Daily Archives: November 18, 2011

Archives November 18, 2011 posted by

Public servants: if Cyprus needs a bailout, it won’t be our fault

DEFIANT civil servants said yesterday that the economy’s problems were not their fault, as the finance minister warned that if the conditions were not reversed, Cyprus could soon be seeking a bailout to cover its needs for financing.

However, the government workers union PASYDY suggested they were not to blame for the situation and that eradicating tax evasion would solve the economy’s problems.

Union boss Glafkos Hadjipetrou said government workers have already made several concessions.

“This cannot go on indefinitely,” he told state broadcaster CyBC.

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LNG plant would take a decade, says gas expert

THE SHEER logistics of building and operating a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Cyprus would require far longer than the four to five years frequently cited – try a decade.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion organised by the European Rim Policy and Investment Council (ERPIC) in Nicosia yesterday, Peter Wallace called for a “reality check”, pointing out that the site at Vassilikos earmarked for the plant is way too small for a facility of that size.

Wallace, an engineer and energy consultant with more than 30 years of experience in the oil and gas, petrochemical, and power generation sectors, argued that a plant with a capacity of 15 million tonnes per annum (mpta) might take up to a decade before it’s up and running.

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Brits, Greeks and even a Slovenian running in local elections

ALTHOUGH candidates for local councils and village leadership are not officially submitting their names until Monday, the Cyprus Mail can reveal that 11 EU nationals have declared their interest in running.

A spokesman for the Paphos district office said yesterday: “There are eleven candidates from EU countries standing in the forthcoming municipal elections. Yeroskipou has one from Slovenia, whilst Peyia has three British candidates, Paphos has six Greek nationals and Polis has just one Greek national. This is a huge increase compared with the last elections.”

This is also the case of registered voters from EU member states, which now tops 12,343.The total number of registered voters is 546, 110. 

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Erdogan assures Fule that Turkish ships will not harass Noble

AFTER Noble Energy said exploratory drilling off the coast of the island could yield between 3 trillion and 9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, Turkey has announced that its state-run oil company is close to a deal for both onshore and offshore exploration with Dutch energy giant Shell.

Turkey’s Energy Minister told the Hürriyet Daily News that the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) and Shell will sign the agreement on November 23. Under the joint operation agreement, the exploration will cover the maritime areas of the southern province of Antalya.

Maps published in Turkish media showed that one of areas included in the agreement lies west of Cyprus, as close as 22 nautical miles south of the Akamas peninsula.

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Official race begins for would-be mayors

CANDIDACIES for the municipal elections on December 18 were submitted yesterday across the island, with the candidates for the mayor’s positions in Cyprus’ main cities attracting most of the interest.

Three candidates are battling it out for the top position in the Nicosia Municipality. The incumbent mayor Eleni Mavrou is backed by the ruling left wing party AKEL, while her main rival, Constantinos Yiorkadjis is supported by right wing parties DISY and EVROKO and centrist DIKO. Lawyer Constantinos Candounas is an independent. 

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More handouts for children of refugee mums

BY UNANIMOUS vote, parliament yesterday passed a law entitling the offspring of refugee mothers to low-interest housing loans, government land to build on and rent subsidies for college students.

The new law defines the offspring of a refugee mother as “a person whose mother holds a displaced person identity card and who holds a certificate of a displaced person by virtue of descent in accordance with the Population Records Laws of 2002 and 2007.”

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Law on transfer fees amended

PARLIAMENT yesterday amended a law passed earlier this month that suspended for six months the payment of transfer fees on properties subject to VAT and cutting by 50 per cent fees on properties where no VAT is paid upon registration of the title deed in a bid to boost the sluggish real estate market.

The legislation was amended after President Christofias refused to sign it into law and sent it back to parliament.

Under the amendment, bills of sale which had been submitted before the passage of the law and which were withdrawn after the date on which the law came into effect, are not exempt from the requirement of paying a transfer fee.

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Two injured in separate attacks

A 28-YEAR-OLD Bangladeshi man was arrested on Wednesday night in Paphos for residing illegally on the island, after he went to report an attack on him by four of his compatriots.

One of the men was wielding a knife resulting. The  28-year-old was cut and bruised on his ear, leg and back. He also said his mobile phone, €200 in cash, house keys and a gold necklace worth €300 were stolen.

Police sources said that as the victim was leaving a kiosk he was initially approached by two Bangladeshi men, one of whom was holding a knife, demanding he hand over his money.

In the meantime, another two men approached and joined in.

The 28-year-old’s wounds were stitched up at Paphos General hospital, where he is under police guard. 

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Remand for alleged EU-fund scammers

TWO MEN were remanded yesterday for three days in connection to misappropriation of a €5 million fund relating to a programme promoting dairy products to third countries. 

Police are looking for a further two people, one thought to be a collaborator and another woman who managed an advertising agency which was meant to promote the programme abroad, CyBC reported yesterday. 

The court heard that a company in Belgium was presented as promoting the programme – jointly funded by the EU and the state.

Using a representative of the Belgium company which is also thought to be related to a network of other companies, the suspects allegedly presented dodgy financial reports in order to draw money.   

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Warrant issued for Michalis Sarris after no-show in court

TURKISH Cypriot press said yesterday that an arrest warrant had been issued for former finance minister Michalis Sarris, following his decision on Wednesday not to appear in court in the north. 

They also said the €47,000 bail money had been confiscated.

Sarris was arrested in the north on October 13 after Turkish Cypriot police raided a house in occupied Nicosia. He faced four charges: conspiracy to commit a felony, committing an act against the order of nature – homosexuality is illegal in the north- and two incidents of indecent assault. 

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