Daily Archives: July 4, 2012

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Welcome troika: more reforms please

HAVING suffered from the colonial rule of more invaders than we care to remember, we Cypriots are mildly xenophobic and allergic to others meddling in our affairs. We are very comfortable in our little island paradise where a phone call to the right person can get us a well-paid job for life with short hours, good pay and job security. We love our good life; our luxury cars, our only mode of mobility even within our neighbourhood; our extravagant feasts in which more food is wasted than eaten; and our multiple wedding gifts each week, our primary form of taxation. 

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Trawling through island’s finances

 

THE TROIKA team in Cyprus yesterday began scrutinising the books of the troubled banking sector and of the cash-strapped central government, as the Finance Minister seemed to hint that a bilateral loan was redundant now that the government has formally requested an EU bailout.

Experts from the troika – the body made up of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – held successive meetings at the Central Bank with banking and government officials.

Director of the Social Insurance Services (Labour Ministry) Theofanis Tryfonos gave newsmen the impression that his meeting with the troika was routine: 

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Our View: CY another victim of state’s reluctance to take measures

 

INDICATIONS are that Cyprus Airways will be another victim of the government’s refusal to take unpopular measures. And while the economy, which now requires very strong medicine because of government inaction, could eventually be put back on a healthy basis, for the national carrier this option might no longer exist. An economy cannot be closed down, but a loss-making airline with no real prospects of survival could be left to sink as happened in the case of Eurocypria.

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SEC looking into BoC's bailout request after shareholders were left in the dark

THE Securities and Exchange commission (SEC) has launched an investigation into the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) after the lender requested temporary state assistance apparently without informing its shareholders.

The SEC wants to know if the lender deliberately misled shareholders by withholding information it was obliged to disclose.

On June 27, BoC requested state assistance to the tune of €500 million after it failed to raise the necessary capital to meet a regulatory shortfall due to increased provisions and a further impairment of its Greek bond holdings.

The request came as a surprise since the bank had previously said it needed €200 million to cover the shortfall and that it would raise it through private funds.

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Christofias second-highest paid EU leader

 

CYPRUS has the second costliest head of government in the 17-nation euro area after Luxembourg on a per capita basis, Bloomberg reported yesterday.

The news service said Cyprus’s 804,435 residents will each pay almost 20 euro cents this year toward the €158,551 annual salary of President Demetris Christofias, who last week became the fifth euro leader to request a financial lifeline. Jean-Claude Juncker’s €210,111 pay costs each inhabitant of Luxembourg, with the highest per- capita income in the 27-nation EU, about 41 euro cents.

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Fire destroys over two square kilometres in the Akamas

OVER two square kilometres of land were destroyed in a blaze that swept through the Akamas region in Paphos yesterday, with the authorities suspecting it was set out of malice.

It took over 150 men, 35 fire engines and eight helicopters to put out three separate fires in the area.

According to Andreas Christou, the Forestry department’s senior press officer, the blaze began at around 9am in the morning in an area close to the five-star Anassa Hotel.

 “The strong winds fanned the fire causing it to spread and leap into two separate prongs. One moved towards the village of Neo Chorio and the other west, towards the state forest of the Akamas,” he said.

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MPs want to lower spot poaching fines

CONSERVATION groups yesterday expressed deep concern over an apparent move by lawmakers to relax provisions of the hunting law by introducing lower on-the-spot fines for audio devices used to lure birds.

The issue is due to be discussed at the House today. 

BirdLife Cyprus, Terra Cypria and Friends of the Earth, warned that fines of a few hundred euros for the possession and use of calling devices would encourage poachers and bird trappers.

Current legislation provides for court fines of up to €17,000 and or three years in jail.

“These proposals effectively relax the current legal regime since spot fines of €350 to €500 certainly cannot have the deterrent effect of a court conviction,” said BirdLife Cyprus executive director Clairie Papazoglou.

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Drunk passenger causes easyJet flight to divert

A DRUNKEN Israeli passenger caused an easyJet flight from Tel Aviv bound for Luton to divert to Paphos airport on Monday evening. According to reports the unruly passenger was disturbing his fellow travelers with aggressive and drunken behaviour.

An airline spokesman said: “EasyJet can confirm that flight EZY2086 Tel Aviv – Luton was diverted to Paphos due to a disruptive passenger onboard.  The passenger was offloaded from the aircraft at Paphos, met by local police and arrested.”

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Turkish Cypriots may switch sides…of the road that is

TURKEY IS looking into ending the practice of Turkish Cypriots driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road by flipping the direction of driving to the right hand side in the north, according to one Turkish Cypriot unionist. 

General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot primary school teachers union (KTOS) Sener Elcil was quoted saying as much in yesterday’s Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika

In a written statement, Elcil accused Turkey of operating within the framework of integrating and assimilating the occupied areas by formulating the “Traffic Action Plan”. 

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No sprouts there: EU Council canteen goes Cypriot

HUNGARIAN-BORN British satirist George Mikes (1912-1987) captured the mood of many foreign diplomats on the small yet ever so noisy island when he said: “Realising they will never be a world power, the Cypriots have decided to settle for being a world nuisance.” 

Four days ago, Cyprus took a first step towards the unthinkable, the forbidden dream of world domination, experienced through the assumption of the EU presidency. 

In six months time, we will know whether our world power ambitions will have acted as a counterweight to the moniker of world nuisance or help fuel the groundless accusation. 

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