Daily Archives: January 6, 2013

Archives January 6, 2013 posted by

Christofias’ swansong scales new heights of absurdity

 

WHENEVER we hear the statements made by President Christofias and AKEL’s top brass we become confused. We form the impression that either we are living in another country or that they are addressing people in another country. 

The only sure thing is that they could not be in Cyprus, addressing Cypriots and talking such incoherent nonsense. Christofias, reaching new heights of the irrationality that has marked his words and deeds for a long time now, came up with another classic a few days ago – he was leaving office, proud of his achievements.

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Our future is at stake

 

EVEN THOUGH the government spokesman has recently demanded that I refrain from making public statements I feel that I have a duty towards my fellow citizens to inform them about how crucial the next few weeks are and what exactly is at stake.

The events of the past few months are well known. The public debt during this government’s term has become unsustainable due to the excessive increase of the state’s expenditure and its undertaking of non-productive future expenditure. This conclusion can be drawn from the recent report of the European Commission’s (Fiscal Sustainability Report 2012).

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Six days in a hell-hole heart of darkness

 

HOW BADLY have repeated troika austerity measures affected the average Greek? We know standards of living there for the majority have fallen well below what they were three years ago, many tentatively employed at the inception of the first round of measures now finding themselves both on the dole and breadline. A university professor’s salary cut from 2800 euros a month to 800 during this past two years is just one example of troika driven impoverishment.

It is often claimed with considerable bitterness that this worldwide economic crisis has hit the middle and lower classes hard, leaving the rich to get ‘filthier’, but I do wonder whether that is entirely the case. 

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The effects of recession on wealth in Cyprus

In Cyprus the recession and stagnation that characterises the response of the local economy to the international economic and financial crisis have concentrated on the issues of changes in output (GDP), the budget deficit, the sovereign credit ratings, the banks and the effects of the Greek crisis, but very little has been said about the wealth effects of the crisis. This is in contrast to the United States where wealth is at the centre of discussion, in terms of both the origins of the crisis, notably non-performing mortgage loans, heavily borrowed households, leading to toxic bonds and the collapse of house prices and a lower or stagnant demand by the population at large. In Cyprus, however, the sequence of events has been more complex and in some ways more surprising.

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Peace dividend of a settlement

 

WITH a new year come hopes of better things. Topping my list of those ‘things’ would be an agreed settlement in Cyprus. The peace dividend would be huge and perfect for a cash-strapped south and a north dependent on Ankara, as well as for Greece and Turkey. Imagine a united Cyprus at the centre of a region of cooperation involving energy, water, tourism, higher education. The list goes on.

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Fracking is just one more energy myth

 

WHICH of the following statements is true? The United States now has a 100-year supply of natural gas, thanks to the miracle of shale gas. By 2017 it will once again be the world’s biggest oil producer. By 2035 it will be entirely “energy-independent”, and free in particular from its reliance on Middle Eastern oil.

Unless you’ve been dead for the past couple of years, you’ve been hearing lots of enthusiastic forecasts like this, but not one of them is true. They are generally accompanied by sweeping predictions about geopolitics that are equally misleading, at least insofar as they depend on assumptions about cheap and plentiful supplies of shale gas and other forms of “unconventional” oil and gas.

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Central Bank defends rehiring retired staff

AT LEAST two Central Bank employees who took early retirement to avoid losing any benefits have been re-hired by the regulator on contracts, the Sunday Mail has learned.
The two, Maria Stefani, secretary of Senior Director Spyros Stavrinakis, and Maria Papadopoulou, were both re-hired on contracts after opting to take early retirement to avoid losing any of their benefits as part of new legislation that came into force this month.
The Central Bank said the contracts were for a short period and were deemed necessary to ensure the smooth operation of the organisation in light of the rising number of early retirements.

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Tales from the coffeeshop: Tof the terrible congratulates himself for job well done

WE WOULD like to wish a happy and healthy New Year to all our customers. We have omitted the adjective ‘prosperous’ from our wishes, in case anyone thought we were taking the piss or engaging in black humour. If there is one thing that is certain about 2013 it is that, for most people, it will be anything but prosperous.
On the plus side, after February the clique of incompetent, commie half-wits who have turned a once-thriving plantation into a wasteland will not be able to cause any more destruction as they will leave office. On the minus side, by March there could be nothing left to save for the successor of Tof the Terrible.

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‘It’s always someone else’s fault’

 

“There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!” Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, Iraqi information minister declared in April 2003 just hours before Iraqi troops fell to US forces.

Were those infamous words, and others like them, uttered by that peerless master of spin, Comical Ali a.k.a. Baghdad Bob, a testament to propaganda-gone-overboard, or an exercise in self-delusion? A bit of both perhaps. Whichever way you see it, it encapsulates a state of being out of touch with reality. 

What’s all this got to do with us, you ask. Well, closer to home, it feels like someone else has declared open season on common sense.

Lately, President Demetris Christofias’ rhetoric has grown more and more puzzling, his behaviour increasingly erratic.

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DISY leader brands Christofias as a monomaniac

MAIN opposition leader Nicos Anastasiades yesterday described President Demetris Christofias as a monomaniac and urged him to come clean on whether he had agreed to privatising public companies if the island’s debt was deemed unsustainable.
“He ought to boldly say if he has agreed or not to negotiate the issue of privatising semi-state organisations if our debt proves to be unsustainable,” Anastasiades said. “It is in the memorandum. Consequently, to say something else before a party audience is sad and not fitting for a president.”
A preliminary agreement struck between international lenders and the government says that “if necessary to restore debt sustainability, the Cyprus authorities will consider a privatisation programme for state-owned and semi-public companies.”

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