Daily Archives: August 3, 2012

Archives August 3, 2012 posted by

Kontides has great chance of medal for Cyprus

FIVE-TIME world champion Tom Slingsby of Australia has moved ahead of Cyprus sailor Pavlos Kontides in the Men’s Laser event after a great second race on the fourth day of action at the Weymouth and Portland course on Friday afternoon.

Slingsby now leads the overall standings with 23 points, five ahead of the Cypriot, who began the day in gold medal-winning position.

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EAC insurers seek to recover payouts


THE GOVERNMENT is mulling a deal with the insurers of the Vassilikos power plant that would allow the latter to recover from the state €200 million they’ve paid out for damage to the insured part of the facility.

Sources tell the Mail that an understanding was reached between the parties late last month during the course of a number of meetings involving the Finance Minister and the insurers of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC).

In close proximity to the Mari naval base, the Vassilikos plant – the island’s main power station – suffered extensive damage during the July 11 2011 blast, leading to rolling power cuts island-wide for around a month.

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Our View: Hospital overtime system is a scandal

MANY stories about the abuse of overtime work in state hospitals have been made public over the last year. There were reports of doctors arranging appointments and operations on Saturdays in order to earn extra cash as well as claims that some hospital doctors were doubling their annual income through overtime work. The health ministry had undertaken to investigate the reports but it subsequently fudged the issue, avoiding giving a clear account of the situation.

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Ten-year-old boy was abducted and raped in Larnaca

UPDATED 11.25 POLICE have arrested a Larnaca man, 34, in connection with the rape of a 10-year-old boy on Wednesday evening.

The Palestinian boy is being treated in hospital and is in a state of shock, having had to walk from the scene of the rape, along Phinikoudes to the Larnaca police headquarters at the end of the seafront. 

The Cyprus Mail was told that the boy was some distance away from his home on his bike at around 9pm on Wednesday when a Greek-speaking man on a motorbike stopped him and his friend saying he wanted to show them his dog. 

The boy was reluctant to go with the man, who forced him to get on the bike however. The man then brought the boy to a rooftop and raped him there under the threat of a knife.

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New downgrade by Standard and Poor's

STANDARD & Poor’s Ratings Services yesterday cut Cyprus’ long-term sovereign bond rating a notch further into junk territory – to ‘BB’ from ‘BB+ – saying that despite an international bailout, the government would remain in a weak fiscal position due to a banking system, which has been unable to cope without state support as a result of its exposure to Greece. 

S&P also placed the island’s long-term rating on CreditWatch with negative implications.

The agency estimates that Cyprus’ bailout will reach €11 billion – just over 60 per cent of GDP — to recapitalise its banks, absorb further bank losses, and meet 2012-2014 borrowing requirements. 

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Malas: some hospital overtime not justified

HEALTH Minister Stavros Malas yesterday said he was close to reaching a new model for state doctors’ overtime, after fresh reports of milking the system emerged.

The reports referred to an investigation by the ministry into the overtime hours worked in public hospitals. They claimed, among others, the overtime worked in the accidents and emergency units was disproportionately high, that the number of surgeries performed during overtime hours was high even as waiting lists continued to rise, and that the intensive care units in the smaller hospitals demanded more in overtime than those of bigger ones. 

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Cypriots still heaviest smokers in EU

CYPRIOTS are the heaviest smokers in the EU puffing 20.5 cigarettes daily, according to a survey conducted as part of the European Commission’s campaign ‘Ex-smokers are unstoppable.’

According to the survey – conducted by iCoach, a digital health platform aimed at helping smokers kick the habit – only one in ten Cypriot smokers have given up smoking, since 2011, and those who still smoked,  consumed the highest number of cigarettes in the EU at 20.5 cigarettes daily.

However, most smokers in Europe – 46 per cent – consume 11-20 cigarettes daily, with the EU average amounting to 14.2 cigarettes daily.

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‘Police officers failed to declare Sultan’s expensive gifts’

THE POLICE chief has ordered an investigation into information that officers at Larnaca airport accepted money and gifts from the Sultan of Oman, during his visit to the island last month without declaring them. 

According to reports, Qaboos bin Said al Said wrote out a cheque for several thousand euros for airport police, while higher-ranking officers also received Rolex watches.

Regulations state that when members of the public service are offered a gift on duty, this has to be declared to the finance ministry, which then decides – depending on the value of the gift – whether or not they can keep it.

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Semi-state organisations are not an ‘AKEL-ocracy’

NO MAJOR changes marked yesterday’s appointment by the Cabinet of the new boards of semi-governmental organisations (SGOs) – but whether the appointees keep their jobs beyond next March is another matter.

By and large, the postings at the 16 SGOs amounted to the re-appointment of existing board members. One of the main exceptions was the appointment of new people chairing the boards of the Cyprus Theatre Organisation and the Wine Products Council.

The chairmen at the following SGO’s were re-appointed: Cyprus State Fairs Authority, Ports Authority, Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, Cyprus Sports Organisation, Cyprus Land Development Corporation, Cyprus Tourism Organisation, Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, and Cyprus News Agency.

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Police went too far with arrests, poker players say

POLICE went too far when they charged members of the Cyprus Poker Association (CPA) with gambling when members were trying out for an international competition, the association’s vice president; Antonis Theophanides said yesterday at a news conference.

Last month police raided two venues, in Larnaca and Limassol, charging a total of 31 people with gambling – which is illegal in Cyprus – even though three weeks earlier, the CPA wrote a letter to inform authorities of their legal status and their intention to host trials for a national team.

“The CPA and our members feel that the actions taken by the police were excessive… due to the fact that they had been previously invited,” Theophanides said.

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