Daily Archives: February 27, 2013

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Flurry of activity as new government gears up

AFTER A full day of comings and goings by politicians and businessmen to the DISY offices in Nicosia yesterday, President-elect Nicos Anastasiades said that by today, the names of his new cabinet would be announced.

Speaking after a number of meetings with potential cabinet members, Anastasiades said that consultations with other parties to form a government of national unity had gone well. 

The President-elect, who will be sworn in by parliament tomorrow, making him the 7th President of the Cyprus Republic, said he was in constant dialogue with DIKO, EVROKO and the Greens. “And I must say I’m fully satisfied with the consultations so far,” he added. 

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Our View: When the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing

EVERY YEAR the government extends the deadline for the renewal of road tax which, in theory, should be done in January. Towards the end of January, it is announced that motorists would have until mid-February to pay their road tax and subsequently they are given a few more days after that. It is the lax way in which the law is enforced, with the government making special allowances to ‘help’ people.

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Christofias draws new fire after farewell speech


PRESIDENT Demetris Christofias yesterday spoke of an ‘orchestrated attack’ against the Presidential Palace after the 2011 Mari munitions blast, as he bid farewell to staff ahead of his departure.

Thanking the presidential guard, an emotional Christofias said they were the people tasked with protecting him and his family.

“They are the people who kept the Presidential Palace intact at the time of the great attack, the orchestrated attack, after the Mari accident,” he said. “I want to thank them wholeheartedly.”

The July 2011 blast killed 13 sailors and fire fighters and incapacitated the island’s biggest power station, causing rolling power cuts for around a month.

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CB Governor in London

CENTRAL Bank Governor Panicos Demetriades is in London for contacts with people who could be interested in investing in Cyprus’ banking sector, the Cyprus News Agency said.

Citing reliable sources, CNA said that while in London Demetriades will have talks with potential investors willing to take a stake in Cypriot banks, which have suffered a heavy blow following the Greek sovereign debt write-down in October 2011.

Excluded from international markets, Cyprus requested financial assistance after its two largest banks sought state aid following massive write-downs of the Greek bond holdings estimated at €4.5 billion. 

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Elderly in Cyprus at highest risk of poverty in eurozone

PERSONS aged 65 or older in Cyprus were at a higher risk of poverty or social exclusion than at any other eurozone member-state in 2011, the European Commission’s statistical services, Eurostat, said yesterday.

In the rest of the bloc, only Bulgaria, at 61.1 per cent, posed a higher risk for the elderly in 2011.

EU-wide, in Cyprus, the elderly faced a 40.4 per cent risk of poverty or social exclusion, double the EU-27 average of 20.5 per cent.

The UK was also above the average at 22.7 per cent.  Iceland posed the smallest risk to the elderly at 4.5 per cent, followed by Luxembourg at 4.7 per cent and the Netherlands at 6.9 per cent.

Romania – which followed Bulgaria and Cyprus in terms of the risk to the elderly EU-wide – was at 35.3 per cent.

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Charity begins at home say volunteer doctors

NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisation (NGO) Volunteer Doctors Cyprus will start offering free healthcare next month to serve the unemployed, vulnerable and those struggling on a basic salary, they said yesterday. 

The organisation, which is better known for its work in third-world countries and areas hit by natural disasters, has decided, given the economic crisis, to give something back to their own country. 

A healthcare unit will be set up on Antigonou 49 street near the Taht El-Kale mosque, and will be open to the public between 9am and 3pm on the weekends, as of March 9, an announcement from the organisation said. 

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Customs workers suspected of involvement in drugs ring


THE DRUG squad believe they have broken up a drug-ring after a customs official and customs agent, aged 58 and 53 respectively, were arrested on Monday afternoon, police said yesterday. The arrests came after German authorities were tipped off by Dutch authorities and found more than 12 kilos of cannabis at a courier’s in Frankfurt, on February 2, destined for Cyprus.  The drugs would have a street value going on €400,000 on the island. 

According to drug squad spokesman, Stelios Sergides, INTERPOL and EUROPOL both contacted the drug squad in their attempts to locate the responsible parties. 

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New road will kill off business, say Paphos traders


BUSINESS owners in Paphos who are protesting against a 26-year-old plan to build a four-lane road say the idea is outdated and has not taken account of changes to the surrounding infrastructure.

Michalis Michael, chairman of the Union of Tourist Businesses for the Tombs of the Kings Road said: “This dual carriageway was initially designed in 1987. The surrounding area was nothing like it is now – there were hardly any buildings then. You can’t put a four-lane dual carriageway with double yellow lines each side and a four-metre wide central reservation here, it will kill the area.”

A meeting to discuss the issue will be held at O’Neil’s bar on the Tombs of the Kings Road at 3pm today. Concerned parties are being invited to attend.

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Attempted murder may have been over money

POLICE BELIEVE the recent attempted murder of a 26-year-old Limassol man is related to a money dispute between the victim and assailants. 

On Monday afternoon, two perpetrators tried to intercept the man’s double cabin vehicle on the Moutayiaka to Limassol road, using two Mitsubishi Pajeros. A number of shots were fired at the car but the 26-year-old and a passenger, 50, managed to escape. Police said the car had been hit by a bullet on the rear left door.  

The 26-year-old, who lives in Ayios Athanasios, named two people aged 21 and 23 as suspects, for whom arrest warrants have been issued.  

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Spate of burglaries and thefts in Peyia

PAPHOS police are on the lookout after a spate of burglaries in the district saw €17,000 worth of jewellery stolen from a flat, two laptops and a small TV taken from another house and a paraglider stolen from a Paphos airport store room.

“An action plan is in place and there are increased patrols on a daily basis in the Peyia area,” a policewoman from Peyia police station told the Mail. “The orders came directly from the chief of police and we are taking all the measures possible to prevent crimes from taking place,” she added.

Peyia Mayor, Neophytos Akoursiotis was unwilling to comment.

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