Daily Archives: March 10, 2013

Archives March 10, 2013 posted by

Backed into a corner over SGOs

WITH THE troika at the gates, election campaign declarations are taking a back seat to the exigencies of salvaging the economy. Pledges that the so-called ‘profitable’ semi-governmental organisations (SGOs) would be left untouched are now being put to the test.
Lines drawn in the sand before the elections are now being swept away by the tide of bailout talks. Publicly at least, the goalposts on what constitute acceptable terms of a bailout seem to be shifting by the day, by the hour. Mere talk of a haircut on deposits – which the government has rejected – means that priorities must be re-jigged.

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Our view: Refreshing to see a president meeting problems head on

MONDAY’S Eurogroup meeting might not have produced all the desired results but it had one positive outcome – it set an end of the month deadline for the signing of the memorandum of understanding. Our EU partners stopped talking vaguely about the signing of an agreement at some point this year and set a time-frame, indicating that they all wanted to see the matter closed as soon as possible.

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Tales from the coffeeshop: Troika shenanigans and the return of the delightful Delia

A FEW months ago, the Jagger/Richards songwriting team of Kyproulla – Leonidas Malenis and Stavros Hadjisavvas – wrote an appalling song to celebrate Cyprus’ EU presidency, titled Welcome Friends to Cyprus. It was so bad it should have attained cult status with club DJs playing it and making it a club classic. This never happened.
On Thursday Malenis and Hadjisavvas appeared on the Lazarus patriotic radio show to present their latest composition, a dirge entitled Colony of Europe, protesting against the arrogance being shown by Europeans towards our suffering island, which they were treating as a colony. Six months ago their song was welcoming the colonists to Cyprus.

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New minister says drilling a priority

EXPLORATORY drilling in Block 12 is a priority, Commerce and Industry Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said yesterday.
Responding to questions about Troika’s refusal to include Cyprus’ potential income from its hydrocarbons, Lakkotrypis said that is the reason Noble Energy must proceed rapidly to explore Block 12.
“As soon as it is confirmed and certified that there are deposits of gas they can be declared as marketable and will have a certain value,” he said.
“Noble’s contract is until October and we will meet them next week to see what their plans are exactly and how to move forward,” he added.
Lakkotrypis said the ministry’s priority remains the creation of a proper administrative structure to deal with matters of natural gas.

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Troika talks continue at Central Bank

TROIKA officials continued their talks at the Central Bank yesterday before they departed from Cyprus.
Political party leaders were due to be given an update on the progress of negotiations last night during a meeting at the Presidential Palace with President Nicos Anastasiades.
A statement released yesterday said the meeting would be on matters of the economy.
Earlier the president met the Finance Minister, the Central Bank Governor and the head of the National Council on Economic Policy at the palace.

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‘The road is not strewn with rose petals’

Speaking at a memorial service in Limassol for former President Spyros Kyprianou, Anastasiades said yesterday his government will exhaust all possible resources to raise this country back to where it belongs.
Anastasiades said the current government will work with the same vigour and determination as the late president did during his term.
He added that we all must contribute, during this difficult period to ensure economic stability and restore growth.
“We need to correct the wrongs and clean-up state finances without harming the vulnerable groups of society and without putting more pressure on our economy,” he said.

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Waste management needed to improve our quality of life

WASTE management is perhaps the most important aspect for the protection of water, soil, air, flora, fauna, the ecosystem of the island and on improving our quality of life, Agriculture and Environment Minister Nicos Kouyialis said yesterday.
Speaking at an event held by the Cyprus Scouts and Green Dot Cyprus, Kouyialis said the protection of the environment is the main aim of the ministry as it is responsible for implementing much of the environmental legislation.
“With Cyprus joining the EU many action-plans by the public have been put in place to help protect the environment relating to waste management,” he said.

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Capital of culture committee in place

A COMMITTEE responsible for overseeing the operation of the entire project of ‘Pafos European capital of culture 2017’ is now in place.
Headed up by former health minister Christos Patsalides, the nine member committee will be formally announced by the mayor of Paphos Savvas Vergas on Monday.
The committee will be responsible for and accountable for the entire cultural celebration.
Patsalides was appointed on Wednesday after a unanimous proposal by the Paphos municipal council.

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Ancient olives, the latest trendy trees

 

OUTLIVING generations of people and growing to an almost mythical age, old olive trees have now become a must-have, architectural statement for those who can afford a price tag that can top 11,000 euros. 

At least 200 years old, two stately olive trees now stand at the entrance of Jean Nouvel Tower 25, a high profile building on Nicosia’s Stasinou Avenue named after the award-winning French architect. 

Even more impressive is the monumental, gnarled ancient olive tree that was transplanted on the roundabout just outside the presidential palace nearly two years ago.

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Waging war on ‘safe’ cigarettes

 

AS REGULAR visitors to pubs and clubs know only too well, implementing the ban on real cigarettes has been patchy at best, yet – much to the chagrin of the makers of electronic cigarettes – the police and health officials are seeking to expand that ban to include electronic smoking cessation aids.

 Of all EU countries, only Belgium, Malta and Slovakia have so far extended their smoking ban to include electronic cigarettes in enclosed public places, bars, restaurants and the workplace, even though they contain no tobacco.

 Police chief Michalis Papageorgiou said Cyprus needs to join these countries and adopt strict regulations on the use of electronic cigarettes in public spaces irrespective of future EU directives on the issue. 

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