Daily Archives: August 22, 2012

Archives August 22, 2012 posted by

APOEL face tough Europa League test

APOEL defied their underdog status last season in the Champions League and will have to face raised expectations when they take on seven-time Azerbaijani champions Neftchi PFC in the first leg of their Europa League playoff round on Thursday evening at 7pm on the artificial turf of the Dalga Arena in Baku.

“Logically this should be the most difficult opponent we have faced so far,” said APOEL President Phivos Erotokritou.

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Archives August 22, 2012 posted by

Church feeling the pinch of austerity


THE Church of Cyprus is looking into cutting expenses faced with diminishing revenues because of the recession, it emerged yesterday.

Archbishop Chrysostomos said wages will be cut, starting at the top and maybe leaving low-earners untouched.

“Revenues are down … and the matter must be radically dealt with because it (recession) will not be over soon,” Chrysostomos told the state broadcaster. “I am afraid it will last a few years.”

It would be the second time in a couple of years that the Church puts austerity measures in place.

Salary raises and cost of living allowance were cut two years ago for most Church employees but, as with the rest of the economy, things are not getting any better.

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Archives August 22, 2012 posted by

Our view: Consulting the experts after the ship has sailed

IT SEEMS there is no end to the stupidity and duplicity that goes on when it comes to ripping off the public – in this case home buyers. 

A year after the government allowed concrete manufacturers to alter the standards of their product, the technical chamber ETEK said on Monday the result has been to lower the quality and durability of today’s buildings.

According to ETEK, under the previous standard it would take 30 to 40 years for a building to need repairs, whereas with the new one, repairs should be expected a lot sooner. The chamber called last year’s decision ‘a step backwards’. 

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Archives August 22, 2012 posted by

Pharmaceutical companies not happy with drugs pricing policy


HEALTH Minister Stavros Malas yesterday dismissed criticism from the head of the pharmaceutical companies’ association (CAPC) who took issue with the announcement of a new pricing policy for medicines.

“What annoyed us to no end was the fact that even though the health minister invited us on Friday morning to express our views, an hour earlier he had already taken decisions that he published and an hour later we all sat down round a table to discuss proposals and solutions on drugs’ pricing,” CAPC head Avgoustinos Potamitis said.

Malas announced on Friday that a new pricing policy – expected to be fully implemented by the end of November – could lead to price reductions between 15 and 50 per cent. 

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Archives August 22, 2012 posted by

Sheep farmers to picket the palace

GOAT AND sheep farmers from all districts will descend upon the presidential palace tomorrow to demand state support to cope with rising prices of animal feed and the full amount of subsidies owed them.  

Head of the Paphos goat and sheep farmers association Evagoras Chrysanthou said yesterday: “We demand the immediate payment of the ‘per animal’ subsidy in its entirety and not the 50 per cent decided last week by cabinet.” 

The cabinet agreed on August 13 to pay at least 50 per cent of the €12m subsidy earmarked for farmers, distributed depending on the number of animals maintained by each farming unit. 

The goat and sheep farmers are calling for the full payment, not half, to be made immediately. 

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Archives August 22, 2012 posted by

'This mockery has gone on far too long'

TAXI DRIVERS will meet with Communications Minister Efthymios Flourentzos tomorrow to discuss a host of long-standing problems facing the sector. 

Taxi drivers want to see the government take measures to deal with the overcrowded sector that has around 2,000 drivers around the island all competing for a slice of an ever-shrinking pie.   

Akis Demosthenous, head of the Nicosia urban taxi drivers’ association, said taxi drivers sent Flourentzos a letter listing their demands on April 5, 2012, noting that it took five months for the minister to invite them to discuss their problems. 

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Archives August 22, 2012 posted by

Noble to start second round of gas drilling

TEXAS-BASED Noble Energy will apparently commence appraisal drilling within its Block 12 concession sometime between this October and March next year.

In the government gazette edition of August 17, the US firm invited bids for two separate contracts which, taken jointly, suggest that it is pressing forward with the natural gas field – approximately nine months after it announced a significant find there.

One of the tenders calls for “bit and hole opener services” – industry jargon for the equipment used to drill undersea wells.

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Archives August 22, 2012 posted by

Warden and prisoner to be charged in convict rape case

POLICE are due to charge a central prison warden and a convict in relation to the alleged rape of a 19-year-old prisoner in December, police spokesman Andreas Angelides said yesterday.

The police – based on instructions by the state’s legal services – are planning to charge the convict with rape and the warden with neglecting his official duty, Angelides said.

The imminent charges relate to rape allegations that came to the fore in March when the ombudswoman’s office was asked to investigate the allegation.

A 19-year-old doing time for burglaries claimed that he was raped when he was locked in his cell with a 50-year-old convicted sexual offender against normal procedure, which is to keep prisoners under the age of 21 in a separate wing.

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Archives August 22, 2012 posted by

Unions say not consulted on new CY board

CYPRUS Airways’ biggest union yesterday criticised the fact that it was not consulted on the appointment of two company employees to the board of directors.

The eight new members were appointed on Monday.

They include a captain and an engineer, who were appointed on condition they give up any union position they held up to that point.

SYNYKA welcomed the appointment of the new board, which will be accompanied with much needed cash, but voiced its disagreement over the lack of consultation.

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Archives August 22, 2012 posted by

Law proposal aims to banish 'frivolous' election candidates

LAWMAKERS are planning to revive a proposal intended to put an end to frivolous candidacies for the presidential elections.

As the law stands, a person may submit a candidacy for the Presidency if he or she is endorsed by one person and backed by eight more individuals. The participation fee is currently just €1,700.

Now, under a legislative proposal – first drafted three years ago  by EDEK MP Fidias Sarikas – candidates would have to be endorsed by at least 1,000 people or by a parliamentary party. The proposal  also provides for a considerable increase in the participation fee.

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