Daily Archives: November 5, 2011

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A new era in public transport

THE LONG-AWAITED Solomou Square bus terminal was finally delivered and officially inaugurated yesterday by Mayor Eleni Mavrou and Communications Minister Efthymios Flourentzos.

“Today is a special moment for our city and for urban public transport,” said Mavrou, adding that the completion of the project was the answer to the city’s contemporary needs.

The €4.8 million bus terminal is now fully functional and open to cars, buses and pedestrians alike.

Work began in September 2010. It was originally meant to be completed last month.

Solomou Square “as we know it today is not even comparable to the one we knew a year ago”, said Flourentzos. He said it was no longer “a mess of buses, cars and pedestrians” all in one place.

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EU presidency could prompt civil service overhaul

THE Deputy Minister to the President for European Affairs Andreas Mavroyiannis has said that the Cyprus EU Presidency provides a priceless opportunity to reinvigorate and modernise the civil service.

Speaking on CyBC radio, Mavroyiannis said that state organs need to modernise and change to reflect the new circumstances. The public have often criticized government bureaucracy, with frequent calls for the public sector administration to undergo radical surgery.

“This is a unique opportunity to conduct a complete overhaul of the public sector and the ways of doing things and improving. We can innovate and renovate where there is a necessity and adjust to the needs of modern times,” he said.

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Ireland says Cyprus ‘well advanced’ in EU presidency preparations

IRELAND’S minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton has commended Cyprus’ “impressive” preparations for the presidency of the European Union, which it assumes in July 2012.

Creighton visited Cyprus on Thursday to meet her Cypriot counterpart, Andreas Mavroyiannis, and discuss the preparations for the Ireland’s presidency, which follows on from Cyprus in January 2013.

Asked about Cyprus’ preparations for the presidency, which has been marred by the sacking of previous EU secretariat head Andreas Moleskis, Creighton said: “I have been very impressed. I know that there would have been concerns that maybe the presidency preparations would have slowed down, but I am very reassured and very positive about Cypriot presidency planning.”

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Water cannons to combat hooliganism

FOOTBALL hooliganism could soon be combated with the use of pressurised water, launched from specially-equipped vehicles according to police spokesman, Michalis Katsounotos.

Police are hoping to secure the purchase of four vehicles which will be armed with what are more commonly known as water cannons.

The vehicles will predominantly be used to break-up conflicts between fans outside the stadium, but Katsounotos conceded that they could  easily be used for inter-stadium security if it is deemed necessary.

“We have been working on this idea for a while and we tried to purchase the vehicles in the past but due to financial constraints, the idea had to be shelved” said Katsounotos. 

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Cruise passengers a new market for Paphos

PAPHOS IS receiving a boost to tourism from the arrival of large luxury cruise liners, which are bringing hundreds of  passengers to shore on excursions.

One luxury cruise ship docked off Paphos on Wednesday and another one is due in today.

Speaking about Wednesday’s arrival, Nassos Hadjigeorgiou, the manager of the Paphos regional board of tourism said: “The Azamara is a ship operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises and takes passengers on a 10-12 day cruise of the Eastern Mediterranean and covers Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt.”

He said that on Wednesday, that of the 700 or so passengers, around 300 to 400 took an excursion into the town, while the remainder disembarked and walked along the coastline.

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‘There is no DIKO-AKEL strategy on the cards’

DIKO has rejected claims that it has unofficially rejuvenated its alliance with the ruling AKEL party for the municipal elections, after the party’s candidate list issued yesterday  revealed a close cooperation.

“The choice of candidates was made on the merits of each one and was free of party politics and any strategy towards the presidential elections of 2013” said DIKO spokesman, Fotis Fotiou. 

Out of the 39 municipal positions up for grabs around the island, DIKO and AKEL have agreed to back the same candidate in 24; with the ruling party enjoying the lion’s share of candidates.

The cooperation is thought to have been the personal suggestion of DIKO’s head, Marios Garoyian. 

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Downer briefs Security Council on Greentree talks

THE UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer, while briefing the members of the UN Security Council on the latest Cyprus meeting in Greentree, Long Island, imparted a positive image of developments as well as on the possibility of achieving convergences between the two sides on core issues.

During the discussion, which lasted for more than one hour, Security Council members expressed their support to the efforts of the UN Secretary General and his representative towards a Cyprus solution.

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‘Reading can become a way of life’ EU Commissioner says

THIRTEEN per cent of school children in Cyprus drop out of school, EU commissioner for Education and Culture Androulla Vassiliou said yesterday. 

“The problem is there and needs to be tackled,” Vassiliou said during a visit at Kykkos B’ Lyceum in Nicosia. 

She said that although the EU average was higher at 14.5 per cent the EU aim was to reduce the level of dropouts to under 10 per cent by 2020. 

“One in five children aged fifteen cannot read well or does not comprehend what he or she is reading,” Vassiliou said commenting on EU illiteracy which she called “one of the main problems” currently plaguing the EU. 

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Woman mugged in Davila car park

A 52-YEAR-OLD woman was mugged on Thursday night while she was in the D’Avila car park in Nicosia.

According to police, the thief came up behind her, threw her to the ground and then stole her bag, which had €200 in it.

The 52-year-old reported to police that she did not get a good look at the mugger after he pushed her to the ground. However she did say that he was of slim build, tall, was wearing jeans and a blue jacket with a hood at the time.

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EAC hopeful ahead of visit to discuss insurance

REPRESENTATIVES from Atlantic Insurance are set to arrive in Cyprus on Monday to discuss the payout for the destroyed Vassilikos power station, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported yesterday.

According to CNA sources, the insurance company is coming to discuss the compensation and the ways the payment will be doled out.

Repairing the damaged Vassilikos power station will entail the largest single insurance payout in Cypriot history. The power plant – excluding turbine number 5 – is insured for up to €700 million.

”We want to hear officially from the insurance company that it is ready to undertake the responsibility so that the compensation can be paid and we can begin on the repairs immediately,” EAC chairman Harris Thrassou told the CNA. 

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