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Archives April 30, 2013 posted by

How Anastasiades plans to change things

Regulation of state officials
– Amending constitution to clarify for what offences the President of the Republic may be prosecuted.
– Lifting members of parliament’s immunity for all offences, but preserving their freedom of speech during the exercise of their duty.
– Legally regulating ministers’ and independent officials’ civil and criminal responsibilities for actions and omissions committed while on duty.
– More state officials will be obliged to file income statements at fixed intervals. This includes commissioners, judges, and the heads of parties that are not in parliament. A committee of auditors will be set up to investigate claims and publicly report any false claims.

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Archives April 30, 2013 posted by

Georgiades tells deputies: stop complaining

FINANCE Minister Haris Georgiades has urged parliament to ratify a bailout deal, despite the hardship it will bring, warning that the alternative would be economic collapse.
“Instead of seeking non-existent alternative choices and dei ex machina, maybe we must decide to take control and our fate in our own hands,” Georgiades said during a joint meeting of the House Finance and Foreign Affairs Committees. “Instead of complaining, maybe we should recognise our own mistakes and start working to cover lost ground.”
The committees discussed the island’s bailout ahead of a vote to ratify the €10 billion deal today.

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Archives April 30, 2013 posted by

Lillikas rallies anti-bailout supporters

A NEW political movement calling itself the ‘Citizens’ Alliance’ has vowed to fight a financial rescue deal between Cyprus and international lenders and to seek alternatives for placing the stricken economy on a path to recovery.
Unveiled this weekend in Nicosia, the movement is led provisionally by Giorgos Lillikas, who in the recent presidential elections garnered an impressive 26 per cent of the popular vote, nearly making it to the runoff vote.
His movement’s founding convention was held Sunday on the grounds of the State Fairs, where hundreds flocked to register. Elections to nominate the leadership are scheduled for later this year.

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Archives April 30, 2013 posted by

Kazamias called to account

FORMER finance minister Kikis Kazamias yesterday denied downplaying or misrepresenting the severity of the economic outlook during his brief stint in the previous administration.
He highlighted also the poor interpersonal relations between former President Demetris Christofias and ex-central banker Athanasios Orphanides, adding that the feelings were “mutual.”
Kazamias was testifying before the committee of inquiry probing the circumstances that led the economy to the brink of bankruptcy and to the ‘haircut’ decision of March this year. The panel is currently focusing on fiscal/governmental policies and decisions, most of which fall within the term of the previous administration.

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Archives April 30, 2013 posted by

BoC converts portion of uninsured savings to equity

BANK of Cyprus (BoC) said on Sunday it had carried out a conversion of uninsured cash deposits in the bank into equity, one of the conditions of international lenders to offer the cash-starved island financial aid.
The process, known as a ‘bail-in’, made depositors in the bank pay for its recapitalisation, after the institution was hit by massive losses from its exposure to debt-crippled Greece.
The island’s largest bank, said it had converted 37.5 per cent of deposits exceeding €100,000 on March 26, into “class A” shares – nominal value €1 — with an additional 22.5 per cent held as a buffer for possible conversion in the future.
Any loans or other financial obligations had been deducted before the conversion, the lender said.

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Archives April 30, 2013 posted by

CBC defends chief over "simplistic" government allegations

THE Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) yesterday defended its governor from “simplistic” government allegations, saying he had prevented the disorderly bankruptcy of the island’s second-largest bank and thereby of the state itself, now in line for a bailout.
The government has taken Central Bank Governor Panicos Demetriades to task for allowing Popular Bank, also known as Laiki Bank, to receive emergency liquidity assistance (ELA), only to be wound down in a chaotic bailout last month.
The central bank rejected the allegations, however.

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Archives April 30, 2013 posted by

Minister apologises over teargas incident

JUSTICE Minister Ionas Nicolaou yesterday apologised on behalf of the police after they fired teargas to quell violence but inadvertently harmed fans when it drifted into the stadium on Saturday.
Nicolaou also pledged that hooligans responsible for the trouble before, during and after the APOEL vs. AEK Larnaca match on Saturday afternoon at the GSP stadium would be arrested.
He was speaking after a meeting with Police Chief Michalis Papageorgiou.

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Archives April 30, 2013 posted by

Land registry scandal grows

THE INTERIOR minister yesterday ordered the suspension of a land registry official who joins a growing number of his colleagues under disciplinary and/or criminal investigation in relation to corruption.
“One more employee was suspended, who was working as a real estate agent while being a land registry official,” Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos told reporters yesterday.
A court had already ordered the official to stop working in real estate if he were to continue working for the state’s land registry, he said. “He was working as a real estate agent while having available at his disposal the land registry’s entire infrastructure.”
 “One has to wonder at such gall?” Hasikos said.

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Archives April 30, 2013 posted by

Study to determine overlap between DEFA and KRETYK

A STUDY is underway to assess the respective roles of the Natural Gas Public Company (DEFA) and the Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Company(KRETYK) and ensure there is no overlap, the energy and trade minister said yesterday.
Giorgos Lakkotrypis was speaking to newsmen shortly after meeting with the President. The minister confirmed they discussed the “future” of the two entities.
Quizzed on whether the government was thinking about merging the two entities – as widely rumoured in the local media – Lakkotrypis said the Attorney-general’s office, assisted by Norwegian legal consultants, has initiated a study into “the institutional framework and jurisdictions of each organisation, which ought to be distinct.”

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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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