Daily Archives: August 31, 2012

Archives August 31, 2012 posted by

AEL ready for title defence as Cyprus championship kicks off

AEL are the only Cypriot team remaining in any European competition, while APOEL, Omonia and Anorthosis, who all suffered disappointing early exits from the Europa League, welcome the return of the national championship this weekend.

Defending champions AEL begin their title defence away to newly-promoted Doxa Katokopia on Monday evening at 7pm, after coming agonisingly close to qualifying for the group stage of the Champions League this week.

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Drowning couple rescued by routine drugs-squad patrol

 

A GROUP of police officers from the drugs squad YKAN, risked their lives in the dangerous waters off the Tombs of the Kings Road in Paphos in the early hours of yesterday, to rescue a young couple who got into trouble during a midnight swim.

Three of the four officers ended up in hospital after the dramatic rescue when they found themselves in danger of drowning in the notorious currents in that area. Last night one of them was still in hospital. 

During the rescue, in which they used a rope and tyre, one of the officers stayed on the beach to give first aid to the young couple who were eventually dragged ashore. He also called an ambulance to the scene. 

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Our View: Christofias throws pity party for Diaspora’s benefit

PRESIDENT Demetris Christofias took full advantage of this week’s overseas Cypriots conference to throw his latest pity party. Here was a captive audience, the members of which do not actually live in the country and thus were not here to witness his previous self-pitying outbursts on television.

With teary eyes he apologised to them for the situation on the domestic front, but not because he had anything to do with our dismal predicament.

It was a classic passive aggressive move – blame others for your situation. Can’t keep a job? ‘My co-workers were out to get me’ or ‘everyone else is ruining my life’.

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Farmers say they’ll bring their flocks to EU agriculture meeting

 

GOAT AND sheep farmers last night decided to continue efforts to secure the full subsidy originally pledged to them by the state, agreeing to take their vehicles and animals to Nicosia when the EU agriculture ministers meet next month. 

All goat and sheep farmers’ organisations bar one gathered last night in Pissouri to discuss the next steps in their efforts to save the sector, which they argue is on the verge of collapse due to the continually soaring costs of animal feed. The cut in half of state subsidies is the final nail in the coffin for the sector, argue the farmers, who have threatened to release their animals on the highway if the government does not meet their demands.  

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Writedowns and provisions send BoC into red

BANK of Cyprus yesterday posted a first-half net loss of €134 million on increased provisions for non-performing loans, as it increased its requirements for state assistance by €230 million.

“Taking into account the deterioration of its loan portfolio, the Group significantly increased the provisions for loan impairment to €568 million for the first half of 2012, raising the accumulated provisions on June 30, 2012 to €2.0 billion and the coverage ratio of non-performing loans to 50 per cent from 46 per cent,” BoC said.

Taking into account tangible collateral at forced sale value, the overall coverage ratio was 106 per cent, the lender said.

The bank had reported a net loss of €107 million in the first half of 2011.

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BoC appoints new chairman

BANK of Cyprus yesterday appointed Andreas Artemis as chairman to succeed businessman Theodoros Aristodemou who resigned earlier in the week for health reasons.

The island’s biggest lender also said Evdokimos Xenophontos had been appointed vice-chairman.

“We know the difficulties and the problems, but we are determined, with the necessary changes, to restore confidence, stability and credibility in the Bank of Cyprus (BoC),” Artemis said.

BoC sought state assistance in June to cover losses from its exposure to Greek bonds.

Its chief executive resigned shortly afterwards

Artemis pledged to set a new course for the group by tackling the problems through hard work and strict adherence to the rules of corporate governance.

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Central Bank cannot order return of money to investors

THE Central Bank yesterday sought to clarify that it was not within its powers to order the return of money to people who were misled into buying bank securities.

The regulator said it has received hundreds of letters from people claiming banks had used deception “aiming in promoting the sale of securities to individuals who did not have the knowledge to adequately assess the risks involved.”

The matter came to the fore recently after the island’s troubled banks suspended interest payments for the high-yield securities.

Investors feel they have been tricked into buying bank securities or converting securities into useless shares.

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‘Watershed moment’ for EU budget

NEGOTIATIONS ON the seven-year EU budget worth around a trillion euros reached “a watershed moment” yesterday, said Deputy Minister for EU Affairs Andreas Mavroyiannis following a key meeting of EU ministers in Nicosia.

The Cypriot diplomat hailed the progress made in the negotiations on the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) during the informal meeting of European Ministers and State Secretaries for EU Affairs, chaired by the Cyprus EU presidency.  

Negotiations on the EU’s MFF for the period 2014-2020 are considered to be the “biggest issue” Cyprus will have to face during its six-month presidency of the EU Council ending at the close of 2012. 

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Confusion persists over personal data law

 

THE PERSONAL data commissioner said yesterday he would arrange for a meeting with police to settle a dispute over whether the force is allowed to film people at public gatherings.

“I will meet with the chief of police (Michalis Papageorgiou) to discuss whether they should be allowed to film at the sign of trouble,” commissioner Yiannos Danielides said.

He told the Cyprus Mail yesterday he would discuss whether to allow police to record trouble at demonstrations, although on Tuesday he had said that even when there was trouble the police should not film people.

He had said police should not film people at public events in anticipation of trouble – prevention – because it violated the law on personal data processing.

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Looking good for DISY-DIKO alliance

DISY and DIKO yesterday agreed on the principles that would guide the handling of the Cyprus problem if the two opposition parties eventually agree to join forces for February’s presidential elections.

The two parties agreed that active participation of the EU would be sought in any new effort for the national issue and that Turkey would be accountable for any proposals tabled by the Turkish Cypriot side, DISY leader and presidential candidate Nicos Anastasiades said after a meeting with a DIKO delegation led by party leader Marios Garoyian.

It was also agreed that any decisions would be discussed with the other political parties at the National Council, based on the view that any effort should be the result of dialogue and consensus.

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