Daily Archives: August 30, 2012

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Chelsea open European title defence against Juve

Chelsea will start the defence of the Champions League trophy they won so dramatically last season with a Group E match against former winners Juventus at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian champions, who have lifted the European Cup twice, should give Chelsea a stern test on September 19 before Roberto di Matteo’s side face Danish newcomers FC Nordsjaelland and Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

An intriguing series of games is in prospect in Group D with nine-times European champions Real Madrid joined by English champions Manchester City, Dutch league winners Ajax Amsterdam and German champions Borussia Dortmund.

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Our view: Some perspective needed when it comes to personal data protection

A HUGE fuss has been created over police officers filming farmers during last week’s violent demonstration outside the presidential palace.

Among the detractors was the commissioner for the protection of personal data Yiannos Danielides, who said the police action was a form of personal data processing and should cease. “Any processing has to be legal, have a specific purpose and not be excessive,” he said. 

Police chief Michalis Papageorgiou responded angrily yesterday saying it was perfectly within the force’s right to take video footage at violent protests. He said no filming was done up to the point the violence broke out. Also he asked several other member states what their policies were.

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Christofias laments 'state of the domestic front' to Diaspora

 

PRESIDENT Demetris Christofias yesterday lamented the sorry state of the domestic political front and what he called the “lack of understanding” in the country, saying it is one of the reasons he had decided not to run for president again.

In an emotional few moments as he spoke with delegations of overseas Cypriots,  Christofias said: “I do not know if I am leaving with a heavy heart or whether a great weight will be lifted from me, considering there is no mutual understanding in this place,” Christofias told the delegations of overseas Cypriots. “I am sorry for the situation on the domestic front.”

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Police say there's nothing illegal in filming protests

POLICE only video-record trouble that may take place during gatherings, the chief of police said yesterday, as he defended the force against criticism that it was keeping tabs on people.

The force has come under fire after it was reported that they had been filming a farmers’ protest, which turned violent, outside the presidential palace last week.

The personal data commissioner said filming or taking photographs in anticipation of trouble is not legally allowed.

Police chief Michalis Papageorgiou said unsubstantiated criticism, without taking all views into consideration, can only do damage to the police and society in general.

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Minister agrees that the 'farmers are hard done by'

SHEEP AND goat farmers were yesterday promised a series of measures to help their profession survive, though Agriculture Minister Sophoclis Aletraris made it clear that a decision to halve state funding would not be revoked for the time being.

A meeting was held at the agriculture ministry to find ways to help the sector, after farmers last week took to the streets to protest a recent cabinet decision taking their state subsidy from €12 million to under €6 million. The protests even turned violent, with farmers saying their profession was buckling under the constant increase in international animal feed prices.

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'The Republic has a place for everyone'

GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN Stefanos Stefanou yesterday defended the government’s decision to hire a Turkish Cypriot at Cyprus’ permanent representation in Brussels, citing “political reasons”. 

The spokesman was put in the rather unusual position of having to explain why a Turkish Cypriot holding a degree from a university in the north was hired for the purposes of Cyprus’ EU Presidency following an article in yesterday’s Phileleftheros

The popular Greek Cypriot daily ran an article on its front page, saying “serious questions were raised by the conditions under which a Turkish Cypriot was hired for the Cyprus Presidency”, highlighting that the person in question graduated from a university in the breakaway regime. 

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Bank of Cyprus chairman resigns 'for health reasons'

BANK of Cyprus (BoC) chairman Theodoros Aristodemou has resigned for health reasons, it was announced yesterday.

Aristodemou, a property developer, said in a letter to the board that “serious health issues” had forced a two-month absence abroad, and it was unclear when he could fully resume his duties.

“I judge that continuing to hold the position of president does not facilitate the smooth and unhindered operation of the group at an especially difficult time,” Aristodemou said.

Aristodemou, the lender’s biggest Cypriot shareholder, assumed the chairmanship in May 2008. He had been a member of the board since 1991.

In his letter, Aristodemou refrained from entering the ongoing banking fray, saying it would not contribute positively.

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Investigators will report any criminal liability

A PROFESSIONAL services firm hired to investigate why the country’s two largest banks had to seek state support will also seek evidence of potential criminal offences, the Cyprus News Agency reported yesterday, citing Central Bank sources.

“If the firm, before it issues the final report, comes across some evidence, which signals civil or criminal liability” it will inform the Central Bank and give the information to the Attorney-general to examine the matter, CNA said, citing un-named sources inside the Central Bank.

The Central Bank said last week it had appointed Alvarez & Marsal to investigate what led the country’s two largest banks, Bank of Cyprus and Popular, to seek state support.

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'No question of default on debts'

CYPRUS will not default on its debts, the government said yesterday, amid a raging war of words with the opposition.

“We will not default on our payments; I am stating it again so that we don’t start the same discussion,” government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou told reporters.

He had been asked if the country would receive the monetary assistance it had asked for by November to avoid a default.

Cyprus applied for assistance from its EU partners and the International Monetary Fund – the troika — in June.

Troika officials have visited the island twice since in a bid to assess the scale of the assistance that is expected to be accompanied with painful austerity.

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Potato growers charged by police, who acted as protest escort

POLICE have charged the leaders of potato farmers organisations with violating traffic regulations during a protest last week.

Famagusta police spokesman George Economou told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that they had charged two men: the head of the Cyprus potato producers’ association, Andreas Karyos, and the head of the Cyprus potato growers’ coordinating committee, Nicos Vasilas. He said charges including violating the highway code.

Vasilas said that he was called to Xylofagou police station on Tuesday afternoon when he was told he was facing charges in relation to the protest.

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