Daily Archives: November 15, 2011

Archives November 15, 2011 posted by

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Archives November 15, 2011 posted by


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Heavy rain and winds divert planes

WINTER arrived with a vengeance yesterday with thick grey cloud bringing heavy rain, and strong winds diverting planes and causing car accidents on slippery roads. 

A landslide cut off the Vizakias-Kannaviou road in Paphos while an overflowing stream made the Larnaca Zygi-Mazotos road extremely dangerous, police warned. 

Thick fog enveloped several mountain areas prompting the police to issue warnings to drivers, asking them to be vigilant, drive slowly and with their lights always on. 

A few drivers got stuck in their cars in flooded roads while a felled tree also trapped a driver, Fire Services said. 

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Review pledged into pricey perks


THE government said yesterday it would review the allowances given to state officials and employees, following the publication of a long list of extra perks, which have been criticised for being excessive and unreasonable.

Included in the list are hospitality allowances for treating guests, good conduct allowances given to police officers, fire-fighters and prison personnel, and even an outdoors allowance, paid to land registry personnel working outside for four hours per day as compensation for the additional expense on clothing, shoes and dry cleaning.

These allowances and benefits over and above the salaries already received by civil servants will cost taxpayers €323 million in 2012, according to DISY deputy chairman Averof Neophytou.

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Our View: A bit late in the day for deputies to protest ‘provocative privileges’

THE HOST of ridiculous allowances being paid to public sector employees is the latest thing to outrage deputies, who spent most of yesterday lambasting these ‘provocative privileges’. 

Interestingly, the deputies, who are themselves the beneficiaries of ‘provocative privileges’, had at first avoided saying anything about the total allowances paid which for 2012 are set to be €323 million. Only after these figures were published in the press on Sunday did deputies decide to express their outrage, even though they had been given the finance ministry’s itemised budget for allowances more than a week ago.

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Noble’s gas results ‘imminent’


AFTER the heated debates of the last few weeks over Cyprus’ anticipated gas finds, top officials were showing restraint yesterday as they awaited the ‘imminent’ release of Noble energy’s exploration results.

In his keynote address to the Economist Energy Summit in Nicosia yesterday, President Demetris Christofias said: “The indications from the exploration are encouraging and promising … but the government will not make any announcements without having specific data leading to safe conclusions.”

Regarding timeframes, he said: “We are now very close to announcing those conclusions,” but he did not set a date.

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Asylum applications way down, says interior minister

THE GOVERNMENT has been paying benefits to fewer political refugees and has sped up the processing rate for asylum applications, Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis told the House finance committee yesterday. 

Sylikiotis said that 1,300 political refugees were now receiving state benefits, a reduction of 300. 

The state is obliged under EU law to provide help to political refugees who have not found employment in the same way they would help their own nationals. 

Sylikiotis said that fewer than 900 political asylum seekers were now waiting to hear on their applications. 

He said that 200 of those were in holding centres whose expenses are mostly funded by EU solidarity funds (85 per cent).

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When a taste of honey is good business

CYPRUS will very soon have its very own honey-tasting team, put together by the Pancyprian Beekeepers Association (PBA) and aimed at promoting the best of pure Cypriot honey.

“Cypriot honey already has a very good name abroad, winning first place in competitions, however the main aim is to promote pure Cypriot honey and to keep out honey that has been mixed with imported products,” said head of the PBA, Pambos Christodoulou.

The idea of a honey-tasting team for Cyprus that would take part in annual competitions, was the idea of Christodoulou and fellow association member Dominique Micheletto.

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Dasoudi forest friends seek House help


AS THE House Watchdog Committee is set to discuss today the Dasoudi forest area in Germassogia and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation’s (CTO) plans to develop it, a number of concerned groups are continuing to pressurise the government to revoke all outstanding planning permits and start afresh. 

“Two town planning permits for development in the area have been frozen which worries us they could go ahead at a later stage,” said the Limassol Architects Movement’s Marios Christophinis. 

Christophinis said all town planning permission needed to be revoked so that any future ones would be given only after public consultation. 

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Rodent numbers only affected by temperature changes

THE CYPRUS Pest Control Association (CPCA) has rubbished claims that there has been an unusually stark increase in rodents recently, following statements made by the House committee on health that rodent populations were rising at an alarming rate.

CPCA head, Michael Michael said that the change in temperature during October and November always causes a small rise in rodent population figures, but reassured the public that there was no excessive rise noted this year.

Michael said that an increase in rodent populations also occur during April, when the weather becomes warmer.

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