Daily Archives: July 6, 2012

Archives July 6, 2012 posted by

A proud moment in Cyprus’ history


CYPRUS last night launched its six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the EU with a symbol-laden inaugural ceremony at the site of the ancient Curium amphitheatre.

The ceremony got underway just after 8pm, allowing Europe’s great and good to enjoy the sunset in a dramatic setting.

It began with Cyprus’ national anthem followed by the “Ode to Joy,” the anthem of the European Union.

Cyprus, whose economy represents a mere 0.2 per cent of the eurozone, is now at the helm of policy-making just when Europe tackles a massive debt crisis. The island nation officially took over the presidency on July 1, days after becoming the fifth euro-area country to request an EU bailout.

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Our View: Provisions of gambling law make no sense

THE STATE was perfectly within its rights to tax the revenue of betting companies, even if its decision to take 10 per cent of the net betting revenue (after winnings are subtracted) does not seem the most rational principle. It would have been more reasonable to put a 10 per cent tax on every bet submitted, instead of taxing the revenue of the companies, which is a rather unorthodox practice.

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State taps semi-government bodies

THE government will borrow €250 million through the sale of three-month treasury bills to at least three semi-state organisations, it emerged yesterday, mainly to refinance existing debt maturing on July 16.

The finance ministry announced the transaction on Wednesday, saying it had come to an agreement with institutional investors.

Daily Politis reported yesterday that Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly had met with representatives of telecommunications company CyTA, the ports authority and the human resources development authority to secure the cash.

“There is a need and the state is asking for help in the form of a loan from three or more organisations,” ports authority chairman Yiannakis Kokkinos told state radio.

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Public servants jump ship over bonus fears

AN INCREASING percentage of civil servants are getting out early amid fears that their retirement bonuses will be taxed, despite repeated government assurances that will not happen.

Treasury figures show that last year the ratio of early retirements came to 47.5 per cent. Of the 1,134 people who left the service, 538 retired early.

During the first five months of this year, 148 people have opted for early retirement, out of a total of 296, or 50 per cent.

In 2010 the ratio of early retirements was 29.7 per cent, and in 2009 it was 18.4 per cent.

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Cyprus plays off EU and Russia

CYPRUS’ president played up his close ties with Russia yesterday, saying he was hoping to secure more financial support from Moscow as well as from the European Union as he bids to keep the island economy from collapsing.

Demetris Christofias, who was educated in Moscow and is the EU’s only communist head of state or government, dismissed suggestions that his tight relations with Russia could damage his ties within Europe and said it was perfectly normal for a country to look to all its allies for help.

“We need money to develop our economy and we need money to recapitalise our banks,” he told Brussels-based reporters on a visit to Cyprus as it begins its six-month presidency of the EU.

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Vicious beating of dog goes viral on internet


ANIMAL lovers have blasted police for failing to take action against a man seen brutally beating a puppy into a coma.

The horrific incident has gone viral on the internet, even being reported by CNN after a local teenage girl promoted it on her Facebook page.

The distraught teenager is quoted on CNN calling on foreigners to “please boycott tourism to my country” until the animal welfare law is properly enforced.

The teen describes the story of a puppy, named Thunder by local animal welfare sanctuary Argos, who was attacked for no apparent reason by a man, whose personal details have not been made public.

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Dog poisoned and burnt during burglary

POLICE were called late Wednesday to investigate a burglary in Limassol, and arrived to find the Labrador guard dog poisoned and burnt to death.

The dog’s owner said that at the time of the burglary the house was not occupied due to ongoing renovations. However once he arrived he immediately notified the police. Investigations found that the dog had been doused with a flammable liquid and then set on fire after being poisoned. Police suspect this was done as a way of covering up the burglars’ tracks. Nearly €4,000 worth of goods was stolen from the property including a stereo system, a TV, a computer, and 25 Swarovski crystals. Police gathered evidence and are continuing their investigations.

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Evidence mounts that Akamas fires were result of arson

EVIDENCE found on the location of two fires at the Akamas peninsula suggest they were started deliberately, a forestry department spokesman said yesterday.

Andreas Christou said the authorities’ investigation in the area was still ongoing but “the evidence found on the spot where the fires started lead to the conclusion they were set deliberately.”

But Tuesday’s blazes appear to have done less damage than initially thought.

Christou said the first fire, in the Neo Chorio area, burnt less than the two square kilometres reported earlier.

And the second blaze, in the Lara area, appears to have gone through 26 and not 50 hectares of land.

The two fires burnt wild shrub, part of the state forest and private cultivations.

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Aegean airline bemoans ‘favouritism’ towards CY and Ryanair

AEGEAN airlines’ executive vice chairman Eftychios Vasilakis told the House yesterday that favouritism towards Cyprus Airways (CY) and Ryanair was distorting the market, and that they too should be given rights to certain routes.

State carrier CY has already criticised the state, and airport operator Hermes for extending an incentives agreement to low-cost carrier Ryanair.

However, the incentive schemes – whose terms are laid out at www.hermesairports.com – are open to all airlines. Both Aegean and CY are free to apply but as yet have not.

The incentives aim to increase passenger volume, reward growth potential and benefit tourism. 

They are available for increasing capacity by introducing new routes.

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