Daily Archives: November 24, 2011

Archives November 24, 2011 posted by

Our View: AKEL proposals a bid for political capital, not a true rescue package

TRUST the AKEL leadership to use the precarious situation of the economy as a pretext to promote its anachronistic socialist ideology. On Tuesday AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou presented the party’s proposals for the economy which read much more like a communist election manifesto that could be implemented over the next five to 10 years, rather than as a package for shoring up the economy now. Like the president who was its leader, the party does not have any sense of urgency. 

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Turkey's TPAO, Shell sign exploration deal

TURKEY’S state energy company TPAO signed an accord with Shell yesterday for hydrocarbon exploration and production in the Mediterranean and southeastern Turkey and said other major international firms were interested in exploring nearby.

Under the accord, Royal Dutch Shell said it will conduct seismic work off the coast of Antalya in southwestern Turkey until end-2012 and begin processing in 2014. It will also begin shale gas exploration near the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.

Malcolm Brinded, Shell’s executive director for Upstream International, said the firm would also open at least five wells in southeastern Turkey and that the number of wells could exceed 10.

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‘Occupy Ledra Street’ has UN’s blessing

UNITED Nations Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) said yesterday they had no plans to remove pro-Cyprus-reunification protesters who have been camped out in the buffer zone checkpoint in central Nicosia’s Ledra Street for the past five days.  

“We support the freedom of expression, and we have make no decision on their removal,” UNFICYP spokesman Michael Bonnardeaux told the Cyprus Mail. Bonnardeaux added that no requests had been received from either the Greek or Turkish Cypriot authorities for their removal. 

Last night marked the fifth night of the “Occupy Ledra Street” protest’s permanent camp in the buffer zone between opposing Turkish and Greek Cypriot forces. The crossing comes under UNFICYP jurisdiction and policing.

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Gul comments ‘insulting’ says Stefanou

COMMENTS by Turkish President Abdullah Gul, describing Cyprus as “half a country” and the EU as “a miserable union”  were insulting, the government said yesterday.

During his trip to London, Gul slammed the prospect of Cyprus taking over the European Union presidency next year, Turkish newspapers reported yesterday.

Gul said the failure to open new chapters in Turkey’s negotiating process was harming the 27-nation bloc’s reputation and that it could suffer its biggest loss of credibility in 2012 when Cyprus takes over the rotating EU presidency in July.

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Entering the support mechanism ‘would be suicide’

AS ECONOMIC conditions in the eurozone worsen, in Cyprus, which by everyone’s admission is inching closer to a bailout, politicians continued their bickering yesterday on the proposed measures to shore up the economy.

Ruling AKEL rubbished claims that they pulled the rug from under the finance minister’s feet and urged everyone to cooperate.

The opposition suggested that AKEL disagreed with Kikis Kazamias’ proposal to freeze the state payroll for two years, coming up with its own proposals instead.

“We have a close cooperation with the finance minister (but) AKEL has its own proposals,” party leader Andros Kyprianou said.

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Facelift for run-down area in old town

THE WESTERN side of old Nicosia is to receive a €2.5 million facelift over the next two years, Nicosia Mayor Eleni Mavrou said last night.

Mavrou was speaking at a presentation outlining the work that will take place in the areas west of Ledra street and towards Paphos Gate. Work is due to begin within days, said Mavrou.

“Residents should prepare themselves to be bothered by the works but we will do our utmost to make it less inconvenient,” she said “But just remember that the aggravation will stop and the end results will remain.”

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Parents say they’ll do Christmas plays themselves

THE PANCYPRIAN Parents’ Union said yesterday they would organise Christmas festivities themselves and withdraw all financial support and co-operation with the primary school teachers’ union (POED).

The union has been refusing to let schools celebrate Christmas in protest over the state’s austerity measures. 

“We will encourage parents’ unions to organise Christmas plays themselves so that our children have the chance to experience the Christmas spirit,” Chrysanthos Pieri of the Pancyprian Confederation of Parents’ Associations of Primary Schools said yesterday. 

“Over the past two months we have been trying to get the (teachers’) to lift the measures… despite our efforts… teachers continue boycotting Christmas celebrations,” Pieri said. 

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Police engage in mock terrorist attack

POLICE anti-terrorist squad yesterday stormed a bus and released people taken hostage by terrorists as part of the force’s preparations ahead of Cyprus’ assumption of the EU presidency in July next year.

Dubbed Leonidas, the operation was the culmination of an exercise that started in April 2010 and ended yesterday with the practical implementation of the plans defined by the EU.

The exercise was watched by many Cypriot and European observers who will study and assess the results during a special meeting today.

The scenario included terrorists taking over a pavilion at the state fair grounds in Nicosia while EU foreign ministers and other dignitaries were visiting an art exhibition.

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Greens issue study on antenna-cancer link

ELEVEN out of a 350 sample of people living between a 500-700 radius from the radar antennas at the Ayios Nikolaos British base at Vrysoulles, have been diagnosed with cancer in the past three years; over four times higher than the island’s average, according to a study conducted on behalf of the Greens Party.

For the same period in the neighbouring village of Ayios Georgios, which is further away from the radar antennas, only six people out of 2,300 residents were diagnosed with cancer, the Greens said.

The study also claimed that measurements taken in areas within a two kilometre radius from the British base in Ayios Nikolaos were over 20 times higher than the levels suggested by international environmental organisations.

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Turkish Cypriots to carry out census next month

A CENSUS is to be carried out in the north on December 4, it has been announced.

All residents and visitors will be required to remain at home from 5am to 6pm the day of the census as 7,500 census takers go from home to home recording numbers.

The census announcement comes after it was agreed earlier this year by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot negotiators seeking to reunify the island that a headcount would help ascertain how many Turkish Cypriots lived in the north in relation to mainland Turks who have settled on the island since 1974. A proposal by the Greek Cypriot side that a census be carried out under the auspices of the UN was rejected by the Turkish Cypriots. As a result, the two sides are carrying out their censuses independently. 

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