Daily Archives: November 22, 2011

Archives November 22, 2011 posted by

Media upset over rig cold shoulder

THE PRESIDENT’S visit to Noble Energy’s drilling rig yesterday went hand in hand with gripes from the Journalists Union alleging a media blackout of sorts.

The president and his entourage boarded a Bell 412 chopper from a helipad at Limassol harbour. Christofias was accompanied by Commerce Minister Praxoulla Antoniadou, Agriculture Minister Sofoclis Aletraris, Government Spokesman Stefanos Stefanou, Under Secretary to the President Titos Christofides, and Noble Energy’s manager in Cyprus James Cronkite. Together with the crew of two pilots, there were eight persons on board.

The American-registered twin engine helicopter took off from the helipad at around 10am, landing on the Homer Ferrington platform some 45 minutes later.

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Archives November 22, 2011 posted by


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Archives November 22, 2011 posted by

No more sacrifices from us say civil servants


PUBLIC sector unions rejected outright yesterday the recent extra austerity measures proposed by the government, saying that it was time for those with accumulated wealth to contribute to the cost of the crisis.

In a meeting with Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias, public sector unions PASYDY, SEK and PEO clarified that they would not accept any new measures, claiming that civil servants had shouldered the entire burden of the government’s austerity measures until now. 

“The economy is plummeting because of the Cypriot banks’ exposure to the Greek debt, and now civil servants are being asked to gather money to bail them out, while tax evasion remains rife and the wealthy do not contribute,” said PEO head, Pambos Kyritsis.  

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Archives November 22, 2011 posted by

Large families and students lay into proposals

REPRESENTATIVES of students unions and large families’ associations yesterday laid into government proposals to cut child benefits and university grants, saying they would not let it rest there.

The two proposals, designed to save €100 million between them, were under discussion at the House Finance Committee yesterday. Another €100 million is due to come from elsewhere to meet the state’s target of benefits’ cuts worth €200 million.

“The government’s bills will eradicate large families and harm our country,” said Paraskevas Samaras, the head of the Large Families Association, who called on the state to exclude large families from any plans to assist economic recovery.

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Archives November 22, 2011 posted by

Poll: public service pay should be frozen

THE MAJORITY of Cypriots want to see a pay freeze in the broader public sector, as well as an end to the various benefits and perks enjoyed by government workers and state officials, a new poll has shown.

Members of the public also agree that there should be special criteria for student grants and child benefits. 

The poll – involving around 600 people islandwide by RAI Consultants and published in Phileleftheros newspaper yesterday – showed that 88 per cent of those polled feel that public service benefits should be slashed.

Almost everyone who was asked – 91 per cent – called for an end to luxury cars for state officials.

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Archives November 22, 2011 posted by

Foreign banks warn of pullout if taxes hiked

BIG FOREIGN banks have warned they may leave Cyprus if there are further hikes on what they say are the already-high taxes they have to pay, the House finance committee was told yesterday.

The spokesman for the Association of International Banks, Marios Paraskevas which represents 27 foreign banks, called for its members to be exempt from any new measures the government may be examining to increase the state’s revenue and boost the economy.

The spokesman was invited to attend yesterday’s discussion on bills to create a special support fund for banks and a system for state intervention if a bank collapses.

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Archives November 22, 2011 posted by

Insurance companies penalise older drivers

PARLIAMENT has requested details from the police and insurance companies on road accidents caused by pensioners over the age of 70, to see whether companies are justified in charging the age group more than double the amount others have to pay.

The problem was discussed at yesterday’s House labour committee, where MPs were told pensioners over 70 years old were either charged over double the amount of other drivers to take out car insurance, or refused the service altogether.

Speaking after the meeting, committee chairman, AKEL’s Andreas Fakontis, blasted insurance companies for the “dire discrimination” shown toward the elderly whose physical and mental ability to drive is checked when they receive their driver’s licence, he said.

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Archives November 22, 2011 posted by

Candidacies submitted for local elections

CANDIDACIES for village leaders and councillors were submitted yesterday islandwide for the December 18 elections, with a number of communities only submitting one candidate or no candidate at all.

According to the chief returning officer, Demetris Demetriou, elections will take place in a total of 500 communities: 348 in the Republic of Cyprus and 140 in the occupied areas.

In the Nicosia district 63 out of the 94 communities will vote to elect a village leader.

District officer Argyris Papanastasiou said that in 31 of the communities only one candidacy was submitted for village leader. If there is only one candidate, before moving to appoint them, a 24-hour objection period is allowed. 

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Archives November 22, 2011 posted by

Turkish donation to missing persons’ fund

THE COMMITTEE of Missing Persons (CMP) thanked Turkey yesterday for donating $100,000 (over €74,000) in support of their effort to exhume and identify persons reported missing in Cyprus in inter-communal fighting and the events of 1974. 

The CMP said in an announcement that Turkey’s donation will help identify and return “as many remains of missing individuals as possible in order to bring an end to the uncertainty which has affected so many families for so many years.” 

The CMP spends over €2 million a year.  

Since 2004 when the CMP resumed its activity, it has received around $14.8 million (almost €11 million) in donations from various countries.  

Turkey has made six donations so far donating over €399,000. 

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Archives November 22, 2011 posted by

Downer: ‘We are not arbitrators’

THE UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Alexander Downer reiterated yesterday that the UN has no intention of arbitrating efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, but will do all it can to facilitate the communication between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

“Don’t be hysterical, we are not going to (arbitrate or mediate), take my word for it,” said Downer after a meeting with President Demetris Christofias last night.

Christofias and Downer talked about developments since the Greentree meeting in New York last month, while also started planning for the following two months, before another meeting is held in Greentree in mid-January.

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