Daily Archives: February 5, 2013

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Fury over appointment of CB deputy


THIRTEEN days before the presidential elections, which he is not contesting, President Demetris Christofias yesterday appointed a deputy Central Bank governor – a position reserved by the constitution for Turkish Cypriots which has been vacant for the past 50 years – sparking a storm of controversy.

Christofias said the appointment of senior director Spyros Stavrinakis was necessary due to the Central Bank’s increasing obligations, rejecting suggestions it that it was politically motivated.

It was a rather unexpected appointment, with information of the government’s intentions only reaching the public domain late on Saturday evening.

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Our View: Central Bank appointment is solely about maintaining AKEL’s influence


APPOINTING a deputy governor of the Central Bank was the president’s constitutional right was the stock response by the government and AKEL to the barrage of political criticism against the appointment of Spyros Stavrinakis to the post that had remained empty since the Turkish Cypriots withdrew from the Republic in 1963. In those 50 years, no government had deemed it necessary to fill the post, constitutionally reserved for a Turkish Cypriot.

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Russia ready to ‘soften’ loan terms

RUSSIA said yesterday it was considering extending the maturity of a €2.5 billion loan to help Cyprus manage its debt crisis, rather than offering a new loan.

“We are ready for softening (of the terms)… Restructuring of the debt is possible and we’ll see about the rates.” Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.

Hit by its exposure to Greece and shut out of international financial markets for nearly two years, Cyprus asked Russia last month to extend the five-year loan that Moscow provided Nicosia in 2011.

Last year Cyprus also asked Russia for a new €5 billion loan.

“We are more looking into the second option (extension),” Siluanov told journalists.

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DISY leader seeks to refute ‘dodgy dealings’ claim


ATTORNEY-GENERAL Petros Clerides said yesterday the unit for combating money laundering (MOKAS) would probe allegations of dodgy financial dealings implicating the law firm of presidential candidate Nicos Anastasiades.

The investigation is being launched at the request of Anastasiades, the top law enforcement official clarified.

Clerides said Anastasiades had contacted both he and MOKAS, supplying the latter with documentation to help with the investigation.

Two investigators from MOKAS would be appointed to look into the allegations, said Clerides, adding that the findings should be in by February 17 – the date of the first round of elections – as also requested by Anastasiades.

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Eight proposals for interim gas supply

THE Natural Gas Public Company (DEFA) has received eight proposals from companies interested in supplying the island with limited quantities of natural gas.

The deadline for the submission of proposals was yesterday.

Cyprus is seeking to secure short-term supplies of the fuel as not exceeding 1.2 billion cubic metres per year as a stop-gap solution until such time as it can bring ashore its own gas.

Under the terms of the call for expression of interest, actual supply of gas should begin no later than early 2015 and up until September 2018.

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Mediator for bond dispute

THE island’s two big banks seem to support a proposal to appoint a mediating committee to look into allegations that people were misled into buying high-yield bonds, effectively losing their money after a write-down of Greece’s debt caused Bank of Cyprus (BoC) and Popular’s huge losses.

Phivos Mavrovouniotis, the head of the association of investors said the banks backed a proposal to have a foreign mediator who, along with Cypriot judges, would  examine individual cases.

BoC and Popular stopped paying interest for the high yield securities after a Greek sovereign debt write-down in late 2011, but many investors claim they were not told this was a possibility.

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New cancer cases number 3,000 a year


THERE are around 3,000 new cases of cancer a year in Cyprus, Health Minister Androulla Agrotou revealed yesterday in a speech to mark World Cancer Day. 

According to the minister, cancer has become an epidemic with one in three Europeans likely to develop the disease at some stage of their lives.

“Cancer is the second most frequent cause of death in Europe and has increased on a global scale,” she said. “In some countries it is now the first cause of death, surpassing cardiovascular diseases,” she added.

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EU has Cyprus leverage, but will it use it?

FOR THE first time since Cyprus joined the European Union nearly a decade ago, its partners have financial leverage to press for a settlement of the island’s almost 40-year division.

Yet there is no sign that Brussels is preparing to use its advantage to achieve a reunification that narrowly eluded negotiators when Cyprus joined the EU in 2004.

Indeed the most powerful member states, Germany and France, may be content to see the frozen Cyprus conflict fester rather than deal with the potential consequences of a resolution that would bring Turkey closer to EU membership.

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‘Lack of communication’ led to miscarriage confusion

A SERIES of misunderstandings was responsible for a pregnant woman being told by hospital staff that she had suffered a miscarriage when she hadn’t, Health Minister Androulla Agrotou said yesterday.

Maria Stylianou, 26, who was in her eighth week of pregnancy, lodged a complaint recently after she believed she was told by doctors at the Makarios Hospital that she had had a miscarriage.

“She (the doctor) was absolute about what she was saying,” Stylianou told Sigma television at the time. “She announced it was a miscarriage.”

Stylianou said she left the hospital distraught but was later convinced to visit a private gynaecologist who ascertained there was nothing wrong with the embryo.

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Protesters block chemical factories


THE RESIDENTS of Pera-Chorio Nisou closed off two chemical factories on Sunday, found within the village’s residential area, which are supposedly responsible for serious health problems being experienced by many villagers.

The demonstrations began on Sunday and continued yesterday with residents closing-off the entrance to the factories which produce chlorine and paint.

 “It is time for the residents to take action to protect their own health,” Green Party MP Giorgos Perdikis said. Perdikis who was present at both Sunday and Monday’s demonstrations told reporters he believed it was time for the people of the village to stand against the threat to their health and to their quality of life.

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