Daily Archives: March 5, 2013

Archives March 5, 2013 posted by

EU committed to bailout deal

 

THE EUROGROUP yesterday pledged to agree a bailout for Cyprus by the end of March, following agreement last night on an “independent evaluation” of the island’s anti money-laundering framework.   

However, the details of how the rescue will be financed and whether a haircut on bank deposits will be imposed have yet to be sorted out, according to Reuters. Nor were any details immediately available on what form the money laundering audit will take. 

Speaking after the meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels, Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem told a news conference that EU ministers were ready to help Cyprus overhaul its economy, and especially its oversized banking sector.

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Cyprus Airways 2012 losses near 56 million euros

NATIONAL carrier Cyprus Airways (CY) more than doubled its losses last year to €55.8 million, hit by falling passenger figures and freight earnings, the company said yesterday.

The airline, which is majority owned by the Cypriot state, posted a 17.6 per cent drop in total revenue to €175.5 million. 

Its net loss in 2011 was €23.9 million.

“This considerable decrease in revenue was mainly attributed to the reduction in passenger and freight revenue,” the airline said. “The number of seats available for sale was reduced as a result of our abandoning unprofitable routes and the limited demand due to the economic downturn and intensifying competition.”

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MoU should have been signed months ago

CYPRUS should have signed a bailout deal months ago, a top economist said yesterday, ahead of a Eurogroup meeting that discussed the island’s application.

“We have taken more time to agree on a memorandum than any other country in Europe,” Christoforos Pissarides told reporters. “A small country like Cyprus cannot be so complicated to need so much time.”

Cyprus first requested a bailout in June last year but it was not possible to reach an agreement with the last, communist-led government.

President Nicos Anastasiades has pledged to work for a swift deal to prop up the island’s banks, which need capital of around 8-10 billion euros. 

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Kyprianou: army was responsible for storage of Mari munitions

FORMER President Demetris Christofias had argued in favour of seizing Iranian munitions in January 2009, but subsequent responsibility for safe storage of the cargo lay with military authorities, a defendant in the Mari criminal trial testified yesterday.

In Larnaca court, Marcos Kyprianou – who was foreign minister at the time of the July 11, 2011 blast – denied any culpability over the incident that left 13 people dead.

Kyprianou produced the minutes of a February 2009 meeting of the Cabinet, where Christofias is quoted as saying that confiscating the munitions was in the country’s best interest.

His job was to enforce his president’s policy, the former chief diplomat told the court

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Port fraud probe at an ‘advanced stage’

AN ONGOING probe into suspected massive fraud at the port of Limassol could soon yield arrest warrants, police have said.

Launched three weeks ago, the criminal investigation relates to suspected over-invoicing for equipment purchased by the Limassol Licensed Porters Association (LLPA), as well as to totally bogus invoices.

The total over-invoicing amount could run in the millions.

Police said yesterday their investigations are at an “advanced stage”, with several people being called in for statements, among them the LLPA auditors as well as a number of suppliers and customers of the association.

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New MPs replace those who have headed to the cabinet

Six DISY members were sworn into parliament yesterday to fill President Nicos Anastasiades’ seat in the House and those of other MPs who were made ministers last week.

Andreas Pitsillides replaces Ioannis Kasoulides in Brussels a MEP after the latter was made foreign minister. Aristotelis Misos replaces Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos as a Larnaca district MP and was sworn in yesterday at 8am at Larnaca District Administration’s office. 

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Ayia Napa elects new mayor

YIANNIS Karousos, a 34-year-old municipal councillor of seven years and member of various local committees, was officially proclaimed Ayia Napa mayor yesterday.

In a service at Ayia Napa municipality, the new mayor thanked the residents for voting for him and said he hoped that they may all be united for the good of the town. Karousos said his objectives included reducing unemployment, encouraging young scientists and negotiating the town’s development plan.

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Archbishop comes out in favour of privatisations

THROWING his weight behind the privatisation of state assets, Archbishop Chrysostomos II yesterday said he believed privatising semi-governmental organisations (SGOs) was the way forward. 

The outspoken head of the Church who likes to dabble in politics and publicly backed President Nicos Anastasiades in run-up to the elections, told an SGO yesterday – state broadcaster CyBC – that privatisations should start as soon as possible. 

“So that I’m not misunderstood, I stress that I do not wish for anyone to lose their job, and I believe this is also the government’s position,” the archbishop said. 

“(Employees) can move elsewhere,” he said, without specifying where.

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Authorities detain Syrian family who sought to reach Sweden

FEARING that asylum seekers in Cyprus are detained indefinitely, a Syrian family tried to sneak in and out of the country on fake passports to seek asylum elsewhere but were detained by authorities, their family has said. 

The four Syrians, a couple and their son and a family friend, fled from Syria in fear of their lives, their Sweden-based family has told the Cyprus Mail. 

The four Syrians were caught at Larnaca airport in the early hours of February 24 trying to board a flight to Stockholm via Warsaw on fake passports. Police said the suspects said they procured the passports in Turkey and then entered the government-controlled areas through the Turkish-occupied north. 

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