Daily Archives: August 2, 2012

Archives August 2, 2012 posted by

In search of peace and quiet


WE JUST came back from a week long break in Spetses. I must admit I was a bit skeptical when my wife first suggested a Greek island for our holidays as all the negative press the Greeks had been getting had got to me as well.

 However I’ve found out after 20 years of marital bliss, that when your significant other sets her sights on something she will achieve it sooner rather than later, so what’s the point of arguing and in this case she was absolutely right.

Spetses, is an idyllic island in the Saronic Gulf with less than 4,000 inhabitants. It’s a two and a half hour boat (Flying Dolphin) ride from the port of Pireaus. The island is rich in vegetation and in many areas pine trees descend right down to the shorelines. 

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AEL: there’s still a lot of work to be done against Partizan

AEL manager Pambos Christodoulou said he is a little disappointed to only take a narrow one-goal advantage into next week’s Champions League third qualifying round second leg at Partizan Belgrade.

Ivory Coast forward Vouho scored the only goal of the first leg in Larnaca on Wednesday night, leaving the tie still very much in the balance.

“We expected a tough game against a good side that controls the ball really well. We tried to impose our style of play on them and from time to time we managed to do so,” Christodoulou said.

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CTO: no cash for Ryanair demands


THE CYPRUS Tourism Organisation (CTO) said yesterday it did not have the money being demanded from Ryanair to keep the low-cost carrier flying into Larnaca, putting in jeopardy the deal in place since 2010.

CTO chairman Alekos Oroundiotis said the airline was seeking double the originally agreed amounts to promote Cyprus, citing increased fuel prices. Oroundiotis said such a thing was not financially possible for the CTO.

Since 2010 Ryanair has been flying to four secondary European airports from Larnaca; Dusseldorf Weeze, Barcelona Girona, Bologna and Brussels Charleroi, and set up a hub in Paphos earlier this year from where it operates 15 destinations.

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Our View: Loss of Ryanair would not be a major blow to island's tourism


THE DECISION to give Ryanair incentives to fly out of Cyprus was correct. It would help tourism as it would link Cyprus to a host of new destinations, increase business for Hermes Airports and offer cheap flights out of Cyprus. The incentives included reduced airport charges and CTO-financed advertising abroad promoting Ryanair’s flights to Larnaca and Paphos. 

It was not a bad deal, even though Cyprus Airways unions have repeatedly accused the authorities of preferential treatment toward the budget airline. The setting up of a hub at Paphos airport was a big boost to the Paphos district which had seen tourist arrivals declining and hoped to reverse the trend thanks to Ryanair’s decision to operate a big number of destinations. 

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Nobel economist says mistakes were made

NOBEL Prize winner Christopher Pissarides has blasted the government for laying the blame for a bailout solely on the banks, saying the island was facing some serious fiscal problems.

The University of Cyprus’ professor blamed the fiscal problems on mistakes made after the crisis started – inexplicable reductions in state revenue and increases in expenditure.

He said that if he was the troika – delegates from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund – he would seek answers as to why these fluctuations took place. 

Pissarides also called for a reduction in public servants’ salaries.

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'Scaremongering not the way to deal with crisis'

FINANCE Minister Vassos Shiarly yesterday said it wasn’t in Cyprus’ best interests to play out the government’s negotiations with EU lenders in the media.

Information in the media over severe pay cuts in the public sector, cancellation of the 13th salaries and scrapping the Cost of Living Allowance only served to spread fear among the public, he added.

The minister reassured the public that any austerity measures would be determined by Cyprus and not by the troika – the delegation from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund who were here last week.

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Heavy security for murder suspects

UNDER almost unprecedented security measures for Cyprus, two handcuffed men wearing bulletproof vests were yesterday issued an eight-day remand in relation to a shooting in Ayia Napa in June.

The two Greek nationals, 29 and 41, were brought in from Greece on Tuesday night following the emergence of evidence linking them to the murders of five men on June 23, near the Red Square bar in Ayia Napa. 

Four of the men were security guards for Famagusta businessman Phanos Kalopsidiotis who the police think was the target, police investigator Giorgos Economou told the court during the remand hearing. 

Police yesterday used sniffer dogs to check the Larnaca court building, and performed identity and bag checks on everyone going in the courtroom. 

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Compromise proposal for angry investors as AG becomes involved

THE finance ministry will look into a compromise proposal by bank securities holders who claim they had been misled into investing, and have threatened legal action if their money is not returned.

The investors appeared optimistic that their proposal for a loan against the securities will be accepted by the banks and the state.

“The bank managers and the finance ministry viewed the proposal very positively,” said Phivos Mavrovouniotis, a representative.

But he struck a note of caution that nothing has been settled yet.

The investors reacted after the island’s two biggest lenders recently stopped paying interest on the securities in line with the terms and conditions of the schemes.

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Foreign betting for race punters

PUNTERS will be able to bet on horse races abroad come September through agents authorised by the Nicosia Race Club (NCR), which has exclusive rights on horse racing bets in Cyprus.

“With the debt crisis and illegal betting the NCR has been facing serious financial problems and the only way to respond was to bring racing from abroad. Parliament voted unanimously for this right so we can support local horse racing,” said the NCR’s marketing head, George Hadjiminas.

The NCR – a non-profit organisation channelling back profits into local horse racing – stands to lose €4.0 million this financial year, Hadjiminas said.

He said that NCR’s weekly turnover of €1.4 million was not enough to cover expenses.

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ECHR agreed to examine north gay ban case

THE EUROPEAN Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has agreed to examine a legal challenge against Turkey for the north’s continued failure to repeal a law banning homosexuality. 

The application was filed in Strasbourg last February by the Human Dignity Trust (HDT), a London-based NGO made up of active and retired judges which helps local groups and individuals challenge the legality of laws that criminalise same-sex relationships. 

The HDT took the decision to pursue Turkey after a wave of arrests for homosexuality in the north. 

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