Daily Archives: December 1, 2012

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Bailout deal made public

 

THE government yesterday released the full text of the bailout terms agreed with international lenders, which provides for spending cuts of over €1.2 billion between 2012 and 2016 and widespread reform of the banking and public sectors.

 “All issues in the memorandum have been agreed apart from the amount needed for bank recapitalisation,” Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly said.

The document had been given to parties after receiving the permission of the lenders, collectively known as the troika, and it was not long before it was leaked to the media.

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Our View: Hiring more judges not the answer to system’s woes

SERIOUS concerns were expressed by the President of the Supreme Court Petros Artemis about the backlog of cases facing the courts. In a report, released earlier this week he said that the justice system was in danger of collapsing if measures were not taken to reduce the time it took to process civil, criminal and administrative cases.

The report, endorsed by the Supreme Court was prepared by three judges who found that the “the increase in time delays has recently started to take on alarming proportions.” Efforts to speed up cases had proved ineffective, said the report, referring to the maxim that delaying justice constitutes denying justice. Measures had to be taken immediately in order to turn the situation round the report concluded.

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Cyprus might need €10b for banks

CYPRUS could require up to €10 billion to recapitalise its banks according to a draft deal with international lenders that was released yesterday.

“A bank support facility of up to €10 billion is foreseen under the programme, which will also cover potential future capital needs,” the memorandum said.

The amount is preliminary and could be subject to change as suggested by the brackets surrounding the figure.

The exact amount per bank would be determined in a due diligence exercise. 

Battered by their heavy exposure to debt-stricken Greece, the island’s biggest banks sought state assistance to replenish their capital.

Unable to come up with the cash itself, the government sought a bailout from its EU partners and the IMF.

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Unions on the march

THE UNION movement across Cyprus is planning to hold a work stoppage and mass rally outside Parliament and the Finance Ministry to protest against cost-cutting measures included in the loan agreement with the troika, in transpired yesterday. 

Unions met yesterday for three hours in Nicosia to discuss their response to the cuts in spending on the public payroll promised by the state to international lenders. 

Speaking after the meeting, SEK union boss Nicos Moyseos said all unions found the measures affecting workers and burdening the public with more taxes to be “tough”. 

Union representatives agreed to propose a mass rally attended by the entire union movement to their respective organisations.

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EU jobless rate hits record high, Cyprus at 12.9 per cent

 

EURO zone joblessness has reached a new high and the poor state of the economy is reducing inflation to near two-year lows, raising the prospect of further interest cuts by the European Central Bank.

In Cyprus the unemployment rate hit 12.9 per cent in October compared to 9.2 per cent in October 2011, and 12.2 per cent in September this year. In the eurozone area the jobless rate rose to a record average of 11.7 per cent. 

Cyprus, which is going through its worst recession in around four decades, was behind Greece, and ahead of Spain and Portugal. 

And it is set to get worse in the next two years.

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Deputies briefed on social cuts

SOCIAL allowances worth around €30 million will be cut as part of the government’s austerity drive to meet the terms of a bailout, MPs heard yesterday.

The €30 million concern cuts from the labour ministry’s budget, discussed by the House Finance committee.

In all, the state is expected to cut some €113 million in social transfers.

Labour ministry permanent secretary Giorgos Papageorgiou told MPs that certain allowances given to recipients of state assistance will be cut but the basic aid remains untouched.

“After a lot of effort during the negotiations, we succeeded in keeping the state help for basic needs unaffected,” Papageorgiou said. 

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Pimco: there’s no conflict of interest

THERE are no conflicts of interest in the team members or the management of the Pimco team tasked with reviewing the Cyprus banking system, investing company Pimco said yesterday.

Pimco was responding to allegations by deputies aired this week suggesting that someone in their team was close to an (unnamed) banker who had affected the sector.

Restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal auditing Cyprus’ two major banks has already rubbished vested interest claims made by DISY MP Kyriacos Hajiyiannis who also made the Pimco allegations. 

“Pimco takes very seriously its responsibilities in managing this important project,” the company said in relation to performing independent due diligence of the banking system. 

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Woman arrested after husband stabbed to death

A MAN was killed last night in Limassol after being stabbed in the neck in what police believe to be a case of domestic violence. 

According to Limassol CID head Ioannis Sotiriades, police were called to a house in Kapsalou in the Limassol district where they found a 34-year-old Romanian man lying dead in a pool of blood. 

His 39-year-old Greek Cypriot wife was found at the scene in a state of shock. 

Based on preliminary investigations, Sotiriades said it appeared the couple got into a quarrel after the wife asked her husband to stop drinking alcohol. The dispute turned violent and the 34-year-old ended up with a fatal stab wound to the throat. 

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UN in ‘standoff’ with Turkish military over fence

 

THE UNITED Nations yesterday had a ‘standoff’ with the Turkish army in the buffer zone near the village of Avlona after the latter reinstalled a fence the UN had just removed.

At 9am yesterday, the UN took down a wire fence which the Turkish military had erected in the buffer zone in mid-November without authorisation, spokesman for the UN peacekeeping force (UNFICYP) Michel Bonnardeaux said. The UN removed a fence of barbed wire about 60 metres long and placed it just north of the buffer zone in the occupied areas.

But at around 9.30am, approximately 70 armed Turkish force soldiers arrived and “started to reinstall the fence,” which the UN had already removed, Bonnardeaux said. 

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