Daily Archives: January 9, 2013

Archives January 9, 2013 posted by

Confident Baghdatis progresses at Kooyong Classic

MARCOS Baghdatis progressed at the Kooyong Classic on Wednesday after Serbian Janko Tipsarevic pulled out of the eight-man exhibition tournament with a wrist injury early in the second set.

Tipsarevic was trailing Baghdatis 1-6, 0-1 in their encounter when he was unable to continue. It is the third injury withdrawal of the tournament after Japan’s Kei Nishikori also pulled out with a knee problem and was replaced by Croatian Ivan Dodig.

Tipsarevic won last week’s Chennai tournament playing with painkillers, a luxury he did not allow himself at Kooyong in order to test the problem.

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Eurozone gloom at new jobless total


RECORD unemployment and struggling social welfare systems in southern Europe risk dividing the continent, the EU has warned as new figures showed joblessness across the eurozone hit a new high.

Official data showed unemployment in the 17 countries that use the currency rose to 11.8 per cent in November, the highest since the euro was founded in 1999. The rate was up from 11.7 per cent in October and 10.6 per cent a year earlier.

In the wider 27-nation EU unemployment broke the 26 million mark for the first time with the jobless rate increasing in 18 countries, falling in seven and remaining stable in Denmark and Hungary. 

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Our View: Re-hiring of retired central bank staff is unjustified

IN ITS last issue, the Sunday Mail carried a report about the Central Bank re-hiring, on contracts, employees who had opted for early retirement. Three of them benefited in this way, collecting their retirement bonus, without paying income tax as will be the case for all public employees who retire from this year onwards, and having their monthly pension calculated by the old method, that was scrapped at the end of 2012.

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‘The right people are now in charge’

CYPRUS is on the road to cleaning out its banking sector and winning back the trust of the markets, Central Bank governor Panicos Demetriades said on Monday in his first address to eurozone ambassadors in Nicosia.  

In a comprehensive discussion on the trials and tribulations of the banking system in Cyprus and the government’s efforts to secure a bailout from the European Stability Mechanism, Demetriades acknowledged that an entrenched culture existed in the banking sector which exasperated the problems facing the country, resulting in its overexposure to Greece. 

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Race to minimise worst-case debt scenario

CYPRUS is trying to avert adoption of the worst-case scenario concerning the amount needed for bank recapitalisation, which would make the island’s debt unsustainable and lead to additional austerity measures, including privatisation of public companies.

The matter was discussed behind closed doors by the House Finance Committee while the Central Bank has hired investment management corporation BlackRock to help it convince lenders to adopt the baseline scenario, which reportedly calls for €7.0 billion instead of the worst-case €10 billion.

BlackRock was selected due to its experience with neighbouring Greece, where it carried out the due diligence for the banks.

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Coldest spell so far this winter

NICOSIA could see light snowfall today as Cyprus is experiencing the coldest days so far of the current winter period with lower mountain regions already hit with snow.

“Most of Cyprus and the south-eastern Mediterranean has been affected by a low pressure weather-front which has brought with it rain and storms,” high-ranking official at the Meteorological Service, Kleanthis Nicolaides said. “The front has moved north-easterly meaning Cyprus is being affected by the colder part of it, resulting in a fall in temperatures. There have been no rain storms because clouds cannot develop at low grounds, although light rain and snowfall can occur above heights of 3500 to 4000 feet,” he added.

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‘Drastic trimming’ at Cyprus Airways

FOUR out of ten Cyprus Airways staff could be made redundant while those remaining would take a 10 per cent cut in salaries, under a restructuring plan drawn up to salvage the ailing national carrier.

Devised by Air France and KLM, the plan advocates a drastic trimming down of the company, widely considered to be bloated after decades of unchecked hiring. The airline currently has some 1,000 people on its payroll.

CY’s management, administration and trade unions are currently engaging in intensive consultations with a view to agreeing a formula acceptable to all sides. But that looks like a hard sell, even as the company stares bankruptcy in the face.

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Talks to begin on importing gas

CYPRUS expects soon to begin negotiations with natural gas suppliers with a view to importing by January 2015, Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis said yesterday.

As a stopgap, the government wants to import gas for electricity production until such time as the island is able to exploit its own offshore hydrocarbon reserves.

Using natural gas to fire power plants would drive down the price of electricity, though not dramatically, Sylikiotis said.

Electricity prices in Cyprus are currently the highest in the EU.

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New consortia want to drill twice in three years

THE Italian-Korean and the French-led oil consortia have proposed drilling for gas twice within the space of three years after exploration contracts have been signed.

The companies’ approach to gas exploration in Cyprus’ offshore blocks is far more “aggressive” than Noble Energy’s on Block 12, commerce minister Neoclis Sylikiotis said yesterday.

Talks are ongoing with the companies selected for the offshore blocks in the second licensing round; yesterday authorities met again with officials from the ENI-Kogas consortium to discuss the latter’s bids for blocks 2, 3 and 9, followed by a meeting with the France’s Total regarding blocks 10 and 11. The government hopes to conclude these negotiations as fast as possible.

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