Daily Archives: June 26, 2012

Archives June 26, 2012 posted by

Baghdatis speeds past Montanes in easy win

MARCOS Baghdatis got his 2012 Wimbledon campaign off to a speedy start on Tuesday evening when he beat Spaniard Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 in the opening round after only an hour and 23 minutes.

The Cypriot produced aggressive tennis, hitting 12 aces in the process, giving Montanes no chance

Despite having an average 61 percent success rate on his first serve Baghdatis won 76 percent of the points when his first serve went in, while holding a much lower rate on his second serve at 48 percent.

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AEL, APOEL and Anorthosis learn European fates

THE road to the Champions League and Europa League group stages began this week as the draws for the first and second qualifying rounds were held at UEFA headquarters.

In the Champions League, Cyprus champions AEL will play in the second qualifying round and they will take on the winner of the tie between Northern Ireland side Linfield and B36 Torshavn of the Faroe Islands. The first leg will be played in Limassol in mid-July.

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Formal request for EU bailout

 

CYPRUS said yesterday it was applying to Brussels for a bailout, both for its banking sector hit by exposure to Greece and for its budget deficit, making it the fifth euro zone country to turn to the bloc’s rescue funds for help.

Tiny Cyprus has just four days left to raise at least €1.8 billion – equivalent to about 10 per cent of its domestic output – to satisfy European regulators about the health of Cyprus Popular Bank, its second largest lender which saw its balance sheet hurt by bad Greek debt.

Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly said the country would also seek enough money to help with its budget deficit. The full amount would be decided over the course of weeks.

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Our view: The criminals are taking control and the police appear to be powerless

THE COLD-BLOODED murder of the five men in Ayia Napa last Saturday sent shock waves through our society. This may have been part of the settling of scores between rival crime gangs, but the way the hit was staged and the cold-blooded ruthlessness of the assassin (assassins) could not leave anyone unmoved, as is suggests that crime is out of control.

In the past, we tended to ignore crimes committed by members of the criminal underworld against each other. ‘Let them exterminate each other,’ was the general attitude as law-abiding citizens felt they had nothing to fear from rival gangs settling scores or expanding their territory. Most murder attempts or killings usually took place in secluded places in the dead of the night, rarely putting at risk innocent lives.

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Fitch cuts Cyprus rating to junk

 

WHILE the government was weighing its options, Fitch Ratings yesterday cut the island’s sovereign debt to non-investment grade.

“In addition to the €1.8 billion –10 per cent of GDP — required for Cyprus Popular Bank, Fitch assesses that Cypriot banks will require further substantial injections of capital, potentially up to €4.0 billion – 23 per cent of GDP,” the agency said.

Fitch said while the increase in losses is associated with Cypriot banks’ Greek exposure, the reported non-performing loan ratio for domestic Cypriot loans has also risen notably over the past year as the Cypriot economy has contracted and unemployment has risen.

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Still seeking bilateral loan

GOVERNMENT spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said last night the main aim of applying to the EFSF was to help the banks recapitalise, but he admitted the government was still looking into the possibility of securing a bilateral loan from another country to assist the general economy.

“From now on there is a procedure to continue consultations with the European partners and relevant European authorities. At some point, teams of European institutions will come to Cyprus with the aim of consulting and negotiating the framework of the support and aid Cyprus will get, with the basic goal of recapitalising the banks.”

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Police look for motive in Ayia Napa slayings

POLICE are looking into all scenarios, including the war over online casinos, to establish a motive for the Ayia Napa shoot-out, which left five dead in the early hours of Saturday.

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides yesterday said forensic tests on evidence gathered from the scene were expected the latest by today. The tests, in combination with information from the public and intelligence gathered from recent crimes, would determine the course of investigations.

Angelides said this would be soon.

In the meantime speculation has been going into overdrive, with some reports claiming the killings were due to rivalry between Nicosia and Ayia Napa underworld gangs over the mushrooming online casinos.

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Deputies mull tax on gross profits of betting companies

TAXING betting companies’ gross profits by no more than 15 per cent appeared to be winning ground yesterday over the government’s proposal for a 3.0 per cent tax on turnover.

The finance ministry informed lawmakers yesterday that it did not object to taxing gross profit “as long as the bill was approved.”

Chairman of the House Finance Committee, DIKO vice chairman, Nicolas Papadopoulos, said it was now up to the parties to decide the most effective method of taxation.

For his party however, a study that said taxing gross profits instead of turnover was more profitable, carried a lot of weight, he added.

The current regime provides for a 10 per cent tax on gross profit.

That, according to the ministry, is about the same as 3.0 per cent on turnover.

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Police say no leads yet on two missing women

IN ADDITION to the British woman who went missing a week ago today from Tsada village in  Paphos, a second woman has been missing from Chlorakas, also in Paphos, since last Thursday 

Police say they do not believe the two cases are connected.

Briton Nancy Johnson, 73, has been missing and Thekla Christou, 68, was reported missing last Thursday.

Paphos police spokesman Nicos Tsappis said: “We don’t believe there is any connection between the two missing person’s cases. The Cypriot woman’s family reported her missing on Thursday and said that she often goes for walks to collect used tin cans and containers, police are searching the surrounding areas in Chlorokas.”

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State says it needs to fill 350 positions

 

THE FINANCE ministry has again asked lawmakers for exemptions to a hiring freeze in the public sector, citing concerns that key positions in public administration may remain vacant.

The government says it needs to hire some 350 people in permanent positions that are deemed crucial for the smooth running of the civil service machine.

The austerity-driven budget for 2012 placed a hiring freeze on new appointments, in a bid to contain the constantly growing size of the public sector and rein in the public-sector payroll.

But opposition lawmakers, who had pushed through these cost-cutting measures, have since been hearing that essential departments run the risk of understaffing.

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