Posts by tag: our view

Archives February 27, 2013 posted by

Christofias draws new fire after farewell speech


PRESIDENT Demetris Christofias yesterday spoke of an ‘orchestrated attack’ against the Presidential Palace after the 2011 Mari munitions blast, as he bid farewell to staff ahead of his departure.

Thanking the presidential guard, an emotional Christofias said they were the people tasked with protecting him and his family.

“They are the people who kept the Presidential Palace intact at the time of the great attack, the orchestrated attack, after the Mari accident,” he said. “I want to thank them wholeheartedly.”

The July 2011 blast killed 13 sailors and fire fighters and incapacitated the island’s biggest power station, causing rolling power cuts for around a month.

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Archives February 26, 2013 posted by

Fitch cautious but positive on Cyprus

PRESIDENT-elect Nicos Anastasiades’ stance could make the country’s negotiations for a rescue package less challenging than under the outgoing president, Fitch Ratings said yesterday. 

Anastasiades has stated his intention to secure “timely financial support,” and now arguably has a mandate to conclude negotiations, Fitch said, also highlighting his relations with leaders of key European partners, including Germany.

“However, despite his overwhelming victory in the weekend’s elections he will face the same policy challenges as his predecessor, and there is still lingering uncertainty about the timing and details of an EU rescue programme,” the agency said.

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Archives February 25, 2013 posted by

‘I will be Nicos not president’

THOUSANDS of jubilant supporters yesterday celebrated the victory of DISY chief Nicos Anastasiades in the presidential elections’ run-off against AKEL-backed Stavros Malas.

Supporters of the 66-year-old leader gathered before the official results were announced outside both DISY and the campaign headquarters. 

“After five years of an AKEL government we needed a change, and it should have come last week,” Andreas, a 30-year-old car mechanic said outside Anastasiades’ campaign headquarters.

A 16-year-old who was there to celebrate although he was too young to vote  said that Anastasiades was “the best”. 

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Archives February 23, 2013 posted by

Final messages before big day


THE REMAINING two presidential rivals last night locked horns for the last time before tomorrow’s election, with the economy and the Mari tragedy taking centre stage during the often heated live television debate.

In response to what he perceived as the ‘doom and gloom’ campaigning of DISY leader Nicos Anastasiades against the current government, AKEL-backed candidate Stavros Malas played down the situation.

“Our country is not clad in black. It is not a scorched earth. Cypriots have known worse, and with a progressive policy I am sure our country can push forward,” Malas said in his opening statement.

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Archives February 22, 2013 posted by

SGOs snub request to give asset statement

APPARENTLY acting at the behest of the Presidential Palace, semi-government organisations (SGOs) have snubbed authorities’ request to furnish details of their assets and financial accounts.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreed between the government and international lenders – the troika – specifically provides for a stock-taking of state-owned enterprises, in order to consider the possibility of privatising them to raise cash.

Local media yesterday suggested the mere request for information had laid bare the AKEL government’s insistence that it would not touch SGOs despite pressure from international lenders. However, the same outlets suggested the move was initiated by the finance ministry, but quickly quashed by the President.

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Archives February 21, 2013 posted by

War of words over PIMCO report


THE firm that conducted a due diligence on bank portfolios to determine their recapitalisation needs said it had used the inputs given to it by a steering committee – made up of foreign and Cypriot officials – sparking fresh criticism that the government and the Central Bank had deliberately allowed the amount to be inflated.

The issue came up after daily Politis published the contents of a confidential letter sent by investment managers PIMCO to Central Bank Governor Panicos Demetriades earlier this month, in response to his letter regarding the methodology used.

“We also note where assumptions that have been described as PIMCO inputs in your letter were, in fact, direct inputs from the steering committee,” the company said.

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Archives February 19, 2013 posted by

‘People have grown tired of politicians’ baseless promises’

THE upward trend of voter abstention in recent years was much in evidence during Sunday’s first-round when 16.86 per cent of the public chose not to bother contributing to the process of electing a new head of state.

Almost one-fifth of registered voters did not bother to visit a polling station, more or less confirming previous analyses according to political analyst Christoforos Christoforou.

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Archives February 18, 2013 posted by

Exit polls were way off the mark

CYPRIOTS have proved themselves unreliable respondents, bamboozling all the exit polls which yesterday projected an outright victory for Nicos Anastasiades.

All the pollsters were way off the mark, predicting that the DISY leader was on track to grab over 50 per cent of the popular vote, thus invalidating the need for a second round of voting.

They moreover underestimated the numbers for independent Giorgos Lillikas.

They did get it right when it came to forecasting that Lillikas would come in third, and also by awarding second spot to AKEL-backed Stavros Malas.

The exit polls were consistent in their error, yielding very similar projections for the three main contenders.

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Archives February 15, 2013 posted by

Tonnes of burgers destroyed over horse meat fears

A COMPANY in Cyprus has destroyed 16.5 tonnes of burgers fearing they were contaminated with horse meat, the veterinary services said yesterday.

Authorities did not name the company, adding that it disposed of the burgers when the news broke that meat products labelled as beef were found to contain horse.

 “When the furore erupted it sought to destroy them despite not being implicated in the case,” vet services director Giorgos Kyriakides said. “They destroyed them on suspicion that maybe it was horse meat and it was later proven that it (company) was not implicated.”

Kyriakides said the meat was destroyed a few days ago in the presence of officials from his department. 

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