Daily Archives: June 10, 2012

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Searching for Mubarak’s millions in Cyprus

 

AN EGYPTIAN delegation is in Cyprus as part of a worldwide effort to find and recover millions of euros worth of assets siphoned from the state under the 30-year regime of ex-president Hosni Mubarak. 

The four-member delegation met with officials from the Justice Ministry and Unit for Combatting Money Laundering (MOKAS) on Friday while spending yesterday with lawyers handling local court cases on their behalf. They are due to return today to a waiting Egyptian media that has been following their efforts intensely since the search began a year ago for Egypt’s missing millions.

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Our View: Protect the suppliers and to hell with the consumers

EVER SINCE its establishment, the Cyprus Republic offered protection to suppliers of goods. It was easy to slip into this practice as the economy’s main output was agricultural products and policy-makers protected this sector through subsidies and minimum prices. 

But as the economy grew the practice of protecting suppliers was extended to other sectors in order to help local production. There were high import duties on manufactured goods such as clothes, shoes, furniture etc in order to protect local manufacturers as well as import quotas and, for some products, import bans to safeguard big investments made by local businesses; there were also import licences granted by the government to select businesses, which constituted state-regulated monopoly.

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Tales from the Coffeeshop: All aboard the Cyprob gravy train

WHEN the comrade presidente announced, a few weeks ago, he would not be seeking re-election because of the lack of progress in the Cytalks, and his fellow mukhtar in the north Eroglu spoke about the end of the procedure, our establishment decided to write an extended obituary for the Cyprob.

It was the least it deserved after making such a colossal contribution to public life, enhancing the careers of hundreds of mediocre politicians, creating thousands of jobs (even for old-age pensioners), helping newspapers sell millions of copies over the years, inspiring decades’ worth of debate and patriotism competitions, not to mention the raising of our country’s profile internationally.

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Missing persons issue moving again after long dispute

A TOTAL of 321 identifications of missing persons in Cyprus have been completed since 2007, out of which 66 were Turkish Cypriots, the Greek Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) Aristos Aristotelous said yesterday.

To date, the remains of 853 individuals have been exhumed from different burial sites located across the island.

Over 588 burial sites have been visited and opened by the CMP, including 350 that contained no human remains. 

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Russian Patriarch visits Constantia-Famagusta Metropolis

PATRIARCH of Moscow and all Russia Kirill yesterday visited the Constantia- Famagusta Metropolis.

Patriarch Kirill visited the Cultural Centre in Dherynia, where he looked over the fenced-off ghost town of Varosha. He was welcomed by the mayors and members of Famagusta and Dherynia Municipal Councils.

Famagusta Deputy Mayor Simo Ioannou gave the Patriarch two gifts, an icon of Saint Nicholas and a clay amphora vase. 

Patriarch Kirill also visited Ayios Georgios square in Paralimni. Mayor of Paralimni Theodoros Pirrilis welcomed the Patriarch and asked him to support the Cypriot Greek Orthodox people and the refugees of Famagusta in their struggle to return to their homes and their properties.

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MTN offers smart lessons for techno dummies

 

MTN, as part of its corporate social responsibility programme is launching Y’ello Lessons, a series of training courses to help consumers familiarise themselves with digital technology and utilise it in their daily lives. 

The courses will be held in selected MTN stores. Admission is free for all. “Digital technology has entered our lives. We are surrounded by laptops, tablets and smartphones but many of us do not know how to make the most of them,” said an announcement from MTN.

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Church to mark EU Presidency with various events

THE CHURCH of Cyprus believes that the assumption of the Presidency of the Council of the EU by Cyprus in July is an opportunity for the country to present itself to its European partners and make them aware of the Christian Orthodox tradition in the EU, head of the Representation of the Church of Cyprus to the European Union, Bishop of Neapolis Porphyrios has stressed.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, the Bishop said the Church firmly supports the Cypriot EU presidency and is preparing a series of events partly in cooperation with the Republic of Cyprus that will be held during the six-monthly rotating EU Presidency.

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A family pilgrimage to an ancient mine

An American in search of his grandparents’ mining roots in 1920s Cyprus

“They used to be here on this very spot,” William Everett told me, as he stood just outside the tiny mediaeval church of Panagia tis Skouriotissa, visibly moved by the realisation he was quite literally following in the footsteps of his grandparents who had made the nearby mining compound their home way back in the early 1920s.

Armed with copies of precious photos of his American grandparents, his mother and uncle when they lived near the isolated copper mine of Skouriotissa between 1923 and 1925, Everett and his wife Sylvia recently made a family pilgrimage from the US to visit the mine and see what, if anything, remained.

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‘Mr Energy’ sees his dream come true

 

THE WORLD is in constant flux. Adaptability is key to survival. 

For years, Cyprus fed off the golden goose of tourism until its coasts resembled harsh outlines of a concrete tapestry, hospitality became a byword for a long-gone era, and cheap budget airlines took the tourists away. 

The break-up of the Soviet Union sent shockwaves throughout the world, releasing endless wads of cash to Cyprus’ shores. The island’s surplus of lawyers and accountants helped develop its financial services to a level that challenged tourism’s dominance. 

And then the economic crisis came. Europe stuttered, Greece happened and our much-respected banking system committed hara-kiri. 

So, what next? 

In a word, energy. 

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Future of abandoned theatre unclear

ALMOST four years to the day since the roof of the Nicosia Municipal theatre collapsed, and two years after the municipality first sued for negligence, the building is still standing derelict and not one of the three lawsuits taken out has been resolved. 

The municipality had spent €5.6 million refurbishing the building only two-and-a-half years before the roof collapsed on June 11, 2008, just a day before hundreds of school children were to use the space for an end-of-year performance. 

By chance, the national theatre company THOK which used the building was away for rehearsals and on one was harmed. 

The fact the theatre was empty was unusual as it was booked to host events almost every night that month.

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