Daily Archives: January 19, 2013

Archives January 19, 2013 posted by

All square in big Nicosia derby

ARCH-RIVALS APOEL and Omonia played out a 1-1 draw in the opening match of Round 18 of the Cyprus football championship on Saturday at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia.

Omonia started the match on top and, for the first 15 minutes, had the vast majority of possession and two decent chances. However, when Helio Pinto scored for APOEL after a quarter of an hour, the game turned in favour of the designated hosts.

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Candidates bask in the spotlight

A RECORD 11 people submitted their candidacy yesterday at the Hilton in Nicosia for the February 17 presidential elections.

Cameramen, photographers and journalists stalked the comings and goings of the candidates as they each came at a set time with their respective supporters for an orchestrated dance that started at 9am sharp and was over by noon. 

First up was AKEL-backed Stavros Malas whose entourage included former finance minister Kikis Kazamias, AKEL parliamentary representative Nicos Katsourides, and agriculture minister Sophoclis Aletraris who also nominated him as candidate. 

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Our View: AKEL rationale on IPT is very superficial

IT SEEMS there cannot be an immovable property tax (IPT) that would satisfy everyone. The second IPT bill, submitted by the government in the space of a couple of months was rejected by the majority of the legislature on Thursday, on the grounds that more time was needed to study its provisions in depth. The bill had been submitted as ‘urgent’, the government hoping to have had it approved before Monday’s meeting of the Euro group, which was why the House plenum was obliged to vote on it on Thursday.

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Shiarly: we did what was expected, and more


CYPRUS is asking its EU partners for a loan, not a gift, Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly said yesterday, saying a write-down of Greek debt, which effectively forced the island to seek a bailout, was a mistake.

“The Greek PSI (debt write-down) was a gift to Greece,” Shiarly told Reuters in an interview. “We are not asking for a gift. We are asking for understanding, and a loan on fair terms so we can overcome these financial difficulties we are facing at the moment.”

The minister’s comment could be viewed as a response to those claiming that European taxpayer money would be effectively bailing out Russian tax evaders.

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PR company hired to counter negative reports


CYPRUS has hired an international communications firm to help its bid to secure financial assistance, especially in light of recent negative reports on the country’s money laundering record.

According to PRWeek, a weekly public relations publication, Cyprus has hired FTI consulting as it tries to put out its side of the story amid a flurry of negative reports, mainly in the German media.

The firm has been hired by the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) – a non-profit limited company fully funded by the government — which initially invited bids at the end of 2011 for a brief to increase direct investment to Cyprus.

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New EU-wide regime for driving licences


FROM today all new driving licences issued across the EU will be in the form of a plastic ‘credit card’ with a standard European format and tougher security protection, the Commission announced yesterday .

The new European licence will progressively replace the more than 100 different paper and plastic models currently in use by more than 300 million drivers across the EU.

 It is part of a broader package of measures coming into force designed to enhance free movement, tackle driving licence fraud and improve road safety across the EU. 

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‘Opposition in league with troika’

COMMERCE MINISTER Neoclis Sylikiotis yesterday accused the opposition of obeying the commands of the troika and making a “behind the scenes” agreement not to let the draft bill on a national hydrocarbons fund pass through parliament. 

Speaking to reporters, Sylikiotis repeated his argument that the memorandum of understanding with the troika states clearly that the government is obliged to submit draft legislation on the hydrocarbons fund and an action plan on hydrocarbons exploitation to the troika by the end of June “for review” and only for review. “An agreement with the troika on the draft bills is not required,” he said.  

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People with learning disabilities to be moved from mental hospital

A WARD at the Athalassa Psychiatric Hospital in Nicosia, which has been home to 13 people with severe learning and behavioural disorders, some for decades, is to be closed down, the labour and health ministers said yesterday.

Health Minister, Androulla Agrotou and Labour Minister, Sotiroulla Charalambous yesterday presented a programme for the closure of Ward 14 at the hospital where people were thrown and forgotten about because there was nowhere else to send them.

The closure, which will be completed by May, only comes after years of discussion about where the patients in Ward 14 could be helped.

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Court visits scene of Hadjicostis murder


THE NICOSIA Criminal Court yesterday visited the site where media boss Andis Hadjicostis was murdered three years ago, following a request from the defence team of the four accused in the murder trial.  

The court visited the crime scene, near the US Embassy in the capital, under heavy police escort at around midday. 

Judges presiding over the murder trial took the opportunity to examine the scene of the murder where Hadjicostis – CEO of family-controlled DIAS media group and Sigma TV – died after being shot twice outside his home on January 12, 2010.

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Peyia cutting water supply for overdue bills

WITH over €2 million still owed to Peyia municipality in outstanding taxes, the cash strapped municipality is cutting water supply to non payers.

Peyia councilor Linda Leblanc said: “The council decided that the water supply will be cut if outstanding payments are not paid.” 

According to Leblanc, individuals, holiday rental villas and businesses have overdue water bills.

“The situation in Peyia is still dire, and the municipality has to keep increasing its overdraft to keep everything going. It’s a struggle to pay staff every month- the monthly wage bill is around €100,000,” said Leblanc.

Over €2 million in unpaid taxes remains outstanding including licence fees, rubbish and water bills.

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