Daily Archives: February 7, 2013

Archives February 7, 2013 posted by

Baghdatis blows it in Zagreb

MARCOS Baghdatis failed to serve the out the match in the second set and eventually fell to Slovenian Blaz Kavcic 6-3, 6-7(2), 4-6 in the second round of the PBZ Zagreb Indoors on Thursday afternoon.

The match started well for the Cypriot, who after serving first, broke the Slovenian’s serve to take an early 2-0 lead.

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‘PIMCO mess reeks of political expediency’

THE opposition yesterday accused the government of amateurism and political expediency over a due diligence on bank portfolios, which could render the island’s debt unsustainable, leading to additional austerity measures.

Investment managers PIMCO who were hired to carry out the due diligence to determine the banks’ needs ahead of a bailout sought by Cyprus last year, have reportedly come up with a worst-case scenario of €10.1 billion.

The opposition suggested the government and the Central Bank deliberately allowed the figure to become so high in a bid to confirm the administration’s position that the banks were to blame for the mess the economy is in.

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EAC’s Mari levy scrapped early


THE CRIPPLING 5.75 per cent surcharge imposed on electricity bills in the wake of the Mari tragedy in 2011 is being scrapped two months early, the island’s energy regulator CERA announced yesterday.

The surcharge on electricity bills imposed after the Mari naval-base munitions explosion incapacitated Cyprus’ largest power station, was introduced in September 2011 to help the electricity authority (EAC) cope with the destruction of its Vassilikos plant.

Initially it was 6.96 per cent on all electricity bills but it was cut to 5.75 per cent midway through 2012.

It had been scheduled to stay in effect until May this year.

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Our View: Reprimanding the police for doing their job is a joke

THE MOST frequently used response by the government spokesman and AKEL deputies to criticisms of President Christofias was that his detractors were undermining the institution of the presidency. They urged opposition politicians to show respect for the institution, even if they disagreed with the president, because personal attacks against the state’s top official were harmful to the Republic.

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Total: looking forward to a bright future


CYPRUS yesterday signed a deal with French energy giant Total to search for oil and gas in two offshore blocks as part of a second licensing round initiated last year.

The deal, for blocks 10 and 11, follows agreement with a consortium of Italy’s Eni and South Korea’s KoreaGas Corp (Kogas) for blocks two, three and nine, concluded last month.

“With today’s act we conclude one of the most critical targets set by the government in its energy policy,” Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis said.

Reports said Cyprus would receive €24 million in signature bonuses as part of the deal.

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Industrial unrest in construction spreads

PRESIDENT Demetris Christofias has ordered a full investigation into the violent scuffles on Tuesday at a Paphos building site between striking builders and police, Justice Minister Loucas Louca said yesterday.

Trouble erupted in Paphos on Tuesday when police confronted striking builders who tried to stop strike-breakers who were brought in to take over the work at a hotel construction site.

Three people were arrested during the trouble on Posidonos Avenue. Police intervened in a bid to restore order, arresting two striking workers and a female union official in the process as both police and builders pushed and shoved each other. 

Unions accused police of using excessive force, and Christofias later criticised the police for their actions.

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Cyprus seeks EU money laundering audit

EUROZONE finance ministers will discuss on Monday a Cypriot proposal to order an independent report on whether the country is fully complying with laws against money laundering, a senior EU official said.

The report would be a response to German, and others’, concerns that Cyprus, which asked the eurozone for financial help last June, has been a tax haven for rich Russians.

Eurozone finance ministers, called the Eurogroup, will meet on Monday in Brussels to review progress on the €17.5 billion bailout negotiations for Cyprus, whose banks have been hit by Greece’s debt restructuring.

The senior EU official said yesterday that Cyprus made the recommendation in the Eurogroup Working Group, a body that prepares eurozone finance ministers’ meetings.

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Credit card usage down in January

JANUARY’S card usage shows that people are cutting back on luxury spending and using credit more to pay their bills.

According to the stats, Cyprus’ residents used their cards more abroad and less in Cyprus this January compared to January 2012, the island’s main clearing agency JCC transactions said yesterday.

There was an 8.0 per cent decrease in card usage in Cyprus, partly because fewer people had renewed their vehicle’s annual road tax in time, compared to January 2012, JCC said.

Without the state sector transactions, the decrease in local card use in Cyprus comes to 5.0 per cent, the clearing agency said.

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Another 100 families added to Paphos needy list in one week

THE number of Paphos families in urgent need of help is growing daily, according to organisers of a local drive to help them.

Local business-woman Pavlina Patsalou who heads up the group with Paphos councillor George Sofokleous told the Cyprus Mail that the number of needy families has now grown to around 350. Just one week ago, they were helping 250 families.

These families and individuals are victims of the economic crisis. They live outside the boundaries of Paphos municipality and therefore don’t qualify for help from the social welfare fund, or they are receiving a small amount of benefits, which isn’t enough to cover even the basic needs, yet disqualifies them for help from the municipality.

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Health ministry checking on horse meat reports

BURGERS containing horse DNA may have made their way to Cyprus through an Irish manufacturer of frozen beef burgers, the health services said yesterday.

“We got in touch with the Irish authorities (on Tuesday) and we are waiting to hear back on whether any batches of burgers containing horse meat have been distributed to Cyprus,” acting head of health services Christos Christou said.

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