yesterday: “I returned home around 11.45am and around half an hour later heard noises outside my home. When I looked outside my car was on fire.”

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New 2013 electricity price hike to pay for emissions

COME 2013, consumers will see a 4.74 per cent hike in the price of electricity, as a new EU regulation on carbon emissions comes into effect, officials said yesterday.

EU industries will no longer be allocated free amounts of CO2 they can emit and will instead have to buy every tonne through an auction.

This basically means that EU governments would be able to sell their share to the highest bidder.

But the regulation allows industries, under certain conditions, to get an exemption – or derogation, a provision Cyprus will use for the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC).

House Environment Committee chairman Adamos Adamou said Cyprus was planning to ask for the maximum amount of emissions provided by the derogation – 70 per cent.

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Abuse suffered by foreign worker who ‘fell through the cracks’

A VIETNAMESE man who paid $11,000 to work in Cyprus has ended up homeless and penniless after ten months working for an allegedly abusive farmer who restricted his freedom of movement and gave him a room to share with animals but no electricity.

Despite the man’s ordeal, the state services have failed to provide any assistance to the potential victim of trafficking and labour exploitation. Cyprus police’s anti-trafficking unit is also not investigating the allegations, stating that the farm in question, in Dhekelia’s Ayios Nicolaos area, is not within their jurisdiction.

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Famagusta sweep sends ‘clear message’ to criminals police say

A 40-YEAR-OLD man was remanded for four days by the Famagusta District Court yesterday following a police sting late on Thursday that resulted in allegations of blackmail and threats involving a car dealer who was being squeezed for €1.5 million.

Police launched a spate of surprise raids in the Famagusta area, searching a number of locations and arresting the suspect.

Some 50 police officers and members of the rapid reaction unit MMAD targeted houses, sheds and cruise boats in twelve different spots.

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When is a timeframe not a timeframe?

THE government yesterday fended off criticism that President Demetris Christofias had agreed to UN arbitration and timeframes during a meeting with UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in Geneva.

On Thursday, Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu agreed with Ban to intensify the talks to reach convergence on the core issues by October and to give the UN an enhanced role, ultimately concluding the talks with an international conference.

Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou yesterday downplayed the October deadline.

“October is a mark to check where the negotiations are going,” he said, adding that it was “definitely not a road map.”

Stefanou defended the UNSG’s role saying that he would be offering assistance by way of expertise.

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Call to end bird trapping

CYPRIOT authorities, the hunting federation, ecologists and EU officials are set on a “zero tolerance” approach towards illegal bird trapping in Cyprus and the wider union, they said at the end of this week’s conference to address the issue.

The conference in Limassol saw around 100 people from the European Commission and European Council, International NGOs and the Cypriot authorities converge on the need for stronger measures.

BirdLife Cyprus’ Martin Hellicar said: “The key message to come from the conference is that there is a strong consensus on zero tolerance towards illegal bird trapping in the EU.”

Among the topics discussed was the widespread use of poison throughout the union, which is having a devastating impact on several bird species.

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Tempers flare over renovations at historical Nicosia school

TEMPERS flared during yesterday’s presentation of plans to upgrade the Pancyprian Gymnasium in Nicosia, after a movement opposed to the reconstruction came into conflict with Education Minister Andreas Demetriou.

The tension led to a one-and-a-half hour delay in the presentation of the architectural plans.

Members of a movement set up to protect the school – which is opposed to the proposed changes as it fears its historical appearance will be spoiled – were offended when Demetriou criticised the former teachers and headmasters of the school who are members of the movement.

This led to more tension, as did the fact that the movement was prevented from displaying a placard showing their opposition to the plans.

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Woman locks child in car while she parties

A 32-YEAR-OLD Russian tourist was arrested yesterday in Limassol at round 2am after police discovered her 11-year-old child locked in the car, while she apparently partied at a bar close by.

The woman was charged in writing for failing to perform her duties regarding the care of someone under the age of 14 years of age and then released. Police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos said that Social Services had been informed.

“We have before us a very shocking case,” said Katsounotos. “You wonder how someone can recklessly expose their own child to danger,” he added.

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