Daily Archives: February 9, 2013

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Cyprus secures €1.3 billion from EU budget for 2014-2020

EUROPEAN Union leaders reached agreement on the first ever cut in their common budget yesterday after 24 hours of intense negotiations, seeking to placate millions at home struggling through government cutbacks and recession.
The expected deal met the demands of northern European countries such as Britain and the Netherlands that wanted belt-tightening, while maintaining spending on farm subsidies and infrastructure to satisfy the likes of France and Poland.
It is the first net reduction to the EU’s long-term budget in the bloc’s history, representing a decrease of around 3 per cent on the last budget and shaving spending in areas such as infrastructure, bureaucracy and scientific research.

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Our View: Hypocritical presidential candidates need to grow up

IT IS VERY demoralising listening to the two presidential candidates, trailing in the opinion polls, trying to increase their support by questioning the front-runner Nicos Anastasiades’ patriotism. This has become a recurring theme in their declarations which claim that Anastasiades was working with the troika in order to impose harsher measures on people, served foreign interests at the expense of Cypriots and would give in to the Turks.

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Christofias’ ‘bitter’ farewell to Brussels

PRESIDENT Demetris Christofias told the European Council yesterday that he was leaving office a bitter man over Cyprus’ treatment by its European Union partners whom he accused of persecuting the country.
In a farewell address to the European Council in Brussels at the end of their summit yesterday, the incumbent who is not running for re-election on February 17 accused his EU partners of persecution and distortion of reality.
“I have to confess that over the past five years I have amassed many happy but also bitter experiences as a leader of a member state of the (EU),” Christofias said.

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Sylikiotis: Cyprus can manage its own gas thanks

THERE cannot be any doubt over the sustainability of the Cypriot public debt, Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis said yesterday, given to the prospects of natural gas exploitation.
The minister was responding to comments made by Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who suggested that future revenues from natural gas deposits in Cyprus could be taken into account in a possible financial assistance to the island.
But Dijsselbloem cautioned that before such revenues could be included in calculations for making the country’s debt sustainable, it was necessary to find out more about how much they could total.

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Strike talks to dominate weekend

BUILDING workers from DEOK trade union unanimously decided at a meeting yesterday to continue their strike until a decision has been made for the renewal of the construction industry’s collective agreements.
As part of their continued strike, DEOK union members have decided to demonstrate outside the offices of the Association of Building Contractors (OSEOK) in Nicosia next week.
“We will continue our battle until there is a just and respectable renewal of the collective agreements,” DEOK general secretary Diomidis Diomidou stated.
A statement from DEOK criticised fellow unions SEK and PEO for accepting Labour Minister Sotiroulla Charalmbous’ proposal on Thursday without consulting with them first.

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Palestine’s diplomatic mission upgraded to embassy

CYPRUS has upgraded Palestine’s diplomatic mission to that of an embassy, foreign minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis said yesterday after a meeting in Nicosia with her Palestinian counterpart Riyad al-Malki
The upgrade follows from Palestine’s successful bid in the United Nations’ general assembly last year, which elevated Palestine’s status from a non-member observer state to a UN observer. Cyprus supported the bid, voting in favour of the move.
While falling short of full membership (blocked by the US which has veto power in the UN Security Council), Palestine’s upgraded status offers, among others, access to the international criminal court which Israel fears will bring about charges over crimes of war or against humanity.

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Emergency soup kitchen planned for Paphos

PLANS are underway to open an emergency soup kitchen in Paphos.
The idea is being proposed by a local priest, Father Stylianos Sofokleous, with the backing of the municipalities of Paphos and Yeroskipou, the Church and charity organisations.
“There are many people living in the district of Paphos who are without work and so can’t buy food. The number of unemployed is a big problem in Paphos said Father Stylianos.
According to the priest the aim is to be able to provide a hot meal daily to the needy, to be served every day at midday.
“We are waiting for conformation from the municipalities and the Church and others as to how much financial support they will be able to give. We will then be able to find a venue with its own kitchen,” he added.

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Anastasiades maintains comfortable lead

DISY leader Nicos Anastasiades retained his comfortable lead nine days before the presidential election, according to a new poll published last night.
The poll, presented by private Mega television, put Anastasiades ahead with 40.7 per cent, followed by AKEL-backed Stavros Malas, 22.8 per cent.
Giorgos Lillikas, who is backed by socialists EDEK, garnered 20.1 per cent of the sample’s vote.
Just over 6.0 per cent of the sample said they had still not decided who to vote in next week’s election; 5.3 per cent said they will abstain.
The majority of voters – 57.3 per cent – expected Anastasiades and Malas to go through to a second round of voting, while 34.6 per cent saw Lillikas battling it out with the DISY chief in a runoff vote.

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‘People are counting the days until AKEL is out’

PEOPLE are counting the days to get rid of the worst administration the country ever saw, the opposition said yesterday, as parties exchanged barbs nine days before the presidential election.
Earlier yesterday, AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou attacked presidential frontrunner, DISY chief Nicos Anastasiades, charging that his election would destroy social cohesion.
“Mr Anastasiades’ possible election would lead our people down dangerous paths. No one can be sure how far Mr Anastasiades’ flaw of accepting everything can go.”
Kyprianou said people did not want privatisations, nor selling off the island’s natural wealth. “They do not want austerity.”

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