Daily Archives: February 14, 2013

Archives February 14, 2013 posted by

Lillikas and Politis in libel wrangles

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Giorgos Lillikas is locked in a legal battle with local daily Politis after both sides announced plans to sue and counter-sue for libel in the run-up to the election. 

Lillikas was first to take the matter to the courts after Politis linked his time as cabinet minister under the Tassos Papadopoulos government to a number of contracts signed by companies associated with his wife’s communications company Marketway and state and semi-state organisations. 

The paper alleged that companies associated with Marketway won contracts with the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) worth up to €9.5m between 2004 and 2007, during which time Lillikas served as commerce minister. 

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Hi-ho, hi-ho, builders go back to work happier

CONSTRUCTION workers returned to their jobs yesterday when unions PEO, SEK and DEOK all voted in favour of signing a renewal of the collective agreements. 

This came after a new proposal from Labour Minister Sotiroulla Charalambous’, which ended almost three weeks of strikes.

The initial agreement was signed on Tuesday evening, but unions held a general meeting at PEO’s headquarters to ratify that decision. The duration of the deal was the final sticking point, with building contractors demanding it last until the end of 2013 and unions wanting it to last until the end of 2014. Finally they met halfway with the end date for the new collective agreements being June 30, 2014.

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Big savings by using LED street lights

A NUMBER of local authorities hope to cut their energy consumption by half as part of a pilot scheme to convert their street lighting systems to more energy efficient LEDs, stakeholders said yesterday.

Some 63,000 street lights across sixteen municipalities may be replaced with LED fixtures by 2014, as part of 16 municipalities’ commitment to promote renewable energy sources, reduce energy consumption and encourage green energy, a news release by the Cyprus Energy Agency said yesterday.

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‘Don’t participate in this sham democracy’ protest group says

A GROUP that remains unconvinced of electoral promises and the political system in Cyprus has been subverting presidential candidates’ billboards in order to challenge the status quo.

A movement called “Stop the Oppressive Powers” (STOP) wants to “promote active community engagement, stimulate dialogue, critical thinking and analysis to produce alternate narratives to mainstream political, social, corporate and cultural phenomena,” a news release said.

By hanging banners and sticking their own messages (against the status quo) on top of presidential candidates’ billboards, STOP hopes to highlight “the absurdity of pseudo-political propaganda and the illusion of democracy in the political candidates’ presidential race.”

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New round of clean-ups in Nicosia

NICOSIA municipality residents will be able to leave their tree trimmings and bulky items outside their homes at set dates, for a free collection, an announcement said yesterday.

But the municipality has asked people to leave their items out two days in advance to ensure the rubbish is picked up. 

“The clean-up campaign is a big endeavour and we need people to collaborate. After all, everyone wants a clean city,” Nicosia municipality’s communications officer Makis Nicolaides said.

The campaign is already underway in Ayios Andreas (final collection day is tomorrow) and is due to be completed on March 29. Clippings will be composted, the municipality said.

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Landfill waste down in 2011

SOME 560,000 tonnes of urban solid waste was produced in Cyprus in 2011, down by 12,000 tonnes from the previous year, the statistical service said yesterday.

Around 80 per cent of the waste ended up in landfills, the service said, with 11.2 per cent collected for recycling and 8.6 per cent used in composting.

European Union citizens produced an average 502 kilograms of urban waste.

Per capita production in Cyprus reached 691 kilos in 2010, the highest among the 27 European Union member-states.

Luxembourg was in second place with 678 kilos, followed by Denmark with 673 and Ireland 636. The average per EU citizen in 2010 was 502 kilos, the service said.

Figures for 2011 were not yet available.

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Transformation of Vassilikos in 19 months

THE Electricity Authority (EAC) yesterday released pictures of the Vassilikos power plant before and after restoration work to repair the extensive damage to the plant sustained after the Mari naval base blast on July 11, 2011. 

The EAC said it was “very proud” of the progress made in restoring the plant 19 months after it had been incapacitated by the explosion of 98 containers holding confiscated munitions at the next door naval base. 

In the photographs, one taken just after the blast and the other more recently, you can see the building containing turbine units 1, 2 and 3 and the bridge connecting the building with the power plant’s control tower situated on the second floor of the administration building.

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Cyprus rescue may set unwelcome eurozone precedent

CYPRUS hardly seems to have the sort of debt crisis that could provoke a domino effect across the eurozone; its economy is tiny and investment from the rest of the bloc is modest.

Nevertheless, the island is fast becoming a risk for eurozone efforts to tackle problems in its much larger economies because almost any way of solving the Cyprus crisis – from restructuring its debts to imposing losses on banks – is likely to set a precedent for other troubled states.

The danger is that a rescue for Cyprus, which heads to the polls on Sunday, will hurt fragile confidence on financial markets and undermine progress that the eurozone has made in shoring up the rest of its “peripheral” members.

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