Daily Archives: April 21, 2013

Archives April 21, 2013 posted by

Another monument to our division

CYPRUS MARKS the tenth anniversary since the opening of the checkpoints on Tuesday, which ended 29 years of physical separation between the two communities, adding another milestone to the long history of continued division on the island.
On April 23, 2003 Turkish Cypriot authorities overcame Turkish military reluctance and opened the sealed gates between the two communities, allowing thousands of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to pass each other in long queues and cross to see the ‘other’ side for the first time in three decades.
Emotional accounts of refugees on both sides returning to their homes and being welcomed by the current inhabitants with open arms and courteous hospitality were beamed and printed by media around the world.

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Our View: Marking a decade of missing opportunities

WITH everyone’s attention focused on the economic crisis it would not be difficult to overlook another important date on the Cyprus calendar for it was a decade ago Tuesday that the first crossing point opened between the two sides at the Ledra Palace Hotel.
It began with a rumour the eve of April 23, 2003 that then Turkish Cypriot leader, the late Rauf Denktash, would open the self-imposed barricade 29 years after it was created. To everyone’s shock, he did.
People on both sides flocked to the crossing in their thousands and for anyone who remembers, it was a day of excitement, happiness and sadness, and of renewed hope for a Cyprus solution.

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‘This is not my place any more’

WHEN Roulla Savvidou, 56, from Kythrea visited her childhood home on April 24, 2003, for the first time in 29 years, she could not believe her eyes when she saw the Turkish Cypriot family living there had hardly changed the furniture.
Prior to that the last time she had been there, she was just 17. Her family had packed their bags with only the clothes they could carry and rushed south to escape the advancing Turkish army.
The Turkish Cypriots, who were from Larnaca, moved in three months after the invasion.
“They were friendly. They let us in and gave me photos of my parents, some encyclopaedias, three books of Grivas, my grandmother’s old cups and my sister’s sports trophies,” said Savvidou.

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Openings and closure

IN THE 1990s I used to stand on top of a Venetian rampart in a rubbish-strewn park at Arabahmet and forlornly watch the seemingly carefree traffic whizzing through Paphos Gate. A voyeur in the true sense of the word, I could watch but in no way interact with the scene, unless of course I wanted to attract the attention of either or both of two armies amassed either side of a cease-fire line in one of the most militarised places in the world.

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These times are difficult for everyone

THE government urged parties to join it in working together to get the country out of the economic rut, as a raft of measures announced on Friday received mixed reviews.
“We are seeking creative cooperation and not divisive conflict,” government spokesman Christos Stylianides said. “These difficult times are difficult for everyone.”
Stylianides said the government wished to cooperate with all political parties, though it had the first say as the elected administration.
“It does believe however that there is no other path for the common good. There is a place for everyone to contribute,” the spokesman said.

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Russia ties Cyprus loan terms to release of VTB assets

RUSSIA wants to play a bigger part in talks over solving Cyprus’ financial problems but will only restructure its loan to the island if its interests here, especially those related to VTB Bank, are protected, Moscow’s finance minister said.
Russian banks and companies have poured money into Cyprus since the 1990s, taking advantage of low taxes and relaxed business regulations.
Many of them were caught unprepared when major account holders were told they would lose a proportion of their deposits over €100,000 under a European Union bailout to save the islandy from bankrutpcy.

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Those in tourism still see hope in Russian market

THE ECONOMIC crisis seen in Cyprus over the last month will most certainly impact upon the eastern promise of a growing Russian tourism market though opinions within the industry appear to differ over the degree.
One tourism operator who did not wish to be named said he was in Russia recently visiting tour operators and was implored by companies there to pass on the message to the Cyprus authorities to counteract the negative marketing enacted against the country.
“Unfortunately, our competitors are capitalising on our situation, saying we have strikes, people are screaming in the streets and there is general upset and insecurity here. Bookings are down and people are scared,” he said.

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Cypriot-based firm takes on Germany over pre-war bonds

A CYPRUS-BASED company, Mortimer Offshore Services, is engaged in a lengthy legal battle in the US over pre-World War II German Gold Bonds the company says are worth around $9 billion.
According to Avraam HadjiGiovannis, a Business Engineer Consultant who is close to the proceedings, the bonds were bought in the open market from American citizens who had been buying the debt for years over the last century.
These particular bonds, issued by Lee Higginson Trust Company, and printed by the American Bank Note Company, were traded on the US stock exchange. Mortimer began buying up the bonds in the nineties but says Germany refuses to allow encashment.

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Children loom large in pensioners’ fears for the future

 

“I don’t know if we’re getting our pensions next month,” said Koulla Tabidji. 

“I only got my widow’s pension this month, not my pension. Then I had to go back and ask for my pension,” added Chloe Panayi.

“Mine was late too,” said a third lady.

“I think mine was less this time,” shouted out a fourth.

“The Labour Minister said we’re going to get our pensions. But then I heard some reports we are not getting it next month, and then I heard other reporters say we are. I don’t know,” said Eleni Miliou. 

“I think they’re going to cut my pension. Well everyone’s pension, not just me. It’s a general phenomenon,” said another lady.

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Minister Kasoulides’ visit to Israel – A political analysis

 

The visit of Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, George Lakkotripis to Israel was preparatory to President Nicos Anastasiades’ visit scheduled May 6-7. It took place, however, within a particular climate, characterised by two important events affecting Cyprus-Israeli relations – the attempted rapprochement between Turkey and Israel and Ankara’s threats aimed at hindering the exploitation of the natural gas in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

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