Daily Archives: July 16, 2011

Archives July 16, 2011 posted by

‘Not even the president will be immune in blast probe’

CABINET-APPOINTED investigator Polys Polyviou yesterday assured he would examine every angle of Monday’s tragic explosion and assign responsibility where it was due even if that included the President of the Republic.

He said the report would be ready no later than the end of October and believed it would be made public.

“My report will attribute responsibilities… political responsibilities… this means to record the facts and examine any carelessness, inaction, failure to do one’s duty for the Republic and negligence,” said Polyviou.

“The aim is not to attribute criminal or civic responsibility. That is up to the Attorney-general and the courts,” he added.

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Our View: Defence of draft has taken grave hit

HOW IRONIC that just a few days after the Defence Ministry had finalised the bill that would supposedly restrict draft dodging, the Vassilikos disaster happened. All the tough provisions incorporated in the bill, in order to discourage conscripts from avoiding military service, by citing psychological problems, seem rather meaningless all of a sudden.

After the killer blast in Vassiliko the state is in no position, at least morally, to call the shots with regard to military service as had been the practice ever since the National Guard was created. It still has the legal right to do so, but it has lost its moral legitimacy and it will have to work very hard now to persuade parents that their sons would be in safe hands while doing military service.

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Our View: Sorry, an apology is still expected

ASKED by journalists, after yesterday’s memorial service for those who fell during the 1974 coup, why he had not apologised for the killer blast in Vassilikos, President Christofias said the following: “the apologies of the government and the president should be considered a given and they are a given”.

The president is now playing games, in an attempt to cover up his obdurate refusal to apologise. One of his advisors must inform him that nobody considers his apologies a given. He needs to stand up in public, like a man, and make an apology. He owes it to the families of the people who died and everyone expects it.

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Cyprus banks pass EU stress test

CYPRUS’ three main banks, Bank of Cyprus (BoC), Marfin Laiki and Hellenic Bank yesterday passed the EU-wide bank stress tests coordinated by the European Banking Authority (EBA) in collaboration with the European Central Bank (ECB).

Reuters reported that eight European banks failed a test of their ability to withstand a prolonged recession which did not build in the impact of a Greek default, the EBA said.

The watchdog’s “stress test”, which made 90 lenders reveal for the first time their profit forecasts, a breakdown of their sovereign bond holdings and funding costs, showed the failed banks would need €2.5 billion in fresh capital, way below what most analysts had expected.

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Christofias: apology should be taken for granted’

 

IN RESPONSE to widespread calls for an apology over last Monday’s naval base explosion, President Demetris Christofias yesterday said his apology was something that should be taken for granted.

Following Christofias’ televised address to the nation on Thursday, political parties lined up to accuse him of failing “to rise to the occasion” by not apologising for the explosion which caused 13 deaths and lost the country over half its electricity supply.

On Thursday night, over 10,000 people stood outside the Presidential Palace in a fairly unique non-partisan gathering, demanding his resignation. A woman in the crowd held up a banner saying, “You can’t even give us an apology”.

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‘Firemen had no idea what they were getting into’

 

An action plan could have been put into place to extinguish a fire involving explosives and military equipment, without having to use man-power, according to Stavros Kyprianou, President of the Retired Firefighters’ Association.

Kyprianou was speaking at a news conference in Larnaca held yesterday, following the devastating effects of the naval base explosion that killed 13 people, six of whom were firefighters.

“If the firefighters had known what was in the containers, they would have stayed a kilometre away and more,” said Kyprianou, describing a plan that involved the setting up of measures that would extinguish the fire without man-power. “We have the means (to do this),” he added.

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Family of 13th Mari victim donate organs

 

THE FAMILY of 19-year-old Antonis Charalambous, who was the 13th victim of Monday’s devastating explosion at the Evangelos Florakis naval base, decided to donate the soldier’s organs after he was declared brain dead, doctors said yesterday.

Nicosia general hospital Medical Services director Evagoras Nicolaides said medical staff were yesterday determining which of the young man’s organs were viable for transplantation and that the procedure would be completed within 24 hours.

The teenager’s family would receive his remains immediately afterwards, Nicolaides said.

Speaking to reporters Charalambous’ grandfather said his grandson had died “a hero” and “heroes die last”.

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Heatwave warning as power cuts rumble on

THE MEDICAL Services and Public Health Department yesterday issued a health warning following weather reports of increased temperatures and humidity over the next three days.

The Medical Services advised the public to avoid continuous sun exposure as well as unnecessary activity and strenuous physical exercise. People should dress lightly in light coloured clothing and wear a hat, doctors advised.

During sun exposure the consumption of alcohol should be avoided as well as heavy food such as fats, chocolates and spices, the announcement said.

Drinking sufficient water (nine to 10 glasses daily) as well as the use of fans or air conditioners to create air flow was also important, the Medical Services said.

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