Daily Archives: November 9, 2011

Archives November 9, 2011 posted by

Dual carriageway plans scrapped

IN A SURPRISING U-turn, plans to construct a dual carriageway on the Tomb of the Kings road in Paphos have been shelved, protesters against the project say.

The upgrading of the highway in the busy tourist hub in Kato Paphos – which was to form part of a ring road around the town – caused outrage among local businesses.

Local businesses situated along the existing road recently banded together to form STET – a union against the new project – saying the new road would destroy trade. They organised two demonstrations, which closed the entrance to the road.

According to union members, mayor of Paphos Savvas Vergas, requested a meeting with them at the weekend and confirmed that the new road would not go ahead as a dual carriageway.

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House prices still falling

AVERAGE prices and rents for the second quarter of 2011 have fallen in all property types across the island – apartments, houses, retail, warehouse and office – continuing the downward trend since 2009.

According to findings of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in its latest Cyprus Property Price index, since the first quarter of 2001, average residential prices for both houses and flats fell by 1.0 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively, settling on July 1 at a national average of €419,880 for houses and €143,056 for apartments.

Compared to December 2009 prices; this marks a drop of 15.1 per cent and 9.9 per cent for houses and apartments respectively.

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Grass snake population under threat


CYPRUS’ endangered native grass snake, natrix natrix cypriaca, is on the verge of becoming extinct due to apparent apathy by all bodies involved, according to Cyprus’ leading reptile expert and conservationist, Hans-Jorg Wiedl.

Wiedl, also known as Snake George, has championed the cause of protecting the dwindling endangered population of the Cyprus grass snake, which is found on this island.

Snake George said that he had spotted a new small population of grass snakes about three years ago in the village of Gourri – in the Nicosia District – and in the near by dam and the river linked to it. He returned to the site on Monday to find that there was no water in the dam and no sight of the snake population anywhere.

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Teachers close to solution with Education Ministry

PRIMARY school teachers union POED and the Education Ministry are close to a solution concerning teachers’ refusal to participate in extra-curricular activities over the past month, following a meeting yesterday.

“We had a very good and constructive discussion with POED within a very good climate and I believe we are very close to solving the problem,” said Education Ministry’s permanent secretary, Olympia Stylianou.

POED chief Philios Fylaktou said; “An exchange of opinions took place.” “We will now look to our members to see how we will proceed.”

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Car theft suspects re-remanded

FIVE suspects who were arrested last week in connection with a ring of car thefts were yesterday remanded in custody by the Nicosia District Court for another seven days, police said.

According to police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos, questioning up until now reveal that in five of the cases a corresponding number of vehicles had been tampered with.

The suspects include two Greek-Cypriots and three foreigners, four of whom were arrested following a raid on a car mechanic’s shop in Nicosia. The fifth suspect was arrested a few days later.

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Municipalities making their mark after 30 years

MARKING its 30th year, the Union of Municipalities still have goals that it is trying to implement, its head, Limassol mayor Andreas Christou said yesterday.

“Even after 30 years of trying, the municipalities have still not managed to achieve financial autonomy and the issue of annual funding from the state still has not been institutionalised,” said Christou.

The meeting was attended by President Demetris Christofias, Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis, party leaders, former and current mayors and other officials.

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Gastro cases up due to weather conditions

FLUCTUATIONS in temperature during the past few weeks have caused a notable increase in cases of gastroenteritis.

Fotini Kaoujiani, head of the Cyprus Gastroenteritis Association said that this increase was usual during this period since people were caught off guard with the fluctuations in temperature. 

She said that there was no concern of an epidemic and advised everyone to wash their hands frequently and for anyone who was ill to confine themselves at home for a while. 

Anyone suffering from gastroenteritis should drink a lot of water to ensure that they are hydrated, and should try and eat as healthily as possible. Antibiotics should not be taken, since there is no real treatment for the illness.

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More testimonies against Larnaca gynaecologist

POLICE spokesman Michalis Katsounotos confirmed yesterday that of 36 cases under investigation involving the 56-year-old gynaecologist from Larnaca, 22 testimonies have been collected so far.

The 56-year-old was arrested at the end of October after a 26-year-old woman filed a complaint saying that she woke up during ‘surgery’ to find him lying naked on top of her.

He is being investigated in connection with rape, sexual exploitation patients and indecent assault, among other offences after apparently telling women they needed operations, which he did not carry out but anaesthetised them. 

It turned out that two of the women who have made complaints against him were underage at the time.

The gynaecologist’s remand is up today.

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Berlusconi says he will resign as PM


ITALIAN Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi said yesterday he would resign after suffering a humiliating setback in parliament that showed a party revolt had stripped him of a majority.

Berlusconi confirmed a statement from President Giorgio Napolitano, that he would step down as soon as parliament passed urgent budget reforms demanded by European leaders after Italy was sucked into the epicentre of the eurozone debt crisis with investors fearing a new, bigger Greece.

The votes in both houses of parliament are likely this month and they would spell the end of a 17-year dominance of Italy by the flamboyant billionaire media magnate.

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