Daily Archives: June 14, 2012

Archives June 14, 2012 posted by

Cyprus may seek as much as €4bln


CYPRUS is looking to Europe, Russia and China for the best possible bailout terms, officials said yesterday, and could seek as much as €4 billion, or more than a fifth of its economy.

Speculation is mounting that an international bailout is imminent, but the government has kept markets guessing so far.

The European Commission said yesterday it has not received any request for assistance from Cyprus.

Deputy Europe Minister Andreas Mavroyiannis said €1.8 billion was needed within the next few weeks to recapitalise the Popular Bank but that other banks may need money too.

He said if Cyprus chose to tap the EU bailout mechanism it might ask for more than the €1.8 billion to be on the safe side.

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Our view: EAC should be able to do whatever is necessary to ensure supply for summer

THE OWNERS of Limassol’s five-star Le Meridien Spa Resort have applied to court in an attempt to stop the Electricity Authority of Cyprus from installing an additional 96 generators at the Moni power station this month. 

They argue, with some justification, that the noise from the extra generators would drive away their guests. The noise had been bad enough with 30 generators in operation at Moni, but another 100 could cause a “massive disturbance” said Le Meridien’s executive chairman, Costas Galatariotis. He said that two or three out of 10 customers might complain about the noise, while the rest, who did not, would simply not return to the hotel.

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SPECIAL REPORT Andreas Vgenopoulos: just a poor man with money

LIKE MANY Greek tycoons these days, Andreas Vgenopoulos is in trouble.

The self-made businessman built one of Greece’s leading corporate empires over the past two decades. Among its jewels was a major bank in the  nearby Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus. Then it all started to unravel.

In 2010, Marfin Investment Group (MIG), the firm Vgenopoulos managed which has stakes in everything  from privatised national carrier Olympic Air to food  giant Vivartia, lost 1.8 billion euros. The loss, largely made up of write-downs on goodwill, was the biggest ever for a Greek company to that point. 

There is a joke in Athens that MIG’s initials stand for “Money Is Gone.”

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Binge drinking 'a growing problem'

CYPRIOT students between the ages of 15 and 16 take part in binge drinking regularly, according to the 2011 European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD).

The survey took into account alcohol and other drugs among school students in 36 European countries, involving 100,000 students.

The results were presented yesterday by the Cyprus Anti-Drugs Council to mark International Day Against Drugs.

Greece, Hungary and Serbia join Cyprus with a significant increase in ‘episodic drinking.’

According to the survey, Cyprus shows a 44 per cent increase in heavy episodic drinking over a 30-day period, compared to data collected in 2007. This is higher than the EU average of 39 per cent.

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'Cheaper drugs will no longer be found'

PEOPLE will pay more for medicines if the Health Ministry adopts suggestions in an internal report, because cheap drugs will no longer be available, EDEK’s deputy head Marinos Sizopoulos said yesterday.

Sizopoulos was talking about a study compiled by the pharmaceutical services placing Cyprus high on both retail and wholesale drugs’ prices. It is to be used as a reference point in creating a new pricing policy.

 “The study will drive cheap drugs out of the market,” Sizopoulos said.

Health Minister Stavros Malas, who responded later by calling a news conference, said that drugs in Cyprus – the second most costly in the EU-27 – “must get cheaper.”

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CY and pilots engage in costly war of words

CYPRUS Airways (CY) today accuses its well paid pilots of resorting to lies in a bid to win public sympathy, as the two sides engaged in a bitter war of words through paid ads in newspapers.

“The (pilots’) Union (PASYPI) is causing irreparable damage to the credibility and commercial viability of the airline with destructive consequences,” CY said. “It utilises lies, inaccuracies, falsehoods, subjective evaluations and baseless allegations in an effort to mislead public opinion in order to gain sympathy.”

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Paphos boosting its numbers with new recruits


PAPHOS beaches look set to be even safer this year according to the Paphos regional board of tourism.

New lifesaving equipment has been supplied to Paphos lifeguards, which the manager of the local regional board of tourism says will ensure high levels of safety.

Nassos Hadjigeorgiou said: “We have purchased a wide range of new equipment ranging from rescue boats and lines, to first aid kits, diving masks, binoculars, whistles, water proof wireless communication systems ( walkie talkies) and a jet ski.”

He added: “Paphos lifeguards are now all fully equipped. There are new recruits and the lifeguards have all been retrained this year and will be able to provide a superior level of safety.”

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Anastassiades will be stricter on migration


STRICTER laws on migration and an overhaul of the police force were some of the election proposals announced by DISY presidential candidate Nicos Anastassiades yesterday.

Anastassiades analysed his proposals on public safety and migration, as part of a number of thematic dialogues he has launched with the public ahead of the presidential elections next February.

Restructuring the police force was top of the DISY candidate’s list, with some of his proposals including a change in the force’s administrative structure and the decentralisation of authority, as well as an upgrade to police training and expertise.

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House will not be deterred on gambling bill

LAWMAKERS said yesterday they would not be deterred by criminal acts aimed at scuppering passage of a bill regulating online gambling.

“These acts strengthen our persistence in advancing and implementing the legislation,” House Legal Affairs Committee DISY’s Ionas Nicolaou told reporters. “We will also urge crime-fighting authorities to implement the law to the last iota.”

Nicolaou was responding to questions concerning a recent spate of arson attacks against gaming company OPAP agents and concerns that these could be linked to the bill currently being discussed by parliament.

Four OPAP outlets – three in Limassol and one in Nicosia – have been gutted in the past couple of weeks in what appears to be an ongoing war against the company.

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'We're no longer buying power from the north'

Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) chairman Harris Thrassou yesterday denied reports in Turkish Cypriot daily Sabah that they were still buying power from the north. 

“The report is totally inaccurate and we stopped getting power from the occupied areas from the moment that parliament decided to freeze the funds,” said Thrassou.

Questioned as to whether they had gained approval of some funds already Thrassou said that they asked for a budget so they could continue to get power from the north among other things. “Parliament decided otherwise and the last time we went to look into the issue again we asked for the approval of €12–€12.5 million,” said Thrassou, adding that part of it would be used for old obligations and part of it for an emergency.

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