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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 April 30, 2013 posted by

Police and scouts join forces to raise road awareness

THE TRAFFIC police and the Cyprus Scouts Association were yesterday offering an amnesty for the day to drivers who committed specific traffic violations.
The aim was to raise awareness among the boy scouts who passed warnings to the offending motorists. Separate events took place in Paphos and Paralimni.
Offences included speaking on a mobile while driving, not wearing a seatbelt,  not following road signs and illegal parking, all of which are punishable with on-the-spot fines.
Nicos Sofokleous, head of the Paphos police said the campaign sent a message to the public to become more law-abiding on the roads.
Nicos Mitsides, the Cyprus Scouts Association district superintendent in Paphos thanked the police for joining the awareness campaign.

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Archives April 30, 2013 posted by

Our View: Let’s hope political parties show a sense of responsibility

TODAY the legislature will vote on the deeply unpopular memorandum of understanding which, in theory, should be passed with DIKO and DISY votes. We say in theory because nobody knows whether all deputies of these two parties would show up and, if they do, that they would vote in favour of the memorandum’s ratification.
Without the legislature’s approval there would be no financial assistance from the EU and IMF, the state would default on its debt repayments and would have no money to meet its financial obligations, such as paying public sector salaries. In short, there is no alternative despite the stupid insistence of the demagogues that we should disengage from the memorandum.

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Archives April 30, 2013 posted by

‘Green’ buildings would help create more jobs

CYPRUS needs to face the challenges ahead and take advantage of the correct opportunities to create the conditions for a speedy recovery from the crisis, creating jobs in the process according to Labour Minister, Zeta Emilianidou.
Speaking at the Build-Up Skills workshop, the minister said the conference’s aim was to improve workforce skills in relation to saving and developing renewable energy sources in the fields of construction, maintenance and renovation of buildings.
“Our goal is the preparation of meeting EU member states’ energy targets ahead of the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy,” she said, adding that Cyprus’ energy targets included a 13 per cent contribution of renewable energy sources towards its total energy usage.

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Archives April 30, 2013 posted by

Anastasiades: this country is not up to scratch

STATE officials, including the President, will no longer be immune from prosecution, nor will they be able to stay in office indefinitely, President Nicos Anastasiades announced yesterday in an gesture aimed at restoring the public’s trust in government following the banking fiasco.
Recommended actions include forcing state officials to give regular income statements, publishing and justifying public tenders, implementing and monitoring the auditor-general’s reports, and defining state officials’ criminal and civil responsibilities.

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