Daily Archives: November 6, 2011

Archives November 6, 2011 posted by

Tales from the Coffeeshop: It’s almost too thrilling for words

ANOTHER ‘thriller’ unfolded in New York last Monday, at least in the eyes of cliché-peddling newspaper headline writers, who are under the illusion they can sex-up a typically dull Cyprob story on their front page by labelling it a ‘thriller’. Let’s face it Cyprob talks are as exciting and suspenseful as a visit to the supermarket. 

In his introduction to the book Thriller, James Patterson wrote about the main features of a thriller, and there was no mention of the Cyprob talks. “But what gives the variety of thrillers a common ground is the intensity of emotions they create, particularly those of apprehension and exhilaration, of excitement and breathlessness, all designed to generate that all-important thrill.”

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Closest ever to a Cyprus deal

GREEK and Turkish Cypriots were never before so close to an agreed settlement but the next few months will be critical as the United Nations push for a deal before Cyprus assumes the presidency of the EU in July next year. 

According to informed sources, both leaders gave assurances to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, during their meeting in New York last week that they were committed to producing the convergences he had asked for by the time they meet him next in January.

 “Never before were the two sides so close to an agreed solution as they are now,” a source close to the negotiations said.

Significant differences nevertheless remain between the two sides.

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Our View: Brinkmanship will only end in disaster

PRESIDENT Shimon Peres, during his visit here earlier this week, quashed the idea of a Cyprus-Israel strategic, military alliance that had featured in the rhetoric of a small group of politicians and analysts who naively believed that this was the way to stand up to Turkey. 

While censuring Turkey’s bullying and threats, Peres put paid to any thought of a military alliance, by saying that “when it comes to Cyprus and Israel where we can really co-operate is in the domain of agriculture, the domain of health and the domain of energy.” And if this was not clear enough for the champions of the military alliance, Peres added: “We do not want to make an alliance based on military strengths but a co-operation based on goodwill.”

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Central Bank chief says taxes may have to rise

CYPRUS MAY need to raise taxes to help it pull out of an economic crisis, central bank Governor Athanasios Orphanides said yesterday, a day after Moody’s warned the island would probably need to seek emergency funding at some point.

Moody’s downgraded Cyprus’s credit rating by two notches to Baa3, one level above junk, on Friday, forecasting the government would have to bail out its banks next year due to their exposure to Greek debt. As the government has lost access to international capital markets, it would probably need to seek emergency funding from official sources, the ratings agency said.

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Economists: we must act now

CYPRUS’ economy is on the brink, and politicians need to urgently take decisive action to prevent further fiscal deterioration, deepening of the banking crisis, and distortions on the labour market, which are hurting competitiveness economists said yesterday. 

These conclusions were made by participants at the first annual symposium on the economy yesterday, only hours only after Moody’s Investors Service cut the country’s sovereign rating to Baa3, the lowest investment grade, citing probable need for the government to bailout banks hurt by Greece’s debt restructure.

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Civil Aviation chief under investigation

POLICE have launched a criminal investigation against the head of civil aviation in connection with the circulation of a forged document, a top official said yesterday.

Commenting on a report in daily Phileleftheros, Communications Minister Efthimios Flourentzos confirmed that Leonidas Leonidou was under investigation after a complaint lodged by a doctor regarding an altered date and address on a document.

Fourentzos said Leonidou will not be suspended.

 “The case is quite old and there is no matter of influencing witnesses or tampering with evidence,” the minister said.

As part of the investigation, police have seized Leonidou’s and his secretary’s personal computers, the minister said, but declined to offer any other details concerning the matter.

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Patients evacuated after fire breaks out at Nicosia General

PATIENTS had to be evacuated yesterday after a fire broke out on the third floor of the Nicosia general hospital without however causing any injuries.

The fire service the blaze broke out at around 1pm in a staff room on the third floor, which houses the cardiology department.

Fire-fighters responded with five engines though the fire was put out quickly by the hospital’s sprinkler system as staff evacuated patients from the floor.

The number of people evacuated was not immediately available.

The blaze destroyed the room while the smoke caused damage to the ward and corridor.

Investigators suspect that the blaze was caused by a short circuit.

 

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Second licensing round to be announced soon

THE SECOND licensing round for hydrocarbon exploration offshore Cyprus will be announced soon, the government spokesman said yesterday.

“The matter is not simple, it has various aspects, all of which are being examined and assessed by the government and soon we will be ready to announce the second licensing round,” Stefanos Stefanou said. “It really will be soon.”

The spokesman said he’d rather not comment on the exact timing for various reasons that he did not disclose.

Cyprus is already carrying out exploration for natural gas.

Cyprus’ U.S. partner, Texas-based Noble Energy began drilling an offshore prospect  in September bordering two significant gas discoveries made by Israel.

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House resolution will not prompt President to resign

THE government reiterated yesterday that the president would not resign over the July 11 blast that killed 13 men, rejecting anew that Demetris Christofias was personally responsible.

The opposition-dominated parliament on Friday passed a resolution by majority vote, calling on Christofias to step down and contribute to the creation of a climate of stability.

The resolution follows the publication of the findings of an inquiry, which held Christofias personally and politically responsible for the tragedy.

Christofias said the findings were unsubstantiated and the investigator, lawyer Polys Polyviou, had exceeded his mandate.

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Judging – or excusing – your peers

 

THEY’VE been branded as brotherhoods, guilds or even freemasons, and while they may not necessarily be mysterious cults, professional associations do have a reputation of taking care of their own.

Designed to provide a forum for interaction among peers and to protect the general interests of a profession, professional associations are also responsible for the issuing and possible removal of professional licences. For a lawyer, doctor, accountant or dentist to practise his profession, association membership is more of a necessity rather than a choice.

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