FBME bank protest

FBME bank protest

FBME Bank staff protest outside the Central Bank (CBC) on Monday, July 28, 2014. The CBC has placed the bank under administration after it was deemed a “primary money laundering concern” by the US Treasury. (Christos Theodorides)

NEWS

Local News July 27, 2014

Prodromos’ unofficial tourist attraction

Prodromos’ unofficial tourist attraction

By Constantinos Psillides

Overlooking the village of Prodromos on Troodos mountain, deep within the pine forest, lies the Berengaria hotel, a former luxurious resort that used to be one of the crown jewels of Cyprus’ mountain tourism.

Opened in 1931 and closed down in 1984, the stone-built Berengaria today stands desolate, its rooms and halls that once entertained even royalty are now home to dust, obscene graffiti and exposed to the elements.

Having withstood the passage of time, Berengaria has…

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Local News July 27, 2014

Greens put officials on the spot over turtle beach bar

Greens put officials on the spot over turtle beach bar

By Bejay Browne

A CONTROVERSIAL NEW BEACH bar situated in an old building overlooking a turtle laying beach in Paphos will have to cease operation as the structure almost certainly doesn’t have planning permission, said local officials.

A spokesman for the Paphos district office said he has visited the beach bar just above Asprokremmos beach and near the Anassa hotel, following complaints that the bar was endangering the nesting sites of endangered turtles.

“The building is an old structure built…

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Local News July 27, 2014

The rise of vocational degrees

The rise of vocational degrees

By Evie Andreou

SINCE the start of the economic meltdown and the increasing competition between universities on the island more and more vocational courses are on offer and the students are snapping up them up.

The courses on offer reflect what is happening in the island and it has been several years since oil and gas options were seen in prospectuses. In fact the government too has urged universities to offer courses or modules to prepare future professionals for the…

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Local News Business July 27, 2014

The hotel challenge

The hotel challenge

By Philip Ammerman

THE TOURISM sector has rightly been identified as a priority for the economic recovery of the country. Forecasts for 2014 tourist arrivals are positive, with both the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) and other sources pointing to an increase in arrivals from key markets.

A recent increase in hotel investments, together with Cyprus’ revised foreign investor residence and citizenship programmes, also point to renewed interest in this sector. This article reviews the general development of the Cyprus tourism…

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Comment July 27, 2014

The most blatant mockery of negotiations

The most blatant mockery of negotiations

By Loucas Charalambous

FORTY years after the Turkish invasion we are still organising events and gatherings to hear the same idiotic rhetoric, the same slogans and the same ‘patriotic’ nonsense about the ‘anti-occupation struggle’ we are supposedly waging.

The only comment we do not hear is the self-evident and blatantly obvious – 40 years later the last thing we are interested in is solving our problem. The only concern is how everyone will hold on to his ‘chair’.

Forty years…

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Comment July 27, 2014

A mafia mentality

A mafia mentality

By Hermes Solomon

ANY MENTION of the mafia brings to mind the island of Sicily. But Cyprus is not dissimilar in size or AD history. Both developed from hill village tribes with much in common – the outcome of centuries of destitution which united communities and gave birth to guile, doublespeak and hyperbole (elephants can fly syndrome).

The mafia mentality became established in Cyprus when the Greek Orthodox Church ‘supervised the entire flock’ on behalf of the Ottomans, extorting taxes…

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Comment July 27, 2014

American spies in Germany: the end of trust

American spies in Germany: the end of trust

By Gwynne Dyer

THE QUESTION to bear in mind, when reading this whole sorry tale, is this. If Americans are, on average, no stupider than Germans, then why are their intelligence services so stupid?

After the most recent revelations about American spying in Germany, there was considerable speculation among members of the Bundestag (parliament) that Germany might “get even” by inviting US whistleblower Edward Snowden to leave his Moscow exile and come to Berlin instead. But last weekend Chancellor Angela…

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International News July 26, 2014

Russia criticises EU sanctions, raps US over Ukraine role

Russia criticises EU sanctions, raps US over Ukraine role

By Vladimir Soldatkin

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation on security issues and undermine the fight against terrorism and organised crime.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also accused the United States, which has already imposed its own sanctions against Moscow, of contributing to the conflict in Ukraine through its support for the pro-Western government in Kiev.

The 28-nation EU reached an outline agreement…

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Sport July 26, 2014

Rosberg on pole, Hamilton’s hopes go up in flames

Rosberg on pole, Hamilton’s hopes go up in flames

By Alan Baldwin

FORMULA One world championship leader Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday while Mercedes team mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton saw his hopes go up in flames.

Hamilton, 14 points behind Rosberg after 10 races, has won in Hungary for the past two years and four times in total and was the favourite for pole and the race after setting the pace in practice.

Instead, the Briton was set to start…

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Local News July 26, 2014

Green light for NHS from troika

Green light for NHS from troika

By Constantinos Psillides

Troika technocrats have green-lighted Cyprus’ National Health Scheme (NHS), according to a statement issued by the health ministry on Saturday.

The Troika representatives met on Friday with Health Minister Philippos Patsalis as part of their fifth review of the implementation of Cyprus’ adjustment programme.

According to the health ministry statement, the technocrats praised the government and the ministry for “making significant progress in all obligations described in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the last three months.”

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Local News July 26, 2014

Car racing continues unabated

Car racing continues unabated

By Constantinos Psillides

AFTER-hours car racing is alive and well along Grivas Dighenis Avenue in Nicosia, according to Engomi Mayor Zacharias Kyriakou who issued a statement saying that traffic police failed to resolve the problem despite installing speed cameras.

“Illegal car racing on Grivas Dighenis is still going on. The street is a hell of noise pollution with all the dangers that go along with that,” said Kyriakou in his statement, explaining that while the speed cameras monitor a stretch…

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Sport July 26, 2014

Cyprus on a roll with five medals in three days in Glasgow

Cyprus on a roll with five medals in three days in Glasgow

By Andreas Vou

GEORGIOS Achilleos has won gold for Cyprus in the men’s skeet shooting, taking Cyprus’ medal count in the opening three days of the Commonwealth Games to five.

Achilleos was the favourite going into the event and the former world champion showed his superiority, earning the top prize with four clays to spare.

The 33-year-old’s gold comes less than 24 hours after Dimitris Minasidis earned Cyprus its first gold medal in weightlifting.
The 25-year-old beat off…

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Local News July 26, 2014

Being green pays off

Being green pays off

By Evie Andreou

A NEW scheme introduced to reduce costs by being green is producing results for businesses.

Hellenic Bank said it has already saved €1m in electricity bills by following the Green Offices programme and was one of the eight businesses and offices awarded with the Green Key and Green Offices eco-labels.

The eco-labels were presented by CYMEPA, the non-governmental organisation dealing with the environment and clean seas, and a member of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

“Being…

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Local News July 26, 2014

Tekke closed Monday  morning to accommodate Bayram pilgrims

Tekke closed Monday  morning to accommodate Bayram pilgrims

AROUND 1,000 Turkish Cypriots will visit the Hala Sultan Tekke at the Larnaca Salt Lake on Monday, the first day of Bayram.

The Cyprus News Agency  quoted Turkish Cypriot press saying the two negotiators in the peace talks, Andreas Mavroyiannis and Kudret Ozersay, agreed that the visit will go ahead next week.

All visitors will have to take their IDs with them. Around 1,000 pilgrims will make the trip to the historic religious site, leaving from the Ayios Dhometios checkpoint…

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Football Sport July 26, 2014

Drogba returns to ‘special’ Chelsea on one-year deal

Drogba returns to ‘special’ Chelsea on one-year deal

By Toby Davis

Didier Drogba has completed a remarkable return to Chelsea, signing a one-year deal to rejoin the club where he wrote his name into the record books and spearheaded the most successful period in their history.

Two years after leaving Stamford Bridge on a high after his heroics helped them win the Champions League, the emotional pull of reuniting with manager Jose Mourinho proved too great a draw for the Ivory Coast striker.

“It was an easy decision…

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International News July 26, 2014

Twelve-hour cease-fire takes effect between Israel, Gaza militants

Twelve-hour cease-fire takes effect between Israel, Gaza militants

By Nidal al-Mughrabi and Maayan Lubell

A 12-hour humanitarian truce went into effect on Saturday after Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip agreed to a U.N. request for a pause in fighting and efforts proceeded to secure a long-term cease-fire moved ahead.

The Gaza Health Ministry said 18 members of a single family were killed by Israeli tank shelling in the southern Gaza Strip shortly before the truce took effect at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT). An Israeli…

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Local News July 26, 2014

NPL reform ‘a necessity’ says minister

NPL reform ‘a necessity’ says minister

By George Psyllides

CYPRUS’ bailout adjustment programme is on track, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said yesterday as the government agreed with lenders on a crucial foreclosures bill whose approval is a pre-condition for the release of the next tranche of financial assistance.

On their part, international lenders said Cypriot authorities continued to meet fiscal targets with significant margin in the first half of the year, as a result of prudent budget execution.

The main sticking point during the fifth review,…

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Comment July 26, 2014

Our View: Reforming the National Guard is easier said than done

Our View: Reforming the National Guard is easier said than done

SINCE taking over the defence ministry, Christoforos Fokaides has been talking about his plans to modernise the National Guard and turn it into a well-organised, flexible and battle-ready army. Nobody doubts that the minister means what he says, but whether he would be able to achieve his objective is another matter.

A clue of the difficulties he will encounter was provided in the speech by the outgoing Chief of the National Guard, General Stylianos Nasis, during the handing over ceremony…

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Comment July 26, 2014

Letter to the Editor: How I was wrong about the Animal Party

Letter to the Editor: How I was wrong about the Animal Party

By Robert Cracknell

Over the past few months I have been responsible for criticising the newly formed Cyprus Animal Party; in particular, its principle leader Kyriacos Kyriacou.  On two occasions my criticisms have been published in the Cyprus Mail.

I now wish to make a public apology for my criticisms, as I now know them to be totally unjustified – and I feel a brief explanation is necessary.

During the latter part of 2013, whilst in the fields of Ypsonas,…

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Local News July 26, 2014

Claims Anastasiades lost his temper at talks just ‘gossip’

Claims Anastasiades lost his temper at talks just ‘gossip’

By Stefanos Evripidou

THE GOVERNMENT yesterday rubbished Turkish Cypriot reports that President Nicos Anastasiades had walked out of the peace talks on Thursday as “unjustifiable gossip”.

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said reports of Anastasiades banging his hand on the negotiating table, throwing his glasses down and storming out were mere “gossip” that bore no relation to reality and were “unjustifiable”.

He put the reports down to “weakness” and “embarrassment” on the part of the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team, who were…

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