Daily Archives: March 6, 2013

Archives March 6, 2013 posted by

Government says bailout objectives achieved

THE government said yesterday its objectives were achieved regarding the bailout, after EU finance ministers agreed to bail out Cyprus while a controversial money laundering audit will be carried out with the participation of a European committee and the Central Bank of Cyprus.
Eurozone finance ministers pledged on Monday to agree a bailout for Cyprus by the end of March, but details of how the rescue will be financed were yet to be sorted out.
Officials however did not remove the deposit haircut option from the table, prompting Nicosia to once more reject such an intention and censure its EU partners.

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Our View: Compromises cloud results of Eurogroup meeting

NOBODY seemed to know what to make of Monday night’s Eurogroup meeting which discussed the Cyprus bailout. Had finance minister Michalis Sarris been successful in achieving the goals he had set or had he failed? As with many EU issues there is no clear answer because decisions are usually compromises.
For instance, on the issue of the money-laundering audit, on which there was no agreement at the previous Eurogroup meeting, with the Cyprus government objecting to an audit by a private firm, supported by other countries, a compromise was reached. The audit would be carried out by the Council of Europe’s Moneyval – the Cyprus government’s demand – independent, anti-money laundering experts and independent auditors.

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High stakes game being played over haircut

TALK of a haircut on uninsured deposits should be quickly put to bed, as mere mention of the possibility is extremely dangerous for Cyprus, analysts warn.
Although EU leaders have not stated outright that a haircut option is on the table, neither have they ruled it out completely.
The option of forcing losses on large deposit holders in Cypriot banks and senior bondholders has been doing the rounds recently, mostly in the German press.
At Monday’s Eurogroup meeting, finance minister Michalis Sarris said the island was willing to meet the troika halfway on privatisations, downsizing its banking sector and auditing its anti money-laundering framework but in return wanted a clear commitment that there would be no “bail-in” of bank depositors.

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Central Bank chief moots special levy on capital gains

CYPRUS could install a special levy on capital gains from bank deposits to finance the restructuring of its banking sector, Central Bank Governor Panicos Demetriades was quoted as saying yesterday in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
“Taxing 10 per cent of interest income for example would generate a substantial amount of revenue for the government,” Demetriades said.
He estimated that such a tax “would generate as much as €150 million a year.”
Eurozone finance ministers pledged on Monday to agree a bailout for Cyprus by the end of March, but details of how the rescue will be financed are yet to be sorted out.
Cyprus requested a bailout in June last year but it was not possible to reach an agreement with the last, communist-led government.

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Banks still waiting for recapitalisation figures

BANKS have not yet received the detailed figures concerning their individual recapitalisation needs, which were expected to be handed over on Monday, it emerged yesterday.
The banks had expected the figures on Monday but the Central Bank told them they will be handed over on Tuesday instead.
Yesterday however, they were told to wait until further notice, the Cyprus Mail has learned.
Sources at one bank expressed their relief as that could mean the figures were not yet final and that efforts were still underway to adjust them downwards.
Banks have expressed strong disagreement with the procedure used by the company that carried out the due diligence into their portfolios.
They say that their needs were exaggerated.

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Man sentenced to life for murder of jeweller

PAPHOS Criminal Court yesterday sentenced a 44-year-old auto body repair technician to life imprisonment for the premeditated murder of a 67-year-old jeweller who was found dead in Paphos’ Petra tou Romiou in October last year.
Costas Palaskas from Skoulli village, near Paphos’ Polis Chrysochous, was sentenced to life for the murder of Michalakis Demetriou from Larnaca, who was shot dead on October 31 last year.
He was also given 18 years for armed robbery. Both sentences will run concurrently.
Demetriou was killed by two shots – to the head and chest – fired at close range with a shotgun. He was found outside his car on a dirt road north of Petra tou Romiou.

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Kidnap suspect to face trial

A 35-year-old woman was yesterday committed for trial at the Criminal Court in connection with kidnapping an 18-month-old boy in Limassol last month.
The woman, who is the aunt by marriage of toddler Stavros Styllis, will face charges including kidnap and conspiracy to commit felony.
The woman was released on bail until her trial, which is scheduled to start on April 4.
Prosecutors had asked for her to be remanded in custody, arguing that there was a risk of flight.
The defence rejected the argument, pointing out that the woman was married – to the brother of the toddler’s father – and the mother of three underage children.

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Breakfast is a child’s right

THE bishop of Limassol attacked the ministry of education yesterday for not doing enough to help poor families and hungry school children.
“I do not want to thank the ministry of education for its help as none was seen,” Bishop Athanasios said. He was speaking during an event to give breakfast to 2,000 children in Limassol.
He criticised the ministry of education for its lack of practical help and expressed the hope the new minister, Kyriacos Kenevezos, “will not follow the path which the ministry has taken until now.

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Compare banking services, school fees and credit card fees on new website

COMPARING various services in Cyprus used to mean getting your pen and pad out and making a host of phone calls, but that has all been simplified with a new website, www.compareservices.com.cy
The site aims to provide transparency, competition, simplicity and valid and timely information to the public on a number of services. Visitors can compare different banking charges including interest rates, current account charges, building loans, credit cards and student loans of the major banks on the island.
Information is also provided for different landline and internet charges as well as mobile phone pay-as-you-go or contract charges.

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Cross examination of former foreign minister continues

FORMER foreign minister Marcos Kyprianou said yesterday he never recommended an Iranian munitions cargo be sold, but neither did he oppose or quash the idea.
Kyprianou, the first of six defendants to take the stand in the ongoing Mari trial, was being cross-examined by the state prosecution.
The questions revolved around a February 7, 2011 meeting at the Defence Ministry, one of a series held to discuss the status of the cargo seized from a Syria-bound ship in January 2009.
The prosecution produced the minutes of the meeting, according to which Kyprianou told the others that the United Nations were favourably disposed toward the sale of the cargo, the proceeds of which would be deposited in a bank.

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