Daily Archives: April 26, 2013

Archives April 26, 2013 posted by

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Five days to crunch vote

 

LEGISLATORs will on Tuesday take a crunch vote to ratify – or not – a loan agreement between international creditors and Cyprus.

The Financial Assistance Facility Agreement (FAFA) between the European Stability Mechanism on the one hand, and the Republic of Cyprus and the Cyprus Central Bank on the other, was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday. According to a legal opinion of the Attorney-general, the agreement is tantamount to an international treaty and must therefore be sanctioned by parliament.

It’s understood the FAFA and the Memorandum of Understanding on Specific Economic Policy Conditionality concluded with international lenders will be bundled into a single document as a ratification law.

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Our View: The sooner the EAC is privatised, the better

THE ELECTRICITY Authority of Cyprus will not make an adequate surplus to cover its loan repayment obligations the House Finance Committee was told earlier this week. Its chairman Charalambos Tsouris said that the Authority would make a surplus of €34 million this year but would need €46 million for loan repayments. 

A fall in demand (in the region of 20 per cent) as a result of the recession, combined with total reductions of 13 per cent in electricity rates will reduce revenue by about €200 million, the Committee was told. The chairman of the committee Nicholas Papadopoulos said the figures were cause for alarm and described the EAC as a ‘non-viable organisation’, which could cause the collapse of the economy if it went under.

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Further easing of capital controls

THROUGH a tenth decree issued last night, the Central Bank further eased capital controls for transactions both within and outside the island.

Payments and money transfers (for any purpose) from one financial institution to another within Cyprus have been extended from €3000 to €10,000 monthly per individual.

Payments and transfers from one bank to another within Cyprus are now capped at €300,000 per transaction for the purchase of goods and services. Any transactions over and above this amount – again for the purchase of goods or services – is permitted provided that documentation is presented.

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Cronyism and the pot, kettle, black syndrome

A SPAT has broken out between the government and main opposition AKEL over several recent appointments at the Presidential Palace, which the communist party described as cronyism.

AKEL said it had submitted a question to the finance ministry asking about the number of people that had been appointed as special advisers to President Nicos Anastasiades, their duties, and the cost.

The dispute was sparked by the appointment of three journalists – two in the past couple of weeks – as advisers to Anastasiades.

The Palace rejected the criticism, saying that the appointments did not place an extra burden on the state budget.

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Legal obstacle to Galanos appointment to BoC

PLANS to appoint former House president Alexis Galanos interim chairman of the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) have hit a legal obstacle as such a move would be incompatible with him also being the mayor of Famagusta and chairman of the union of municipalities.

The government wants an interim board appointed as soon as possible, to oversee the stricken lender’s restructuring following a Eurogroup decision to impose hefty losses on its uninsured depositors.

Galanos agreed to take over the post but reports said a legal ruling stated it would be in conflict with him being a mayor and the head of the union of municipalities.

Reports suggested the matter was discussed in a one-hour meeting between President Nicos Anastasiades and Central Bank Governor Panicos Demetriades.

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Acupuncturist cleared of double rape charges

A 44-YEAR-OLD anaesthesiologist and acupuncturist was yesterday acquitted of rape charges after the two main witnesses failed to convince the court.

The man had been arrested towards the end of 2011 after two female patients reported to police they had been drugged and raped by the defendant who operated in Paralimni. 

The court found the man guilty on two charges of distributing a banned medicine – Ladose antidepressants not licensed in Cyprus.

His sentence was time served – two months – while police were investigating the case.

In its 87-page decision, the court said it had judged one of the two complainants to be completely unreliable.

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One in ten soldiers use soft drugs

AROUND 10 per cent of recruits in the National Guard are soft-drug users according to Defence Minister Fotis Fotiou. 

Fotiou yesterday revealed the ministry’s new strategy to combat drug use in the army after it was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday.

The ministry and the Anti-Drugs Council signed a memorandum of cooperation to help prevent substance abuse by army recruits serving in the National Guard.

Fotiou outlined the ministry’s five-point-plan to combat the problem which includes the implementation of the memorandum.

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