Daily Archives: March 12, 2013

Archives March 12, 2013 posted by

Signs of climb down on corporate tax rate

 

THE GOVERNMENT appears prepared to agree to a small increase in Cyprus’ corporate tax rate to stave off IMF pressure for investors to take losses on bank deposits as part of a bailout, a source close to the talks with international lenders said yesterday.

A source with direct knowledge of the government’s consultations with the lenders told Reuters that a “small” corporate tax increase could be considered by Cyprus, along with a temporary levy on capital gains.

“It looks like consultations are starting to yield results, and the proper compromises are being found,” the source said.

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Our View: Resumption of pay cuts saga keeps heat on Supreme Court

THE SAGA OVER the cuts to the pay of judges returns to the Supreme Court today, when the Attorney-General is expected to present the case of the state. 

On January 28, the lawyers representing the district court judges argued that the pay cut was a violation of the constitution, which stated that the pay and terms of employment of a judge could not be changed unfavourably after his appointment.

As we have written several times in the past this article of the constitution safeguarded the independence of judges by ensuring a judge was not penalised by the executive in the event he took a decision that it did not like. 

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Greece and Cyprus will turn crisis into opportunity

CYPRUS will rise again, President Nicos Anastasiades said yesterday, stressing his determination to take all necessary measures to beat the island’s economic woes that brought it to the brink of bankruptcy.

“We have been through tougher times and we managed to rise again,” Anastasiades said following talks with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Athens. 

Referring to the Turkish invasion in 1974, Anastasiades said “the biggest catastrophe was transformed into an economic miracle because we have stubbornness and determination.”

Anastasiades said the two sides had a productive and fruitful discussion, which confirmed “our willingness for closer cooperation”, to the benefit of both countries.

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Archbishop: church’s bank has been wrongly caught in troika net

 

ARCHBISHOP Chrysostomos has threatened to sue the previous government for placing Hellenic Bank – of which the church is a major shareholder – in the troika’s crosshairs.

The cleric revealed on Sunday that he has instructed Hellenic’s board of directors to explore the possibility of suing former finance minister Vassos Shiarly and Central Bank governor Panicos Demetriades.

The prelate said these two officials were responsible for including Hellenic in the terms of reference of PIMCO, an investment company tasked with carrying out a due diligence of the Cypriot financial sector.

This was despite the fact Hellenic is a healthy bank and does not require state assistance, Chrysostomos said.

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Officials deny any delay in gas drilling

OFFICIALS here are confident that Noble Energy can start confirmation drilling at the Aphrodite 1 well this summer, and have also confirmed the possibility of a second prospect in offshore Block 12.

“We’re hoping for appraisal drilling at Aphrodite before the end of July,” said Charles Ellinas, chairman of the state hydrocarbons company KRETYK.

He was speaking to the Mail yesterday shortly after meeting with the Noble team for a progress review.

Provided the US company presses ahead with follow-up drilling sometime in the summer – “not autumn” – then there was “no problem in terms of adhering to the timetable”, he said.

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Arrested for murder of taxi driver ten years ago

POLICE in Paphos arrested a 39-year-old from Larnaca yesterday in connection with a murder ten years ago in Paphos. 

According to Paphos police, 48-year-old taxi-driver Charalambos Pericleous from the village of Salamiou was murdered in August 2003 near Tsada. The 39-year-old, who has not been named, is being held in a Paphos holding cell until he is brought before Paphos district court later today. 

Recent DNA checks on the murder weapon – a revolver – matched that of the 39-year-old suspect. His DNA had been on record after a previous unrelated arrest.

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Arrest in car shooting death

POLICE arrested a 28-year-old man from Larnaca on Saturday night as a suspect in last Friday’s killing of 26-year-old Stefanos Vasiliades, who died from a gunshot to the head.

“The suspect was arrested in February on charges of possessing 170grams of drugs. After his release he blamed the victim for informing police,” police spokesman Andreas Angelides told the Cyprus Mail yesterday. “The suspect and the victim also had financial differences,” the spokesman said, adding that last summer the victim had allegedly tried to force the suspect to give him €10,000. 

“This pointed to a threat to the suspect,” he added.

The suspect, who denies any role in the killing, has been remanded for four days.

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Inspiration and information at TEDxNicosia

HUNDREDS of people spent last Saturday at the Pallas theatre in Nicosia for TEDxNicosia, for a day full of speeches and conversation on how to “regenerate, rethink, and react”, at the second locally organised event licensed by TED, a non-profit organisation devoted to “ideas worth spreading”.

The Nicosia speakers talked on Saturday of ways for people to find their niche and capitalise on what makes them unique, of how perceptions of the “Other” can be broken down, the changing media landscape, how maths can be fun and ever-present, and how to find meaning through devastating life events such as the suicide of a father and armed robbery. 

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Better use of police IT systems would reduce crime

AIMING to tackle crime by sourcing information better, newly appointed justice minister Ionas Nicolaou wants to create an independent anti-crime committee to analyse statistics and data relating to crime, reports said. 

The committee will reportedly comprise of experts who will have access to police data and will make suggestions, while Nicolaou also said that he wanted to strengthen the police’s ability to monitor telephone conversations “under specific terms” that were not specified. The police already have access to personal data in the context of criminal investigations. 

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Proposed UN visit over arms was ‘merely routine’

FORMER foreign minister Marcos Kyprianou said yesterday the impression that the UN was prevented from visiting Cyprus over the munitions on the Monchegorsk had blown out of proportion what was a “routine matter”.

Cyprus seized nearly 100 containers of munitions cargo in early 2009 from the Cypriot-flagged Monchegorsk that was going from Iran to Syria, in violation of a UN Security Council resolution. 

But Kyprianou, one of the defendants in the ongoing trial over the death of 13 people killed when the munitions exploded, said that it was only after the July 11 blast at Mari in 2011 that a big deal was made over the fact that Cyprus delayed a visit by the UN Security Council’s sanctions committee. 

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