Cyprus’ education sector is completing one milestone after the other, and the Open University’s recent celebrations have only served to affirm this.
In what is being considered a grand celebration in Cypriot’s higher education sector, the Open University of Cyprus (OUC) celebrated its 10th graduation ceremony on November 17. The auspicious ceremony, which was held to honor students graduating in the academic year 2016-2017, had over 1120 graduates from over 26 different undergraduate as well as postgraduate programmes. An additional twelve graduates received their doctorate – the highest-ranking academic title.
The event, which was held at the Tassos Papadopoulos Eleftheria stadium in Nicosia was presided over by President Nicos Anastasiades and key officials of the Cypriot government. President Anastasiades extended his heartiest congratulations to the new graduates on working hard and achieving their diplomas which are recognized in Cyprus and elsewhere over the world.
President Anastasiades also spoke very highly of the OUC, hailing the institution as Cyprus’ sole higher education institution which completely functions on distance education, and has been successful in its endeavor to bring forth new perspectives on university studies and lifelong learning. In its 10 years of successful operation, the OUC has made a considerable contribution in improving and develop a wide range of skills which are required after having obtained a – or even a higher degree. The President added a positive note on the development of the university itself, emphasizing on how the institution has made a name for itself and gained a place among internationally recognized higher education institutions by keeping its dynamism alive and making diverse partnerships with universities, research houses, associations, and other institutions, both in Europe and in other parts of the world.
The President’s good words were reaffirmed by Costas Christos, chairman of the OUC administrative committee, who expressed his deep satisfaction with the state offering practical and continuous efforts that have helped the OUC to expand its multi-level social, educational, and research work. He further added that in addition to making an important milestone for the OUC, the date also marked 15 since the founding of the institution.
In a welcoming piece of news that will serve to strengthen the bilateral relations between Cyprus and Lebanon and increase the quality of maritime security in the east Mediterranean, the Defense Ministry of the island country has announced that it will help Lebanon build a search-and-rescue center which will respond to emergencies occurring in and around the Mediterranean Sea coastline.
The statement from the Defense Ministry added that officials from Cyprus will offer their Lebanese counterparts the financial and technical training and know-how required to build and maintain the rescue center. The rescue center itself will serve to encourage cooperation between the two countries in matters of maritime security in the east Mediterranean.
This announcement was made after a meeting that was held between Cypriot Defense Minister Christoforos Fokaides and Lebanese Defense Minister Yaacoub Sarraf in the Cyprus’ capital city of Nicosia. The two ministers have further agreed to hold a three-way meeting with their Greek counterpart Panos Kammenos, which is due to be held in the first quarter of 2018.
Cyprus currently supplies the armed forces of Lebanon with small arms and ammunition.
In what is being considered a welcoming news for the real estate industry in Cyprus, property purchases in the island country has risen by leaps and bounds, and going by the latest figures, shows very little signs of slowing down.
Figures from the Dept. of Lands & Surveys, property sales in the island country as of November 2017 has increased by an impressive 39 per cent since November 2016 – an impressive feat given the blows taken by the economy and real estate industries in the past years. This rise comes after an 18% increase in the month of October, an 8% increase in September, and a 27% increase in August.
In the month of November itself, 906 contracts were signed (for the purpose of selling land as well as commercial and residential and properties) and deposited at Land Registry offices all over Cyprus, as opposed to only 651 that were deposited in November 2016.
All districts in the country saw a rise in sales. In terms of percentage, Famagusta saw the biggest rise in sales (174%), followed by the country’s capital Nicosia (98%). Sales in Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos rose by 32%, 29% and 16% respectively.
Meanwhile, the number of property sale contracts deposited at Land Registry offices were 7,197, rising by 21% since November 2016.
Recent government schemes and measures have played a major role in the rise of property transactions. Specifically, the abolition of Immovable Property Tax and reduction in Property Transfer Fees have given property sales a much-needed boost. The country has also seen a rise of property being sold to Non-EU citizens who are looking for citizenship or residency and are using two different government schemes to their advantage.
The bitcoin revolution is taking the world by storm – and Cyprus is certainly no exception to this rule.
Hello Group, a Fintech company based in the island country announced the launch of the country’s first ever Bitcoin ATM in Limassol. Installed with the sole aim of helping people make their bitcoin transactions in a way that is most safe and secure, the ATM will be directly in contact with the top cryptocurrency exchange agencies to provide the highest rates available.
Set to be installed under Hello Group’s Limassol office in the Pitta & More café-restaurant, the ATM will allow customers to directly download bitcoin wallets by making a QR scan with their smartphone. To buy bitcoins using the machine, the buyer will simply need to scan their own wallet’s QR code.
The company made further statements to supplement its announcement, saying that the introduction of a Bitcoin ATM in the island country will spread awareness about the rapidly-growing bitcoin industry and give the relatively new blockchain and cryptocurrency currency industry a much-welcome boost.
Coincidentally, this news comes at around the same time as the announcement of rise of Bitcoin’s value to more than $10,000. Needless to say, the announcement of news such as this will serve to affirm the strength of what is indeed the most valuable cryptocurrency in the world.
The ATM will be located at Pitta & More — 56 Griva Digeni, Limassol, Cyprus
Cyprus Airways has spent the larger part of this year in strengthening its system, and recent developments show that it is not slowing down anytime soon.
In what is being considered a very good news for both the aviation and travel industries, Cyprus Airways has announced its plans to increase the frequency of flights on Larnaca-Saint Petersburg route for the upcoming summer 2018. Cyprus Airways Chief Commercial Officer Natalia Popova elaborated that they plan to increase the number of weekly flights from the current two to at least seven. She added that this improvement will include other perks, all aimed at offering our passengers more flexibility and capacity in their travel arrangements.
Not only will this change strengthen Cyprus Airways, it will also strengthen the ties by Russia and Cyprus and give a boost to the tourism and aviation industries.
Currently Cyprus Airways flights are available in two fare categories, namely Basic and Flex. Each of these have their specific features and variations, and include add-on features and services like changes, seat selection, baggage allowance and the like.
Single direction ticket prices from Cyprus to Saint Petersburg start from EUR 110 (w/ tax & charges). Flights can be booked via a travel agent, Cyprus Airways Call Center (National toll free 8000 8111 or international on +357 24000053) or directly through www.cyprusairways.com.
Those who wish to see the entire schedule of all the destinations of Cyprus Airways can visit the company’s website at www.cyprusairways.com.
In what is being considered a very divisive statement that will give a new turn to the Cypriot political scene, a senior Turkish Cypriot official has said that Cyrpus reunification talks should only resume only if there is any intention to address the political needs and status of the Turkish Cypriots.
According to Ozdil Nami, chief negotiator of the Turkish Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriots also have their rights, which should be duly addressed by the Greek Cypriots. Furthermore, the former group should get the assurance that their political status would be spelled out even if the talks broke down.
Speaking to Reuters in an interview earlier last week, Nami, who was “speaking for the Turkish Cypriot side” insisted that regardless of what the new process would turn out to be, it should be something that brings stability and transparency to the political status and rights of the Turkish Cypriots. Specifically, the talks should specifically spell out what the political status would be if the Greek Cypriots decide to go back on anything they have – or will – promise. Pressed further on whether he meant Turkish Cypriots should be given some kind of permanent recognition that would protect them should the new initiative sink due to the Greek Cypriots backing out, he said: “Exactly”.
This comes in response to the collapse of talks to unite Cyprus in July, which effectively ended what was considered the most promising round of negotiations. A deal that would have the island reunited and brought under the rule of a two-zone federal system simply collapsed into a two-sided “blame game,” with each pointing fingers at the other.
Nami echoed the voice of the Turkish Cypriots, saying that the lack of unity has led to an atmosphere of political ambiguity, and it is high time that this should end. He added that the need of the hour is to change the status quo in a way that is mutually agreed upon.
A former naval officer who has allegedly been linked to the Gülen network and accused of leading the failed coup attempt in Turkey last year has finally left Greek Cyprus after having sought political asylum on the island country, according to an official source.
Kadir Karaman, Former Naval Captain along with his Kazakhstani-origin wife Nina Pozhidaeva, who arrived on the Larnaca marina from the southern province of Mersin on October 1 in their luxury yacht named “Sanchez,” had previously requested asylum on the basis of the fact that they were being persecuted in their home country of Turkey. The couple, who had been staying on the yacht under police surveillance ever since, have now left the island.
The Greek Cypriot government, which attempted to handle the matter in a hush manner, failed to do so when Karaman’s identity was revealed after having an alleged public phone conversation with one of the most sought-after “secret imams,” while working as a part of İzmir-based operation into the Gülen network.
This led to the issuance of a detention warrant, followed by the Police conducting raids in his residence. By that time, however, Karaman had already left the Mersin port with his wife aboard the 10.5 meter luxury yacht. Arriving at Larnaca around a day later, Karaman and his wife requested to gain political asylum on the island, explaining to the Greek Cypriot police that the authorities wanted to falsely detain him over links to the Gülen network.
Karaman’s case is being considered as the first time ever when a Turkish Armed Forces member has requested asylum in Greek Cyprus.
In what is being considered alarming news as regards availability of natural resources in Cyprus, water reserves in reservoirs in the country have been found to stand at 14.6% of its total capacity, plummeting down further from last year’s 20%.
The finding sparked several discussions at the House agriculture committee, with the chairman Akel MP Andreas Kakalias concluding that such a situation has arisen primarily due to the fact that the water management system of the island country is riddled with problems. He also added that the island country currently lacks a holistic approach which will properly solve the issue.
In response to the situation, the House agriculture committee raised the issue of implementing a uniform pricing policy for water charges, emphasizing that special tariffs should be there in place to cater to livestock and farming needs, which do not exist at the current moment. With livestock areas being billed the way households are, farmers are facing immense difficulties in coping with high charges. Kakalias responded to the issue by having the agriculture committee request relevant ministries to take a look at the issue and subsequently formulate a farm-specific tariff.
Another issue that was addressed at the committee was that of the Limassol water board’s debts. Kakalias assured the people that he will have the relevant authorities look into the matter and solve the problem as soon as possible.
In what is being considered great news for innovation in Cyprus, a team from Cyprus is now going to compete in the European Cyber Security Challenge (ECSC).
One of Europe’s biggest competitions, the ECSC, which is organized and hosted by the Spanish National Cybersecurity Institute INCIBE, has the support of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), will take place between 31 October to 3 November in Malaga, Spain.
The much-awaited event, which will bring together the best and the brightest young cyber-security experts from Europe, is set to feature over 150 participants from across 15 countries who will participate in a variety of challenges including (but not limited to) tasks such as gaining access to a protected system, deciphering encrypted documents and finding out security vulnerabilities in web applications.
According to Professor Dr. Udo Helmbrecht, Executive Director of ENISA, this exercise is important both for the participants and for the countries to which they will take back the international experience they will gain by taking part. He further added in the three years in which ENISA supported the event, he has seen a positive growth in terms of number of participants as well as the number of participating countries.
This year’s edition of the ECSC will include participants from the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Romania, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Estonia, Denmark, Greece, Germany, Liechtenstein, Ireland, Norway, Spain, and of course, Cyprus.
Aside the titular main hacking contest, the ECSC will be hosting a job fair and certain specialized conferences. The fair will feature industry-leading organizations who will discuss career opportunities with participants.
According to President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus, the idea of any European state lagging behind other European states terms of human rights and fundamental freedoms is nothing short of appalling, and that Cyprus should make sure that it can never fall into this dreaded situation.
Speaking at the national memorial service of 1955-1959 EOKA heroes of Neo Chorio Pafos community, the Cypriot President stressed upon the importance of fundamental freedoms and human rights, saying that it is unacceptable for military intervention to stay in the country forever, given its adverse effects on the sense of security of Greek Cypriots. He even added that the country can never accept to serve the interests of another third country or become a protectorate.
While the President does understand certain compromises need to be made to return the island to the peaceful state it was in once, he also conveyed the fact that he knows the extent of said compromises, and can never allow the State to accept anything that tramples upon the rights of the Greek Cypriots and make them feel small and ignored in front of their Turkish counterparts.
Emphasizing on the need for a peaceful and stable country, especially for the upcoming generations, President Anastasiades stated that peace can only prevail when basic human rights are accepted, and when there are conditions that will inculcate good conscience. He concluded his speech by saying that the need of the hour is to create a European state that is stable, durable, does not discriminate on any grounds whatsoever and protect its citizens against any and all forms and manifestations of injustice.
Cyprus has notably been a divided country since 1974, when the Turks invaded and took over the island country’s northern third. It has since been a constant strife and series of negotiations, with the latest round of UN-sponsored negotiations having ended inconclusively in July 2017 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
In what is being considered ground-breaking move by a country that is not known for passing statements on the international stage, Cyprus recently announced how appalled it was to have seen the violent attacks against security forces in Egypt.
More specifically, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the small island country stated in a public statement how it “strongly condemns” the ruthlessly violent terrorist attack made on security forces on the 20 October 2017 in Al-Wahat, Egypt.
Speaking at a press release, the Ministry added that both the Government and the people of Cyprus took this matter to heart and needless to say, extend their sincerest condolences – both to the Egyptian Government and to the families, friends and relatives of the unfortunate victims of the incident. It also wished a sound and speedy recovery to those who survived but were injured.”
The Ministry also pledged that it would do all it can to help the both Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the people of Egypt in fighting against terrorism. Extending both its support and its solidarity to them, the Cyrpiot Ministry reaffirmed its own commitment and determination to pursue every emthod that would help in curbing terrorism, “in all of its forms and manifestations.”
In what is being considered a new move against crime in Cyprus, an illegal casino in Trachoni, Limassol was raided by the British bases (SBA) police on Tuesday, arresting 13 people and seizing several merchandise including gambling tables, computers, and cash.
Conducted by SBA police at 8pm on Tuesday morning, the authorities found the illegal establishment, which was already the subject of a closure order, occupied by 10 people who playing the gambling tables. Upon searching the building further, they found a woman and three men – all of whom were trying to hide from the police.
Led by Chief Inspector Panicos Panayi, the raid team consisted of 10 Bases police officers in total.
Chief Inspector Panayi stated how peaceful the raid actually was, along with the fact that the people found didn’t even make an effort to put any resistance. The top cop added that this was perhaps due to the fact that the people inside the illegal establishment knew that there simply was no chance to escape.
The 13 people who were found were arrested and taken to the Akrotiri police station. Other materials that were seized from the casino included 36 gambling computers, 11 blackjack tables, two roulette tables, and €1000 in cash. Also found was a sophisticated security camera system that was used in the establishment, whose data will soon be analyzed by the authorities.
Sean Tully spokesman for the Bases, spoke on the matter, stating that illegal gambling is absolutely intolerable and if found, will be dealt with the strictest hand. He further added that this raid should act as a warning for other who think that they can get away with breaking the law run such kind of establishments.
In what is being considered very reassuring news for peace in Cyprus, President Nicos Anastasiades recently made a statement emphasizing upon the need for having a united front to counter Turkish intransigence and overturn the current situation in the island country.
Speaking in Nicosia after a religious ceremony which commemorated the anniversary of 28th October, 1940, President Anastasiades said that history can only be written when everyone stays united. He further explained his rather cryptic statement, saying that in order to truly honor the commemorated anniversary, Cyprus must join forces and subsequently confront Turkish intransigence and its effects and finally overturn the sad and painful circumstances that currently exist in Cyprus thanks to Turkish interference.
President Anastasiades was asked regarding the effects of the developments in Spain on Cyprus, to which he confidently replied that the Spanish problem should and does not have any bearing on the situation in Cyprus, especially after the kind of reactions it has received from both Europe and other parts of the world.
Cyprus has been a divided country since 1974, when the Turks invaded and took over the island country’s northern third. It has since been a constant strife and series of negotiations, with the latest round of UN-sponsored negotiations having ended inconclusively in July 2017 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
The anniversary of 28th October, 1940 serves to commemorate the rejection of an ultimatum by Benito Mussolini to Greece’s then Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas. The event marks the start of the Greco-Italian war as well as the subsequent conquering of Greece by the Axis Powers.
In what is being considered a refreshing news for Cyprus and the start-up and innovation community in general, “GrowGreen“ a Cyrpiot team, has bagged the first place in the thematic category of Sustainable Land Use at the Grand Final of ClimateLaunchpad 2017 held at Limassol, Cyprus. Climate Launchpad is well-known as the world’s largest competition that fosters green business ideas.
In addition to the winner’s spot in the thematic category, the Cypriot start-up also received standing ovation, critical acclaim, and a monetary prize of €5.000. GrowGreen received said accolades on account of for their groundbreaking idea of using coffee grounds to produce biodegradable fertilizing flower pots.
Other teams which represented Cyprus were ‘Be Right Bag’, which manufactured biodegradable and plantable bags which were made from seed-infused recycled paper and ‘Echofixer’ which made acoustic panels made of paper pulp to improve sound clarity.
ClimateLaunchpad 2017 had 964 start-ups from 35 countries submitting their green business ideas, and 105 of them being selected to pitch their idea in the Grand Final. The Grand Final was hosted and organized by Chrysalis LEAP, and co-organized by the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA).
Held over the course of two days, the event, which ended on Wednesday, featured over 550 different people from a variety of fields including investment, academics and business from all over the world. Not only did it feature an entire upcoming generation of successful start-ups, it revealed several new trends and offered valuable insight into a better and more sustainable future.
ClimateLaunchpad is sponsored by Climate-KIC, Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership.
In what is being considered shocking news for the academic community in Cyprus and beyond, Panos Pashardes, the former head of the University of Cyprus’s Economic Research Centre (ERC), passed away at the age of 68 last Sunday.
The late professor, who joined the University of Cyprus in 1994, previously received his economics degree in 1973 at the University of Athens in Greece, and master’s as well as his PhD at the Birkbeck College of the University of London in 1975 and 1979 respectively.
Professor Pashardes has a broad range of knowledge as regards economics, but made his specializations in in public and welfare economics, consumer behavior, Cypriot economy and applied econometrics. Throughout his academic career, he has published dozens of academic journals, many of which stand as staple texts for reference.
Pashardes’ views on economic policies were largely liberal in nature, despite the fact that he was himself a member of the socialist party Edek. He even publicly advocated privatization of state-owned enterprises including (but not limited to) telecoms company Cyta, and supported overhaul of human resource management in the public sector.
The loss of the ace academic comes as a big shock and massive loss for the academic community – both in Cyprus and other European countries.
In what is being considered an interesting new development in European political relations at large, Cyprus and Russia have signed a new protocol, which outlines prospects and possibilities to expand the level of cooperation of cooperation between the two countries, including (but not limited to) telecoms and information technology, transport, industrial cooperation, innovation, and medical services.
Delegations were made on relevant issues between the two countries at the 10th summit of the Cyprus-Russia Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation held at Nicosia, which was headed by Harris Georgiades, Cypriot Finance Minister and Alexey Gruzdev, Russian Deputy Minister of Economic.
The meeting acted as a preparation of sorts for the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades’ forthcoming visit to the Russian capital.
Speaking to the press after signing the protocol, Mr. Georgiades explained how the new protocol will be instrument in expanding relations based on good faith and practice between the two countries. He even went on to call Russia an “extremely important partner” for Cyprus, explaining how Cypriot exports worth over €1.3 billion go to the country. He also elaborated on Russia being an important political ally for Cyprus.
Mr. Gruzdev too, had nothing but good words. Not only did he describe the meeting as “very fruitful,” he also proceeded to explain the relationship of Russia and Cyprus are strategic partners in various spheres of politics, business and commerce.
In what is being considered breakthrough news after a long period of inactivity, Ioannis Kasoulides, Cyprus’ Foreign Minister has announced that the Cypriot government will negotiate with their British counterparts the status of Cypriots who have been working and/or living in British military bases. The discussions will be made keeping Brexit in view.
Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Mr. Kasoulides told reporters that the negotiations between the governments of the UK and the Republic of Cyprus and will concern rights of Cypriots who are living and working on British bases, and attempt to keep the same attached to the treaty of Great Britain’s secession from the EU.
Mr. Kasoulides added that the upcoming negotiations between Cyprus and Britain as regards what to what happens to Cypriots working on British bases after will start on Oct. 11th, something that automatically dismissed calls from deputies to put their own closure on the matter. The minister also confirmed the European Commission’s agreement to not take any steps unless the Republic of Cyprus explicitly agrees and allows the country to enter bilateral negotiations.
According to Mr. Kasoulides, the main factor they want maintained post-Brexit is for the rights of Cypriot nationals working on British bases to remain the same as they are under the currently installed regime. Under this (pre-Brexit) regime, the acquis was able to be applied successfully in the British Bases – according to Protocol 3 of the Accession Treaty of Cyprus to the EU.
Cyprus has now made itself an active part of the world’s largest anti-fraud community with Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the world’s largest anti-fraud organization, announcing its inaugural assembly in the island country.
Speaking at a press conference, ACFE Cyprus explained that its aim is to play a constructive role in observing, identifying and eliminating fraud-related happenings in Cyprus. It added the Cyprus chapter intends to act as a force of meaningful change, and help in reducing, if not fully preventing instances of fraud and corruption in Cyprus, and well as helping to promote training in the field and impart both skills and knowledge to members.
Also present at the assembly, was Georgos Zornas, Internal Audit Director at the Bank of Cyprus Group, the main supporter of the new initiative. The director spoke at the occasion, describing the ACFE’s role at length and analyzing the goals it plans to achieve in Cyprus, adding that they while they have made a step in the right direction, they still “have a long way to go,” before they can safely speak to have established an effective governance mechanism in public as well as organizations.
In his speech, Mr. Zornas mentioned the PwC’s annual report, according to which, around 24 percent of participating Cypriot organizations were seen to have no proper ethics training program in place, whereas 42 percent were seen to have not performed any fraud risk assessment.
He also listed numerous fraud and corruption-related incidents which involved well-regarded politicians and senior state officials.
Young people make better talent and mean more progress, and Cypriot politics is no exception to the rule.
I, the Citizen, Cyprus’ youngest party made this point very clear just as it announced the start of its operations via a well-executed press release.
At the party’s inaugural press release, members stressed on the importance of having more young people get into politics. Many of the backers and founders of the popularly-called “Russian Party” also went on to highlight its key goals, which includes eliminating corruption and fostering a hi-tech culture which would integrate religious freedom, multiculturalism, and multi-ethnicity. They further added that these goals can only be truly and properly realized if and when the younger demographic takes an active part in the matters.
The press release reflected this view of the party and its members, saying that it is of utmost importance for the able, young, and educated to get and stay actively involved in the political scenario of the country.
The party, which aims to integrate all Cypriots and EU citizens at large, is being led by Mr. Alexey Voloboev, a Russian-born Cypriot businessman and citizen who has been based out of the island country for over 15 years.
In what is being regarded as a shocking news, The Cyprus Society of Cardiology announced on World Heart Day that over 2,000 people in Cyprus die every year due to heart disease, while over 40,000 other undergo serious treatment for some or the other heart-related problem.
According to the results of several epidemiological studies that were recently conducted in Cyprus by the Society, 27.8 percent of all adults were obese and 36.1 percent were overweight. Children under too had a less-than-desirable percentage of overweightedness and obesity, with 8.1 percent of children in the former and 20.1 percent in the latter category.
Dr Georgos Georgiou, Chairman of The Cyprus Society of Cardiology spoke on the issue at a news conference which marked World Heart Day, under the slogan ‘Give your Heart Strength’. Announcing a brand new enlightenment campaign that will be organized by the society in all towns on Friday, Dr. Georgiou explained how the campaign aims to make the public more aware about cardiovascular diseases, which have been an increasing cause for concern in several developed countries all over the world.
The campaign will be presided over by Cardiologists, who will make it point to inform the public about the functioning and prevention of cardiovascular diseases, and provide informative brochures. They will also take people’s blood pressure at no charge.
The campaigns will be held at Ermou square in Larnaca, My Mall in Limassol, the Mall of Cyprus in Nicosia, and Kings Avenue Mall in Paphos.
In what is being regarded as a welcoming new development in taking care of the disabled, Zeta Emilianidou, Labor minister of Cyprus has announced that the government will now offer specialized support systems and services to autistic children and their families.
The announcement has come after the cabinet has given the centre the green light to assess and evaluate children suffering from autism, and subsequently create independent homes suited to them.
Speaking after a cabinet session, Ms. Emilianidou explained that said the operation of the evaluation centre for autistic children will offer specialized services to both the children as well as to the families who need to take care of them. This facility will become part of the Christos Stelios Ioannou Foundation, alongside a child care center for children with autism which will soon be created. The centre is estimated to run with an expense of around €700,000 a year.
Ms. Emilianidou further announced the creation of over ten communal houses which would cater to individuals with disabilities, adding that the aim of the scheme is to integrate into society the people who live with serious disabilities. By helping these people into assisted-living programmes, the centre wants to help adults with special needs be more comfortable in their lives.
Both schemes will be co-financed by the European Social fund.
In what is being considered as a great move for innovators and environments alike, the Larnaca has announced that the city has saved over 59,000 kWh and has managed to lessen the emissions of carbon monoxide by at least 51 tons as part of the 3 year program which ended on September 30.
Issuing a statement, the municipality added that the results are indicative of the willingness of participating families to adopt style of living that is more sustainable in the short and long run.
Family Intelligent Energy Targeted Action is a special European initiative, which includes 19 different partnering institutions from as much as 5 different European countries in the south – Cyprus, Italy, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus, who are all committed to helping families reduce their energy consumption. Spanning three years, the program reduced CO2 emission by 896 tons.
As part of the project, residents were visited at home and their energy consumption was recorded and analyzed. After that, every received a personalized report along with advice on how they can reduce their consumption. Special attention was paid to vulnerable consumers, those who lived on low incomes.
According to Fiesta’s website, households were responsible for a large share of energy consumption in Europe, and therefore program made them the main target of reducing energy consumption. The website says that over 29 percent of total energy consumption actually takes place in households.
The Fiesta program is co-funded by the Intelligent Energy for Europe Programme package, and Area Science Park Trieste acts as the project coordinator.
More information can be found at www.fiesta-audit.eu/
In what is being considered fantastic news for the researchers and innovators in the world of tech, the island country will be celebrating its own `Researchers’ Night`, along with 300 cities all across Europe.
Organized by The Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation for the 11th consecutive year, the event, which is receiving support from the European Commission, will attract the interest of thousands of people who want to take part or be informed about research and innovation in science and technology, and how said innovations will contribute to everyday living in the modern society.
The event, which will be held the premises of the State Fair in Nicosia will be free to attend, and will be inaugurated by President Nicos Anastasiades. Several notable personalities, such as Dr Vassilis Tsakalos, Director General of the Research Promotion Foundation, will also be present. As already mentioned, the event will aim to bring together people of all ages, attributes and perspectives, who are interested in innovation, and showcase innovation and research projects that have been implemented by Cypriot enterprises, universities, and research centers.
The evening will include experiments, discussions, games, competitions, as well as musical and theatrical events, along with a ceremony that will be held in honor of and Nobel Prize winning Economist and Professor Christoforos Pissarides.
More details on the event can be found at found under www.research.org.cy.
In what is being considered a breakthrough development in live art, a brand new live art experience has been launched in Paphos, which has proved to be a hit among both fans and critics.
Launched as a part of the Pafos2017 program, “Remote Paphos,” sees groups of people put on their headphones to get in for an immersive and collective, yet individual experience that is bound to make a lasting impression. The project has been created under the guidance of Rimini Protokoll, a one-of-a-kind theatre group that has established itself as one of Europe’s the most important and influential performers and artistes.
Executed in a simple, yet clever concept, the live experience involves fifty mostly-strangers, participating as actors, and being guided through a pre-planned route through instructions that will be relayed via high quality Sennheiser headphones, which will remain attached to mini-player that will stay clipped to a pocket or belt. The experience is set to continue for an hour and 40 minutes.
A truly one-of-a-kind system, ‘Remote Paphos’ intends to take a look at the systems which govern us and our lives and studies the way we respond to them, socially, physically and mentally. Aside from being memorable and enjoyable, it also manages to bring out the thinkers in people by questioning their individuality, judgment and tendency to (or not to) confirm.
More information on the live art experience can be found at www.pafos2017.com
The Cypriot band Barebone, known for delivering hit-after-hit, have now released a brand new song which has already won the Best Rock song prize for the September 2017 Academia Music Awards at Los Angeles.
Called Edge of the Blade, the song, which has proved to be equally popular between fans and critics alike, has now been released by the band on their official YouTube channel. The song will also be a part of Barebone’s upcoming album.
Formed in 2014, Barebone has proved to be extremely popular throughout the world, and has been touring all over the world and participating in various events, including The Masters of Rock, the biggest festival in the Czech Republic.
The Barebone Band, which comprises four members – George Solonos, Constantinos Pavlides, Takis Foitos and Constantinos Constantinou, say they aim to have their material and their live appearances give an experience of upbeat Rock that is “focused on groove and pure hard dirty sound.”
The pop band has so far performed at every venue in Cyprus and has also taken part in major events and festivals like the Cyprus International Tattoo Convention and the Legion Run, among others.
Their first video, Early Years of My Dementia was released in 2015, just before their maiden Slovakian/Czech Rep. tour in May 2015.
More information on the band can be found at @Facebook/bareboneband
According to the findings of a survey, the rather predictable presidential race of Cyprus could get completely shaken-up by the possible candidacy of Constantinos Christofides, the rector of the University of Cyprus.
Commissioned by Stockwatch, an online business portal, the survey asked voters to choose and state their preference among all the candidates for the presidential election in 2018, in addition to asking them regarding their opinions on the expected run-off between the two candidates that will prevail in the first round. Quite unsurprisingly, for every tested scenarios tested, the incumbent President Nicos Anastasiades won against both Akel-backed former Health Minister Stavros Malas, and Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos.
For the first round, Anastasiades won 27 percent votes, followed by Papadopoulos (16 percent), Malas (13 percent), and Yiorgos Lillikas (3 percent). Interestingly, 1 in 5 remained undecided, while 14 per cent of the population stated that they do not intend to vote.
With Christofides in the first-round mix, however, the dynamics changed completely, with both Papadopoulos and Anastasiades seeing their shares drop in favor of the latest candidate, despite having maintained their position otherwise. According to the voters’ preferences in this scenario, Anastasiades ended up with 23 percent votes, followed by Papadopoulos (14 percent), Malas (12 percent), Christofides (with an impressive 9 percent) and Lillikas (2 percent). The undecided population, however, remained as 1 in 5.
The poll results clearly shows that Christofides drew most his votes from Anastasiades and Papadopoulos’ pool, and from the pool of voters who had previously said that they did not intend to vote.
As of now, Christofides is yet to announce his candidacy for the Presidential elections in 2018.
The survey in questions was commissioned by Stockwatch from Cymar Market Research Ltd, and was conducted during a 7-day-period (from September 21 to 27). The survey comprised 1,006 telephone interviews that were conducted with voting-age individuals.
In what is being considered a bold new move that will bring in more business in Cyprus, Emirates, the largest international airline in the world, organized its first-ever informative media breakfast in Nicosia, Cyprus on Wednesday, the 27th of September. The meeting was presided over by Ms. Asma Al Rahma, Emirates’ Country Manager in Cyprus, and attended by a wide variety of media and communications professionals.
As a part of the event, Ms. Al Rahma and her team met with several top journalists, marketing officials and communication professionals, and informed them on a wide variety of topics including (but not limited to), the level of commitment Emirates has to Cyprus, the range of global destinations, the exclusive advantages that Emirates offers, the world-class fleet, and how Emirates helps in the progress of tourism and trade in the region.
As the world largest international airline, Emirates is known for its quality service and high-grade infrastructure, its world-class fleet comprising Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, very high comfort levels, and the world’s most privileged Economy Class with over 2,500 entertainments channels, and excellent staff service.
Armed with a wide range of options, Emirates plans to give Cypriots the opportunity to fulfill their desire to travel comfortably to top destinations such as Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Johannesburg, and also to closer ones such as Dubai and Malta, which are increasingly becoming popular with the Cypriots who wish to travel in style.
Stressing upon the strong relations between Emirates and the island country of Cyprus, Ms. Al Rahma explained how said relation has been growing among the two sides for several years. She expressed her happiness at Emirates’ increased involvement in Cyprus, and further added that the relationship between the two will only serve to grow in the future. Al Rahma also said that she was proud to see a growing number of Cypriot employees at Emirates itself, and would love to see the numbers grow faster.
In what is being considered great news for Cyprus’s tourism industry and for Cypriot-British relations, the island country has witnessed a much larger influx of tourists from UK rising in the months of July and August, making 2017 a record-breaking year for UK-to-Cyprus tourism.
UK-to-Cyprus travel grew by an impressive 6% year-on-year in July to 176,880 visitors and by an even more impressive 7.9% in August to 185,831 visitors. Travel in the first eight months of the year (i.e. from January to August) collectively went up by 8.6% and had over 874,055 visitors, while the total visitor arrivals reached 2.5 million, as opposed to 2.2 million the year before.
Orestis Rossides, UK Director of the Cyprus Tourism Organization, was nothing short of delighted over the matter. Stressing on how tourism is one of Cyprus’s most important sectors, Rossides stated that he was proud to announce that 2017 would go on to be yet another record-breaking year for them. He further added that the Cyprus Tourism Organizations plans to reach 6 million global tourist arrivals by 2030, and to that end intend to provide the best amenities and necessary infrastructure.
The Ryanair crisis is affecting Europe very badly, and now Cyprus is no longer an exception.
In what is being seen as devastating news for flyers and travelers alike, Ryanair has announced that it will be cancelling flights for Paphos, despite having previously given the assurance that no such thing would happen.
The cancellation of Paphos flights comes two weeks after the low cost Irish carrier service announced that it will be cancelling over 2,100 flights going till the end of October, and only a few days after it added several other flights to the list which were originally scheduled for November 2017 to March 2018.
The latest series of cancellations include the very popular route that connects Paphos in Cyprus to Chania in Greece, which has ruined the plans of least hundreds of passengers and left them disgruntled.
Ryanair has suspended a total of 34 routes on account of what it claims as a “staff holiday rostering problem.” The low-cost airline further added that it will be removing 25 of its 400 planes from operations and reduce its passenger load by two million to avoid having to make further cancellations. It even went forward to claim that as Europe’s largest airline, it had made a grievous blunder by introducing the “pilot’s annual leave” scheme, which left Ryanair with a much lesser number of pilots than were needed to operate the flights in the following weeks.
The worst part is that the news of cancellation comes after David O’Brien, Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer assured that Cyprus would not be affected by any of the cancellations at a press conference at a prominent hotel in Paphos.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has taken heed of the entire matter, and has reported that Ryanair may end up facing legal action for “persistently misleading” passengers whose flights have been cancelled due to lack of pilots to operate planes. The regulatory body claims that the airline has indeed breached several norms – legal and otherwise – by failing to inform the passengers regarding their full rights covered by the EU Flight Delay Law repeatedly.
According to the EU Flight Delay Law, any airline which cancels a flight with a notice of more than two weeks need not pay compensation, but should offer the best-possible alternative flight with another carrier for the passenger. Additionally, the cancelling airline also has to bear the cost of transfers to or from the alternative airports, as and when necessary.
Ryanair spoke on this issue, stating that it had already emailed all of the affected passengers, and gave them a minimum of five weeks’ (and a maximum of five months’) notice regarding and all changes and cancellations. It further added that the cancellations have cost Ryanair over 25 million Euros till date.
In what is being considered an interesting new development for Cyprus, it has been observed that almost all pupils in the island country are learning a foreign language.
According the findings of a survey conducted by Eurostat, the Directorate-General of the European Commission, all the primary school pupils and 98 percent gymnasium pupils in Cyprus are learning at least one foreign language in the classroom, in addition to learning their native language.
The survey, which was conducted in 2015, further found that among the primary school pupils, 91.2 percent were learning one foreign language, while the remaining 8.2 percent were learning two or more.
Among the foreign languages learnt, English was the most popular (with 99.8 percent of the pupils learning them), followed by French (which is being learnt by 2.3 percent of the students)
Eurostat conducted the survey throughout Europe, and the findings showed some significant and interesting developments in terms of language learning.
According to the findings, 84 percent primary school pupils all over the European Union Member States were being taught at least one foreign language, while 5 percent taught two or more foreign languages.
Unsurprisingly, English has proved to be the most popular language in the EU, being studied by 83.5 percent of all primary school pupils across all member states. French, once again follows (with 4.8 per cent students learning the language). Close on its heels is German (3.9 per cent), Spanish (0.6 per cent), Russian (0.3 per cent) and Italian (0.2 per cent).
Cyprus was not the only country to gain a perfect score as far as the percentage of primary school pupils learning a foreign language is concerned. Austria, Luxembourg, and Malta too boasted the same score. Croatia, Spain and France stays close to this score at 99.9, 99.4 and 99.2 per cent respectively.
Eurostat’s survey also found that learning foreign languages is quite commonplace at the lower secondary level. In fact, more than 98.6 percent of secondary school pupils have been found to study at least one foreign language, while 58.8 per cent were seen to study two or more foreign languages.
As of 2015, 98% of the 27,100 lower secondary level pupils in Cyprus have studied and successfully learnt at least one foreign language.
KPMG has been going from strength-to-strength in the last few years, and its latest move in Cyprus only shows that it is not slowing down anytime soon.
The Big Four auditor organized a Welcoming Event for its new members in the country on the 22nd of September, and needless to say, was more than successful in its endeavor.
The Event was presided over by Mr. Andreas Christofides, KPMG’s Managing Director in Cyprus, who addressed the event by extending a warm welcome to all the attendees. He stressed on how it is the people who work for KPMG that have truly made it what it is today. He further added that KPMG will always stay by their side, from the beginning of their journey to professional success, and beyond.
Mr. Christos Vasiliou, KPMG’s Deputy Managing Director and Head of Advisory in Cyprus was also at the event. Mr. Vasiliou expressed his delight on being surrounded by a large number of enthusiastic youngsters with an appetite for working hard, who will only serve to strengthen their efforts to offer the customers more comprehensive solutions, and make an overall positive contribution to the Cypriot society.
Apart from the staff and Board Members, another 100 people who had been hired by the company in the past year were present at the event.
In what is being a considered a groundbreaking move that will go on to redefine the political structure of Cyprus, the country’s interior ministry has approved its first ever “Russian party” comprising Russians who have gained Cypriot citizenship.
The newly-formed party that the interior ministry has approved is formally called ‘I the Citizen’ (EOP) will be unveiled officially in the upcoming week, according to the Cyprus Mail.
Widely known as the “Russian Party” in Greek-Cypriot media, the EOP is reportedly being headed by Alexei Voloboev, a Russian-Cypriot who owns a restaurant in Limassol and was granted Cypriot citizenship later in life.
The EOP filed an application to register as a new party with the interior ministry in May, and after much discussion and deliberation, was approved by the Cypriot regulatory body. Kypros Kyprianou, the permanent secretary of the interior ministry himself confirmed the approval, stating that the party had followed every rule and regulation and fulfilled every requirement.
While the party is indeed back by Russian businessmen who are based in Cyprus, Demetris Michalokakos, spokesperson for the party has told Phileleftheros, the local daily newspaper that the party is very popular and been welcomed by several Cypriots with open arms. He also added that the party was open to all Cypriots and Europeans citizens to join and be involved in.
The newly-minted party aims to bring about large improvement in the business side of public life, which includes (but is not limited to) developing new technology, advancing the e-government system, propelling the economy towards growth, and most importantly, cutting through red tape.
The party has a decent social media presence, which will only serve to expand in the near future. Currently, the party has accounts on Twitter (@EOP_CYPRUS), Instagram (@eop.cyprus) and Facebook (@EOP.Cyprus).
The party lists its mission statement on its social media accounts as “the unification of citizens of Cyprus with modern views into a single political party”. It also has some posts on social media which contain links to press stories about the party’s founding and logo.
While the details are unclear, it is known that the EOP plans to contest in the European parliament elections in 2019. It is unlikely, however, for the party to back any of its existing candidates in said elections.
In what is being considered a great move to cover the needs of the country’s youth, Labor Minister Zeta Emilianidou has announced that the state will hand out a €650 monthly stipend to all law-school graduates who are unemployed and are yet to be fully and formally trained.
Emilianidou further elaborated that the scheme was specifically aimed at helping unemployed, young law graduates under the age of 29 complete their mandatory training. She also stated that similar schemes will be launched for civil engineers and other professions which legally require practitioners to complete a certain period in training.
Co-funded by the European Social fund, the scheme includes employer’s insurance and social insurance contributions, in addition to the monthly €650 stipend.
Over 450 individuals graduate from law school in Cyprus every year. The scheme will help a large percentage of these secure the financial support that they need as long as they are completing their post-study training.
Intended to run till 2020, the scheme will be operated by the Cyprus Bar Association, along with law graduates who had begun their one-year training period on September 1.
As of 2017, Cyprus is the 64th most competitive country in the world, according to the Global Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum.
Popularly known as the Davos Forum in Cyprus, the international institution announced that the island country climbed 19 places and to gain its current rank as 64th among 137 countries all over the world in the comparative table of economies, and the 25th among European Union member states. For a country that has suffered much throughout its history, that surely does signify a considerable amount of progress.
The study was of course, conducted by the World Economic Forum, with the Bank of Cyprus and the European University of Cyprus acting as its partners within the country.
According to a press release that was issued by the European University of Cyprus, the island country ranks 64th as regards the extent of competitiveness of its economy.
The top ten players in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, however, remains exactly as they were last time, with one minor difference. Switzerland was once again at the top of the list and the USA took second place, overtaking Singapore which slipped down one place. Close on its heels are The Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, and Sweden, followed by Britain, Japan, and Finland – all of which make up the top ten.
The ranking was decided on the basis of every country’s statistical financial data, along with in-depth and insightful interviews that were conducted with organizations and with representatives of various businesses.
The rank awarded to Cyprus’ was based on the following “twelve pillars”: Goods market efficiency (25th), Infrastructure (30th), Technological readiness (32nd), Health and primary education (39th), Labor market efficiency (39th), Higher education and training (46th), Institutions (51st), Innovation (53rd), Businesses sophistication (55th), Macroeconomic environment (97th), Financial market development (108th), Market size (109th).
The wise man always said to keep your friends close (and your enemies closer too – but that’s another matter), and Cyprus and China’s recent exchanges have only served to affirm the adage. Nicos Anastasiades, the President of the island country of Cyprus had nothing but good words to say for China and the relationship between the two nations.
Speaking on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China at the Chinese Embassy in Cyprus, President Anastasiades emphasized how the relationship between the two nations is based on mutual friendship and true friendship, which is bound to increase over time. He further elaborated how bilateral relations amidst the two countries had grown in a wide variety of fields such as commerce, energy, and investment, and of course, technology and tourism, and added how these relations will only serve to strengthen with the passage of time.
The President also extended his gratitude to the Chinese government for providing much-needed support to the Cypriot government, following a meeting between President Anastasiades and Wang Yi, the Foreign Minister of China, which was held on the sidelines of the UN Assembly. Huan Xingyuan, the ambassador of China in Nicosia, wished the Cypriot President a happy birthday, which was coincidentally on the same day, and emphasized on the importance of China to further the already very close bilateral relations between the two nations. The relationship between the two countries has warmed-up considerably in the last few years, with President Anastasiades visiting China in 2015 to establish firm business relations to allow for better trade and commercial activities, and with Chinese entrepreneurships and companies being given the green signal to invest in and increase their involvement in Cyprus, and avail some added opportunities and advantages.
In what is being regarded as a landmark decision that will have a great impact on the criminal justice system throughout Europe, High Court Judges in Cyprus have ruled that the country will no longer act as a safe haven for UK national fugitives to avoid punishment for their crimes.
The island country’s breakaway Turkish part, which has long since been used as a haven by fugitives from the UK, ceased to act as one after the High Court Judges ruled that extradition from the country is very much on the charts. The judges explained there was “absolutely nothing” that should prevent the British police from co-operating with Cypriot law-enforcement agencies to catch and extradite criminals from their country who are currently hiding in the island country. They added that this also implies that fugitives who would refuse to return to the UK for their trial can and will be prosecuted in Northern Cyprus.
The case in question that led to the landmark change was that of Hasan Akarcay, a 60-year-old businessman who is a prime suspect in a serious crime involving narcotics. After the discovery of a consignment of 12.5kg of heroin in Bradford, Mr. Akarcay had left the UK and made Northern Cyprus his home in 2006. The West Yorkshire Police has stated that fingerprint evidence has been found on the drugs, which successfully links Mr. Akarcay to the crime. The drugs have been estimated to be worth £600,000.
Mr. Akarcay will now be prosecuted in Northern Cyprus after the UK authorities have proved his involvement in the crime, and passed on evidence of the same onto Turkish Cyprus. A part of said evidence was given to Northern Cypriot officers on official visit in the UK, while the rest was handed over to Cypriot authorities directly by an official of the National Crime Agency.
Mr. Akarcay, however, wouldn’t give up without a fight, with his legal team taking the case to High Court, claiming that it was illegal for the UK to offer any kind of assistance, let alone pass over evidence to authorities in Turkish Cyprus. His lawyers stated that by co-operating, the UK and Northern Cyprus engaged in an “act of recognition” – an act that is illegal since it breaches the UN Security Council resolutions’ terms.
Their claims were soon rebuffed by Lord Justice Burnett, who declared that UK is not obliged to follow any law which prevents their government from recognizing Northern Cyprus, further adding that the UN itself works closely with enforcement agencies in the latter country in order to maintain law and order and maintain an optimum level of co-operation between the island’s two parts.
The judge, who considered the case with Mrs. Justice Thirlwall, further added that the co-operation was made due to the fact that the issue in question was that of public interest. Akarcay was a prime suspect in a drug conspiracy, and would certainly have been prosecuted if he had stayed in the UK.