Cyprus Mail www.cyprus-mail.com
Friday, November 9, 2012
Kassinis says he’s quitting state gas company 3
China’s Hu says graft threatens state 7
Taken 2 hits the big screen n today centre re
Power outages keep EAC busy Nicosia hit by fault and Limassol hit by lightning only five hours apart By Peter Stevenson
AJOR power cuts caused by separate problems hit the capital Nicosia, Limassol and other areas yesterday causing chaos on the roads for hours, and keeping police and ﬁre services busy. No injuries or damage were reported despite dozens of calls for help from people trapped in lifts. No sooner were things getting back to normal in Nicosia after a fault at the Athalassa station caused a two-hour outage, when lightning struck a turbine at the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) main power plant at Vassilikos, plunging most residential areas of Limassol and several other areas islandwide – including parts of Nicosia for a second time - into near darkness at 4.30pm. Supply began to be gradually restored to affect-
ed areas from 5pm onwards, the EAC said. “Lightning struck the Vassilikos power station,” said acting EAC spokesman Yiannis Tsouloftas. Back-up systems were put into service to aid efforts to restore full power. “It’s been a very difﬁcult day for the EAC,” he said. The earlier power cut in Nicosia, which outed half the district between 11.18am and 12.42pm, caused trafﬁc chaos in the capital and left local businesses and banks unable to operate for over an hour and a half. “Equipment failure was the cause of the blackout,” Tsouloftas said. The fault occurred between the Athalassa and Alambra sub-stations on the ‘overearth’ transmission lines. Despite early reports, there was no damage to Dhekelia or Vassilikos from the Nicosia outage, Tsouloftas said.
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Trafﬁc chaos reigned on the outskirts of the capital after the lights went out
Monet ‘water lilies’ fetches nearly $44 million in New York auction A MONET water lilies painting has sold for nearly $43.8 million while a Kandinsky fetched an artist’s record $23 million as Christie’s kicked off the auction season on Wednesday with a sale that saw many mid-level works failing to ﬁnd buyers. Nympheas, one of Monet’s iconic water lilies from 1905, executed during his years at Giverny, had been estimated to sell for $30 million to $50 million, and just managed its middle range with a ﬁnal price of $43,762,500 including commission. Wassily Kandinsky’s Studie fur Improvisation 8, meanwhile, hit the low end of its $20 million to $30 million estimate, and set a new auction record for the Russian artist. The vibrant work was being sold by Switzerland’s Volkart Foundation.
But 30 per cent of the 69 works on offer failed to sell when bids failed to reach the reserve, the secret price at which a client has agreed to sell a work. In all the auction took in a total of just under $205 million, missing the low pre-sale estimate of about $210 million (estimates do not include commission charges of about 12 per cent). The high estimate was about $315 million. Christie’s nonetheless said it was pleased with the results. “It was a very, very strong sale, with great results” for top lots including the Monet, and a Brancusi sculpture Une muse, which sold for $12.4 million, said Brooke Lampley, head of Impressionist and modern art. “Classic Impressionism performed really well tonight.” Lampley also noted that the sale’s unusually high per-
centage of discretionary selling - when collectors decide to sell, versus estate sales that happen because the owner is deceased - was “very much a sign that collectors are feeling conﬁdent in the market. They are choosing to sell,” which she said was a testament to the increasing strength of art as an asset class. But the atmosphere in the room was muted and for works that sold, bidding was steady but far from unbridled. Bidders tried to cut increments in half from the next solicited bid, and the salesroom was more than half empty before the sale ended. Ofﬁcials privately attributed the relatively high percentage of works that failed to sell - nearly one third - chieﬂy to a single collection whose owner was unwilling to lower the reserve prices in the days leading up to the sale.
Friday, November 9, 2012 CYPRUS MAIL
Home House passes law on bank bond guarantee
TODAY: A mixture of sunshine, cloud and rain, which will be heavy in places. Temperatures will reach 22C inland and along the coasts and 14C over higher ground OUTLOOK: Remaining unsettled, with more rain forecast YESTERDAY:
Max Temp Nicosia 26 Larnaca 27 Limassol 26 Paphos 25 Paralimni 26 Prodromos 16
Min 16 16 18 19 17 12
Humidity 59% 86% 66% 76% 62% 97%
Pollution Medium/Low Low/Low Low/Low Low Low Low
Information provided by the Air Quality Section of the Department of Labour Inspection (DLI)
Worldwide 15 14 13 10 27 10 28 9 9 9 16 12
Cloudy Cloudy Clear Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Clear Cloudy Cloudy
Madrid Manchester Moscow Oslo Paris Prague Rome Sarajevo Sofia Stockholm Tel Aviv Vienna
12 10 3 0 10 8 18 6 10 3 26 12
Drizzle Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Clear Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy
For a full list of exchange rates, see page 10
CHEMISTS NICOSIA G. Ktena, 14 Spyrou Kyprianou Ave. Tel: 22760951, 22492381 (H) Y. Toumba, 86C Athalassa & Dorion Ave, Strovolos. Tel: 22313677, 22499681 (H) Ch. Nicolaou, 145 Kyrenia Ave, Anglanja. Tel: 22335477, 22450313 (H) E. Korfiati, 31 Kantaras, Tel: 22324205, 22354014 E. Kontopoullou, 36, Grigorni Afxentiou, Tel: 22770150, 97627448 LIMASSOL M. P. Kantonidou, Franklin Roosevelt St, Zakaki. Tel: 25390354, 25388448 (H)
draft of the government bill called for guarantees double that amount. The amount was revised downwards due to objections from opposition parties raised yesterday during meetings with Finance Ministry ofﬁcials to hammer out the ﬁnal draft. The legislation also mandates that any single state guarantee exceeding €500 million must be submitted to, and sanctioned by, the House Finance Committee. In October 2012, Cyprus notiﬁed the European Commission of plans to introduce a public guarantee scheme for credit institutions. The guarantees will be covering, against remuneration and eligible collateral, new loans concluded and/or new bonds issued before 31 December 2012, with a maturity of up to ﬁve years.
The scheme is open to all credit institutions incorporated in Cyprus, including subsidiaries of foreign banks and cooperative credit institutions. Beneﬁciaries have to pay a remuneration that is aligned with EU state aid rules. Moreover, beneﬁciaries will be subject to behavioural commitments to avoid any abusive use of the state support. These include limitations on expansion and marketing and conditions for staff remuneration and bonus payments. Cyprus applied for a full EU rescue package in June after its two largest lenders could not meet new capital reserve limits owing to huge losses they sustained on their exposure to bailedout Greece. In September, the Commission approved on a temporary basis a bailout worth €1.8 billion for the Popular Bank.
Power outages keep EAC and police busy
Air quality in Cyprus is assessed with the aid of a network of nine advanced monitoring stations. Data is recorded hourly.
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PARLIAMENT last night passed a law allowing the state to guarantee bank bonds and new loans, in a move designed to provide credit to the struggling economy. It comes two days after the scheme was cleared by the European Commission, which found the plan proposed by Nicosia was in line with EU state aid rules. The purpose of the state guarantee scheme is to facilitate the access of eligible credit institutions to medium-term funding. It is part of efforts to stabilise the local ﬁnancial sector up to the end of the year. State guarantees will be provided for a period no less than three months and no greater than ﬁve years, under bilateral agreements between the government and credit institutions. The law provides for state guarantees for up to €3 billion, although the initial
Y. Tooulia, 28 Nafpliou St. Tel: 25350829, 25715141 (H) Ch. Agamemnonos 131 Vas. Konstantinou Tel: 25870748, 25737455 (H) LARNACA E. Constantinidou , 64 Z. Kitiea St. Tel: 24655129, 24657435 (H) M. Synesiou, S. Timayia Ave. Tel: 24638765, 24634887(H) PAPHOS M. Eracleous, 31A Acamantidos St. Tel: 26947629, 26954204 (H) PARALIMNI A. Mavroyiannou, 216 Gr. Dighenis St. Tel: 23828880, 23829202 (H)
Cyprus Mail Established 1945. Number 21,375 NICOSIA 24 Vass. Voulgaroctonou, P.O. Box 21144, 1502 Nicosia Tel: 22-818585, Fax: 22-676385 email: firstname.lastname@example.org LIMASSOL 5A Nicolaou, Pentadromos Centre, Thessaloniki St, Tel: 25-761117, Fax: 25-761141 email: email@example.com LARNACA Tel: 24-652243, Fax: 24-659982 PAPHOS 62 Apostolou Pavlou Avenue, Ofﬁce 2, 8046 Paphos, Tel: 26 911383 Fax : 26 221049 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Businesses in Nicosia’s commercial centre grind to a halt (continued from front page) He went on to explain that the blackout was not caused by any inadequacy of electricity production capabilities nor was human error to blame. Initial reports claimed that the emergency generators at the General Hospital had failed causing several operations to be cancelled. Chief of the General Hospital Andreas Matsas moved quickly to deny the reports. Speaking to Radio Trito, Matsas told reporters that somewhere between 10 and 12 operations had been rescheduled for tomorrow to avoid any complications but there were no problems caused by the blackout, he said. Police and the ﬁre service were called in to make sure that trafﬁc jams were kept to a minimum and to rescue people from elevators. Chief of trafﬁc Demetris Demetriou said police ofﬁcers were immediately dispatched
Police ofﬁcers try to keep the trafﬁc at bay in the capital to main junctions to ease congestion. Demetriou reported that there had been some minor accidents but nothing unusual and urged those on the road to be extra careful. “The ﬁre services received over 60 calls from people trapped in elevators,” spokeswoman Liza Kemidji told the Mail. Elevator company employees also assisted ﬁremen
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with the operation as everyone trapped was rescued unharmed reported Kemidji. She said later in the day that they had received a further ﬁve calls for help in Limassol when the power went out there. Businesses, large superstores, restaurants and cafes in Nicosia all ground to a standstill during the blackout. Police sent out four plainclothes ofﬁcers to keep an eye on shops in Ledra Street and ancillary roads. One uniformed ofﬁcer was stationed outside the Bank of Cyprus at Eleftheria Square to discourage any possible thieves. “Not all of the branches of Bank of Cyprus were affected as our branch at Phaneromeni has a back-up generator,” Bank of Cyprus operations manager Demetris Antoniou said. Local jeweller Nikos Ioannou was more philosophical having been around since 1945. “We know all of our neighbours and so we’re not worried that anyone might want to steal from us,” he said. Others were not as calm and collected, with popular cafes and restaurants eager for
(Christos Theodorides) power to be restored. One café on Ledra Street was still able to serve customers frappe although they were only able to make them in shakers. Il Forno, one of the most popular restaurants in the old town, was severely affected. “We can’t work right now and we hope power is restored before the food in our freezers goes off,” chef Sebastian Petrakides said. The restaurant had installed an emergency generator in light of the explosion at the Mari naval base last year, which destroyed the Vassilikos station. However the restaurant’s back-up plan had failed as the generator refused to work during yesterday’s outage. Just off Ledra Street an internet café lost its customers immediately the power was cut. The owner said he was unable to charge his customers correctly as all records were stored on his computer. “Having no power is a big problem as all of my business goes through computers,” the 24 year old added. People were further inconvenienced by a temporary loss of mobile network coverage during the blackout.
CYPRUS MAIL Friday, November 9, 2012
Home Greece, Cyprus and Israel to have working groups CYPRUS, Greece and Israel yesterday agreed to set up two working groups to expedite cooperation in energy matters. The agreement was struck in Nicosia at a meeting between Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis, Israeli Minister of Energy and Water Resources Uzi Landau and Greek Deputy Minister of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Asimakis Papageorgiou. Sylikiotis said the issues discussed concerned the ‘EuroAsia Interconnector’, a project aiming to link Greek, Cypriot and Israeli power grids via a submarine power cable, as well as the southeast Mediterranean natural gas corridor. “We have decided to set up two working groups to elaborate on the projects in detail,” Sylikiotis said, noting that the groups would be established in the next few months. Landau expressed his satisfaction with the decision on the two working groups. He said that cooperation would promote the interests of the three countries and their economies, and would be “an anchor of stability in this prickly region.” The ‘EuroAsia Interconnector’ project, with an estimated budget of €1.5 billion, will be able to transfer energy with a total capacity of 2,000 MW. The completion period is estimated at 36 months from the start of construction, while the project’s study is expected to be completed within 2012.
Kassinis says quitting hydrocarbons company ‘The minister basically barked at me in front of everyone... I cannot put up with it’ By Elias Hazou
Critical after being run over AN 18-YEAR-OLD man was left ﬁghting for his life yesterday after being run over by a motorist on a busy Limassol street. The accident happened around 9am on Archbishop Makarios III Avenue. Police said the pedestrian was hit by an oncoming car while crossing the street. The man was rushed to Limassol’s hospital. Doctors determined he had sustained serious cranial injuries and multiple leg fractures. The man’s condition was described as critical. The 28-year-old driver of the car was arrested, booked and released. She will appear in court at a later date.
Kassinis cited concerns over the company’s role and scope but there also appear to be personal reasons
ENERGY chief Solon Kassinis has called it quits from the state hydrocarbons company KRETYK, citing concerns over the company’s role and scope. It later emerged, however, that tensions between himself and Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis may have prompted Kassinis’ decision to walk away. At any rate, last night the commerce minister said he had yet to receive Kassinis’ resignation in writing. Kassinis’ intention to step down comes just a month after he and three others were appointed non-executive directors in tandem with the company’s ofﬁcial unveiling. Asked by newsmen earlier yesterday why he was leaving the post, Kassinis cited certain ‘problematic’ clauses of KRETYK’s articles of association, in particular that which empowers the entity to monitor commercial contracts between the state and other companies. Article 6 of the founding document states that KRETYK may, “acting on behalf of the Republic, administer and/or check the correct implementation of the terms of relevant contracts that have been concluded in the past or will be concluded in the future by the Republic of Cyprus or its government.” According to Kassinis, that empowers KRETYK to conclude commercial agreements – a point not disputed – but at the same time to exercise oversight on these same agreements, and ultimately on itself. “A state company cannot check the contracts of other companies and also have a supervisory and regulatory role. It should be limited only to the commercial aspect,” Kassinis said. “It cannot possess oversight
over the other companies, because there would be no transparency, nor would foreign countries or companies be able to trust us. Besides, this is prohibited by EU regulations.” Kassinis had proposed that an independent agency be established to scrutinize the contracts. Mired in political controversy since its inception, KRETYK is a limited liability company with a starting capital of €1 million divided into one million shares of €1 each. Though fully state-controlled – the shares are vested in whoever holds the position of Commerce Minister – the company is governed by private law. As such, it is not subject to ﬁnancial oversight by either the Auditor-general or parliament – a point on which opposition parties have kicked up a storm.
SIGNATURE And given that KRETYK cannot be directly ﬁnanced by the treasury – as there is no provision in the state budget for 2012 – a decision was made recently for the company to apply for a €900,000 loan from a cooperative bank. Kassinis revealed yesterday it was Sylikiotis who asked him – as the interim head of the company’s board (until such time as the executive directors are appointed) – to put his signature on the loan application. The €900,000 loan, backed by a government guarantee, would be used for the operating expenses of the company plus the remuneration of the three executive directors, he said. It’s understood the executive directors’ pay will be upwards of €100,000 per annum. Kassinis said he was uncomfortable with apply-
ing for the loan on behalf of KRETYK, so he suggested that Sylikiotis apply instead. “After all, he is the owner of the company for the time being,” Kassinis said, alluding to the commerce minister. Speaking to the Mail later in the day, Kassinis conﬁrmed earlier press reports that he had sought the post of executive director on KRETYK, but Sylikiotis was of a different mind. “We’re talking about the pinnacle of ingratitude, after all my years of service,” he remarked. In addition, he claimed that Sylikiotis “insulted him” during a recent function, where Kassinis publicly voiced his reservations about some of the aspects of KRETYK’s operation. “The minister basically barked at me in front of everyone. That’s something I cannot put up with. If I’m not appreciated, what’s the purpose of staying on?” he said. Kassinis conﬁrmed also he and Sylikiotis held a meeting on the morning of October 2 to discuss the former’s role in the company. That same day KRETYK was listed with the Registrar of Companies. The company’s ofﬁcial unveiling by Sylikiotis came two days later. The energy chief also sits on a government-appointed panel tasked with evaluating the bids submitted for Cyprus’ offshore blocks. His resignation comes in the wake of reports of disagreements over the awarding of an offshore gas exploration licence. Some members of the evaluation panel were said to be “outraged” with the Cabinet’s decision to award the Block 9 licence to a consortium consisting of Total E&P Activities Petrolieres (operator), NOVATEC Overseas Exploration & Production GMbH and GPB Global Resources BV (a Gazprom subsidiary).
Friday, November 9, 2012 CYPRUS MAIL
Home Judges anger lawmakers with demand for exemption from pay cuts SUPREME Court judges reportedly angered lawmakers yesterday after they asked for judges to be exempt from salary cuts imposed last year as part of an austerity package to shore up the ailing economy. The matter arose in December last year when parliament passed an austerity package that included pay cuts to the salaries of state ofﬁcials, among others.
Citing the judiciary’s independence, the judges asked for the law to change and pledged that they will enforce the necessary salary cuts themselves. That however did not go down well with some MPs who questioned the reason for the exemption. Reports said the judges departed the meeting unhappy but a group of MPs visited with them later on in a bid to mend fences.
It is understood that the MPs promised to look into the matter anew. Lawmakers had been warned at the time that the provision may be unconstitutional. And the President of the Supreme Court had sent a letter to the House when the package was being discussed, offering his commitment that judges would pay voluntary contributions to help efforts for economic recovery.
District court judges have since ﬁled an appeal with the Supreme Court citing constitutional provisions that prohibit any changes to their salaries that will be to their disadvantage. Article 158, paragraph three states that “the remuneration and other conditions of service of any such judge shall not be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment.”
Commission forecast did not take account of additional measures Finance ministry stresses the need to take steps after bleak outlook as troika arrives on the island By George Psyllides THE coming year will be very difﬁcult for the Cypriot economy, the ﬁnance ministry said yesterday, as it stressed the urgent need for measures to reverse the downward spiral. The European Commission said on Wednesday it expected Cyprus to stay in recession through this year and next with higher unemployment persisting well into 2014. According to the EU’s autumn forecast, the island will see its €17.9 billion economy contract by 2.3 per cent in 2012 and by another 1.7 per cent in 2013 while the budget deﬁcit will reach 5.3 per cent this year and 5.7 per cent in 2013. Unemployment was set to reach 12.1 per cent in
2012, 13.1 per cent in 2013 and spike to 13.9 per cent in 2014, the Commission said. The ﬁnance ministry said yesterday that the Commission’s forecast did not take into consideration any additional measures that would be put in place. In a written statement the ministry said it expected the economy to contract by 2.2 per cent this year and the deﬁcit to reach 5.0 per cent of GDP. The forecasts “show that 2013 would be a difﬁcult year for the Cypriot economy but a gradual improvement is expected during 2014 and 2015,” the ministry said. But it warned that without adopting any measures the trends will continue. “And this demonstrates the urgent need to take measures,” the ministry
said. Those measures will be the focus of negotiations starting today between the government and teams representing international lenders, the troika, who arrived yesterday and will resume negotiations with the government today. . According to the ministry, the discussions will be conducted at technocratic and political levels and will focus on, among others, structural issues, the macroeconomic framework and the island’s ﬁnancial sector. The two sides have exchanged views on various matters but disagreements remain on matters such as privatisations and bank recapitalisation. The ministry said negotiations will continue with the aim of achieving convergence. Any measures agreed
with the troika will be incorporated in next year’s draft budget, expected to be submitted to parliament in around 10 days. If there is no agreement, the government plans to submit the budget with the counter-proposals it made to the troika. “Our intention is to incorporate in the 2013 budget the changes we proposed to the troika or any others that will be known to us in the next 10 to 12 days,” Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly said, adding that he expected the draft to be submitted around November 20. The minister added that it was not the government’s intention to delay submitting the budget, usually done late September or early October, but it was dictated by the conditions.
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Some of the team of 35 troika members checking in at the Hilton Hotel in Nicosia last night (Christos Theodorides)
DAVID SPINK David Spink of Peyia died in the UK on the 19th of October 2012, his funeral service will be in the UK on the 13th of November at a crematorium in the UK. It is proposed to hold a “Service of Remembrance for the life of David” at the church by St Paul’s Pillar (Ayia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa) on the 23rd of November at 11:00 am Any enquiries please call 99530567
CYPRUS MAIL Friday, November 9, 2012
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Friday, November 9, 2012 CYPRUS MAIL
Home Cyprus and Ukraine sign eight agreements CYPRUS and Ukraine yesterday signed eight cooperation agreements during an ofﬁcial visit here by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. The agreements are the culmination of extended talks between the two nations begun in Kiev last year. Top of the agenda was the agreement for the avoidance of double taxation concluded by the countries’ ﬁnance ministries. In addition, the two governments signed seven memorandums of understanding for cooperation on maritime merchant shipping, public health, civil aviation, agriculture and foodstuffs, sports, investment promotion, and education. Speaking after the signing ceremony in Nicosia, President Christoﬁas expressed satisfaction over the completion of bilateral talks, highlighting the double-taxation agreement. Christoﬁas said the agreement was the end-result of a “political commitment” undertaken by both governments during talks in Kiev last year. He said that Cyprus and the Ukraine had “a strong foundation,” which would help develop relations between the two countries. These relations would be based on equal principles, and the principles of mutual respect for the sovereignty and independence of the states, he added. In turn, Yanukovych said he was conﬁdent that “we are opening a new stage of relations, which will be more dynamic, more effective, and we are ready for the comprehensive deepening of relations with Cyprus.”
Formal welcoming ceremony for the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych (right)
Stabbed Turkish Cypriot to sue Musician wounded at violent 2010 Rainbow Festival says authorities did nothing By Stefanos Evripidou THE VICTIM of a racist attack is suing the state for breaching his human rights following the violent clashes that took place at the Rainbow Festival in Larnaca in 2010. Sertunc Akdogu, a 32-yearold Cypriot musician- not immediately involved in the fracas between anti-migrant protesters and their anti-fascist adversaries- was stabbed three times just 200 metres from Larnaca police station by a group of masked people carrying weapons on November 5, 2010. His colleague who was with him, Serhan Oncal, was also seriously injured after being beaten by members of the masked group with a baseball bat. Nobody was ever charged with the attack. Instead, the Attorney-general decided to prosecute Doros Polycarpou, representative of the migrant support group which organised the Rainbow Festival in Larnaca that year to counter the anti-migrant march already organised for the same day in the coastal town. Many international NGOs heavily criticised the decision
to charge Polycarpou, while failing to go after a single person from the crowd representing the anti-migrants, and also refusing to accept any responsibility on the part of the police force which was evidently unable to keep the peace that night. On June 5, 2012, a Larnaca district court acquitted the KISA representative of the charges of rioting and participating in an illegal assembly. Polycarpou said he was acquitted after the prosecution failed to prove its case, noting that the court rejected testimonies given by police ofﬁcers in court. One ofﬁcer had claimed he only made visual contact with Polycarpou during the fracas, however, video footage submitted by police as evidence showed the plainclothed ofﬁcer clearly making physical contact with the NGO member. KISA argued that Polycarpou’s involvement in the violent clashes was limited to trying to keep the two sides apart. The NGO also submitted evidence to police of antimigrant marchers allegedly involved in the violence that ensued after the anti-migrant march passed next to the multicultural festival. The Le-
THIS WEEK IN YOUR
Sertunc Akdogu the night he was stabbed (Sarah Malian) gal Service has since launched criminal proceedings against a number of those identiﬁed by KISA, said Polycarpou yesterday. Exactly two years on, on No-
vember 5, 2012, Akdogu and Oncal made an application for legal aid, with which they plan to sue the state for violating his human rights regarding a range of errors and omissions
DINNER FOR TWO AT WOK N ROLL SUSHI BOUTIQUE AND CHAMPAGNE BAR
ENTER OUR COMPETITION (living page 28)
allegedly made by the institutions of the Republic before, during and after the violent clashes. Akdogu and Oncal were not the only ones injured that night. Two men from Pakistan and Bangladesh, who did not take part in the trouble, were also injured. Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, Akdogu said he and his fellow musician went to Larnaca that night to play music in a multicultural event. “We went there to make music, we didn’t even know much about the Rainbow Festival.” When the ﬁghting started, they stayed back. “It was not our struggle,” he said. Two hours later they made their way to the car to put their musical instruments away. Around 300 metres from the festival and 200m from the police station, they were attacked by a group of masked people, anywhere between 15 and 30 in number, said Akdogu. They were carrying baseball bats and knives. “They were running to the festival, and they attacked us brutally. They hit me on the head with a baseball bat and on my back. I had the guitar on my back and it broke, but it saved my life. They also
stabbed me three times on my left side, puncturing my lung and a muscle,” he said. They also pepper sprayed his face, but luckily missing his eyes, allowing him and Oncal to run away. At the time, Akdogu was quick to clarify that the group did not know the two musicians were Turkish Cypriot, ruling out the possibility of interethnic violence. However, two years on, Akdogu is ready to take action, feeling aggrieved that he saw no justice, and was left both physically and psychologically without support, as well as losing 5,000 euros worth of equipment. He accuses the police and government of silence, ignorance and apathy. “For us this case is not over. It is not over until the system that creates racism, hatred, nationalism and xenophobia is punished and violence is condemned and punished through the courts, and justice will then be done,” he said. “My goal is to do something positive, to use this experience to make a positive change, act as a bridge between the two communities, unite people, and show we are all human,” he said.
CYPRUS MAIL Friday, November 9, 2012
World WORLD TODAY Guatemala quake kills 48 A STRONG earthquake off the coast of Guatemala killed at least 48 people and trapped others under rubble on Wednesday, crushing homes and cars, destroying roads and forcing evacuations as far away as Mexico City. Most of the dead were buried under debris in San Marcos state, a mountainous region near the Mexican border. Landslides triggered by the 7.4-magnitude quake blocked highways and complicated rescue efforts. It was the strongest earthquake to hit the Central American nation since 1976, when a 7.5magnitude quake killed more than 20,000 people.
Crucial austerity bill passed GREECE’S parliament passed a crucial austerity bill in a vote so close it left the coalition government reeling from dissent. The bill, which will further slash pensions and salaries, passed 153-128 in the 300-member parliament, hours after rioters rampaged outside the building in Athens during an 80,000-strong antiausterity demonstration, clashing with police who responded with tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons. Approval of the cuts and tax increases worth 13.5 billion euros (£10.7bn) over two years was a big step for Greek efforts to secure the next instalment of its international rescue loans and stave off imminent bankruptcy.
Wikileaks plea THE U.S. Army private charged with sending government secrets to WikiLeaks is offering to plead guilty to some offences. Private Bradley Manning’s civilian defence lawyer, David Coombs, says Manning is not pleading guilty to the offences he is accused of by the government. Rather, he is offering to take responsibility for less serious offences that are encapsulated within the charged crimes.
Hu: graft is a threat to state Outgoing China leader admits corruption has undermined Communist Party support By Sui-Lee Wee and Ben Blanchard PRESIDENT Hu Jintao warned China’s incoming leaders yesterday that corruption threatened the ruling Communist Party and the state, but said the party must stay in charge as it battles growing social unrest. In a state-of-the-nation address to more than 2,000 hand-picked party delegates before he hands over power, Hu acknowledged that public anger over graft and issues like environmental degradation had undermined the party’s support and led to surging numbers of protests. “Combating corruption and promoting political integrity, which is a major political issue of great concern to the people, is a clear-cut and long-term political commitment of the party,” Hu said. “If we fail to handle this is-
sue well, it could prove fatal to the party, and even cause the collapse of the party and the fall of the state. We must thus make unremitting efforts to combat corruption.”
LIMITED REFORM He promised political reform, but only to a degree, saying: “We will never copy a Western political system.” “We will neither walk on the closed and rigid road, nor will we walk down the evil road of changing (our) ﬂags and banners,” Hu said. He also stressed the need to strengthen the armed forces and protect sea territory amid disputes with Japan and Southeast Asian nations. Hu was opening a week-long congress at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People that will usher in a once-in-a-decade leadership change in the world’s second-largest economy. Despite the high proﬁle of
Former oil man to be new Anglican leader A FORMER oil executive who went to the same exclusive school as Prime Minister David Cameron will shortly be named Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans, British newspapers said yesterday. Justin Welby, 56, the Bishop of Durham, who has had a meteoric rise up the Church of England hierarchy since quitting the world of commerce in 1992, will be announced as the next Archbishop as early as today, the reports said. The nomination follows weeks of speculation that the Church body assigned to elect the future Archbishop was split over choosing a reformer or a safe pair of hands to maintain the status quo. Cameron’s spokesman said an announcement would come “soon”. Welby, who went to the same exclusive school, Eton College, as Cameron, London mayor Boris Johnson and Princes William and Harry, has already accepted the position, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Welby to be named new Archbishop of Canterbury Welby will replace leftleaning incumbent Rowan Williams, who has said his successor as head of the global Anglican Communion will need “the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros”. Welby is widely reported to be against gay marriage but broadly in favour of the ordination of women bishops, two of the most divisive issues in the communion. The new Archbishop will earn about £74,000 ($120,000) a year. His tenure will last until retirement at 70 or until he decides to move on.
Still-recovering US Northeast digs out after snowstorm NEW York City and much of the U.S. Northeast yesterday dug out from a snowstorm that walloped a region still struggling to recover from the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. The unseasonably early winter storm dumped more than a foot (30 cm) of snow on parts of Connecticut and slapped the region with 50 mph (80 kph) winds, plunging another 300,000 homes and businesses back into darkness and creating a new commuting nightmare for
a region whose transportation system was still under repairs. The bitter cold, rain and powerful winds added to the misery of disaster victims whose homes were destroyed or power knocked out by the massive storm Sandy that smashed ashore on October 29 with epic ﬂooding. “God hates us!” the New York Post said in a front-page headline. Some 3 to 6 inches (about 8 to 15 cm) of snow fell on the city.
the event and the focus on sensitive issues like reform and graft, the comments were not considered unusual since they mainly reinforced existing ideas and themes. “It was a rather conservative report,” said Jin Zhong, the editor of Open Magazine, an independent Hong Kong publication that specialises in Chinese politics. “There’s nothing in there that suggests any breakthrough in political reforms.” The run-up to the carefully choreographed meeting, at which Hu will hand over his post as party chief to anointed successor Vice President Xi Jinping, has been overshadowed by a corruption scandal involving one-time high-ﬂying politician Bo Xilai. The party has accused him of taking bribes and abusing his power to cover up his wife’s murder of a British businessman in the southwestern city of Chongqing, which he used to run.
President Hu Jintao opened a week-long party congress at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People yesterday (AFP) While Hu did not name Bo - a man once considered a contender for top ofﬁce himself - he left little doubt about the target. “All those who violate party discipline and state laws, whoever they are and whatever power or ofﬁcial positions they have, must be brought to justice without mercy,” Hu told delegates, one of whom was his predecessor, Jiang Zemin.
“Leading ofﬁcials, especially high-ranking ofﬁcials, must ... exercise strict self-discipline and strengthen education and supervision over their families and their staff; and they should never seek any privilege.” The New York Times said last month that the family of Premier Wen Jiabao had accumulated at least $2.7 billion in “hidden riches”, a report China labelled a smear.
Friday, November 9, 2012 CYPRUS MAIL
CYPRUS MAIL Friday, November 9, 2012
Bashar al-Assad says he will live and die in Syria
â€˜Israeli gunfire kills Gaza 12-year-oldâ€™
Doubts West will risk costs of invasion
GUNFIRE from Israeli forces killed a Palestinian boy in the Gaza Strip yesterday, medics said, during border clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinian militants. The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a militant group, said its gunmen had confronted an Israeli force of four tanks and a bulldozer involved in a short-range incursion beyond Israelâ€™s border fence with the Gaza Strip. â€œTerrorists opened ďŹ re at IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) soldiers while they were performing routine activity adjacent to the security fence,â€? an Israeli military spokeswoman said in Jerusalem. An Israeli military ofďŹ cial said the soldiers responded by ďŹ ring at â€œsuspicious locationsâ€?. Palestinian medics said the boy, aged 12, was hit by machinegun ďŹ re, either from Israeli helicopters or tanks that took part in the incident. Israeli incursions into the enclave, run by Islamist Hamas, are usually aimed at searching for possible tunnels that could be used by militants to sneak into Israeli territory to wage attacks.
By Rania El Gamal and Andrew Hammond PRESIDENT Bashar al-Assad said he would â€œlive and dieâ€? in Syria and warned that any Western invasion to topple him would have catastrophic consequences for the Middle East and beyond. Assadâ€™s deďŹ ant remarks coincided with a landmark meeting in Qatar yesterday of Syriaâ€™s fractious opposition to hammer out an agreement on a new umbrella body uniting rebel groups inside and outside Syria, amid growing international pressure to put their house in order and prepare for a post-Assad transition. The Syrian leader, battling a
Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani (2R) urged the Syrian opposition yesterday to set disputes aside and unite 19-month old uprising against his rule, appeared to reject an idea ďŹ‚oated by British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday that a safe exit and foreign exile for the Londoneducated Assad could end the civil war. â€œI am not a puppet. I was not made by the West to go to the West or to any other coun-
try,â€? he told Russia Today television in an interview to be broadcast today. â€œI am Syrian; I was made in Syria. I have to live in Syria and die in Syria.â€? Russia Todayâ€™s web site, which published a transcript of the interview conducted in English, showed footage of Assad, 47, speaking to journalists and walking down stairs
outside a white villa. It was not clear when he had made his comments. The United States and its allies want the Syrian leader out, but have held back from arming his opponents or enforcing a no-ďŹ‚y zone, let alone invading. Russia has stood by Assad. The president said he
doubted the West would risk the global cost of intervening in Syria, whose conďŹ‚ict has already added to instability in the Middle East and killed some 38,000 people. â€œI think the price of this invasion, if it happened, is going to be bigger than the whole world can afford ... It will have a domino effect that will affect the world from the Atlantic to the PaciďŹ c,â€? the president said. â€œI do not think the West is going in this direction, but if they do so, nobody can tell what is next.â€? Backed by Washington, the Doha talks underline Qatarâ€™s central role in the effort to end Assadâ€™s rule as the Gulf state, which funded the Libyan revolt to oust Muammar GaddaďŹ , tries to position itself as a player in a post-Assad Syria. Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani urged the Syrian opposition to set disputes aside and unite, according to a source inside the closed-door session. â€œCome on, get a move on in order to win recognition from the international community,â€? the source quoted him as saying.
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