Daily Archives: December 21, 2012

Archives December 21, 2012 posted by

Hit and miss for Christmas post

PEOPLE are still waiting for Christmas letters and parcels from the UK, but the postal services said yesterday they were trying to resolve the situation with the Royal Mail.
“Over the past few days – just like last year – we have unfortunately observed delays with UK delivery because there are fewer flights [from the UK to Cyprus],” the head of postal services, Andreas Gregoriou, said.
Delivering postal sacks then becomes by default a lower priority as far as these flights are concerned, Gregoriou said.
Most of the post traffic hails to and from the UK and on average postal services are receiving between 150 and 200 postal sacks a day, an increase of up to 25 per cent compared to the rest of the year, Gregoriou said.
Each sack may weigh a maximum of 30 kilos.

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Our View: Ruling elite once again fail to lead by example

IT WOULD have surprised nobody that the overwhelming majority of deputies voted against the Giorgos Perdikis amendment to a government bill that would have cut the ‘representation allowance’ collected by deputies and senior state officials by 15 per cent. Only seven deputies did not vote against the amendment, which would have led to an additional cut of €300 to their monthly income (the allowance is about €24,000 per year).

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Sweeping changes to public sector pensions

LAWMAKERS yesterday grudgingly endorsed sweeping changes to pension payments in the broader public sector, part of a cost-saving drive agreed between Cyprus and international lenders.
The changes affect retirement age, the calculation of pension benefits, and the one-off retirement bonus. The measures affect people employed in the central government, semi-governmental organisations and local administration.
Employees entitled to a pension and the one-off bonus, having attained the age of 45 or 48 before December 31, 2012, will not experience any reduction in their pension benefits for services rendered up until that date, in the event they do not opt for early retirement.

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MPs not willing to give up their perks

AMID the blitz of salary and benefit cutbacks, the overwhelming majority of MPs on Wednesday voted against a proposal for slashing their own representation allowance by 15 per cent.
The amendment, proposed by Greens MP George Perdikis, was backed by a grand total of seven deputies.
The proposal tabled by Perdikis envisaged adding MPs to the list of state officials – such as permanent secretaries of ministries – who will see a 15 per cent reduction in their monthly representation allowance.
“If with this austerity budget civil servants are on average taking a hit of 10 per cent on their income, then state officials – including ourselves – should set the example with a 20 per cent cut,” Perdikis said yesterday, explaining the logic behind his proposal.

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Shiarly: no issue of haircut

FINANCE MINISTER Vassos Shiarly yesterday denied German press reports that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was seeking a haircut of Cyprus’ debt to make it more sustainable before agreeing to participate in an international bailout of the country.
“There is no issue of a haircut (of Cypriot debt) therefore all these reports in various media are allegations of IMF positions,” said Shiarly yesterday afternoon.
Speaking at a press conference, he added: “The IMF has made no such reference and it is unnecessary to comment on such claims that someone supposedly made.”

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On eve of ‘the end’ Cypriots philosophical about doomsday

THE Cyprus Mail hit the streets of Nicosia yesterday to find out how people felt about the end of the world, which some believe is today.
Despite Mayan prophecies, the majority of those polled didn’t believe the world was ending any time soon and the response was philosophical.
“I have followed the Mayan calendar for the last ten years and I can tell you that there is absolutely no basis to people claiming the world will end,” 34-year-old jewellery-maker Vassiliki said. “The world needs to change, not to end,” she added.

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‘World has another five billion years'

THE MAYAN calendar did not predict the end of the world, according to NASA and ESA scientists, in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).
NASA and ASA also said that there was no such planet called ‘Nibiru’ that will supposedly hit and destroy the Earth.
“I personally have understood that the Mayan calendar is a calendar just like the ones we are using today. After the last day of the currently valid calendar, we will have the first day of the next calendar”, Head of the Space Weather Segment in the European Space Agency Space  Situational Awareness Programme, Juha Pekka Luntama, said.

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Bidder was switched over differing gas estimates

COMMERCE Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis said yesterday that talks with a French-Russian consortium over exploration rights in offshore Block 9 were abandoned because the bidders’ estimate of the gas reserves lying within the prospect did not match the government’s assessment.
It’s understood that, under the working formula, the higher the estimate of reserves in a prospect, the greater the government’s share in a production-sharing contract. It appears that the estimate by the Total-Novatec consortium was lower than the government’s – which would have meant a smaller cut for Cyprus once extraction began.

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‘Use stadium car park or be fined’ Strovolos says

STROVOLOS municipality plans to put an end to illegal parking on pavements, roundabouts and even at stop signs in the area of the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, it said yesterday.
The municipality, with the police have begun a campaign in an attempt to put an end to severe congestion before and after football matches held at the stadium.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday Strovolos Mayor Lazaros Savvides, said the situation had turned into a ‘nightmare’ for many residents near the stadium. “They have every right to complain,” he said. “If you have ever had the chance to go to a football match you would have seen the amount of cars parked illegally, making it very difficult for residents to get to their homes or even ambulances to get into the area,” he added.

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