Daily Archives: January 30, 2013

Archives January 30, 2013 posted by

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Are you interested in gaining new skills to have a better relationship with your 3-6 year old child? Do you want your child to behave better? The University of Cyprus, in collaboration with a visiting expert in childhood behaviour problems, is seeking an English-speaking family to participate in a weekly training seminar for graduate students. The one hour training will be held in Nicosia every Tuesday or Thursday between February and May. It will be provided at no cost to you. Interested families can email [email protected] or call 96887996.

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Election ballots to be reprinted over Guinness logo row

 

OVER half a million ballot papers for next month’s presidential elections will have to be reprinted after the existing ones were ruled invalid as they feature the unauthorised logo of Guinness World Records.

Some 575,000 ballots will now have to be binned, with the cost of a printing new ones estimated at €40,000.

According to sources at the ministry, an anonymous call was made asking whether candidate Andreas Efstratiou’s use of the Guinness logo on the presidential election ballot papers was legal.

The ministry emailed the company early yesterday morning to ask for clearance to use the logo on ballot papers but was informed that Efstratiou had been told in 2011 not to use the logo again after using it in the 2008 presidential elections. 

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Why didn’t presidential debate see candidates address questions we want answered?

HOW DISAPPOINTING that most of the second debate between the main three presidential candidates on Monday night, which was focused on the Cyprus problem, was taken up discussing the past, particularly the Annan plan. Almost nine years have passed since three quarters of Greek Cypriots rejected the plan in a referendum and in the meantime there has been a new bout of negotiations – described as Cypriot-owned – that lasted more than three years before grinding to halt about a year ago.

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Body in suitcase man ‘killed because he wouldn’t get up’

A 29-year-old Bangladeshi man stabbed his roommate to death because he refused to get out of bed to replace him at the hotel reception where they worked, the Nicosia district court heard yesterday.

The suspect, along with a second Bangladeshi man, 33, were yesterday remanded in custody for eight days in connection with the killing of a compatriot, 25, who was found stuffed in a suitcase in the boot of a car on Monday.

The 29-year-old told the court his only mistake was that he moved the body because he was scared, but investigators said he had given a statement admitting to killing his roommate in the early morning hours of Friday.

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Budget cut means Nicosia will have to tighten belt

NICOSIA municipality will get €400,000 less from the government than expected in 2013, which may overthrow plans for a balanced budget, Nicosia mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis said yesterday.

The state and parliament had already reduced Nicosia municipality’s budget by €4.0 million, but the budget was further reduced by €400,000 for 2013, Yiorkadjis said during a news conference.

As it stands, the budget allows for a surplus of €2,360, the difference between the (originally) expected income of €32,159,981 and the anticipated expenses of €32,157,621. Last year closed with an estimated deficit of €3.3 million.

“The budget serves the need to render the municipality viable at a time when the government is unable to support local government,” Yiorkadjis said. 

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Government has next three months financing covered

THE government said yesterday it was on track to cover the state’s financing needs for the next three months, pending finalisation of a bailout that was not expected before March, when the new administration takes over.

At the end of each month we can evaluate our needs again, depending on how the previous month went, government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said.

“And as the finance minister said, we are on track regarding the obligations we have and our financing needs for April,” Stefanou added.

Speaking on state radio earlier yesterday, Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly said the state will need €2.8 billion in the next three months – one billion being maturing debt that it hopes to roll over.

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Allegations Cyprus is a money laundering centre ‘unfounded’

ALLEGATIONS that Cyprus is a tax haven and money laundering centre for Russians are “unfounded” and “unjust”, House Speaker Yiannakis Omirou said yesterday.

The island fully complies with international conventions and European legislation against money laundering, Omirou said in a letter to his euro-area counterparts and to European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

The International Monetary Fund, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have all given Cyprus high scores for the country’s adoption and implementation of the measures, he added.

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Police probe drinks racketeering

POLICE are looking into possible racketeering being carried out at the expense of licensed distributors of beverages, the force’s spokesman confirmed yesterday.

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said they are investigating two such cases after receiving complaints from distributors of alcoholic beverages and soft drinks.

The story was first reported by daily Alithia. The paper said a number of established distributors were getting SMS messages warning them to stop supplying this or that establishment otherwise their own premises would be firebombed – or worse.

It’s understood that for the time being detectives have scant leads to go on; tracing the alleged senders of the messages will prove difficult given that pre-paid calling cards were used.

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More petrol price rises to come

PEOPLE are trying to use their cars less as fuel prices have risen by about 13 cents a litre in about a month, the head of the petrol station owners’ association Stephanos Stephanou said yesterday.

Stefanou said with consumption tax, VAT and international prices going up, consumers should expect more increases. 

But he said that 13 cents a little in a month was a “very harsh increase”.

“We haven’t seen prices like this in a very long time,” Stephanou said.

He added that some petrol stations report up to 20 per cent decrease in sales, he added.

“It’s very normal for all of us to be saving up,” he said referring to wage cuts across the state and private sector and tax hikes.

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All parties say their man came out on top. Greens lament no talk of the future

STATEMENTS made yesterday about the performance of the three main presidential candidates during Monday’s live televised debate raise a challenge. All parties claimed – but cannot all be right – that their candidate came out on top during a discussion on the Cyprus problem ahead of the February 17 elections.

The debate focused on the 2004 referendum on the Annan plan which was rejected by Greek Cypriots and accepted by the Turkish Cypriots.

The three candidates’ supporters yesterday used comparable language to make comparable statements.

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