Daily Archives: April 17, 2013

Archives April 17, 2013 posted by

Funeral of Iron Lady Thatcher starts after London procession

 

BORNE aloft on the shoulders of eight military servicemen, the coffin of Margaret Thatcher was carried up the steps of London’s main cathedral on Wednesday for a funeral service attended by  Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s political elite, and global dignitaries.

In life, the woman the Soviet Union christened the “Iron Lady” divided the British public with her free-market policies which sometimes wrought wrenching change on communities. In death it is no different.

Thousands of supporters lined the streets of London as her casket made its final journey from the centre of British political power in Westminster to the service on top of a gun carriage draped in the red, white and blue British flag.

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Our View: CBC Governor has shown he cannot be trusted to take the right decisions

THE PRESIDENT of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi was quick to come to the defence of Cyprus’ Central Bank Governor Panicos Demetriades. In a letter sent to President Nicos Anastasiades, Draghi warned that the Governor could only be dismissed on the grounds specified by EU law and even then the action would have to be reviewed by the EU’s court of justice.  

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Before asking others to pay, Germany should honour its own debts

 

THE DISPUTE originated in the 1920’s when Germany issued series of bearer bonds in the USA for revitalisation of its economy following the devastating effects of WWI. Acting as trustees, financial institutions such as JP Morgan and Lee Higgins & Co. produced and sold bonds in America raising funds that would be invested in Germany. 

These bonds corresponded to Agricultural Loans signed by 14 German banks and guaranteed by the German government. Of these 14 banks four are still active and are part of the troika mechanism. 

From 1933, Germany defaulted on interest repayments to Bondholders, as the new Nazi leadership considered the debt that Germany faced following WWI as illegal and issued a moratorium on bonds owed to foreign investors.

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Auditor-general: 'I told you so'

 

AUDITOR-GENERAL Chrystalla Georghadji yesterday slammed the years of complacency in Cyprus which have led to millions slipping through the fingers of the state, much of which is now unrecoverable.

During a briefing at the House Watchdog Committee,  Georghadji said the state is owed €1.6 billion in tax and other revenues, which have gone uncollected despite repeated warnings from her office over the years on the amount of money wasted across the wider public service.

While unpaid taxes now stood at €1 billion, she said, around €380 million owed to the state would now be written off in bad debts.

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Millions in taxpayers’ money still being wasted

DESPITE the credit crunch, taxpayers are still footing the bill for projects that have yet to get off the ground, or for wasteful public organisations.

The National Health System (NHS) is one such venture that is a project on paper only. But so far €24m has been spent on the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO), the vehicle set up with the mission to implement the scheme. The NHS was supposed to be up and running by 2008; the date was later pushed back to 2012 and then again to 2015.

In her report for the year 2011, the Auditor-general notes that the lion’s share of expenses at the HIO consisted of a series of feasibility studies commissioned for the NHS. Other expenditures are for salaries (the HIO employs around 60 persons) and rent for premises.

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Rift with Central Bank ‘needs to be resolved’

THE GOVERNMENT conceded yesterday it was not on the same page with the Central Bank Governor, confirming the growing rift between the two sides.

“There is indeed a serious matter at hand…and it needs to be resolved,” Finance Minister Harris Georgiades told newsmen.

But, he hastened to add, the two sides are “obliged to come to an understanding.” 

One point of contention, said Georgiades, has been the Governor’s failure to swiftly appoint a new board to the Bank of Cyprus, an omission which has left the bank “rudderless.”

The government wants Bank of Cyprus to move away from its current status of being under administration as quickly as possible, even if that entails appointing an interim leadership, the minister said.

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Cyprus Today

 

Turkish Cypriot side wants ‘its share’ of the gold 

THE TURKISH Cypriot leadership is claiming rights to the state gold locked away in the Cyprus Central Bank and earmarked for sale to meet the country’s financing needs. 

According to Turkish Cypriot reports, the office of Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu issued a statement in response to recent considerations to sell most of the gold bought by the Cyprus Republic in the 1960s. The government confirms that a gold sale is one of the options being contemplated to raise €400 million as part of the Cyprus rescue package, though the final word rests with the Cyprus Central Bank. 

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EU funds to come earlier for Cyprus

THE GOVERNMENT yesterday welcomed the European Commission’s expression of solidarity with Cyprus and willingness to bring forward payments to Cyprus from the 2014-2020 EU budget to help it access much-needed funds in the immediate future. 

In response to a letter sent by President Nicos Anastasiades on April 9 requesting help to overcome the current crisis, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso proposed “frontloading” payments to Cyprus from the EU budget so that allocations for the next seven years are paid early to give the battered economy a boost.

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Consumers group says ‘watch out for special offers’

 

THE CONSUMERS’ Association has warned people to be wary of special deals at supermarkets and grocers, as there are many instances when the packaging might be damaged or the expiry date too close.

“From our experience we know that during times of economic hardship, companies tend to release plenty of special offers to try and get rid of products that are either damaged or are due to expire,” coordinator for the Consumers’ Association, Giorgos Stylianou told the Cyprus Mail.

He added that the association was trying to put consumers on alert.

“Everyone needs to be more vigilant and careful and refrain from buying unnecessary products or buying in bulk if it is not needed,” a statement from the association said.

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CY has contacts with MEA

REPRESENTATIVES of Middle East Airlines (MEA) yesterday held “preliminary contacts” with officials from national airline Cyprus Airways (CY) and the finance ministry. 

According to a CY announcement made to the Cyprus Stock Exchange in response to numerous press reports of a takeover, the airline clarified that discussions with MEA were at a very early stage and that no specific agreement had been reached.   

The airline reminded that CY has also engaged in discussions with other companies that have shown an interest in buying the state carrier, again with nothing specific to announce at this stage.  

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