Daily Archives: June 22, 2012

Archives June 22, 2012 posted by

Critical meeting for the economy

 

FINANCE Minister Vassos Shiarly yesterday sought to persuade his eurozone counterparts that Cyprus was taking steps to rein in its public deficit, amid reports that Nicosia had made a formal request to Moscow for an interstate loan while European authorities were said to be pushing the island to take a full bailout package.

The meeting of euro-area finance ministers in Luxembourg discussed financial aid for Spain, Greece’s implementation of the bailout programme and Cyprus, the latest eurozone member to join the list of debt crisis victims.

The Eurogroup meeting started at around 5pm, Cyprus time. Developments in Cyprus, Portugal and Ireland were the fourth item on the agenda of the meeting, which was expected to go on until late.

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Archives June 22, 2012 posted by

Our view: Municipalities: just another piece of the pie for politicians

THE MAYORS of cash-strapped municipalities which had their funding for this year cut by the cash-strapped central government and the legislature, held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to decide how to deal with the financial crisis. Spending cuts had reduced the annual funding of municipalities by the state by €18 million. Worse still, state funding was distributed among all municipalities, and this year six new ones had been created, which meant that a smaller amount of money had to be distributed among more recipients.

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Archives June 22, 2012 posted by

Charges dropped against army officer in naval base blast case

THE LARNACA district court yesterday dropped charges against Colonel Giorgos Georgiades in relation to the deaths of 13 people at a naval base blast last July based on the assessment he was not “strictly speaking” responsible for the safety of those present.

A legal services’ official said that Georgiades might be a prosecution witness instead.

Six people were yesterday referred to the criminal court to stand trial on July 6. They face charges of causing death by want of precaution, and homicide by gross negligence. Georgiades, former commander of the ordnance corps will not be tried, while Greek national Petros Tsalikidis, former National Guard commander, will be tried in Greece. They had both been charged in March, along with the other six. 

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Archives June 22, 2012 posted by

Cyprus slides on trafficking

THE INTERIOR ministry yesterday expressed “disappointment” over the US State Department’s damning human trafficking report on Cyprus, saying it hadn’t taken efforts by the government into account.

The Department’s 2011 report, published yesterday, said the government failed to implement its national action plan (NAP) to combat human trafficking; failed to impose exemplary punishments on offenders and failed to protect the victims.

The state was also blasted for failing to officially warn about the realities of forced prostitution, “inherent to the island’s sex industry”.

It said Cyprus took some initial steps to address the issue but “failed to demonstrate evidence of increasing efforts”. The island is on the Department’s Tier 2 Watch List.

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Archives June 22, 2012 posted by

Price caps law re-passed after milk blunder

THE HOUSE yesterday re-passed a law which empowers the commerce minister to order a price cap on certain basic commodities, after the President had sent the law back to parliament.

As it stands, the law gives the commerce minister authority to order a price ceiling for a period of up to 45 days on any of the following: bread, whole milk, bottled water, Cypriot coffee and electricity. However it must first be published in the government gazette before it can take effect.

Lawmakers yesterday agreed to certain amendments, following feedback from the Office of the Presidency. Initially the law had referred to whole milk (1 litre), common bread, bottled water, Cypriot coffee and electricity.

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Archives June 22, 2012 posted by

Moving forward on gas

A WORKING group of technocrats from Cyprus and Israel will be set up sometime in the next few days to discuss the possibility and feasibility of importing limited quantities of natural gas from Israel as a stop-gap solution until such time as the island can tap its own hydrocarbon reserves, the commerce minister has said.

Neoclis Sylikiotis told MPs yesterday that, once the working group is up and running, he hoped a deal with the Israelis could be reached quickly – perhaps within two to three months.

The Cypriot members of the working group would include people from the Electricity Authority, the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority, the Natural Gas Public Company and the Energy Service of the Commerce Ministry.

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Archives June 22, 2012 posted by

Orphanides to be summoned to parliament to 'explain himself'

LAWMAKERS yesterday decided to summon former Central Bank governor Athanasios Orphanides to appear before parliament to explain accusations he made against President Demetris Christofias that he did nothing, when he could have, to prevent banks from incurring billions in damages from a Greek debt write-down.

House Finance Committee chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos said Orphanides would be summoned after June 30, the deadline set by EU regulators for banks to boost their capital.

Papadopoulos said the committee had no objection if the government did not want to be represented at the meeting.

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Archives June 22, 2012 posted by

EU presidency makeover for palace roundabout

IN AN effort to ready the main roads of the capital for the EU presidency in just over a week Nicosia Municipality has given the roundabout near the presidential palace a makeover, along with several other ‘green touches’ to the city.

The ancient Cypriot olive tree in the centre of the roundabout is now being surrounded by grass, which will be complemented with bushes and bright flowers.

“We’re making sure that there are lots of plants and lots of colour,” said Pavlos Christodoulou, an official at Nicosia municipality. 

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Archives June 22, 2012 posted by

'You can give us back the bases' Christofias jokes at celebration to mark Queen's Diamond Jubilee

 

HUNDREDS of people attended a reception at the residence of the British High Commissioner in Nicosia on Wednesday to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.

The High Commission said it had sent out special invites to women named Elizabeth, and half a dozen showed up. They were born in 1952 when the Queen acceded to the throne and 1953 when she was crowned. 

It was fashionable in Cyprus when Elizabeth II was made Queen to call newborn daughters Elizabeth or Alisavou, High Commissioner Matthew Kidd said.  “There is another Elizabeth, prominent in Cyprus’ life, who unfortunately is not here tonight,” he said, referring to the wife of President Demetris Christofias.

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