Daily Archives: April 7, 2013

Archives April 7, 2013 posted by

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Cunning commies and the used-bank salesman

ANDREAS Vgenopoulos has been taking Cypriots for a ride ever since 2006 when he arrived in Kyproulla promising to turn Laiki Bank into a banking colossus that would make all its shareholders mega-wealthy and Kyproulla the banking centre of the Middle East.

Almost seven years later, Laiki has not even survived as a banking midget, the silver-tongued, Athens, used-bank salesman leading it to bankruptcy before it had a chance to grow up into the regional colossus he had promised its naive Cypriot shareholders. 

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Tourism takes centre stage but it’s no magic bullet

 

KEY PLAYERS from the tourism industry say they have good reason to feel bullish about a successful summer season, but some industry watchers say it is not the magic bullet it once was and cannot save the island like it did after 1974.

Proposed upgrades have boosted confidence, with both the government and international lenders suggesting that investment in tourism has the best shot of plugging the gap left by the near demise of the financial services industry.

If forecasts are to be believed, the financial sector will likely be halved, with brutal consequences for related industries such as wealth management, trusts, foreign exchange trading, fund administration and insurance.

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Final haircut figure expected tomorrow

 

OFFICIALS at the Central Bank will work through the weekend to come-up with a final percentage for the levy on uninsured deposits of over €100,000 at Bank of Cyprus, it was reported yesterday.

An announcement is expected tomorrow. The decision is dependant on calculations regarding the offset of loans against deposits according to head of internal audit at the Central Bank, Yiangos Demetriou. He expressed the belief that once measures were  put in place it would breathe life back into the market and to trading.

Most reports suggest depositors with over €100,000 with the bank will take a hit of 60 per cent. 

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In Brief

 

Antiquities theft  

TWO MEN, aged 26 and 65 were arrested late Friday in connection with a case of antiquities theft. According to a police spokesman a 26-year Syrian man had three amphorae  in his possession which he was planning to sell for €900. He told police he had stolen them from a house in Limassol which belongs to the 65-year Greek-Cypriot who was also arrested on suspicion of possessing them illegally. 

Police found two more amphorae at the man’s house. All five items were taken to an archaeologist who determined they dated from the early and mid Bronze Age and fell under the Antiquities Act. The 26-year-old was held for questioning while the 65-year-old was written up and released until a later date.

 

 

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Our View: Anastasiades government has dashed hopes of a new start

 

THE CHEAP rhetoric, demagoguery and populist policies that have blighted public life ever since the establishment of the Republic and take a big share of the blame for our desperate, current predicament are still going strong. The economy is sinking to new lows by the day, but our politicians are too busy engaging in the only thing they know – uttering platitudes, rabble-rousing, pandering to unions and demanding punishment of those responsible for the catastrophe. 

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It’s a crisis, but not 1974

 

Both President Nicos Anastasiades and the EU’s economy commissioner Olli Rehn have recently referred to 1974 to remind Cypriots of their resilience and how they once overcame adversity to perform an economic miracle, the thinking being that surely they could do it again. 

The sheer scale of the current setback has yet to be felt, but politicians obviously feel the crisis is worthy of comparison to the Greek-inspired coup and Turkish invasion, when almost 40 per cent of the island came under occupation, a third of the country’s population was displaced and most of the infrastructure for agriculture and tourism was lost. 

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We can’t fight what has happened, so we should use it

 

MEDICAL experts are expecting a rapid increase in cases of depression and anxiety disorders as the extent of the economic crisis begins to register and impact on peoples’ lives.

The economic uncertainty, wage cuts and job losses of the last 18 months will now snowball as the effects of the tough conditions set by international lenders for a bailout are felt indiscriminately across society.

Psychologists all foresee an increase in depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol abuse and psychosomatic disorders – insomnia, fatigue and gastrointestinal illnesses – and even attempted suicides. 

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Confusion and frustration over capital controls

 

PUBLIC SHOCK about the tough terms of the international bailout is turning into anger as millions of euros remain locked in the banks under capital control regulations.

Anxiety is being deepened by confusion over how the hastily-imposed rules should operate.

Hundreds of bank workers protested outside parliament on Thursday, worried that they could lose much of their pension savings under the terms of the bailout deal which stipulates that some depositors will part of the rescue’s cost if their accounts hold more than 100,000 euros.

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Future of gas burns brightly

 

Interview with Charles Ellinas, chairman of the state hydrocarbons company KRETYK

* ‘Business as usual’ for oil and gas giants: Cyprus’ financial crisis not a problem

* Noble rebuffed Turkish demands to back away from exploratory drilling

* Six licensed blocks may hold 30 trillion cubic feet of gas – building an LNG first is a must

Q: There appears to be some confusion over the precise role of KRETYK, with reports suggesting some overlap with the duties of the Natural Gas Public Company, DEFA. Could you clear that up?

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How wild is my valley

 

LAST month I was asked if I would organise a wildflower walk in the valley that runs between the outskirts of Kalo Chorio through Ayia Anna, Psevdas to Mosfiloti where I live. I am a gardener and any wild flowers, which I usually refer to as weeds, are generally plucked out of my flower beds at first sight, other than wild poppies and a few others that I tolerate!

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