Daily Archives: April 2, 2013

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Bullied into accepting initial haircut deal

PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades said he was bullied into accepting a haircut on deposits under threat by the European Central Bank (ECB) that it would starve Cyprus’ banks of cash.
In an interview with Phileleftheros published on Sunday, Anastasiades described fraught negotiations at the Eurogroup of March 15 that dragged on into the hours of the following day.
Cyprus agreed on a bank levy of 6.75 per cent on insured depositors and 9.9 per cent on large depositors (over €100,000), in a bid to stave off the collapse of its two largest commercial lenders, Laiki and Bank of Cyprus.

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Former Laiki boss demands publication of bank probes

FORMER LAIKI (Popular) Bank chairman Andreas Vgenopoulos yesterday called on the Cypriot authorities to clear his name by making public all investigative reports into the banking fiasco which has brought the island to its knees.
In a released statement, Vgenopoulos called for the immediate release of reports by Alvarez & Marsal, PIMCO and the House Institutions (Watchdog) Committee into the banking crisis, to put an end to the last 17 months of “mud-slinging” and “slander” against him.
Last year, the Central Bank board appointed consultants Alvarez and Marsal to carry out an investigation into what really went wrong in the banking sector.

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Unity government is a possibility

PRESIDENT NICOS Anastasiades is considering inviting opposition parties AKEL and EDEK to participate in government, Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos was reported saying yesterday.
In an interview with Athens News Agency, Mitsopoulos said: “We are in a state of emergency.”
He argued that the government took over a state in “chaos”, revealing that Anastasiades was contemplating inviting opposition parties AKEL and EDEK to participate in government and provide a collective response to the crisis plaguing Cyprus.
Speaking candidly, he said: “We are not properly prepared and perhaps we made a mistake in our evaluation of our European friends.”

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Attempts to smuggle cash out through airports

OFFICIALS have confirmed that a number of people have tried to sneak substantial amounts of cash out of the island over the past couple of weeks.
Under strict capital controls designed to prevent a bank run since last Thursday when the banks re-opened, individuals have only been allowed to take out €1,000 (or the equivalent in other currencies) per trip.
The controls were imposed following the re-opening of the banks for the first time after a preliminary accord between the government and the EU and IMF.
Police have stepped up checks at airports and harbours, and anyone caught with more than €1000 on their person is referred to Customs. The cash is seized and an invoice issued for the amount.

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Russia won't help out Cyprus depositors, says minister

THE RUSSIAN government will not aid businesses that have lost money in Cyprus, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov has said, underscoring Moscow’s resolve to clamp down on the flight of capital to offshore financial centres.
Major account holders, many of them Russian, will lose up to 60 per cent of their deposits over 100,000 euros at Cyprus’ largest bank under a European Union bailout.
If Russians lose money “it’s a terrible shame, but the Russian government will not take any action in such a situation,” Shuvalov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying in a television interview on Sunday night.

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Food pours in at solidarity concert

PEOPLE from across the island yesterday gathered at the Constanza moat in Nicosia for ‘CyprusAid – People for People’, a free music concert in return for food and useful items to be handed out to community markets in the country.
The event started at 4pm and was due to finish at midnight, with 50 artists and volunteers giving their time for free and CyTA live streaming the performances.
Even before CyprusAid was due to start, volunteers were already busy sorting items – baby food, long life milk, coffee, lentils, pasta, etc –  that people had started bringing in.
By 4pm all hands were busy, scribbling down how many boxes they had already filled up and trying to separate their items into categories. Dozens of boxes were already full.

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Remand renewed for murder suspect

LIMASSOL district court renewed an eight-day remand yesterday for a 34-year-old man suspected of killing a man and injuring four others in two separate shooting incidents in Kofinou on March 23.
Police are guarding the suspect in Limassol hospital after he crashed his car after the shootings in the Aradippou-Avdellerou road where he was arrested.
Cyprus News Agency said yesterday the man’s doctors expected him to stay in hospital for about three months.
The 34-year-old is suspected of attacking and killing Panayiotis Stavrou, 54, and injuring his 27-year-old son, Giorgos, at a Turkish Cypriot house in Kofinou which the father and son were working on at the time in the morning of the attack.

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April Fool focus on AKEL’s sins and economic woes

This year’s April Fool’s Day stories in the press yesterday focused on an imaginary row among AKEL top brass, and impossible deals to save the economy and Omonia football club. 
Daily Politis said that a row erupted during an AKEL meeting last Friday when the party’s members starting looking back at the scandals of the previous AKEL government to explain why the glass of a framed picture of former President Demetris Christofias had been smashed.
Christofias, whose term as president ended in February, was shocked to come to a meeting to see his portrait, “smashed, as if someone punched it, breaking the glass”.

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Marked increase in on-the-spot driving fines

DURING 2009-2012, traffic police issued 882,197 on-the-spot fines collecting €38,455,371, according to a new statistical report.
These statistics were presented to parliament after being requested by DISY MP Kyriacos Hadjiyianni.
From the report it seems that more Cypriot residents drive over the speed limit as time progresses. In 2009 the traffic police issued 70,256 on-the-spot fines and 94,289 in 2012. Fines for driving while speaking on a mobile phone, or driving while holding objects, ranged between 16,242 and 19,517 during the three year time period. Fines issued for not following traffic signals were 16,077 in 2009, 24,103 in 2010, 23,659 in 2011, and 17,121 in 2012.

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Mugging arrests

A 16 AND a 17-year-old youth were arrested on Sunday in connection with the mugging of two women in Larnaca on March 30, where gold chains and crosses they were wearing were stolen.
After questioning police found that the two teenagers were also allegedly involved in another four cases of mugging earlier last month.

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