Posts by tag: mari naval base blast

Archives December 1, 2012 posted by

For a brief moment, politics was shaken

 

CHILDREN CRIED, tugged by parents scrambling aimlessly in shock. A crowd of youths with ripped off shirts covering their faces hurled a volley of stones at police. One man seemingly accustomed to street battles walked calmly through the insidious mist holding a flaming torch. 

I later learnt the fire helped limit the invasive stranglehold of tear gas on the throat and eyes, which also explained why a small mob set a garbage bin alight outside the black gates of power. 

Amid the chaos, neat lines of black-clad mostly teenagers stood firm, wearing helmets. Their young age, uniformity, and blind discipline unnerved me. 

This was not Athens, Cairo, Tunis or Tripoli. This was Nicosia on the night of July 12, 2011. 

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Archives September 21, 2012 posted by

Quad bikes discussed but no decisions taken until EU resolves issue

LAWMAKERS yesterday said there was a complete lack of a legal framework for quad bikes, but said the EU was in the process of preparing new regulations to resolve the problem.

The head of the House Communications Committee, DIKO’s Antonis Antoniou, said MPs decided to look into the issue after two people were recently killed in quad bike crashes a day apart.

He said there were no laws relating to the importation, sale and circulation of the bikes, while their numbers had increased dramatically over the past few years.

“We often hear about how dangerous these bikes are,” said Antoniou. “We even had two fatal accidents recently.”

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Archives June 20, 2012 posted by

SMS for parcel post

POSTAL services will send SMS text messages to people when their items arrive so that they can be picked up at any time from automatic post office boxes, Communications Minister Efthymios Flourentzos yesterday said. 

He was talking at the Nicosia offices in Prodromos, which inaugurated Parcel24 on a pilot basis. Customers will be sent a code through SMS to access the post boxes.

Flourentzos said that postal services were trying to innovate even though there was a financial crisis. Other cities should get the service later in the year, he said.

To find out more call postal services at 22805802.

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Archives April 25, 2012 posted by

Greek decision will complicate Helios process in Cyprus

LAST week’s guilty verdict by a Greek court against four members of now-defunct Helios Airways for the 2005 crash could generate complications for the ongoing legal process here, say legal circles; although no one, including the Attorney-general, seems to be quite sure about the ramifications.

The August 14 crash of flight ZU522 was the deadliest aviation disaster in Greece and Cyprus. Helios Airways’ Boeing 737-300 slammed into a hillside at Grammatikos, near Athens, killing all 115 passengers and six crew.

The trial in Greece – the site of the crash — began in December 2011, shortly after a three-judge criminal court in Cyprus had acquitted – by majority decision – all five defendants charged in connection with the charge.

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Archives March 13, 2012 posted by

House unhappy with power pay out to north

THE electricity authority (EAC) will pay some €116 million this year to third parties in a bid to have sufficient power, as its main power plant – crippled in a munitions blast last year – is not expected to be restored until mid 2013, it emerged yesterday.

EAC chairman Haris Thrasou told lawmakers of the House Finance Committee that the Vassilikos power station is being restored gradually and is expected to be up and running in May next year.

Destruction of the plant in July 2011, forced the EAC to lease generators and buy electricity from Turkish Cypriots – a move that has been and continues to be criticised.

The EAC has budgeted around €63.8 million for the power provided by the Turkish Cypriots through the Green Line Regulation.

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Archives March 9, 2012 posted by

President sends gas talks bill back to House

AS EXPECTED, the President has refused to sign into law an opposition-inspired bill that bars the Commerce Minister from engaging in talks with companies bidding for offshore gas licences, and has sent the legislation back to parliament.

The controversial bill, passed by the House by a majority vote a fortnight ago, empowers a committee of technocrats to assess bids for hydrocarbons licences and to negotiate with interested companies. Unlike previously, the committee’s recommendations would now be binding on the minister, who would be obliged to forward the recommendations to the Cabinet, the body that has the final say on awarding gas concessions.

In short, under the legislation the Commerce Minister was given a ceremonial role on energy-related issues.

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Archives March 9, 2012 posted by

€130m loan from EIB for Vassilikos

THE ELECTRICITY Authority of Cyprus (EAC) yesterday signed a loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for €130 million to help get the damaged Vassilikos power station up and running again.

The deal was signed at a ceremony at the finance ministry in Nicosia in the presence of 

Minister Kikis Kazamias,. The finance contract was signed for the EIB by Vice-President Plutarchos Sakellaris and for the EAC by chairman Harris Thrassou.

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Archives February 26, 2012 posted by

Shame on us for failing to implement key legal reform

When I read in the weekend press (more specifically, in Kathimeri) that Cyprus is trailing Malta in certain legal and business innovations I was initially incredulous. Cyprus is a long-established financial centre, whereas Malta is a relative newcomer that has always followed and copied Cyprus. I found it impossible to believe that Malta could have overtaken Cyprus.

However, on further reflection I realised that this was indeed the case. Since joining the EU Malta has continually updated its legislation and has introduced a modern framework for the establishment of a funds industry. It has vigorously marketed itself to potential investors. 

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Archives February 25, 2012 posted by

No chance of dropping VAT on electricity prices

 

THE government said yesterday it stands to lose some €60 million if it cuts VAT on electricity to 5.0 per cent, as is being demanded by the opposition.

Main opposition DISY MP and chairman of the House Commerce Committee Lefteris Christoforou said the EU, under certain circumstances, allows member states to cut VAT on electricity as low as 5.0 per cent.

“It gives us the power at the commerce committee to see in which ways we can ease the huge problem experienced by certain groups of society,” Christoforou said.

Electricity prices have spiked of late, the main reason being a 6.96 per cent surcharge imposed after the island’s main power station was crippled in a munitions blast last July.

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Archives February 12, 2012 posted by

Paphos opens first multi level entertainment centre

PAPHOS has opened its doors on the island’s first multi-level entertainment centre, Planet Adventure, with a price tag of around €24 million.

The complex is a dedicated entertainment centre providing 13,000 square metres over six floors full of fun for adults and children.

One of the project owners, George Papageorgiou of Cinemax Entertainment Parks Ltd, told the Sunday Mail: “This project is the first multi-level entertainment centre to open here; there are no shops inside it at all”.

It is hoped the opening of the massive complex will help the economy of Paphos where businesses are closing down almost on a daily basis.

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