Daily Archives: March 1, 2013

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‘Cyprus will get back on its feet’

THE SEVENTH President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades pledged yesterday to do all he could to put a near-bankrupt country back on its feet and to restore a sense of national pride.
“The circumstances we face are no doubt extremely tough…but we shall get back on our feet,” the new President said in his confirmation speech shortly after taking the oath of allegiance to the Constitution.
With the confirmation address broadcast live from the House, Anastasiades sounded a note of caution that tackling the nation’s economic woes would be no simple task:
“There are no easy or immediate solutions,” he said, warning it would take time for corrective measures to have an impact on everyday life.

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Our View: Anastasiades needs to tread very carefully in the coming month

NICOS ANASTASIADES enters the presidential palace office and assumes his new responsibilities today. No president has ever before walked into such a chaotic mess, knowing that the future of the country depends solely on the decisions he would take in his first 30 days in office. A bad decision or show of poor judgment over the next 30 days could cause irreparable damage, putting the country in free-fall and destroying all prospects of economic recovery in the foreseeable future.

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Shiarly: we made two big mistakes

OUTGOING FINANCE Minister Vassos Shiarly yesterday offered some hindsight on how Cyprus ended up on the brink of bankruptcy, highlighting consecutive budget deficits and the unconditional support for a Greek debt haircut as the country’s “big mistakes”.
Speaking to state broadcaster CyBC yesterday morning, Shiarly said: “Certainly, you don’t reach a situation like this without mistakes having been made. If one sought to find the big mistakes committed for us to arrive where we are, they are essentially two: The excessive zeal to show solidarity beyond our capabilities to another eurozone country. We should have put some conditions down, and examined how much our pockets could take.

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Troika could be back in Cyprus next week

REPRESENTATIVES from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund could return to Cyprus to work on a bailout deal next week, a senior eurozone official was quoted as saying yesterday.
Briefing the press ahead of a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels next Monday, the official said a bailout deal for Cyprus could be reached in late March.
 “I do strongly believe that we will be in a position to come to a conclusion by the end of March,” the official said.

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Almost €3m in unpaid fines collected

POLICE ARE looking at ways to expand the methods used to “encourage” citizens to pay their debts to the state, following the successful and ongoing campaign targeting debtors at the island’s airports. 
Police spokesman Andreas Angelides highlighted that the decision to target those who haven’t paid fines by stopping them at airports has led to a deluge of offers from offenders seeking to pay their outstanding debts.
Since the new campaign started on January 7, 2013, police have collected €2,750,000 to settle 8,000 warrants from the 155,000-odd still pending.
The vast majority of these debts were paid off by people wishing to remove the warrants from their names before travelling out of the country, said Angelides.

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Many hours spent at rubbish dumps and dams

THOUGH surprised that he is no longer the environment commissioner despite his hard work, Charalambos Theopemptou said yesterday that he would  continue being an active environmentalist, petitioning ministers and maintaining his blog to raise awareness and share information with people.
President Nicos Anastasiades has appointed as environment commissioner the head of the Green Party, Ioanna Panayiotou, who will replace Theopemptou with a stronger mandate.
The appointment has come with promises that the job will be institutionalised and strengthened by the creation of an environment council to promote green development and oversee funds relating to environmental issues across various departments.

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Hellenic Bank posts €21.9m loss

HELLENIC Bank posted a 2012 loss of €21.9 million, compared with a loss of €99.5 million in 2011, and said it was facing a growing downturn at home from non-performing loans.
The bank, in which the Church of Cyprus is a major shareholder, said yesterday it had increased its provisions on loan impairment 14 per cent, and recorded a 45 per cent increase in net non-performing loans. Hellenic is the third-largest Cypriot commercial bank, and the only one of the three which has not sought state aid for exposure to a writedown in Greek government bond values in 2011 and early 2012.

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BoC unable to announce 2012 results

THE BANK of Cyprus said yesterday that it could not announce its 2012 full-year results within the time frame prescribed by the law, given that the results of a due diligence to assess the bank’s capital needs are still pending.
Until the review is finalised and communicated to the bank, any announcement of preliminary financial results may lead to confusion among investors, Bank of Cyprus said.
The island’s largest lender was one of two Cypriot banks that sought state aid last year.
A steering committee comprising Cypriot authorities and international lenders appointed a consultancy to conduct a review of banking system needs. That review will be included in the calculation of any overall bailout for Cyprus.

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Cypriot teenage tenor invited to sing by Domingo

A YOUNG Cypriot tenor has been invited by the world-famous Spanish tenor and conductor Placido Domingo to sing in this year’s Europa Nostra awards in Athens.
On the initiative of EU Education and Culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, the pupil Giorgos Ioannou had an audition with Domingo in Vienna last week.
According to a press release, after the audition and following a phone call between Domingo and Vassiliou, the Cypriot EU commissioner met with Ioannou and his mother in Nicosia on Wednesday to pass on the “positive words and advice” of the Spanish great. 

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