Daily Archives: December 15, 2012

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CY returns with begging bowl asking for €73 million

 

AILING state carrier Cyprus Airways (CY) is asking the state for an additional €73 million as part of a restructuring plan to make the company viable, it emerged yesterday.

This would be over and above some €31 million requested earlier this year, with €15 million already granted.

“I understand the difficult economic conditions we are going through but this company cannot go forward if new capital is not injected to keep it going until the summer and give the time necessary for its restructuring,” CY chairman Stavros Stavrou told reporters.

A viable restructuring plan was a condition set by parliament earlier this year before releasing the second tranche of €31 million requested by the airline.

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Our View: Government playing risky game with savings of employees

 

THE GOVERNMENT is now suffering the consequences of the inexcusable stalling tactics it had employed with regard to the bailout. It allowed August and September to pass without engaging in any meaningful exchange with the troika, in October it put together incomplete counter-proposals and it spent most of November negotiating with the troika over the final package, which President Christofias only agreed to when the danger of a banking collapse was on the cards.

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State needs €400m for December payroll

THE GOVERNMENT is walking a fine line between international and domestic lenders, trying to convince both that it pays its debts, in an effort to keep the state afloat until the EU/IMF bailout arrives to quench parched state coffers. 

The state has to come up with approximately €400m this month to meet its payroll obligations, including public workers’ 13th salaries. It expects most of this sum from profitable semi-government organisations (SGOs) in the form of loans. 

The Ports Authority has already pledged €38m to the state, with the offer of a further €12m if needed. 

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Cyprus ‘more serious than Greece’ says Juncker

THE FISCAL situation in Cyprus is “more serious than Greece,” a danger overlooked by markets, Luxembourg Prime Minister and Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker said yesterday.

“My priority in the short-term for 2013 is Cyprus,” Juncker, who is set to step down at the end of this year or the beginning of the next, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. “It’s a problem one shouldn’t underestimate, because it’s more serious than Greece. This isn’t taken into consideration by the financial markets or the international press.” 

Markets had however given the earliest indication Cyprus was poised for a bailout, after the island was virtually locked out of international capital markets in May-June 2011. 

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Ministry says 13th salaries must be paid

THE LABOUR Ministry yesterday issued an announcement, warning employers that failure to pay workers’ 13th salaries was a criminal offence. 

As the end of the year draws near, many private sector workers who avoided redundancy but saw significant wage cuts are asking whether they will get their 13th salary this year. 

According to the ministry, in sectors of employment where the 13th salary is usually paid, the law considers the second salary paid every December as part of the worker’s annual salary, making non-payment a violation of Article 35(I) 2007 of the Wage Protection Law.

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Fine defaulters to be put on stop list

PEOPLE who owe money to the government will be forced to pay their fines before leaving Cyprus as police step up their efforts to recoup the €135 million owed to the state in unpaid fines.

According to a police spokesman, members of the force will be checking everyone passing through Cyprus’ airports to determine if they have any unpaid fines or if they owe social insurance or income tax.

“These measures have been put in place in attempt to gather the €135 million in uncollected fines or social insurance and income tax payments,” member of the police top brass, Demetris Pitsillides told state broadcaster, Radio Trito. 

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Archbishop: unions have to back off

ARCHBISHOP CHRYSOSTOMOS II yesterday called on the public to roll up its sleeves and work its way out of the crisis, while warning unions that any strike action now would be “unacceptable”. 

In a clear broadside at the union movement, Chrysostomos, who runs the Cyprus Church and oversees its sizeable business interests on the island, told unions to “get real” and get working so Cyprus can see better days.  

“What I want to say, and I don’t care if I’ll be misunderstood, is that it would be unacceptable to have strikes in this country over the issue of wage increases. We have lived through the invasion, and all workers accepted a 50 per cent wage cut,” he said. 

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Front-row seats to the non-end of the world

NEXT Friday, December 21 may be seen by some as the day the world will end, but the unconvinced Fakas Institute in Nicosia is organising an event for those who want a front-row seat for the end, or the non-end.

On the night in question – if the world has not already ended earlier in the day – people can visit the institute from 8pm until 10pm to revel in the fact that the doomsayers were proved wrong.

There, members of the astronomical community in Cyprus will be able to discuss the end of the world scenarios with the head of the astronomical society of Cyprus, Yiangos Stylianou, MP Andreas Pitsillides and astrophysicists Stelios Tsangarides and Chrysanthos Fakas. 

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‘Cyprus’ presidency was a success’

 

CYPRUS managed to have a successful EU presidency despite its size and economic problems, President Demetris Christofias said yesterday, following the last European Council under his term.

“Cyprus has shown that despite its small geographical size and despite its economic problems it held a quite successful presidency,” Christofias said during a press conference that wrapped up the last European Council of the Cypriot presidency that ends this month. “It was indeed a very difficult task for us, a task however which I think we have carried out with dignity.”

Christofias said the European Council meeting was another step towards the completion of the economic and monetary union, adding that there was still a long way to go and the momentum had to be kept up.

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