Daily Archives: July 27, 2012

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Cavendish has target on his back

Unlike Tour de France champion and team mate Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish does not have a RAF roundel on his helmet, but he will have a big target on his back when he starts Saturday’s Olympic road race.

Wiggins’s fashion sense on and off the bike is influenced by the “mods” of the 1960s, whose badge of identity was the “target” roundel used as an identifier on Royal Air Force aeroplanes.

Cavendish, however, is the man the rest of the pack will focus their attention on as the sprinter bids to make up for the disappointment of Beijing 2008 when he was the only member of the British team to come home without a medal.

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Cards on the table at crunch meeting

 

THE TROIKA will today finish up week-long negotiations at a crunch meeting with the ministerial committee on economic issues, where both sides are expected to lay their cards on the table.

The government is expected to put forward its own proposals on cost cutting and increasing revenue, which are based on a milder longer-term approach than the nightmarish scenarios leaking out from meetings the team has held so far this week with officials and unionists.

Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said yesterday the government would have a better overview concerning the island’s capital requirements following the conclusion of its meeting with the troika representatives today.

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Our View: Troika should be as tough as possible on public sector privileges

THE MEETINGS of troika officials have fuelled much speculation in the media about the measures that would be taken. We have heard about cuts in public employees’ pensions and wages, the suspension of the 13th salary and the abolition of CoLA, with defiant union bosses insisting that they would resist the imposition of such measures. The government, reportedly, is against these measures but we doubt it can think of any other ways to cut state spending.

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‘Long road to go yet’ says bank chief

CENTRAL BANK governor Panicos Demetriades yesterday met with the boards of the three major banks in Cyprus. 

His meeting with the Bank of Cyprus, Laiki Bank and Hellenic Bank comes at a time when international lenders from the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) – known as the troika- are in Cyprus for a second visit to assess the request for an EU bailout to meet the Cyprus government’s debt obligations and the banks’ recapitalisation needs. 

Speaking after the meeting, newly-appointed CEO of the Bank of Cyprus Yiannis Kypri said the troika would need a long time to ascertain the total recapitalisation requirements of the Cypriot banks and to prepare the adjustment programme for Cyprus.

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Hadjipetrou: a wage is not a privilege

CIVIL servants’ union PASYDY boss Glafcos Hadjipetrou yesterday briefed the union of police officers SAK on his meeting Wednesday with the troika team, and how it might affect them.

He said public servants were willing to make more sacrifices but everyone else would have to make them also. 

“We’re all in a difficult position….yes we will make extra sacrifices but everyone else should make them too and according to what they can manage so that we can get over the crisis,” said Hadjipetrou.

According to Hadjipetrou there were other ways to overcome the crisis without workers having to bear the brunt.

“It is impossible for them. This cannot be remedied with sacrifices from workers in the public sector,” he added.

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Small businesses struggling with electricity bills

A NUMBER of small businesses in Paphos are being crippled by huge electricity bills causing some to shut up shop completely.

One such business is N and T English butchery, owned and run by Paphos couple Rosie and Nick Panayiotou.

The popular butchery will serve its customers for the last time tomorrow after 20 years in existence. The couple made the difficult decision to close down after receiving a massive electricity bill last month, for twice the amount of any of the highest bills they have received since opening.

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Productivity declines

PRODUCTIVITY, in the fourth quarter of 2011, declined by 0.5 per cent compared to the corresponding period of 2010, according to figures released by the Cyprus Productivity Centre.

The decline reflects the 0.7 per cent reduction in GDP, which was partly offset by the 0.2 per cent reduction in the employed population.

Labour productivity measured as Gross Value Added Value, per work hour was stagnant in Q4 2011 compared with the corresponding period of 2010, as total work hour marked an equal reduction (0.7 per cent) as the GDP.

The biggest decline was recorded in the construction sector which fell by 10.2 per cent, while according to Eurostat figures Cyprus recorded one of the lowest productivity rates among EU member-states with 0.4 per cent.

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Deposits down

TOTAL deposits with Monetary and Financial Institutions (MFI) in Cyprus recorded a decrease of 1.1 per cent in June 2012, on an annual basis, reaching €70.77 billion, the Central Bank announced.

According to the data, May 2012 deposits recorded a decrease of 1.2 per cent, amounting to €72.46 billion, while June 2011 statistics showed an increase of 6.3 per cent, to €71.07 billion.

The total MFI loans for June 2012 recorded an increase of 10 per cent to €71.69 billion, on an annual basis, the same increase that it was recorded in May 2012 (€70.30 billion). June 2011 loans recorded an increase of 9.3 per cent to €65.13 billion.

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‘Squandering money in Mesa Yitonia’

The island’s smallest municipality – Mesa Yitonia in Limassol – is in big trouble with group of its employees who claim that funds are being mismanaged to allow some staff to garner overtime benefits and allowances for “being responsible workers”.

The office of the mayor, Doros Antoniou, said that a group of employees had sent a letter complaining about overtime payments, unfair allowances, and mismanagement.

The letter, reported in daily Politis, lists a number of accusations and grievances from 17 employees.

The employees claim that some staff were given a ‘responsibility allowance,’ set at 5.0 per cent of their salary, which was being given to workers who “fulfil their duties responsibly”. The complainants question the criteria used. 

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Former minister files million-plus lawsuit

LAWYER and former interior minister Dinos Michaelides yesterday filed suit against a man who has implicated him in investigations into money laundering allegations against former Greek minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos.

Michaelides, 75, has been implicated in one of the biggest scandals in Greece, spanning decades and involving prominent politician, Tsohatzopoulos.

Michaelides has denied all claims and yesterday sued, asking the Greek authorities to indict for defamation and perjury.

He is also due to sue today for €1.0 million and €100. “By law the claimant needs to ask for an amount, so I will get €100 and give €1.0 million to charity,” Michaelides said.

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