Daily Archives: July 12, 2012

Archives July 12, 2012 posted by

One year on: the anger and pain

 

THE first anniversary of the Mari naval base tragedy was marked yesterday morning with a sombre ceremony on the dusty hillside near the base where 13 crosses have been erected in memory of the sailors and fireman who lost their lives in the naval base explosion on July 11, 2011.

In the evening, some 2,000 people gathered outside the presidential palace in Nicosia to mourn the dead, a reminder of the weeks of angry protests that followed the explosion as the public demanded answers as to why the 98 containers of confiscated munitions that caused the explosion had been improperly stored and left dangerously exposed to the elements for more than two years. 

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Our view: Mari highlighted all the failings of our leadership

CYPRUS yesterday marked the first anniversary of the Mari blast which killed 13 men, destroyed a power station, exposed the glaring inadequacies of the state services and highlighted all the failings of President Christofias as a leader. It also led to another hike in the price of electricity, to pay for the leasing of generators, necessary to ensure uninterrupted power supply.

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Ports authority pitch in €50 million to government pot

THE ports authority yesterday became the third semi-government organisation to lend money to the cash-strapped state when it announced it would provide €50 million through the purchase of three-month treasury bills.

It follows the decision of telecommunications company CyTA to pitch in €101 million and the human resources development authority’s (HRDA) contribution of €24 million.

The state, shut out of international capital markets for more than a year, has used short-term domestic borrowing to refinance its debt.

This has become harder after its sovereign rating was cut to junk by all three major ratings agencies, making it impossible for banks – which have problems of their own – to purchase government debt.

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Banks listed risks, watchdog rules

THE prospectuses published by the two big banks when issuing capital securities were in accordance with the law, the securities and exchange commission (CySEC) said yesterday, following an investigation into complaints from people who put their money into high-return bank investment products now worth a fraction of the original price.

Bank of Cyprus (BoC) and the now state-controlled Popular Bank have also suspended interest payments for these securities, which many people claimed they were misled into buying.

“The bank prospectuses explicitly list the risks and all conditions assumed by an investor,” said CySEC chairwoman Demetra Kalogirou. They also include the “possibility of not paying interest when, among others, the bank does not have adequate capital.”

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IPC insists Tymvios case sets precedent

THE HEAD of the Immoveable Property Commission (IPC) in the north described the outcome of the Mike Tymvios land swap case as a “landmark” that would likely act as a precedent for other cases. 

Speaking to the English-language paper in the north, Cyprus Today, Gungor Gunkan said the option of exchanging properties owned by private individuals in the north and south would likely lead to agreement on one of the thorniest issues in the Cyprus problem peace talks, the property issue. 

The exchange of properties will also strengthen the position of Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu at the negotiating table, he said.  

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Lillikas seeks measures to oust leaders

INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL candidate Giorgos Lillikas yesterday proposed introducing measures to revoke the powers of elected representatives when they have lost the trust of the people. 

He said he chose yesterday to announce the proposal as a symbolic gesture in honour of those who lost their lives in the Mari tragedy on July 11, 2011. 

Speaking to reporters, Lillikas said constitutional amendments could be made to give the public a chance to cut short the duration of an elected representative’s time in office, including the president of the Republic, MPs and mayors, once they have violated serious principles of the social contract or have lost the trust of the electorate.  

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New board, new plan before cash, CY told

PARLIAMENT wants the government to replace Cyprus Airways (CY) board members and draft a new reliable restructuring plan within three months before it releases the full €31.5 million sought to raise the ailing national carrier’s capital, it emerged yesterday.

Speaking after discussion of the matter before the House Finance Committee, its chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos said a “majority has formed” favouring a string of conditions parliament will lay down before it releases the full amount.

The government is expected to ask parliament today to approve the €31.5 million pledged by the state.

But lawmakers want the government to replace the eight members it appoints on the airline’s board, as well as draft a new restructuring plan in three months.

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Turkey skips half a year in EU calendar

 

IN A continuation of his ‘charm’ offensive against Cyprus’ EU presidency, Turkish EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis unilaterally kick-started the Irish EU presidency six months ahead of schedule. 

According to Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey’s chief EU negotiator said communication and cooperation with the upcoming Irish presidency has already started for Turkey, despite the fact Ireland is not due to replace Cyprus at the helm of the EU Council until January 1, 2013. 

“From our point of view, the Irish presidency will maybe last longer compared to other presidencies,” Bagis said at a meeting with his Irish counterpart, Lucinda Creighton, on Tuesday. 

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EU presidency urged to focus on refugees

THE UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) will use Cyprus’ six-month EU presidency to educate people on who refugees and asylum seekers coming to the island really are. 

“Many people do not seem to know who is a refugee, or why asylum seekers are coming to Cyprus,” said Nasr Ishak, UNHCR representative for Cyprus.  

Recently, a number of organisations, including single parent families and the divorced women’s association have equated the economic downturn and cut in benefits allocated to them with the provision of services to asylum seekers and refugees. 

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Confusion over path of Russian loan

THE GOVERNMENT is completely in the dark about the prospects of securing a Russian loan, it transpired yesterday. 

According to daily Alithia, a “very reliable source” told the paper that the government has received “absolutely no signal” from Moscow about whether the request for the loan will be approved or not. So far, the government has had to assess its chances of securing the loan based on public statements made by Russian officials to the media.

Right now, the omens look slightly better than worse if one looks at the latest comments to come out of Russia. 

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