Daily Archives: July 3, 2012

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Troika delegation to assess the damage

 

OFFICIALS from Cyprus’ potential rescue creditors began arriving here yesterday on a fact-finding mission that will lead to talks on the terms of a bailout, a week after the government officially requested EU assistance.

In a statement, the finance ministry said a delegation of the so-called ‘troika’ – the body made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – would today start three days of discussions with the government and banking authorities, as well as civil service officials, political parties and trade unions.

It said the delegation would look into the country’s banks, which are exposed to debt-stricken Greece, as well as the government’s fiscal needs and long-term economic outlook.

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Our View: Spain restore faith in the beautiful game

THERE could not have been a more fitting climax to the highly entertaining Euro 2012 than Sunday night’s final in Kiev, which Spain won with an exhibition of what could only be described as football perfection. Such a level of all-round excellence had never been seen in international football before as Spain defeated Italy 4-0, the biggest winning margin ever in the final of an international tournament.

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‘Judge us at the end of our presidency’

 

“JUDGE CYPRUS on its achievements at the end of its six-month EU presidency” was the plea from Deputy Minister for European Affairs Andreas Mavroyiannis yesterday on the second day of Cyprus’ EU presidency.  

Presenting the priorities of the Cyprus EU presidency to reporters in Brussels, Mavroyiannis said the Cyprus presidency will function “as a truly European presidency, without any hidden agenda”.

He noted that the presidency constitutes a “great challenge for the country” but that the skills and enthusiasm of the Cypriot people guarantee a good outcome.

Cyprus believes the EU needs to emerge stronger from the current economic crisis and reinstate its place on the international scene.  

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Troika makes CY ‘rescue plan’ even less viable

OPPOSITION MPs yesterday tore holes in the government’s attempted restructuring plan for ailing state carrier Cyprus Airways (CY), asking how the state plans to come up with over €30 million to boost the airline’s share capital now Cyprus is seeking an EU bailout.

Speaking after his committee discussed the plan, House finance committee chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos of DIKO said the government’s rescue plan raised a number of worrying questions.

“The first finding is that the confusion, uncertainty and fear of responsibility that has been registered in all the other sectors of the government’s economic management, is extended in the worst possible way to the grand chapter that is CY,” he said. 

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Invasion victims across the divide awarded citizen’s prize

THE European Citizen’s Prize of 2012 has been awarded jointly to a Turkish Cypriot and a Greek Cypriot man who both suffered horribly in 1974 but went on to promote intercommunal peace.

Petros Souppouris and Huseyin Akansoy were nominated by AKEL MEP Takis Hadjigeorgiou who explained how the two men had “joined forces to organise and take part in joint events in order to convey the message that the pain caused by the bloody events are common to all Cypriots and must not become a tool for the development of extreme nationalism.”

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Extradition of Napa killing suspects could take months

THE TWO Greek nationals suspected of murdering five men in Ayia Napa last month were yesterday led to the Koridallos prison in Piraeus, after the Cypriot authorities’ request to have them extradited to the island was examined by a Greek court.

The two men, aged 41 and 29, were arrested on Saturday afternoon in Athens by the Greek anti-terror squad, after local authorities had European arrest warrants and an Interpol Red Notice issued.

The Greek Pontian suspects were led to the Athens Appellate Court at 9 am yesterday, where their extraditions to Cyprus were examined.

However, as the two suspects rejected being extradited, the case could now drag on for months.

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A ‘small miracle’ at Vassilikos

COMMERCE Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis yesterday congratulated the Electricity Authority (EAC) for the “small miracle” of reinstating much of the Vassilikos power station, devastated last year by the Mari naval base blast.

Sylikiotis visited Vassilikos – the island’s main power station – to mark the connection of a 75MW gas turbine with a second 75MW gas turbine expected to get on the grid this Friday. Both turbines are part of Vassilikos’ Unit 5.

“A small miracle has taken place,” Sylikiotis said. 

The EAC expects to have 220MW from unit 5 by August when it will get further 70MW from a steam unit.

Unit 4 is expected to be partly functional in August. Together, the units – which suffered the least damage from the blast – can yield 450MW. 

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Greek FM: energy should provide incentive for solution

TURKEY IS making a strategic error in not realising that Cyprus’ EU membership and discovery of hydrocarbon reserves are a strong incentive for a quick solution of the Cyprus problem, said Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos during an official visit to the island. 

Making his first visit abroad since taking office, Avramopoulos arrived on Sunday, coinciding with Cyprus’ assumption of the EU presidency. 

The Greek FM met with his Cypriot counterpart Erato Kozakou Marcoullis on Sunday, and with President Demetris Christofias, House President Yiannakis Omirou and the party leaders yesterday. 

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Unemployment rises in Cyprus, reaches record high in eurozone

THE number of unemployed people in Cyprus increased to 10.8 per cent in May, compared to 10.7 per cent last April, according to data released yesterday by Eurostat.

The same data show that unemployment reached record high in the eurozone, the highest since its inception, with levels in May reaching 11.1 per cent, compared with 11 per cent in April. The unemployment rate in the 27 member states stood at 10.3 per cent in May, compared to 10.2 per cent in April and 9.5 per cent in May 2011.

With regards to Cyprus, male unemployment rate in May stood at 11.5 per cent, while the female rate reached 10.1 per cent. Youth unemployment (people under 25 years old) was at 25.4 per cent in March.

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Longer hours for kids’ helpline

A CHILDREN’S helpline on ensuring safe internet use has extended its operating hours from 9am to 7pm during the week. 

The helpline is currently fully operational under the Pancyprian Coordinating Committee for Protection and Welfare of Children and is comprised of a team of six operators and one coordinator. The number of the helpline is 70000116. Online chats are also available from 3pm to 7pm Monday to Friday. Or else, operators may be contacted via email on [email protected]  

The official launch of the line took place on the July 6, 2009. 

The helpline’s website is available in English, Greek, and Turkish at www.helpline.cyberethics.info. 

 

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