Daily Archives: July 10, 2012

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Unprecedented land swap deal

 

FOR THE first time ever, the government has approved the exchange of property between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot owners north and south of the island in what Attorney-general Petros Clerides was at pains to stress yesterday is a “special” one-off case. 

Despite his claims, the government’s decision to transfer ownership of Turkish Cypriot property in Larnaca to Greek Cypriot refugee Dr Mike Tymvios and then purchase the land from Tymvios will have pricked up the ears of the Turkish Cypriot leadership which has long argued for a comprehensive property settlement based on exchange. 

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Our view: Would-be draft dodgers unlikely to be dissuaded by new slogans

 

IN ITS campaign to restrict draft-dodging the ministry of defence has resorted to advertising slogans, telling new recruits that National Guard service is about “coolness and pride”; avoiding it was “shameful and cowardly”. Commendable as the ministry’s initiative may be, it is out of touch with the youth of today who are unlikely to be moved by advertising slogans commissioned by the defence ministry.

Could anyone seriously believe teenagers would change their thinking about military service because the ministry claims conscripts feel “cool and proud” about it? And what is the likelihood of any teenager who does not want to serve, sharing the assertion of the ministry that his decision was “shameful and cowardly”? 

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CyTA stumps up cash for govt but it's not enough

STATE telecommunications company CyTA yesterday decided to loan the state some €100 million but it may not be enough for the cash-strapped government to cover its needs for the next couple of months.

Speaking after an afternoon meeting of the company’s board, chairman Stathis Kittis said CyTA had decided to lend the state €101.1 million – an amount that falls short of the €250 million the government expected.

The human resources development authority, one of two other semi-government organisations the government was seeking funds from, unanimously decided yesterday to lend the government a further €24 million, reportedly the amount the ministry had sought from that organisation.

But the CyTA loan is far less than the government had hoped for. 

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DISY leader targets public sector

 

FISCAL consolidation and boosting growth are not conflicting objectives, DISY chief and presidential hopeful Nicos Anastasiades said yesterday, as he outlined his proposals on the economy, which include cutting the size of the civil service and looking into privatising state companies.

“They are the two sides of the same coin … the same parallel direction we must consistently follow to regain our credibility and access to international capital markets but also to reverse the vicious cycle of recession and unemployment,” the DISY leader said.

To achieve fiscal consolidation – the main pylon of the new economic policy – the state must be disciplined, have balanced budgets and must draft a mid-term fiscal framework.

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Eurogroup briefed on Cyprus

THE SO-CALLED Troika was last night expected to brief the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels on its visit to Cyprus to discuss the island’s request for EU bailout, though no final decisions are expected until late August.

The officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission (EC) – aka Troika – were only expected to consult with the eurozone’s finance ministers over Cyprus.

The bulk of discussions centred on Spain, though in both cases, final decisions were highly unlikely, mainly due to the many disagreements that arose between member states over the assistance that should be offered.

Greece’s progress since seeking bailout was also to be discussed.

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Immigrants' protest fires rife in Block 10

ONE inmate at the Central Prisons in Nicosia suffered minor injuries yesterday and four others were treated for breathing problems after a fire and a riot broke out in the immigrant detention wing known as Block 10.

The fire broke out around 2.30pm. Three fire engines responded to the call, and around an hour later the flames had been put out. A fire department spokesperson said the damage was limited to a couple of cells.

Inmates were evacuated to the prisons’ yard. Police said one person sustained light injuries – they did not specify the nature – and four others were treated for breathing problems. 

One man claiming to be an inmate there called the Cyprus Mail in a state of panic, depicting scenes of mayhem.

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Quake felt in Paphos hits 6.0

 

A MAGNITUDE 6.0 quake with an epicentre 350 kilometres off the west coast of Cyprus shook buildings in Paphos yesterday afternoon with slight tremors felt as far away as Nicosia.

There were no reports of damage or injuries. 

An announcement by the department of geological surveys stated that at 16:54 yesterday seismographs recorded the earthquake. The epicentre was in the marine area of Rhodes, 90 km south-east of the island, 320 km north-west of Paphos and 400 km west of Nicosia, and the focal depth was 50 km. 

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Sea rich Cyprus looks at using wave energy

THE PROSPECTS for exploiting renewable energy within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the eastern Mediterranean were discussed yesterday during a workshop on wave energy potential.

The E-Wave project is a major research project on exploitation of wave energy in Cyprus, which started in January 2011. The project duration is 24 months and is co-ordinated by the Oceanographic Centre of the University of Cyprus.

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Little enthusiasm for contenders in presidential poll

WITH just seven months to go to the presidential elections, 50 per cent of the public remains lukewarm about the contenders for the top job, a poll has shown.

In a survey carried out by RAI Consultants, and commissioned by the Stockwatch news service, 51 per cent of respondents said they were “not so satisfied” or “not at all satisfied” with the presidential candidates that have come forth so far.

Respondents were also asked to rate (on a scale of 1 to 10) the three contenders: AKEL nominee and current Health Minister Stavros Malas, DISY leader Nicos Anastassiades and independent candidate Giorgos Lillikas.

It was a tie between Malas and Lillikas, who both scored 4.5 Anastassiades got the highest rating with 5.7.

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Services to remember Mari

 

MEMORIAL services and marches are being held to mark the one-year anniversary since the devastating Mari explosion killed 13 firemen and sailors on July 11 last year.

“Over the loss of human life, the events have shattered trust between the public and the state, whose omissions and weaknesses over the years, its bureaucratic distortions and structures, have led to an inability to handle a difficult situation,” Labour Minister Sotiroula Charalambous said on Sunday. 

She was speaking at the memorial service of 19-year-old Antonis Charalambous, the 13th victim claimed by the blast. 

Charalambous said that people needed to let justice prevail in the courts.

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