Daily Archives: February 19, 2013

Archives February 19, 2013 posted by

All eyes on loser’s votes in endgame


THE RACE is on between DISY leader Nicos Anastasiades and AKEL-backed Stavros Malas to see who will garner enough support to be declared the next President of Cyprus this coming Sunday. 

After Anastasiades attracted over 45 per cent of the vote last Sunday, just five percentage points short of outright victory, and Malas 27 per cent, taking them both into the runoff election, all eyes are now on the 25 per cent of the population who voted for EDEK-backed Giorgos Lillikas to see which way their vote will swing in five days time. 

The two runoff candidates will likely use this week to also reach out to the 17 per cent of the population that abstained in the first round. 

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Our View: It was not DISY that invited the troika it was AKEL

THE AKEL camp wasted no time in embarking on the demonization of Nicos Anastasiades ahead of the Sunday’s decisive vote. The DISY leader, predictably, is being presented as a right-wing scourge who would impose austerity measures, cuts and privatise semi-governmental organisations, while the ‘independent’ AKEL candidate Stavros Malas would ignore the commands of the EU about privatisations and protect the interests of the “workers and middle class” with which the party “has identified for decades”.

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‘People have grown tired of politicians’ baseless promises’

THE upward trend of voter abstention in recent years was much in evidence during Sunday’s first-round when 16.86 per cent of the public chose not to bother contributing to the process of electing a new head of state.

Almost one-fifth of registered voters did not bother to visit a polling station, more or less confirming previous analyses according to political analyst Christoforos Christoforou.

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Authorities prepared for any new cyber threat to elections

THE government’s IT systems withstood a cyber attack which attempted to block the release of election results on Sunday. 

Authorities were on alert throughout election day after a group of hackers threatened to disrupt the elections by targeting state websites. A video posted on Saturday on the Internet by a group claiming to be the Cyprus branch of ‘Anonymous’ called on sympathisers to launch the attack at exactly 6pm on Sunday – the designated deadline for the start of the ballot count. 

Interior Ministry officials claim that these sorts of attacks happen sporadically, while police re-assured the public that it would be extra vigilant during the run-up to the second round of elections this coming Sunday.

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CyBC wins battle of the ratings

HUNDREDS of thousands of people were glued to their TV sets on Sunday for an average of over six hours, watching the presidential election coverage, according to the AGB Cyprus Nielsen audience measurement.

All major TV channels covered the elections with special programmes in place before and after voting closed collectively harnessing 578,810 viewers who tuned in even for just one minute, even more than the previous presidential elections when 566,090 people tuned in. 

Average viewing time came to 378 minutes compared with 366 minutes in 2008, Nielsen said. 

“The twelve minute difference is considered very large for TV, and shows viewers great interests,” Nielsen said.

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Draghi: bailout must be linked to ‘dirty money’ monitoring


A FINANCIAL rescue package for Cyprus must be accompanied by close and continuous monitoring of its progress in implementing anti-money-laundering policies, the European Central Bank chief said yesterday.

Mario Draghi told European lawmakers that it was not sufficient to put all relevant laws on the books, adding the crucial part was implementing them.

A final deal should provide for “close monitoring” of anti-money laundering mechanisms on the island, he said.

Draghi said it was imperative for the next Cyprus government to emerge from elections to commit to a financial assistance programme.

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CB seeks troika approval to inform banks on their needs

THE CENTRAL Bank will reportedly seek international lenders’ approval to officially inform banks about their recapitalisation needs, thus enabling the banks to accurately inform investors of their financial results for 2012.

It’s understood that the island’s two largest banks, the Bank of Cyprus and the Popular Bank, have asked stock exchange authorities for an extension on the deadline by which they are obliged to announce their yearly results.

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Helios defendants acquitted in Cyprus

NICOSIA Criminal Court yesterday acquitted all the defendants in the trial for the 2005 Helios aviation disaster, spelling the end of legal proceedings here more than seven years after the crash which claimed the lives of 121 people.

The court dropped the charges as a matter of routine after the Attorney-general moved to suspend the prosecution of all five defendants.

The state prosecution cited “insurmountable difficulties” posed by a recent court decision in Greece.

Earlier this month a Greek court of appeals upheld a 10-year prison sentence for three airline executives found responsible for the accident, but gave them the option to buy-out their convictions for some €76,000 each.

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Remand for woman suspected of killing her newborn

A WOMAN who gave birth in secrecy at a farm in Famagusta was remanded for eight days yesterday suspected of concealing the birth and of manlaughter, after a state pathologist said a post mortem indicated the baby was born alive.

State pathologist Eleni Antoniou who did a post-mortem on Sunday said that there was reason to think the baby girl had been born alive. 

“But it will only be clear whether this was the case after further tests,” Famagusta police spokesman George Economou said. 

The 41-year-old Bulgarian woman was admitted to Famagusta general hospital in Paralimni on Saturday morning. She had been bleeding since Friday afternoon when she gave birth at a farm in Famagusta’s Sotira where she worked. 

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Paphos family still living in limbo

A FAMILY of four living at a stricken development in Armou in Paphos remain in limbo, unsure of their future, after their homes were declared unfit for habitation in November last year.

The luxury development was built by JNM developers. All of the houses, which were only built in 2004, have serious structural problems, from slanting floors, to the partial collapse of stairs, walls, swimming pools and patio areas. Outside drains are exposed in one garden and retaining walls have split. 

In November, homes had official notices placed on them stating the decree shall remain in force until such time as repair works deemed necessary by the District Officer are carried out.

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