Daily Archives: July 23, 2011

Archives July 23, 2011 posted by

Former defence minister says he was mislead on deadly cargo

FORMER defence minister Costas Papacostas yesterday accused a high-ranking army officer of misleading him on the danger of the explosives stored at a naval base, which blew up on July 11 killing 13 men, reports said yesterday.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, the accusation was heard during a lengthy House Defence Committee meeting held behind closed doors that examined the causes of the explosion at the Evangelos Florakis naval base.

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Our View: Christofias’ calls for unity cannot be met under his feeble leadership

“AT THIS moment the greatest possible unity and engagement of the political forces of the country are needed,” said AKEL chief Andros Kyprianou on Thursday. ‘Unity’ has always been a popular slogan for the government and AKEL, uttered whenever President Christofias comes under heavy criticism. The ferocity of the current attacks has sparked daily calls for unity.

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Power supply improves…for now

 

THE EAC yesterday proposed a series of measures to the Labour Ministry to help businesses and industries conserve energy.

The island got a stern reminder on Thursday that the energy crisis was far from over when a series of breakdowns in secondary sources of supply resulted in numerous outages islandwide.

Two units in Moni power station broke down, a power plant in the north experienced problems and also, it emerged yesterday that an additional unit broke down in Dhekelia.

This put the EAC’s grid under tremendous pressure with parts of the island experiencing up to four power outages in one day on Thursday.

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British experts confirm storage method was lax

A BRITISH experts’ preliminary report on the July 11 naval base blast was yesterday added to the body of evidence indicating that safety rules had been ignored the storage of 98 containers filled with munitions and other material.

The report, compiled by British forces experts asked by Cypriot police to provide assistance following the incident that killed 13 men and incapacitated the island’s main power station, more or less agrees with a Greek expert report that became public Thursday.

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Unity government only a pipe dream

CHANCES OF a “fresh start” in governance, promoted by junior partner DIKO following the Mari naval base blast, appeared to peter out yesterday with the chasm between parties remaining strong.

On Thursday, DIKO leader Marios Garoyian presented a blueprint for the formation of a government of “broad acceptance” to adopt and implement an “emergency programme” in the next 18 months until the next presidential elections.

The focus will be on five key issues which are: ensuring that the investigation on the Mari blast is completed speedily and impartially; restoring public confidence in the state and institutions; the Cyprus problem; the economy; and the energy crisis.

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Initial austerity package agreed

 

THE government and political parties yesterday agreed on an initial austerity package to shore up the island’s economy while the dialogue will continue with a view to take further action with priority on short-term measures.

The deal was announced by government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou who did not however give any details on specific measures.

Stefanou said the package agreed during the three-hour meeting included measures agreed by the government coalition on July 1, as well as proposals by parties, tackling the economy’s structural problems and other fiscal matters.

“Dialogue between the government and the parties will continue in the next few days to take further measures with priority on measures of a short-term character,” Stefanou said.

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Peeved over CTO‘s ad in club toilet

 

THE EVENTS of past two weeks have drawn out anti-government sentiments on many subjects, but few might have expected a CTO advertisement in a Glaswegian urinal to become a target.

The ad in question ‘Love Cyprus’, conspicuously placed directly over the urinals in the Gents of a Glasgow football stadium, was spotted by one Cypriot and his son during a visit to the city. “It was not until the recent tragic events, and what with the government’s incompetence in handling the crisis, and the economic crisis, reminded me of the picture we took.” said then irate reader who took the photo.

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ECHR sends Sigma packing

 

THE EUROPEAN Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has rejected as ‘inadmissible’ and ‘manifestly ill-founded’ Sigma’s complaint that its freedom of expression had been violated by the Cyprus Radio and Television Authority (CRTA).

The CRTA issued 27 decisions against Sigma and imposed fines for the violation of radio and television laws between 2000 and 2002.

The various violations included news programmes lacking objectivity, racist and discriminatory remarks in an entertainment series, product placement in a comedy series and placement of sponsors’ names during news programmes.

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Consensus on Erdogan but little else

THE NATIONAL Council yesterday unanimously condemned the recent statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the details of a peace solution, providing a rare show of unity from the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem.

One member of the Council, EVROKO leader Demetris Syllouris, yesterday highlighted however that the joint statement issued was a clear response to Erdogan’s “explosive” comments and did not reflect consensus on the substance of peace negotiations.

During his visit to the north to mark the 37th anniversary of the Turkish invasion this week, Erdogan said Greek Cypriots would never get Morphou back and should not expect any unilateral steps on the fenced off area of Famagusta.

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‘Cyprus problem is a banana skin for EU’

THE TURKISH leadership is continuing its prickly commentary on Cyprus with EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis reportedly comparing the Cyprus problem to slippery “banana skin”.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan dropped the first bombshell during his visit to the occupied areas this week when he claimed Greek Cypriots would never get Morphou back, while Varosha was also not on the cards. He also said Turkey-EU relations would freeze when Cyprus takes over the EU Presidency in July 2012.

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