Daily Archives: January 3, 2013

Archives January 3, 2013 posted by

Island-wide fuel station strike announced


PETROL stations across the island will shut down today for an indefinite period, as operators demand a freeze in new licences until parliament passes new legislation to regulate the market.

 The operators’ association said it was left with no other choice after numerous discussions with authorities yielded no results.

“There was no other option but to proceed with the decision to shut down all filling stations from Friday, January 4,” the association said. “Our demand is for a freeze in licences until new regulation and criteria for the operation of fuel stations are approved by parliament.”

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Cyprus issues formal apology to Egyptian ambassador

THE GOVERNMENT had to eat crow yesterday over the Larnaca airport diplomatic fiasco that threatened to stain bilateral relations with Egypt over security checks on a diplomat’s boots. 

Upon instructions of President Demetris Christofias, Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis yesterday apologised for the incident at Larnaca airport last Saturday which saw Egyptian ambassador to Cyprus, Menha Mahrous Bakhoum, swear at and slap a police officer, claiming she was the victim of humiliating verbal and physical abuse by police duty officers. 

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On the brink of all-out pump strike


LONG queues formed last night at petrol stations in the south-east, as people rushed to the pumps to fill up over fears of an indefinite nationwide strike.

The strike threatens to close every filling station in Cyprus by tomorrow.

Petrol station owners in the Famagusta area, where the strike began, say they are furious over the creation of new operators in their area, claiming that the number of garages could rise from 28 to 48 and that their businesses face ruin with the increased competition.

As stations shut up in the Famagusta area, there was gridlock at many garages on the border of the Larnaca district with queues blocking roads and carriageways as news that self-service machines were also being switched-off spread.

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Christofias ‘in no mood’ to bow to state sell-off demands

PRESIDENT Demetris Christofias said yesterday he had no intention of privatising semi-state companies as part of a bailout deal as he blamed the former Central Bank governor once more for the island’s predicament.

“We are leaving (office) with our head held high and proud for our services to the Cypriot people for the past 90 years or so and our services in the last five years,” Christofias said during a New Year event at ruling AKEL’s Nicosia district office. 

The president, who will not be seeking re-election in February, blamed the banks for Cyprus’ economic woes and former CB governor Athanasios Orphanides whom he accused yet again of lax supervision.

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Shiarly: financing needs covered until March

FINANCE Minister Vassos Shiarly said yesterday the state’s financing needs were covered until March pending finalisation of a bailout agreement with international lenders.

Speaking on state radio, the minister said plans have been drafted so that the new government that will take over after February’s election will have the necessary funds to cover March.

Last month, the government warned public organisations that it was just days away from defaulting in a bid to convince them to lend the state some €240 million.

Cyprus has come to a preliminary agreement with international lenders over a much-needed bailout, whose finalisation depends on the total amount needed for bank recapitalisation.

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Church-state tensions bubble over

CHURCH AND state are once again at loggerheads over who’s more pitiful, just days after the president and archbishop stood side by side at the Nicosia hospital calling for greater optimism from the people. 

The latest spat began on New Year’s Day when Archbishop Chrysostomos II bemoaned the fact that no government representative showed up to the special service held at St Ioannis Church at the Archbishopric to welcome in the New Year.   

Speaking to reporters after the service, Chrysostomos noted the absence of the president and his cabinet from the service with some choice words. 

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Man found stabbed to death on pavement

A 34-YEAR-OLD man was found stabbed to death on the pavement in a residential area of Polemidia in Limassol at 8.15pm on New Year’s Day, police said yesterday.

Yiannis Christodoulou aka ‘Foxy’ was found next to his car with the ignition still running when police arrived at the scene after residents called about hearing a heated argument. 

According to eye-witness reports, Christodoulou from Trachoni in Limassol, was cut off in his car by two men in another vehicle. He was forced out of his car and the three began arguing, police said.

In the ensuing scuffle, the two perpetrators stabbed Christodoulou with a sharp object, believed by police to be a knife. 

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Popular expects reduced 2012 loss

POPULAR Bank expects its 2012 results to show a reduced after-tax loss compared with its record loss in 2011, it said in a stock exchange filing yesterday.

In an announcement dated December 31 but released yesterday, the nationalised bank said lower losses were anticipated from reduced impairment charges on Greek government bonds and goodwill.

It said however it would book higher provisions and anticipate lower operating income in a challenging business climate in both Greece and Cyprus, its two main markets.

Popular, Cyprus’ second-largest bank, reported a €2.5 billion net loss in 2011.

Popular was nationalised in mid-2012 after its regulatory capital took a severe hit from its heavy exposure to a writedown on its holdings of Greek sovereign debt.

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