Daily Archives: March 15, 2013

Archives March 15, 2013 posted by

‘Gas for export now much more urgent’

 

CYPRUS, urgently needing revenues from its newly found natural gas reserves, hopes to begin exports by 2018 and will target sales at fellow European Union members, its energy minister said.

George Lakkotrypis also said gas could be sold in advance or used to help the government, which is now negotiating a multibillion-dollar bailout, to issue new debt on international markets in future.

US company Noble Energy and the Cypriot government announced in 2011 that they had discovered gas deposits of around 7-8 trillion cubic feet (200 billion cubic metres), 40 per cent of the EU’s annual demand.

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Our View: Deputies have always refused to set a good example

FOR YEARS now we have been hearing about the need for politicians to publish capital statements as part of the process to introduce transparency to public life. Draft legislation has been prepared and been found wanting during discussions, with deputies always picking holes in it without ever coming up with alternative proposals. It is the same, negative approach used for proposals relating to the Cyprus problem, by which politicians cite all the reasons why they would fail.

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Entering the final stretch to bailout deal

PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades said yesterday he was committed to implementing a bailout deal “up to the last iota”, as negotiations appeared to enter the final stretch.

Anastasiades, in Brussels to attend the EU and eurozone summits, reiterated that Cyprus was not asking for preferential treatment.

“I have assumed the post of president 15 days ago and I immediately started negotiations with the troika representatives,” Anastasiades told reporters. “We look forward to finding the best and fairest agreement.”

The Cypriot president said he was committed to implementing a bailout agreement “up to the very last iota,” adding that “what we look forward to is not preferential but fair treatment.”

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Former BoC chief wins €2m in compensation compromise

UNDER threat of litigation, the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) has awarded former CEO Andreas Eliades compensation to the tune of some €2 million.

The move comes after a majority decision of the bank board last Friday. No money has been disbursed yet; given that the bank has requested state assistance, the final say rests with regulatory authority, the Central Bank.

On resigning his post in July last year, Eliades demanded €3.5m in total. The €2m figure awarded last week is seen as a compromise.

It’s understood that Eliades had taken out a €1.9m loan from the bank; so his compensation covers the amount he owed plus a little extra.

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CB governor urges quick action on Cyprus

FAILURE to secure funding for Cyprus would present “a systemic risk” for the whole eurozone, Central Bank Governor Panicos Demetriades said yesterday.

In an interview with Reuters, although he would not be drawn on details as negotiations were at a delicate stage, Demetriades said that reigniting of debt crisis turbulence was the biggest risk to the eurozone economy.

“The periphery is the biggest risk (to recovery), and at the minute it is Cyprus,” the governor said, urging its European partners to conclude a bailout this month. 

Demetriades said the currency bloc’s debt-ridden countries had done well in their quest toward balanced budgets, saying they were approaching the end of that road and should now concentrate on structural economic reforms. 

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Co-ops ready to go with the flow

THERE has been reaction in the co-operative movement over a decision for widespread mergers as part of the island’s bailout deal, it emerged yesterday.

International lenders and Cypriot authorities agreed last November that co-operatives must shrink in number – from 96 to 35 – mainly through mergers.

According to the chairman of the co-operative federation, there has been some reaction inside the movement over the prospect. But Andreas Mouskallis did not appear concerned.

“I think they will agree when the reasoning is explained,” he told state radio. “We are ready to present a merger plan at this moment.”

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Decades-old Church-state land deal almost closed

THE CHURCH will soon be transferring tracts of land to the state, bringing to a close a deal struck some 40 years ago.

The announcement was made yesterday following a meeting between Archbishop Chrysostomos and Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos.

A 1971 agreement between Archbishop Makarios – who was president at the time – and the government gave the state around 15,000 donums (1 donum is around 1,337 square metres) of land in return for the state paying part of rural priests’ wages.

Despite that deal, the land registry department did not give its consent to register this land to the state because it is “the legacy of the Greek Cypriot Orthodox community and should not be managed as state land.”

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Big ‘no’ to kitesurfing on Salt Lake

THE lack of proper protection for some environmentally sensitive areas results in people taking advantage by using wetlands on the island for various water sport activities, conservationists said yesterday.

Greens MP Giorgos Perdikis has called on the government to invest in protecting and safeguarding Cyprus’ nature reserves. This comes after Larnaca Municipality received a number of complaints from residents near the Salt Lake that people were kitesurfing on the wetlands site.

“Plans are in place to solve the problem with the creation of an Environmental Information Centre next to the Salt Lake,” environmental officer at Larnaca municipality, Costas Kokkinos said. 

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Tanker spill off Karpas causes concern

ENVIRONMENTALISTS yesterday said marine life could have been harmed after a tanker supplying fuel oil to a terminal in the occupied village of Gastria in the Karpas peninsula, spilled at least one tonne of petroleum in the area on Wednesday evening but only reported it yesterday. 

Gastria, known as Kalecik in the north, lies north of Bogazi on Famagusta bay, a busy area with two existing fuel terminals and plans for a third. Environmentalists and locals are already vocal against building an oil terminal with storage capacity of one million cubic metres, further north near the village of Eptakomi, known in the north as Yedikonuk. 

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