Daily Archives: November 25, 2011

Archives November 25, 2011 posted by

Tax amnesty law passed

IN A move designed to give starving state coffers an immediate cash boost, parliament yesterday rushed through a law writing off penalties and interest on back taxes accrued up until December 31, 2008.

Based on a legislative proposal tabled by the DISY party, the law provides for any interest or fines exceeding 5.0 per cent of the total amount due to the Inland Revenue Department to be written off, provided that the arrears will be settled in full by the end of this year.

The arrangement covers tax debts up until December 31, 2008, and applies to individuals and companies alike.

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Our View: We would all do well to learn from APOEL’s victory

WELL DONE, APOEL. Our champions made Cyprus footballing history on Wednesday night by reaching the knock-out stage of the European Champions League and giving us something to be cheerful about in these unhappy times.

It is a remarkable achievement for the club of the smallest country, represented in Europe’s top competition. To put the achievement in perspective, it should be noted that APOEL have an annual budget of €8 million, an amount smaller than the annual remuneration of some of the star players of the big European sides in the competition. As for claims that the success was thanks to the foreign players, the side had three Cypriots in its line-up, when on the same night Arsenal had just one Englishman in the team that beat Dortmund. 

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Our View: A lesson needed

PRIMARY school teachers union POED is sticking to its guns, obdurately refusing to have anything to do with the annual Christmas play. The union has ignored the pleas of parents’ associations, insisting the Christmas play ban was already in place and would not be lifted. This is a nastily vindictive measure, which has no real objective other than to penalise children, as the wage cuts the union opposes have already been implemented.

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EU taking Cyprus to Court of Justice over home-buying restrictions

THE EUROPEAN Commission has referred Cyprus to the EU Court of Justice today for non-compliance with EU Treaty rules on the free movement of capital, specifically its failure to repeal restrictions on the right to buy a second home.

These rules give EU nationals, as well as nationals of Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, the unrestricted right to buy a second home in Cyprus. Since Cyprus’ accession to the EU in 2004, transitional measures were in force that could restrict such acquisitions but these measures expired on April 30 2009. As Cyprus has not yet repealed these measures, the Commission has decided to refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

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‘Big players’ show interest in second licensing round’

NICOSIA is ‘definitely’ interested in energy cooperation with neighbouring Israel, the government spokesman said yesterday after Israel’s deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon proposed making Cyprus and Greece distribution centres for Israeli gas to Europe.

Stefanos Stefanou was responding remarks Ayalon made during a visit to Greece earlier this week.

“We’re going to talk about making Greece and Cyprus distribution centers for Israeli gas to Europe, which needs to diversify its sources,” Ayalon was quoted as saying ahead of meeting Greek officials.

Asked at a news briefing in Athens about Israel’s reaction to a threat by Turkey regarding drilling in Cyprus, Ayalon said: “If anyone tries to challenge these drillings, we will meet those challenges.”

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Kyrenia election doesn’t go Archbishop’s way

THE Church of Cyprus Holy Synod has elected Archimandrite Chrysostomos Kykkotis as the new Metropolitan of Kyrenia in a vote that took place yesterday morning.

The election of Kykkotis is considered a defeat for Archbishop Chrysostomos who favoured the candidate who came second.

Kykkotis received nine votes, three more than second-place Mesaoria Bishop Gregorios.

The third contender, Archimandrite Benedict Ioannou received one vote.

“I was certain that the Holy Synod always does what is best. I thank them a lot,” Kykkotis said afterwards.

Kykkotis was the favourite of the people, receiving most of their votes in the public ballot held on Saturday.

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Seven arrested after APOEL victory


FOOTBALL fans smashed cars, attacked a rival team’s clubhouse and torched rubbish bins in Nicosia on Wednesday evening as they celebrated APOEL’s historical qualification in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Police said they arrested seven youths aged between 17 and 25 in connection to the trouble.

According to police spokesman, Michalis Katsounotos, the seven were part of some 3,000 APOEL fans that filled the capital’s streets at around 9pm, after their team’s away game against Zenit in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The final score was 0-0.

Katsounotos said that a small group of “so-called fans” were caught in possession of steel bars, wooden rods, bats and other dangerous objects.

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Politicians bask in APOEL limelight


ITS RECENT success in Europe has earned APOEL plaudits from sport media Europe-wide but political parties did not shy away from the chance to muscle in on the team’s success yesterday either. 

APOEL secured qualification to the next round of the Champions League, with a game to spare; thus constituting it one of the top 16 teams in Europe on form.

This is the first time any Cypriot football team has achieved this feat.

President Demetris Christofias congratulated APOEL for its success and hailed it as the highest football achievement that Cyprus has ever experienced.

The sentiment was echoed by left-wing AKEL, a party that has been traditionally associated with APOEL’s bitter rivals, Omonia.

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Lillikas says legal suit filed against him is ‘scandalous’


FORMER minister Giorgos Lillikas is being sued by the state for a decision he allegedly made that could cost the government around €1.8 million.

Lillikas said his prosecution was politically motivated because he was a critic of the current administration but his claim was rejected by the Attorney-general.

The case concerns a lawsuit filed by the cattle farmers organisation demanding around €1.8 million as aid that was supposedly promised to them before the island joined the EU in December 2003.

It had been decided at the time that a large section of cattle farmers would take over distribution of milk upon accession as the organisation that handled that at the time would cease to do so due to incompatibility with the European acquis.

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CTO reassures hoteliers in Thomas Cook woes

THE CYPRUS Tourism Organisation (CTO) has reassured hotels and travel agents in Cyprus that Thomas Cook’s recent financial difficulties will not necessarily lead to a suspension of the holiday company’s activities on the island.

“There is no need to panic, one or two bad financial years do not necessarily mean that the company will collapse” said CTO chairman, Alekos Orountiotis yesterday.

Orountiotis said that Cyprus tourism could accommodate the loss of Thomas Cook, albeit with some losses, but stressed that the chances of the company collapsing were slim.

Thomas Cook is running on a loss, with annual deficits of approximately €300 million in each of the past two years.

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