Daily Archives: January 16, 2013

Archives January 16, 2013 posted by

Baghdatis downs Ito to set up Ferrer clash


MARCOS Baghdatis recovered from a set down to beat Tatsuma Ito of Japan 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of the Australian Open to set up a mouth-watering clash with fourth seed David Ferrer of Spain on Wednesday in Melbourne.

“As I said after my opening match,  I always feel a lot of pressure when playing at the Australian Open so I want to thank all the Greek people who came again and supported me. I really appreciate it,” said Baghdatis afterwards.

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Helicopter crashes into crane on London tower, kills two

A HELICOPTER crashed into a crane on top of one of Europe’s tallest residential blocks on Wednesday, killing two people as it burst into flames and threw plumes of smoke into the foggy air above central London.
Police said there was nothing to suggest a terrorism link to  the crash on the south bank of the River Thames in the British capital, where 52 commuters were killed in rush hour suicide bombings in 2005.
“There was a really loud bang,” said Julie Marsden, who works in an office building near the crash site which is close to landmarks such as the headquarters of Britain’s MI6 international intelligence agency and the Houses of Parliament.
“We saw the crane fall to the ground and this massive plume of black smoke,” Marsden told Reuters.

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Christofias feels the heat in Strasbourg

DEMETRIS Christofias was forced to go on the defensive yesterday at the European Parliament when several MEPs took pot shots at Cyprus over money laundering allegations, and at the Cypriot president’s own communist background.
Christofias was in Strasbourg for a review of the Cyprus EU presidency where he told European lawmakers he believed austerity was the wrong approach to the financial crisis.
“It‘s my firm conviction that unilateral policies of austerity are a guaranteed recipe for failure, only succeeding in making the rich richer and the poor poorer,” Christofias said.

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Our View: Nothing new from presidential debate

THE FIRST of the scheduled television debates of the three main presidential candidates did not receive very good reviews in yesterday’s newspapers and on the radio shows. This was also the sentiment of the candidates and the four journalists asking the questions, at the end of the show.
The general feeling was that the format, agreed beforehand by all parties, did not work as it was too rigid. The studio microphone switched off as soon as the allotted time for a question and an answer ran out, preventing participants from completing their arguments; there was no thematic unity to the questions as each journalist was free to ask whatever he or she wanted changing subject for every candidate.

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Fresh onslaught from German media

WHILE Cyprus has repeatedly denied money laundering charges, the German media has continued to fire broadsides at the island, branding Cyprus a safe haven for dubious money.
In a lengthy report published on Monday, Der Spiegel describes Cyprus a haven for Russian oligarchs who have set up shop on the island.
“Several dozen oligarchs and financial sharks have set up offshore companies in Cyprus, where they can protect their assets, at very favourable tax rates, from the Kremlin-controlled Russian justice system,” the media outlet said.

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Banks follow sovereign downgrade

MOODY`S Investors Service has downgraded the senior unsecured debt and deposit ratings of three Cypriot banks to Caa2 and lowered the standalone credit assessments of two of those banks, Hellenic Bank Public Company Ltd to caa3 from caa2 and Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co Ltd to ca from caa3. The outlook on the banks` senior debt and deposit ratings is negative, the ratings agency said.
According to Moody’s, the rating action was triggered by the downgrade of Cyprus`s government bond rating to Caa3 on January 10, and reflects the uncertainty regarding the timing and conditions of a finalised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Cypriot government and the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank to finance bank recapitalisations.

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‘Milk price ceiling will backfire on shoppers’

MANUFACTURERS and consumer advocacy groups were yesterday seething at the commerce minister’s decision to press forward with a price ceiling on milk, warning that the move would backfire on shoppers.
The cap – both on wholesale and retail prices – is likely to be announced today and if so would be published in the government gazette the following day and thus take immediate effect.
An announcement had been expected yesterday, but the decision was apparently deferred.
But industry sources told the Mail the caps would be €1.41 for retail and €1.32 for wholesale – significantly higher than what milk currently goes for at points of sale.

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Revision of electricity prices to be discussed today

THE ELECTRICITY Authority (EAC) will meet with the energy regulator today to decide on whether to revise electricity prices downwards, after the 4.0 per cent increase imposed last month.
The meeting will take place at the offices of the Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA), following a discussion by the EAC board yesterday on the request made by CERA last week to reconsider its prices.
Chairman of the House Commerce Committee Lefteris Christoforou yesterday called on the EAC to remove the surcharge imposed on consumers after the Mari naval base blast wiped out the island’s main power plant. He argued that the electricity authority has already taken over €100m from consumers who were not to blame for the blast.

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Three sides claim debate victory

THE PARTIES backing the three main contenders in next month’s presidential elections looked back on Monday’s televised debate yesterday, all throwing accusations at their opponents and all trying to assert their own candidate was top dog in the debate.
The contenders discussed the economy on Monday during a live televised debate broadcast by Cyprus’ four main TV channels Sigma, Mega, CyBC and Ant1.
The debate was watched by over 70 per cent of viewers with about 243,000 in the first half. However this number dwindled to a little over 189,000 viewers for the second half, which began at around 10:30pm, according to AGB Cyprus Nielsen audience measurement.

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Tense stand-off as anti-fascists face ELAM

THOSE AMBLING through the streets of old Nicosia last night might have mistaken their location for a battle zone as nationalist party ELAM and anti-fascists squared up outside the old Phaneromeni Church, armed with helmets, clubs and shields.
On one side, in front of the Phaneromeni school and in the churchyard, around one to two hundred ELAM (National Popular Front) supporters gathered to mark the 63rd anniversary of a referendum held in Cyprus in 1950, where 95.7 per cent of those who took part, voted in favour of union (Enosis) with Greece.

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