Daily Archives: April 14, 2013

Archives April 14, 2013 posted by

Helios orphans fall victim to haircut

 

ON AUGUST 14, 2005, 33 children were orphaned overnight, their lives irrevocably changed.

These children are the living victims of the fateful Helios Airways crash that killed all 121 passengers onboard the Boeing 737 aircraft, including their parents and, in many cases, their siblings. 

On March 16, 2013, the majority of these same children became victims once again. This time, instead of being robbed of their parents, they stand to lose the compensation awarded to them following their parents’ death as part of the brutal haircut on bank deposits.

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The signs were there, we just didn’t see them

 

Cyprus has been making international headlines for all the wrong reasons, courtesy of the eurozone’s shock treatment: a raid on bank savings and an almost-overnight dramatic dip in GDP. The one-two punch – first the haircut on deposits proposed at the March 16 Eurogroup, followed by the decision to wind down Laiki Bank- left the nation reeling. Islanders still numb from the blow asked: “What the heck just happened?” Where did the bail-in, or deposits haircut, come from? And is the tiny island being used as a guinea pig? Yet for all the disbelief, we should probably have seen it coming. What took place here was neither improvised nor exceptional.

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Euro exit is no easy option

 

SINCE – what is now widely acknowledged – Cyprus’ botched bailout, a debate has been raging on over whether the island should stay in the eurozone or go back to its former national currency, the pound.

Naturally there are two schools of thought on the issue: those arguing that since the conditions of the bailout have all but destroyed the economy, Cyprus should abandon the common currency and the tough terms imposed by its lenders, and those who say the consequences of a so-called Cypexit would be much worse than the alternative.

It does appear however that there are also those who support a Cypexit because of the profits they stand to make.

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Green energy could save the economy

 

We live in very difficult times. It is a world marked by cut-throat competition, the pursuit of narrow, national interests, greater geopolitical rivalries and non-transparent financial dealings. This is the world we live in. To survive in such a world we need education, knowledge and sound judgement. 

We live in very challenging times. We, therefore, must plan for tomorrow. Development will not come from selling homes to Russians and Chinese; that was the old economic model that has just collapsed. The green economy and creativity of young people, who have remained unutilised resources, must feature and society itself should be the heart of the new economic model. 

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Stop dreaming standing up

 

If you were the warehouse manager of a Saudi Arabian food importer, would you risk losing a hand if caught stealing food from warehouse stock to feed your starving family?

Fortunately, Cyprus courts do not cut off the hands of those caught stealing or stone to death those convicted of adultery. 

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Recovery must focus on speedy production of hydrocarbons

 

A general feeling of despair reigns in Cyprus, doom and gloom everywhere, a belief that it will take more than 10 years to rebuild the economy.

Yes, Cyprus faces problems; yes, it is in crisis; yes unemployment will rise to record levels. But is Cyprus down and out? No! Cyprus has absorbed an uppercut, but the referee has only counted to five; there is time until the 10. Will it last more than 10 years to get out of the mess? No! A recession can be swiftly avoided, recovery achieved in under three years, plus a much earlier very substantial reduction in unemployment. Years of austerity need not lie ahead!

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A look back on the nightmare

 

FOR THOSE of you on holiday the last four weeks, let me give you a brief recap.

Cypriot, EU and IMF officials worked, mostly nights, towards delivering a ‘rescue package’ for Cyprus. The initial package put a bomb under the notion of European-guaranteed deposits of under €100,000. The painters were also invited and Cyprus’ red lines were given a fresh coat of cobalt blue and bright yellow.

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In 1974 we had the freedom to grow

 

Many people have stated that this is the worst economic crisis the Republic of Cyprus has faced. This is absolute nonsense. Likewise, there can be no comparison between the enormous economic and social problems that we were able to tackle after the Turkish invasion of 1974 and now.

The main differences in 1974 was that Cyprus was united in dealing with the situation. There was excellent cooperation between government, trade unions and business. Everyone pulled together, the planning mechanism was intact and Cyprus had considerable freedom of movement. The Cyprus pound was strong and maintained its strength, and innovative policies were introduced to get the economy going.

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A letter from London: The problem is, we just don’t know how bad it is

 

This is less a Letter from London and more a Letter from Cyprus. 

I came back on Monday past because I wanted to be close to my friends and family during these difficult times and I also wanted to do my bit for a newspaper I think of as family.

All anyone talks about is what is going on and how bad things are. Then you hear that there is hope and there are opportunities for growth. Then you hear everything is on the brink of destruction. Then the conversation ends with: “I don’t know.” 

In fact “I don’t know” is something I’ve heard a lot since being back. No one seems to know anything about anything. The only other thing people do keep saying is that “it’s still too early”.

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Our view: Exiting the euro is a debate we must have

EVERY DAY seems to bring another piece of bad news regarding the state of economy, which has been in free-fall and has yet to hit the bottom. Since the first Eurogroup meeting of March 15, the situation has become worse by the day and there seems to be no end in sight. We may wake up one morning and find the country has completely shut down, crushed under the weight of its mounting, unserviceable debts with no banks, businesses or services able to operate.

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