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Archives June 1, 2013 posted by

President asks ETEK advice on title deeds

PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades has asked the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (ETEK) for its help in solving the title deeds issue by suggesting that architects or developers could give final approval for work completion, rather than having to wait for local authorities.
During a meeting at the presidential palace with ETEK president, Stelios Achniotis, Anastasiades raised the issue of drawn-out procedures relating to title deeds. There is a current backlog of 100,000 unissued, some of which go back two decades.
The issue was discussed in the context of attracting investment and curbing unemployment, Anastasiades asked for suggestions from the chamber on how the private sector could be utilised in helping to speed up procedures.

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Archives June 1, 2013 posted by

Our View: ‘Social’ dinner was much ado about nothing

IN THE END, all the fuss and political grandstanding that preceded the dinner for the two leaders and their spouses, hosted at the residence of the UN Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim, was much ado about nothing. President Anastasiades’ fears that the host, Alexander Downer, would have attempted to turn Thursday’s dinner into a political event, using it to kick-start the peace process, proved totally unfounded. The social character of the dinner was maintained and a good time was reportedly had by all.

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Archives June 1, 2013 posted by

Hellenic posts €31.7 million loss

HELLENIC Bank posted a €31.7 million loss in the first quarter, taking a hit from higher provisioning for bad loans and from the sale of its Greek business as part of an international bailout for Cyprus.
Hellenic was one of three Cypriot banks which sold their Greek branches to that country’s second-biggest lender Piraeus Bank in March under a deal brokered between Cypriot authorities and international lenders to ring-fence the Cypriot banking system and prevent its chaotic bailout spilling over to Greece.
Hellenic, in which the Church of Cyprus is a major shareholder, said it booked a €10.2 million loss from the sale of its Greek unit in a deal valued at €29 million.

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Archives June 1, 2013 posted by

Moving towards a tram system for Nicosia

THE COMMUNICATIONS ministry has called for tenders’ proposals for a feasibility study on a tram network in the greater Nicosia region, Nicosia mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis said yesterday.
“We believe in the (project’s) potential to offer solutions to the accumulated problems created by the contradictory… way in which Nicosia’s city network has been designed,” Yiorkadjis said this week during a workshop last night on the concept of a Nicosia tram.
 “There is no excuse for continuing to endlessly build roads with no strategic planning and without prioritised goals for achieving sustainable growth,” Yiorkadjis said.

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Archives June 1, 2013 posted by

Jobless rate hits new high

CYPRUS’ jobless rate climbed to 15.6 per cent in April, compared with 11.2 per cent last year, Eurostat said yesterday.
In absolute numbers that translates to 71,000 people.
More analytical data reveal that unemployment for men in Cyprus, in April, stood at 15.8 per cent, at 15.2 per cent for women and at 32.7 per cent among young people under 25 years of age (March data).

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Archives June 1, 2013 posted by

New CM website out today

 The Cyprus Mail website is getting refurbished today.

It will look better and be far easier for you – its readers – to use. The new website will seamlessly take over from the old one within the day. 

There is nothing you need to do at your end. Simply enjoy the new Cyprus Mail website and have a look around to get a feel for our new home.

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Archives June 1, 2013 posted by

Court freezes former Laiki strongman’s assets

A CYPRIOT court has frozen assets worth around €5.3 billion belonging to former Laiki Bank strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos and two other people, the Central Bank (CBC) announced yesterday.
The interim court orders, which have a global reach, were secured by the administrator overseeing the resolution of Laiki, formerly the island’s second-biggest lender.
The court froze assets belonging to Vgenopoulos and former Laiki CEO Efthimios Bouloutas worth €3.79 billion and those belonging to former board member Kyriacos Magiras worth €1.5 billion.
It also banned Vgenopoulos’ Marfin Investment Group (MIG) Holdings SA from making any payments or transfers to the benefit of the three men.
A hearing concerning the orders will be held on June 11.

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Archives June 1, 2013 posted by

‘We made sure dinner was just a social occasion’

THE GOVERNMENT has averted the possible politicisation of Thursday’s first encounter of the two leaders at a dinner hosted by the UN in the buffer zone, the spokesman said yesterday.
Christos Stylianides said steps taken to avert the dinner becoming a political occasion had been successful and the government was on track with preparations for peace talks to be launched in the autumn.
“There were indications that some people gave such importance and gravitas to the dinner so that it could symbolise the beginning of the (peace) process,” Stylianides added. Although he did not elaborate, it is well known the government was displeased with what it called attempts by UN Special Representative Alexander Downer to play up the dinner as a political event.

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Archives June 1, 2013 posted by

Huge split at EVROKO

SIXTY members of the European Party (EVROKO) yesterday announced their departure from the party citing party leader Demetris Syllouris’ support for Nicos Anastasiades in the recent presidential elections as the main reason.
Among those leaving are MP Nicos Koutsou, the party’s general-secretary, Stelios Americanos and member of the political committee, Eleni Vrahimi.
Their departure was announced at a press conference yesterday in Nicosia, during which Americanos told reporters that around 80 per cent of the party’s elected municipal councillors and the majority of the party’s active members had decided to leave.
He said that the main reason for the exodus was that they disagreed with Syllouris decision to support Anastasiades during the presidential elections.

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Tax office needs more resources, its chief says

CYPRUS is not currently in a position to comply with EU regulations concerning tax fraud and could find itself in deep trouble if it does not conform, according to the director general of the inland revenue department (IRD).
Speaking at the House Foreign and European Affairs Committee, Giorgos Poufos told MPs that Cyprus had no other choice but to implement the European Council’s decision on May 22 by taking measures regarding tax evasion and fraud.
He demanded that discussions begin immediately for the required legislation.

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