Daily Archives: August 17, 2012

Archives August 17, 2012 posted by

Our View: The government continues to delude itself over bailout

THE SAGA of the elusive Russian loan continues to drag on with the government at pains to keep it alive. The official language used is now much more cautious, with President Christofias’ spokesmen content to say that there had been no rejection by Moscow, which meant the matter was still open. 

The acting government spokesman, speaking about the loan, after Christofias’ telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin, the previous week, tried to attribute the delay to the fact that it “was not a simple issue but an issue with many aspects.”  It was encouraging that Moscow had not said ‘no’ he felt. 

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Desalination supply cut on rain bonanza


THE government has decided to cover the country’s potable water needs mainly through reserves rather than through desalination in a bid to save money, it was announced yesterday.

“The lowest possible quantities of desalinated water will be used so as to reduce the burden on the budget without compromising the emergency reserves in the reservoirs,” the water development board said in a written statement.

The decision, taken by the cabinet on Monday, was based on the fact that Cyprus saw above-normal rain in the past autumn and winter with reservoirs in June holding 91 per cent of their capacity, or 264.5 million cubic metres of water.

Rainfall between October 2011 and May 2012 reached 131 per cent.

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Ordeal in Ayia Napa


POLICE appeared to be at a loss yesterday when asked for confirmation about a number of sexual assault incidents, each involving an alleged ‘gang’ of six men in Ayia Napa.

A 19-year-old woman said that on Wednesday at about 3.30am in the tourist resort she was raped in an assault involving six men. Wednesday’s report came after a British tourist couple said they were set-upon in the early hours of Sunday on Nissi beach  by six men who tried to sexually assault the woman.

And last year in July an Irish newspaper reported that two young women had each been raped by a member of a ‘gang of six men’ on two separate nights a week apart.  

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Cyprus slips deeper into recession


CYPRUS slid deeper into recession in the second quarter of the year, according to preliminary data released this week, with economic output contracting by 0.8 per cent on a quarterly basis as most sectors of the economy suffered bar tourism and banking.

The prolonged slump adds to the challenge facing Cyprus, which applied to its European Union partners for a financial lifeline in June to buffer its banks, battered by their exposure to Greece, and plug deficits from the worst recession in more than three decades.

Flash data released by the statistics service showed Cyprus recorded its fourth quarterly contraction in the second quarter. 

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Tourist dies after he and four friends drank ‘enough for 30 people’

A 20-YEAR-OLD British tourist, George Yuill, who died on Monday morning at a tourist apartment in Ayia Napa choked on his own vomit, according to state pathologist Eleni Antoniou.

“He suffered from asphyxiation…he choked on his vomit,” said Antoniou, who conducted the post-mortem on Tuesday.

According to Antoniou, authorities were waiting for toxicology results now to see how much alcohol was in his system and whether he had combined it with drugs.

“He was very drunk; we think that he had combined alcohol and drugs,” said Antoniou.

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'Heavy financial and environmental cost'

WATCHING a new wave of fires from the top of the hill in the Larnaca village of Lefkara just a day after authorities brought a number of blazes under control, Gabriella Korniotou, 72, said her stomach was in knots.

“The helicopters were coming and going with water; they would take the blaze out and then it would start elsewhere,” she said. “It burnt everything,” Korniotou added. “So many trees and shrubs destroyed – Lefkara’s beauty…now they’re all black.”

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Boost for Paphos from domestic tourism

THE occupancy of Paphos hotels reached 95 per cent in recent days, boosted by Cypriots and Russian tourists, a tourism official said yesterday.

“The arrival of Russian tourists continues and is quite satisfactory,” said the chairman of the district’s hoteliers’ committee, Themis Philipides. 

Arrivals from Russia jumped 40.7 per cent year-on-year in July, compensating for the 9.1 per cent reduction in traffic from the UK – the island’s main market.

But Paphos apparently benefited from locals’ decision not to travel abroad this year because of the downturn.

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New round of contacts with Israel on gas

A CYPRIOT delegation is heading out to Israel early next month to discuss the possibility of importing natural gas from the neighbouring country as a stopgap solution.

Energy chief Solon Kassinis said they would be visiting Israel on September 2 for exploratory talks with Israeli officials, including Shaul Tzemach, Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Energy and Water Resources.

The Cypriot committee tasked with discussing possible gas imports comprises officials from the Energy Service (Commerce Ministry) the Natural Gas Public Company, the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority and the Electricity Authority.

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€1m worth of watches stolen in daylight robbery

THIEVES pulled off a daylight robbery in Limassol yesterday, lifting wristwatches worth some €1 million from a shop that was closed for the holidays.

The brazen heist took place on Makarios Avenue around 3pm, police said. They were alerted to the break-in by a private security firm.

To cover their tracks, the perpetrators covered the storefront with a fabric of the same colour as the shop’s sign, allowing them to steal the goods incognito. They were assisted by the fact the streets were practically deserted at the time.

The stolen watches are insured. Limassol CID is investigating.

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