Daily Archives: August 10, 2012

Archives August 10, 2012 posted by

AEL and APOEL learn European fate

AEL will play Belgian champions Anderlecht in the Champions League play-off round, while APOEL will face Neftchi Baku of Azerbaijan in the Europa League, when the draw for the final qualifiers before the group stages was made at UEFA headquarters in Nyon on Friday.

“First of all we will try to gather as much information as possible on Anderlecht and then give everything we have to advance to the group stage,” said AEL manager Pambos Christodoulou immediately after the draw.

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Hero’s welcome for Olympic champ


CYPRUS’ first-ever Olympic medal winner Pavlos Kontides was treated to a hero’s welcome at Larnaca airport yesterday, as his hometown of Limassol prepared to party well into the night.

Kontides’ flight arrived with about a half-hour’s delay, which only served to work the waiting crowd into a frenzy.

The airport terminal was flooded with fans, honking horns and holding up banners reading: “Thank you Pavlos.”

Fire engines sprayed a water arc on the runway close to the bay where Kontides’ plane docked. A similar honour was bestowed on the Anorthosis football club in 2005 after they eliminated Turkey’s Trabzonspor in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds, and to tennis star Marcos Baghdatis for progressing to the Australian Open final in 2006.

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Our View: The right questions need to be asked about airport deal

AUGUST is usually the slowest month of the year for news, which may partly explain the big fuss made about the friendly relations between the director of the president’s diplomatic office, Marios Ieronymides and the Chinese businessman Yang Qi. 

Yang Qi is the owner of the company Far Eastern Phoenix (FEP), which is currently negotiating terms with the government for turning the old Larnaca airport into a regional commercial centre. Newspapers have been crying ‘foul’ because Ieronymides’ Serbian wife was a director of FEP when it made the airport proposal earlier this year. She stepped down in March, around the time the provisional agreement between the FEP and the government had been signed. 

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CB boss says need to be realistic on economy

THE ECONOMY is not likely to come out of recession anytime before 2014, but the coming sacrifices resulting from an EU bailout will ultimately benefit the island, Central Bank governor Panicos Demetriades said last night.

He warned of painful measures such as negative effects on people’s income and also spoke of the importance of being realistic given what the economy is facing. 

“With the aid of the financial support mechanism, and through the consolidation of the banking system and of public finances, I believe we will see light at the end of the tunnel,” the Central Bank chief said yesterday in an exclusive televised interview with the state broadcaster CyBC.

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Sarris resigns after central bank pressure

MICHALIS Sarris, chairman of troubled state-controlled Popular Bank resigned from his post yesterday following pressure from the Central Bank.

Sarris was replaced by board member Andreas Phillipou, who had spent years in banking supervision at the Central Bank.

In a written statement issued after the board meeting, Sarris said he resigned at the behest of the Central Bank but did not wish to comment further.

“Recently, the Central Bank Governor verbally expressed his desire that I depart, noting that this was also the position of the government,” Sarris said. “Since this is the wish of the regulator and main shareholder of the bank … then certainly I will respect it. I believe that this is not the right moment for further comments.”

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Top aide was at deal signing ‘only as a friend’

TOP DIPLOMAT at the Presidential Palace Marios Ieronymides yesterday denied allegations of a conflict of interest in his relationship with the Chinese investor interested in turning the old Larnaca airport into a commercial centre. 

Ieronymides rejected claims that he personally benefited from his “friendship” with Yang Qi, sole shareholder of Far Eastern Phoenix (FEP), the Cyprus-registered company that signed a deal with Hermes Airports on March 22, 2012 for a 19-year lease of the old airport. 

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Fire ravages state forest

A MASSIVE blaze raged into the night yesterday in a state forest in the Nicosia district, with firefighters on standby to ensure the flames did not reach inhabited areas.

The fire broke out in the ‘Aderfi’ state forest around 3.30pm, incinerating more than one square kilometer, according to Forestry officials.

More than 20 firefighting vehicles and 100 men were deployed in a combined effort by the Forestry Department, the Fire Department and Civil Defence.

Two firefighting planes and two choppers joined the efforts but had to stop operating at dusk.

One firefighter was treated for respiratory problems; no injuries were reported.

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Ryanair refunds for cancelled routes

RYANAIR yesterday assured customers who have booked any flights to and from Cyprus, which have been suspended as of November, that they would have their money refunded.

The low-cost carrier confirmed on Wednesday it would be suspending all flights to and from Larnaca airport this winter, starting in November, and cutting back from 15 to four destinations to and from Paphos. The announcement was made after arduous negotiations with the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) failed to have the flights continue throughout the winter period November-March.

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‘DNA test points to rape suspect’


THE 37-YEAR-OLD man suspected of raping a 10-year-old Palestinian boy last week will be appearing in court today to hear the charges against him.

He is next expected to be referred to trial by a criminal court.

The man has been in police custody since last Friday, when he was identified by the alleged victim at Larnaca police headquarters. The suspect was there reporting to police as part of his bail conditions; he was free on bail awaiting trial for attempting to sexually abuse two other children (both boys) last year.

The alleged rape of the Palestinian boy took place last Wednesday.

Reports yesterday said that genetic material collected by authorities matched the suspect’s DNA.

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Cheese makers say no shortages expected

CHEESE-MAKERS yesterday sought to assure consumers that no severe milk shortages would arise as a result of a recent intervention in the market by the competition watchdog.

Earlier this week milk suppliers warned of impending shortages after the Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) had ordered the Pancyprian Cattle Farmers’ Organisation (POA) to supply Pittas Dairies with 65 tonnes of cow milk per day.

The cattle farmers say they have no choice but to comply with the order. But the quota imposed on them for supplying Pittas means they must reduce supplies to other dairy product companies, they claim.

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