Daily Archives: April 9, 2013

Archives April 9, 2013 posted by

NEW: President cancels controversial CBC appointment

THE president has cancelled the controversial appointment of Spyros Stavrinakis to the post of deputy Central Bank (CBC) governor, the government spokesman said today.

Stavrinakis, a senior CBC director, had been appointed deputy governor by former president Demetris Christofias 13 days before the February 17 presidential elections, which he did not contest.

Christofias claimed the appointment was necessary due to the Central Bank’s increasing obligations, rejecting suggestions it that it was politically motivated.

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Georgiades: time to pay the piper

THE time has come for Cyprus to foot the bill for past mistakes, Finance Minister Haris Georgiades said yesterday, as he warned that Cyprus could go bust if there was a delay in the ratification of a bailout deal with international lenders.
State accountant-general Rea Georgiadou warned that the government needed an additional €80 million – on top of an €85 million reserve — before April 24 to avoid a default.
But the finance minister said this would not happen. “There is certainly no question of a default if everything goes according to schedule,” Georgiades told reporters after a lengthy discussion before the House Finance Committee. “We will face a risk if for some reason, either in Cyprus or in the eurozone, this agreement is not ratified.”

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Our View: Cyprus has lost control of its tourism industry

ASIDE from having to sort out its position with relation to the deposit haircut and the issue of capital controls and how they might affect tourism in the near term, the industry needs to get its act together for the medium and long term if it is to contribute to the economy in any significant way.
Obviously tourism cannot save the economy as it once did. The experts have been quite clear on the differing circumstances with respect to the boom of the early eighties and the current climate where we, according to one  “are drowning in competition”.
What has not changed since the late eighties when Cyprus became an established destination, is the attitude towards tourists. It has been a constant, and not in a good way.

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‘Haircut exemptions only lead to bigger cuts for others’

EXEMPTING additional groups from a haircut on Bank of Cyprus (BoC) deposits could mean higher losses for other depositors, Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) Governor Panicos Demetriades warned yesterday.
Uninsured deposits in BoC – over €100,000 – currently face a €37.5 per cent cut although an additional 22.5 per cent, which have been frozen, could also suffer the same fate.
The raid on deposits in the island’s biggest lender was decided by the Eurogroup together with the resolution of the second-biggest, Laiki.
The government has decided to exempt various entities from the scheme, such as municipalities, charities, schools, and insurance companies.
Various groups have also demanded their provident funds be exempted.

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Time running out for Cyprus Airways

TIME is running out for ailing national carrier Cyprus Airways (CY), which could be forced to shut down unless a way is found to keep the company afloat, the government said yesterday.
Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos said the state – which has a controlling interest  – could no longer prop up the airline.
Itself cash-strapped, the government can ill afford to pour more money into CY; however, even if money was no object, legal constraints prevent any cash injection whatsoever, the minister said.
That’s because the European Commission recently initiated an investigation into whether some €100m in state aid granted to CY complied with EU rules.

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BoC keeps Romania unit shut as it seeks buyer

BANK of Cyprus (BoC) will keep its Romanian operations closed for two more weeks as it seeks a buyer for them under a reorganisation forced by the bailout deal.
A one-week freeze on the Romanian operations was already imposed by the Central Bank of Cyprus on April 1. BoC will keep the Romanian operations suspended until April 22, the lender said.
“This prolongation is needed in order to conduct the negotiations for a sale of BoC (Romania), negotiations which start on Monday, April 8 with the banks which expressed their interest in purchasing BoC,” it said in a statement.

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Inquiry committee member resigns, reports say

One of the members of a committee of inquiry into the responsibilities attached to nearly destroying the Cyprus banking system and the economy, yesterday handed in his resignation, reports said.
Former Supreme Court judge Yiannakis Constantinides reportedly cited health reasons for stepping down from the committee which was only sworn in last Tuesday, launching investigations into civil, political and criminal responsibilities. The other two members are a former Supreme Court judge and former member of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Giorgos Pikis who also heads the investigation, and former Supreme Court judge Panayiotis Kallis.

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Dust at dangerous levels

THE AMOUNT of dust in the atmosphere blowing in from the Sahara was at an extremely dangerous level yesterday, threatening the health of vulnerable sections of the population.
“Unfortunately the situation is getting worse by the hour but we are confident that by tomorrow the atmosphere will be free of dust,” said Savvas Kleanthous, an official at the Labour Inspection Department.

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Appraisal drilling at Aphrodite well in June

NOBLE Energy will commence appraisal drilling at the Aphrodite well in June, the executive vice chairman of the state hydrocarbons company Solon Kassinis has said.
The former energy chief appeared bullish yesterday, asserting also that the evaluation of the appraisal – revealing the precise quantities of gas within the prospect – should be completed sometime in the autumn.
Kassinis said a number of foreign companies are expressing an interest in investing in a planned LNG plant on the island.
Japan’s Mitsui was interested in both co-financing the project as well as purchasing gas, he said.
But, he warned, Cyprus needs to get its act together fast if it is to attract project partners.

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Arrest in murder case

A 36-YEAR-OLD man from Zakaki was arrested yesterday in connection with the murder of Loucas Constantinou, the 35-year-old whose burnt remains were found in a car near Lady’s Mile in Limassol last week.
Constantinou, who worked for Limassol municipality’s department of sanitation, was from Kolossi. He had been reported missing from his home a week ago today.
“SBA Police are investigating the case of murder and for this reason a number of lines of enquiry have been undertaken including the issuing of a warrant of arrest against a person suspected in this case,” acting superintendant of SBA Police, George Kiteos said.

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