Daily Archives: November 16, 2011

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Raining on the parade

THE MILITARY parade to mark 28 years of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) creating the breakaway regime in the north, was cancelled yesterday on account of the weather. 

Members of Turkey’s military and political leadership flew over to mark the day while Turkish F16s were preparing on Monday for the events as Turkish frigates and submarines docked at Famagusta and Kyrenia. 

Although the parade did not take place, speeches did as messages were read out from the Turkish leadership. 

In his message, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said that despite the lack of international recognition, “the ‘TRNC’ keeps moving forward as an independent country for the past 28 years defending dialogue and compromise.” 

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‘Why bother chasing ghosts of the past?’

WHILE some people on both sides of the island felt yesterday’s 28th anniversary of the declaration of the breakaway regime in the north deserved special attention, a great deal more went by their daily business.

Most missed ongoing political disputes between the AKEL affiliated youth Proodeftiki and NEDISY, the youth movement of the main opposition party, DISY. 

Proodeftiki claimed that NEDISY hid within the ranks of far right group ELAM to chant anti-government slogans while NEDISY said that Proodeftiki has been “under pressure” and conjured up “supposed organised efforts to insult and undermine the President of the Republic.” 

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Watchdog says serious problems within police force

COMPLAINTS against the police rose by 22 per cent last year in comparison with the previous year, the head of the Police Complaints Commission, Andreas Spyridakis, said yesterday. 

“We realise with sadness that some of the complaints against police members are justified and that indeed there are serious problems within the police force,” Spyridakis said. 

A total of 137 cases were recorded against the police last year with “half of those involving human rights violations, one case involving collusion (and) corruption and about 60 others involving inappropriate behaviour and neglect of duty,” Spiridakis said. 

Four cases involving police abuse during arrest resulted to criminal prosecution of the involved police members, Spyridakis said. 

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More EU workers per head than anywhere else in bloc

CYPRUS has the highest percentage of workers from other EU states compared to its population in the bloc, at 4.2 per cent Labour and Social Insurance Minister, Sotiroula Charalambous said yesterday.

Speaking during a presentation of  employment programmes, Charalambous said that between 2009 and 2010; two years plagued by the global economic crisis, the employment growth for Cypriots was 3.3 per cent, while for EU workers in Cyprus it was an astonishing 46.64 per cent.

Charalambous credited this influx of EU workers to the comparatively lower than the EU average unemployment rate found in Cyprus, despite Cyprus recording the biggest increase in unemployment compared to other EU member states.

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Growth shrinks in third quarter

CYPRUS’ gross domestic product contracted 0.7 per cent in the third quarter on a quarterly basis, the statistics department said yesterday, after the munitions blast which destroyed the island’s largest power station on July 11.  

GDP contracted by 0.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis, it said in its flash estimates.

Negative growth rates were recorded in the construction, manufacturing and electricity sectors, as well as in sectors of trade and transport. Positive growth rates were noted in tourism, banking and services, the statistics department said.

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Co-ops insist they remain robust

THE Cooperative Central Bank (CCB) assured yesterday that the sector remains robust after it was suggested it has incurred some €600 million in losses from its exposure to Cypriot debt.

The bank made it clear that it has no accounting losses from its investment in Cypriot sovereign bonds.

It added that the European Banking Authority had asked the major banks in all countries to create a temporary sovereign buffer that would reflect the market value — on September 30, 2011 — of any public debt they currently hold and not the nominal value.

Despite the fact that the cooperative sector is not included in that category, it is estimated that the temporary capital reserve it needs due to its exposure to Cypriot debt is €627 million, a written statement said.

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Kenya-Cyprus talks cover politics to business

KENYAN Vice President and Minister for Home Affairs, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka yesterday called on President Demetris Christofias to work with his country during Cyprus’  EU presidency to help ensure stabilise the Horn of Africa.

Christofias said the two countries should further strengthen bilateral relations, and pledged that during its presidency, Cyprus would work to promote ties between Kenya and the EU.

Both leaders were speaking after official talks at the Presidential Palace.

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Cyprus’ highways need rest stops

THERE might be a brand new stretch of highway out there but the state has so far failed to provide any amenities for drivers, Environment Commissioner Charalambos Theopemptou said yesterday.

Theopemptou said the lack of any rest-stops on the highways was inconvenient for travellers, and only encourage littering.

“A tourist who rents a car to get to know Cyprus not only lacks options to rest or use the toilet but will be taken aback by the fact that road signs direct him to private venues,” Theopemptou said. 

“As a result of this we will have a lot of rubbish on the highway, and discomfort for drivers especially foreign travellers”. 

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More food and water tests needed

SOME foods are pumped with drugs and pesticides while some water vending machines containers carry higher than recommended amounts of bacteria, the Cyprus Consumers Association (CCA) head Petros Marcou said yesterday. 

The CCA took random samples from retailers between June and November this year with funding from the Commerce Ministry. 

Some food commodities of plant origin seemed to be rich in pesticides and occasionally drugs, while water vending machine containers were over the legal limit for bacteria, Marcou said.

When it comes to water vending machines, stricter and more frequent tests are necessary while some businesses “may need to shut down,” Marcou said. 

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Clerides doing much better

FORMER President Glafcos Clerides seems to be feeling better and is expected to be released today from Envagelistria clinic where he was admitted on Monday with ‘chronic gastrointestinal disorder’. 

Clerides “is very well and his health is very good and very satisfactory,” his doctor Iosif Kassios said. 

Kassios said that if everything went well, Clerides, 92, would be released today. 

Health Minister Stavros Malas visited the former President yesterday and said there was no reason to worry about his health adding that Clerides “was particularly cheerful.” 

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