Current Events

WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ILLEGAL STAY IN CYPRUS

 

The Cyprus Police recently arrested a middle-aged woman for illegally staying on the island nation.

According to a statement from the police, the arrest was made after the woman was discovered in a block of apartments in Paphos’s Tafoi Vasileon Avenue.

The woman, an asylum seeker had submitted a request for it in the first week of March 2019 – which was rejected in January 2021 after more than a year and a half.

The woman continued to stay in Cyprus after not appealing for a stay order within the 38-day stipulated period, and then seemed to have gone missing altogether.

 

CYPRUS POLICE INVESTIGATING A CASE OF ATTEMPTED MURDER

 

The Criminal Investigative Department of Paphos police are investigating a case of attempted murder, which was sparked off from a an argument in a parking lot.

The argument began when a 43-year-old man visiting relatives in an apartment building in

According to the police, a man, 43, who had visited relatives at an apartment building in Chlorakas, began to argue with an asylum seeker, 39, over a space in the building’s parking lot.

After the argument, the 43-year-old went on to purposely drive his car towards the 39-year-old, hit him and then fled the scene. The younger man suffered fractures in his right leg.

Once the police obtained evidence, they arrested the 43-year-old man. He will be presented in court at a later date for sentencing.

 

MOTHER CAUGHT TRYING TO PASS EXAM WITH DAUGHTER’S IDENTITY PAPERS

 

An elderly woman was caught trying to take an exam while posing as her daughter.

The woman, 67, had showed up to take what would be her daughter’s state university entry exams using the ID papers belonging to her daughter, 25.

The arrest was made after the police received a complaint from someone at Larnaca High School regarding an older woman giving exams suspicious.

Weirdly, there was no record of anyone fitting the description of the daughter to have ever expressed interest in giving such exams, let alone showing up for them.

The 67-year-old woman has been charged in writing for the time being. She will be presented in court at a later date.

 

TURMOIL CYPRUS HAS HIRED A BUNKER TRADER

 

Turmoil, the marine fuel supplier company has hired a new bunker trader. The hired bunker trader is none other than Dmitry Gruzintsev, who joined the company on June 1st, 2020.

According to a statement by the company, Dmitry is clearly the best choice for the position, having extensive experience in the Russian Far East, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. Within these, he has further experience in working with a wide variety of people, including trading companies, surveyors and physical suppliers.

The announcement comes after Termoil’s recent one where they had rehired Bjarke Staal as the company’s general manager.

 

RUSSIAN CITIZEN REPORTEDLY MISSING IN CYPRUS

 

The Cyprus Police is on the lookout for a 56-year-old woman, who has reportedly been missing since Saturday.

The woman, a Russian citizen, was last seen by passers-by on the day she was to leave the island nation.

She has been described as Ekaterina Romanova – a Russian woman – 1.75 meters tall and of average built. Witnesses placed her last holidaying in coastal region of Larnaca, wearing black top and white trousers.

 

BRITISH WOMAN DIES AFTER ALLEGED REACTION TO COVID VACCINE

 

A 39-year-old woman has died after a blood clotting incident, allegedly from complications arising after taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

The woman, a citizen of the UK, who was under treatment in the ICU section of the Nicosia General Hospital, had received the AstraZeneca jab’s first dose.

Her symptoms began days after this development. Eventually, she died of excessive blood clotting, which irreversibly impaired her bodily functions.

According to Charalambos Charilaou, a spokesman for the government health services, the incident is being taken very seriously, and will be further investigated by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Incidentally, the island nation is currently investigating 3 other – but more “mild” clotting incidents caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine, and 1 by the Pfizer vaccine.

 

LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS EASED IN CYRPUS

 

The lockdown restrictions are being eased in view of the decrease in novel coronavirus cases.

For starters, the limits to gatherings have been increased to 20 – minors and permanent residents included. Furthermore, the maximum capacity in indoor public spaces (such as casinos, fairs, places of worship, performing arts centers and theaters) has been increased to 50% of the total capacity. Entrants are still required to carry their SafePass to access them.

Indoor dining in restaurants has been relaxed, subject to the individual venues’ health protocols, as has the group tutorials for kids below the age of 18.

All of the above only apply so long as the citizens have a negative COVID test that is less than 72-hours-old.

The overnight curfew from 00:00 to 5:00 AM shall remain in effect until further notice.

 

CYPRUS HAS THE CLEANEST WATERS IN THE EU, SAYS STUDY

 

The European Environment Agency has declared Cyprus to have the cleanest swimming waters in all of the European Union.

According to a report by the environmental watchdog, the swimming waters of the island nation received the coveted 100% excellence score, defeating Austria, Greece, and Malta – which stood 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively.

The European Environment Agency tested over 112 swimming spots all over the island between the dates of May 1st to October 31st, 2020.

The news is being regarded as a great one by Cypriot authorities, as they reckon it will help boost confidence amongst prospective holiday goers – after seeing more than a year of tourist rates plunging by over 85% percent since 2019. This is an alarming statistic for a country for tourism makes up for over 13% of the GDP.

According to a statement by Costas Kadis, the Environment Minister, the results shall be extremely beneficial, for the basic reason that tourism is directly impacted by the quality of bathing water – something that is particularly of interest after the rise of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

CYPRUS TO RECEIVE OVER 400,000 COVID-19 VACCINES

 

Amidst a spike in COVID-19 cases, the country is set to receive over 400,000 doses of the vaccine.

The batch to be delivered to the island nation will contain all the four vaccines that the EU has currently approved for emergency use.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, the doses will be very helpful in preventing further spread of the deadly disease.

According to the Cypriot Ministry of Health, the current situation vis-à-vis COVID-19 has been very disappointing as of late. The number of positive cases rose by over 10,000 in the second and third weeks of April – higher than anything the country has ever seen before.

Surprisingly, the number of younger people contracting the disease has increased – over 65 percent of the affected were between the ages of 20 and 59, whereas 23.2 percent consisted of children below the age of 19.

 

US AMBASSADOR IN CYPRUS SENDS MESSAGE OF HOPE

 

In the middle of grim situation due to the pandemic and the collapse of the latest round of Cyprus talks, Judith Garber, the US Ambassador to Cyprus, said that the nation shall continue to support and develop both the international and internal situation in Cyprus.

In an Easter message video, the ambassador said that it was important to spread the ray of hope – especially given the current nature of circumstances.

She wished everyone in Cyprus a happy holiday and proceeded to explain how it was indeed a complicated year for all – especially those who fell gravely ill or lost their loved ones.

She nonetheless urged people to maintain their optimism, as the situation, no matter how grave will turn better.

And with the vaccines rolling out, it will not be long before things will be safe once again.

 

THE FIRES IN NICOSIA HAVE BEEN BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL

 

Bushfires in Nicosia have been extinguished by the fire department.

According to a statement by the fire services, the first of these fires, which broke out near the Stelios Ioannou foundation in Strovolos. This fire spread to an area as large as five land donums before it was brought into control.

The second fire broke out in Nisou village and burned off one donum full of trees before it was brought under control.

 

NIKOS CHRISTODOULIDES AND WANG YI SPEAK ON THE PHONE

 

In what is being considered a landmark political conversation between Cyprus and China, the foreign ministers of the two nations participated in a phone conversation vis-à-vis the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cypriot foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides thanked Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi for the help they offered China in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic. He also declared that Cyprus was “all in” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Cyprus-China diplomatic relations.

Mr. Christodoulides went on to add that the island nation fully supports the one-China principle and will stay on to play a positive role there. He then briefed Mr. Yi on the UN-sponsored informal meeting on that will be held in Geneva.

He ended the call by appreciating China’s fair stand on the Cyprus issues and said that they hope the country maintains the same.

 

THOUSANDS OF ILLEGAL FIRECRACKERS CONFISCATED IN THREE DAYS

 

Cypriot news portal Philenews has reported that the police has found and confiscated over 2,000 different firecrackers over the course of three days.

Furthermore, the police revealed that they had found and confiscated over 50,000 firecrackers along with 7,000 fireworks.

What is interesting is that despite these confiscations, the police did not get any reports of firecracker injuries – especially in relation to the Easter celebrations.

Cyprus saw an amazingly high number of firecracker celebrations during Easter, despite the ban on crackers due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 

DEAD BODY FOUND NEAR LIOPETRI

 

The police in Famagusta has found and recovered the dead body of the 65-year-old man.

The body was previously witnessed by passers-by floating in the sea near the Liopetri coast at around noon.

After one of said passers-by made a complaint, the matter came to the attention of the Famagusta police, who then cordoned-off the area.

After conducting their tests and examinations, they came to the conclusion that the man had in fact died from natural causes.

The police has completely ruled out any possibility of foul play.

The 65-year-old man has been identified as an amateur fisherman who frequented the area.

 

CYPRUS WILL TAKE PART IN TESTS FOR GENERATING DIGITAL CERTIFICATES FOR COVID-19

 

Cyprus will take part in the European Commission’s technical trials for the soon-to-be-launched digital green certificate system for COVID-19.

The system, which is set to be adopted in all of Europe, is currently being beta tested by 16 of its member states – including the island nation of Cyprus.

According to a European Union official who spoke to the press in Brussels, Cyprus happens to be among the first crop of countries that will start a virtual technical trial in conjunction with the EU and the EC.

He further added that the European digital portal will have tremendous benefits, especially that it will serve to connect the systems in every European country.

He concluded his speech by saying that the system shall be safe and respectful of the peoples’ private data and shall maintain full secrecy of the information it has and/or uses.

 

MAN WHO SUFFERED A HEART ATTACK WHILE SWIMMING ADMITTED IN ICU

 

In a tragic incident, a young man was admitted in a hospital’s ICU wing after suffering from a heart attack during a swimming lap.

According to a report by the Cyprus News Agency, the man, aged 27, lost consciousness while swimming in the Dimotika Bania in the late hours of the morning.

Other fellow swimmers and members of the public brought the man back to the shore. The ambulance services and police were both notified immediately, who transported the young man to the A&E of Paphos Hospital.

The man remained intubated in the hospital for a while before regaining consciousness. He is still in the ICU though.

According to the doctors, the man, who they say has some serious pathological issues – remains in serious condition.

 

CYPRIOT PASSPORTS RANKED 13TH IN THE WORLD

 

The Henley Passport Index has ranked Cyprus as the 13th best passport in the world when it comes to the extent of its reach.

Those who hold a Cyprus passport can travel without visa to 176 different destinations.

The report, which was published in the second quarter of 2021, studies over 199 passports and indexes 110 ranks, based on the number of visa-free destination it has.

The Henley website says that their ranking is an authoritative and original ranking of all the world’s passports based on the number of countries they can travel to without prior visa applications.

They source their data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and enhances them through their in-house research team.

In the latest rankings, the rankings placed Japan at the first rank – a country whose passport holders can travel to 193 countries visa-free. This is followed by Singapore and South Korea at 192 and 191 countries.

In contrast, Afghanistan had the lowest rank, with a passport that gives access only to 26 visa-free countries.

 

UN-SPONSORED INFORMAL TALKS ON CYPRUS REUNIFICATION FALLS APART

 

In what is being regarded as another low in the series of negative developments regarding the Cyprus reunification issue, the latest series of talks has also resulted into failure.

The talks, which are informal in nature and sponsored by the United Nations, resulted in neither party coming to any kind of common ground.

The news was announced by the António Guterres, who revealed the negative development happened after over 3 days of talks between officials from the Greek and Turkish Cyprus “nations.”

He continued, however, that this development will not deter him from his resolve to fix the issue. He added that a further round of informal talks are being planned in the next few months.

 

TURKISH VICE-PRESIDENT TO PAY A VISIT TO TURKEY CYPRUS

 

Fuat Oktay, the vice-president of Turkey is set to pay a visit to Turkish Cyprus.

According to government sources, Vice-President Fuat Oktay has plans to hold some official talks on his visit as well.

Other plans include inspection of a site in Guvercinlik Village, meeting the mayor of the municipality of Gazimagusa, and attending the premiere screening of the much-hyped TV show Bir Zamanlar Kibris (Once Upon a Time in Cyprus).

Guvercinlik is the site where industrial zone is being planned to be built, as part of an economic and financial agreement between the two regions.

 

THE HALLOUM CHEESE WINS ORDER OF PROTECTION FROM THE EU

 

The traditional cheese of Halloumi has been granted a place in the European Union’s list of Protected Designations of Origins.

The cheese variety, which is called hellim in Turkish language, has long since been in controversy on the topic of its origins.

Thus far, both Turkey and Cyprus have been marketing it under their names.

That will no longer be the case, however, since the European Union has made the landmark decision of recognizing the halloumi cheese as a product exclusive to Cyprus.

President Nicos Anastasiades welcomed the decision and announced it in his tweet. He further added how the prized cheese is now under protection.

The designation awarded to Cyprus shall be formally adopted in the middle of April 2021.

 

CYPRUS TO BUY SPUTNIK V COVID-19 VACCINES

 

In light of the crisis surrounding AstraZeneca vaccines, Cyprus has decided to buy at least fifty thousand doses of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, pending approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

According to a statement by government spokesperson Kyriakos Koushos, the move is part of the bilateral agreement made with Russia earlier this year.

He further added that the possibility of buying more of such vaccines exists in the future.

Thus far, the EMA has only approved 4 vaccines – those by Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and of course AstraZeneca.

Chinese news agency Xinhua says that thus far, 2 EU countries – Slovakia and Hungary have so far bought the Sputnik V vaccines.

 

CYPRUS MARKING EOKA STRUGGLE’S 66TH ANNIVERSARY

 

The island nation of Cyprus is all set to mark the 66th anniversary of the infamous Eoka struggle.

Launched on April 1, 1955, the purpose of the struggle was to gain independence from British rule.

The occasion will start with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades attending a church service at the Ayios Ioannis cathedral, followed by attending the memorial service of the Imprisoned Graves.

Given the pandemic situation, no other big events surrounding the struggle have been announced.

The Eoka struggle is one of the biggest historical events of Cyprus. Lasting from 1955 to 1959, the struggle is what ultimately led to Cyprus becoming an independent state, he added.

 

CYRPUS TO RESUME USING ASTRAZENECA VACCINE AFTER ALL-CLEAR

 

After weeks of controversy surrounding the safety of AstraZeneca vaccines, Cyprus will finally recontinue vaccinations using the company’s COVID-19 vaccine – after getting the all-clear on its safety and efficacy by the European Medicines Authority (EMA).

According to a statement by the Cyprus Health Ministry, the health authorities of the island nation had suspended use of the vaccines since March 15 and had been waiting for a proper signal from the European drugs regulator.

According to a statement by the EMA, they are positive that the AstraZeneca vaccine’s benefits far outrank its potential risks.

This result comes after a large-scale investigation finding out if the vaccine indeed caused – or at least exacerbated blood disorders – and led to over a dozen nations discontinuing its use.

 

CYPRUS TO WELCOME TOURISTS FROM THE UK

 

The Cypriot government has confirmed that it is ready to welcome back tourists from the UK pending the lifting of the existing coronavirus restrictions.

According to their statement, while the current ban on travel in the UK is set to stay till may 17th, the Cypriot authorities are ready to welcome visitors from the Thursday. The 1st of April.

The island nation now has a separate set of protocols reviving its suffering tourism industry, and according to those, anyone visiting from the UK can avoid quarantine, provided they have a negative PCR Covid test.

The facility is now also available to children between the ages of 12-18.

Starting May 1, arrivals who have been fully vaccinated can enter without testing and will not be subjected to quarantine rules. That being said, they could still be subject random spot-testing on some flights, depending on the situation.

 

CYPRUS OPENING ITS DOORS TO MAIN TOURIST MARKETS

 

Cyprus is all set to open up its border to 16 different countries that were previously not on its safe list.

The countries in question include the US and UK, Qatar, Belarus, Egypt, Lebanon, the UAE, Ukraine, Serbia, Israel, and Russia.

From April 1, visitors from these countries will not be required to follow any quarantine rules. They will still need to carry a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to arrival and be prepared for any spot testing.

Furthermore, the island nation will allow vaccinated British tourists to enter sans restrictions.

All said and done, all tourists (regardless of where they arrived from) will need to follow basic protocol such as using sanitizers, wearing masks, and social distancing.

The changes have been made keeping the failing Cyprus tourism industry in mind. Tourism, which constitutes around 15% of the GDP, has seen its earnings plunge to over 85% in 2020.

 

ATTEMPT TO HACK CYPRIOT DEFENSE MINISTRY’S WEBSITE WENT UNSUCCESSFUL

 

The Cyprus News Agency has reported that someone tried to hack the website of the Cyprus Defense Ministry but was unsuccessful.

According to a reliable source from the Defense Ministry, despite the attempt, the website did not suffer any damage as the effort was stopped in time.

The source further added that this incident only serves to prove that the Defense Ministry is very sincere in taking every measure to both address and prevent actions set to undermine its functioning.

 

ISRAEL’S MILITARY TO HOLD GIANT ‘WAR MONTH’ EXERCISE ON CYPRUS

 

The Israeli military is set to hold a mass exercise on Cyprus.

According to the Hebrew newspaper Israel Hayom, the elite units of the Israeli armed forces will use Cyprus as a substitute for Samaria, Judea, and the Gaza Strip.

The elite troops in question will include commandos and high-performing soldiers from the Air Force, Navy and Special Forces, along with the Depth Corps’ reserve and regular forces.

All of these are known to be specialized in conducting long-rage operations and carrying out missions deep within enemy territories.

The exercise is a part of the famed “war month” – a four-week-long exercise that simulates long-drawn battle conditions to assess and boost their wartime readiness. They will include a variety of maneuvers such as simulated combat and battle scenarios behind enemy lines.

So far, it is not known if Cypriot forces will be participating in the drill.

 

MAN HOSPITALIZED AFTER BEING ATTACKED BY GANG

 

A group of youths carried out a vicious attack on a man, which has led the latter to be hospitalized.

The man was taken to Paphos general hospital and admitted in their A&E department. One of the doctors there confirmed that he had sustained substantial bruising on his face.

The police were only alerted of the incident by the 37-year-old after he returned home to his village from the hospital.

According to the Cyprus New Agency, the police did get to the scene of the attack but did not find any youths there. Further identification is impossible since the victim could not identify any of his perpetrators.

The man, 37, was attacked by the gang of youths in the central Paphos area.

 

CYPRUS HAS ONE OF THE BEST CHILDHOOD CANCER SURVIVAL RATES

 

Cypriot Health Minister Cyprus Constantinos Ioannou has revealed that the island nation has one of the highest pediatric cancer survival rates worldwide.

On the occasion of International Childhood Cancer Day on February 15, the minister gave his regards to the children who have fought and survived cancer.

He also went on to give a shout out to the healthcare workers and staff of Makarios hospital’s pediatric cancer unit, emphasizing on how their continued efforts have made the statistic a reality.

Lastly, he thanks the paramedical community for their continued emergency services to help the hospital in its battle.

 

FIRMS ALLOWED TO DELAY THEIR VAT PAYMENTS TILL MARCH 2021

 

The Department of Taxation has allowed businesses to take more time in order to fulfill their value-added tax dues for the period of December 31, 2020 to January 31, 2021.

Usually, the tax for the period must be paid between February 10 and March 10, 2021. But the Tax Department has made the concession to allow businesses to forego monthly payments and pay in three monthly installments instead.

Those companies which have tax due for both of the above periods must pay their first installment by April 10, 2021, second by May 10, 2021, and the third on June 10, 2021.

Companies are not obligated or mandated to pay their due in equal installments. They can pay their entire liability with no interest or incurring charges by April 10, 2021.

 

EXCESS INFLUX OF MIGRANTS FORCES CYPRUS TO SEEK ASSISTANCE

 

The migrants’ crisis has taken a toll on the Cypriot administration, which in turn has led to the island nation calling for international assistance to best deal with the situation.

In a joint statement to the press, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris and Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Christodoulides and Interior Minister Nicos Nouris have expressed the country’s concern over handling the scores of migrants constantly arriving on their shores.

The statement said that as of now, the number of applicants seeking asylum is equivalent to 4% of the island nation’s population – an alarmingly high percentage compared to the less than 1% in any other European country.

 

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS TO BE EASED IN NORTHERN CYPRUS

 

The government has announced that the restrictions will be eased in the view of declining COVID-19 cases.

Turkish Cyprus Prime Minister Ersan Saner has revealed that the region will reduce the current level of restrictions beginning the 22nd of February.

If the decline in cases continues, then businesses, shops, and other economic activities will continue to reopen.

Eventually, all that will remain is the curfew between the hours of 8 p.m. – 5 a.m. during the weekends.

Under the new ease of restrictions, markets shall remain open from between 8 a.m.- 6 p.m and merchandising and retail services shall remain open from 10 a.m.to 6 p.m on the weekdays. All places selling essential goods (such as groceries, pharmacies, bakeries, supermarkets, convenience stores and gas stations) will remain open from between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. every Saturday.

Only bakeries and pharmacies will remain open on Sundays.

Schools shall remain closed and online classes will continue till at least the 28th of February.

 

EXPLOSIVE DEVICE DETONATED IN LIMASSOL

 

The detonation of an explosive device has destroyed a car in Ekali, Limassol.

The police have revealed that the car, which they believe was targeted purposefully was parked outside a home belonging to a 40-year-old man. The vehicle itself belongs to the father-in-law of said man.

The man reported the incident to the police as a “deafening explosion” that had occurred around 4 AM in the morning.

Although the fire service was called in to take care of the situation, the car had already been destroyed by the detonated device.

Besides the car itself, the fragments from the explosion shattered the windows of another nearby home.

An investigation is being conducted into the matter. As of yet, the true motive behind the perpetrators’ actions are not clear.

 

6 CARS DESTROYED IN FREAK ACCIDENT

 

A freak accident in Larnaca led to a fire which destroyed 6 cars on a street.

The accident happened as a short circuit lit up a barrel of oil that was stored in the garage. After damaging the building’s garage, ground floor and second floor, the fire spread as the flame spread down the road straight into a car. It then further expanded to gut 6 other cars before it was stopped.

The initial call made to the fire department was at 4 AM. By this time, the fire had already spread to two cars. By the time the fire brigade had arrived, all of 6 cars were on fire.

The fire brigade used over an hour to extinguish the fire.

As of now, the area of accident has been sealed, and an investigation is being conducted to determine the exact reason why the freak accident happened in the first place.

 

SEVERAL FINED AS POLICE BROKE UP A BIRTHDAY PARTY

 

The coronavirus restrictions are here to stay, and the latest incident only proves how serious the authorities can get with those who violate them.

Limassol Police found and broke up an illegal mass gathering for a birthday party taking place at a restaurant.

They proceeded to fine the owner €1,500, and fined another 13 people.

Ten of these were foreign nationals and three others were locals. They have been fined €300 each.

This incident is one of many that have been reported in the last few weeks. The last incident before this was the busting of an illegal club consisting of several visitors along with three DJs.

 

JOHAN WALEM EXITS POSITION AS NATIONAL TEAM COACH

 

The Cyprus National Team’s coach Johan Walem has vacated his post as the national team manager for the men’s team.

The decision, which is apparently by mutual consent of Mr. Walem and the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) was announced by the latter in a press release.

The press release went on to thank Mr. Walem for his time and involvement in the national men’s football team, and wished him the best for his future endeavors.

Meanwhile several names have been linked to the termination. This includes high-profile personalities such as Chrysis Michael (the manager of Karmiotissa club), along with the Greek Traianos Dellas, Christos Kontis and Nikos Kostenoglou.

Appointed on the 25th of January in  2020, Mr. Walem hasn’t has the best of experiences when it comes to the records of the Cyprus national team. He recorded four losses, one draw and one win out of a total six matches in the UEFA Nations League.

 

COLOR-CODING SYSTEM ADOPTED FOR AIRPORTS REOPENING

 

Starting March 1st, 2021, Cyprus will be reopening its airports using a risk-assessment system that is based on color-coding.

The color-coding system, which is meant for both tourists and diplomats, are being implemented to keep health safety in check in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As of now, the system is in place for all EU member states, along with “third” countries like Israel, the UK and Russia.

In a statement to the press, the ministry of transport announced that it will be extending mandatory quarantine rule till March 31st. This rule, which has been in place since December 2020, is applicable for anyone who is traveling from the UK.

Those arriving from countries in the “amber” list will be required to have tested negative on a PCR test 72 hours before arrival, along with the upon-arrival test. Those on the red list will be required to take double of the same tests.

Meanwhile, those arriving from countries on the “green” list (i.e. from safe countries with a lower incidence of COVID-19 caseload) would only need to give a free and compulsory PCR test upon arrival.

The coding system will be subject to change weekly on the basis of the country’s situation.

 

TOURISTS ARRIVALS GO DOWN BY OVER 90% IN JANUARY

 

The coronavirus pandemic has wrecked havoc over the travel industry worldwide, and Cyprus, of course, is no exception to this. The island nation, which had seen a substantial increase in tourist arrivals last January, has in this one seen a dip in numbers like no other.

In January 2021, Cyprus had all of 3,889 tourist arrivals – a far cry from the 85,622 tourist arrivals in the same time last year.

The data, which has been published by the Cyprus statistical service (Cystat) further, showed that the return rate has similarly gone down – from 134,507 in January 2020 to only 13,307 in January 2021. This is only 10% of the total number of returns in 2020.

Most of the arrivals in January 2021 were from neighboring country Greece at a whopping 48.4%, followed by Germany at 8.8%.

As for returnees, most of them came back from Russia, Greece and the United Kingdom.

The information quoted for January 2021 was derived from the processing of the data of the “Cyprus Flight Pass” – an electronic platform where all passengers traveling to and/or from Cyprus must disclose their travel-related data in. Data includes the which all passengers aiming to travel to Cyprus must submit with information in relation to their flight, their country of residence, the purpose of their visit, as well as other demographic characteristics.

 

EFG INTERNATIONAL INCREASES ITS PRESENCE IN CYPRUS

 

Popular international private bank EFG International is tackling the Brexit issue by expanding overseas.

As part of its latest move, the financial institution will be expanding further in Cyprus.

Though the Zurich-based bank has already conducted business in the island nation for over 6 years. However, it will now be expanding its licenses to capitalize on growth in the country.

A statement issued by the bank itself says that they will establish 2 new subsidiaries before the middle of February, namely the EFG Private Bank (UK) Limited and the EFG Cyprus Limited. Both subsidiaries will be located in Nicosia. Additionally, another office will be opened in Limassol in the months to follow.

The Cyprus subsidiary shall be managed via the EFG office in London, UK. Demetris Pisiaras, an EFG banker in the region with over 20 years of experience will be heading all operations in Cyprus.

 

THOUSANDS OF BIRDS SPEND THE WINTER IN CYPRUS, SAYS STUDY

 

The results of a brand new study has revealed that more than 17,000 birds spend the winter season in the wetlands of Cyprus.

The study, conducted by the game and wildlife service and BirdLife Cyprus surveyed over 50 different locations on the island nation, and went on to record around 17,000 migratory waterbirds from 68 species.

The most recorded of these was the flamingo, which made up for around 8,000 birds. This was followed by the common teal, which are around 2,200 in number.

Area-wise, the largest number of waterbirds were found in the Larnaca salt lake, which had over 11,000 birds across 30 species. This was followed by the Akrotiri peninsula salt lakes (with a total of 2,700 birds), the Oroklini lake (with a total of 1,100 birds) and finally the Paralimni lake (with under 900).

The study and survey was conducted in honor of the World Wetlands Day, which is celebrated on the 2nd of February every year.

 

CYTA’S 5G NETWORK LAUNCHED IN CYPRUS

 

Telecommunications company Cyta has announced the launch of its first ever 5G network service in Cyprus.

The company, which is working in collaboration with Vodafone claims that the joint venture will serve to mark a new beginning for an era of superior technological innovations.

According to a live social media presentation by Cyta’s CEO Andreas Neokleous, the service will provide high speeds of up to 1Gbps, along with better connectivity when the same network is connected to multiple devices.

He claims, however, that these improvements will only be the beginning of what is yet to come. The company plans to use the 5G technology to create innovations in several sectors including (but not limited to) agriculture, health, transport, education, and environment.

The combined Cytamobile-Vodafone 5G network currently has a coverage range of 70 per cent. The plan for them is to reach at least 98 per cent within the next 12 months.

All those currently subscribing to Cytamobile-Vodafone – be they companies or individual subscribers, shall get 5G access without any extra charge. All that is needed is a Cyta-certified 5G device that must stay within the coverage area.

 

CYPRUS AND UAE HAVE SIGNED THEIR FIRST MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT

 

Cyprus and the UAE have signed their first ever agreement.

The signing comes as a part of Cyprus’ initiative to strengthen relations with its neighboring countries, especially those that are in the Middle East.

The island nation has already done much in this regard, having signed other similar military agreements with Jordan, Egypt, and Israel. The armed forces of these countries today are known to hold joint exercises. In addition to these, Cyprus is also in the process of training the Lebanese army.

According to a statement issued by the Defense Ministry of Cyprus, the Cyprus-UAE agreement will include joint training exercises, cooperative military maneuvers, and discussions on expanding the same.

The two countries’ military forces had previously interacted in the multi-nation joint activity called Medusa.

 

2ND NATIONWIDE LOCKDOWN IMPOSED IN CYPRUS

 

In response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the government of Cyprus has imposed a new lockdown in hopes of curbing the spread of the disease.

In a statement to the press, Constantinos Ioannou, the Health Minister announced that the restrictions, which start on the 31st of January, will stay in effect for a minimum of 3 weeks.

Under these rules, people can go out of their homes for a maximum of 2 times a day for exercise or essential activities. People can only avail the approval through a mobile text messaging system.

All non-essential business will remain shut for the duration of the lockdown. This includes cinemas, salons, gyms, museums, theatres and other places of interest.

Unlike the previous lockdown, however, ports and airports shall remain open.

 

LOST ART DISCOVERED IN CYPRUS

 

A rare piece of art that was until recently considered lost has been discovered.

The art in question is a highly rare relief made out of concrete created by Christoforos Savva, known for being one of Europe’s greatest artists during the 1960s. It used to be up on the wall of the now-defunct Perroquet nightclub located in the abandoned town of Varosha. Varosha now lies in the Turkish side of a divided Cyprus.

Credits to the resurfacing goes to a 93-year-old Greek Cypriot man who commissioned them and wants them to be transferred to their right owners.

The artwork has been discovered after more than 50 years of staying under the radar.

 

CYPRUS POLICE ISSUE MORE THAN A HUNDRED FINES FOR COVID LOCKDOWN VIOLATIONS IN A SINGLE DAY

 

Over  114 different persons, including one business owner were booked on grounds of violating COVID lockdown regulations.

According to a statement made by a spokesperson for the police, the bookings come after the police force carried out a massive 8,000-person search who appeared to not follow the exact rules of the lockdown.

Of course, those carrying out emergency and essential services, and having a genuine reason for being out of home were exempted. The rest were all booked for violation.

Incidentally, many of these were found to be looking to access nature trails, which is currently prohibited by the government.

The prohibition comes after a decree signed by the government after several people were observed crowding the Troodos square.

 

TRNC TAKES STAND AGAINST UN’S CYPRUS PEACE FORCE DECISION

 

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has taken a stand and spoken against the extended term of the UN Peacekeeping force in the island nation.

In a statement to the press and the public, the Foreign Ministry of the TRNC expressed their disapproval of the extension, explaining how their consent was once again not sought by the international organization.

They further added that the mandate approving the extension itself had several loop holes in it. For starters, it ignored the UN’s basic principles as regards the peacekeeping operations and has several other legal inefficiencies.

Furthermore, when they did make a request, the UN went on to disregard them entirely.

Finally, the TRNC iterated that despite the issues, they will continue to rally to be recognized as a valid political entity.

The peacekeeping force’s stay in Cyprus has been extended till July, 2021.

 

5.0 EARTHQUAKE HITS CYPRUS; NO DAMAGES OR INJURIES REPORTED SO FAR

 

The island nation was struck by a 5.0 magnitude earthquake in the afternoon hours.

While no substantial damages, deaths or injuries have been reported thus far, the incident did cause mass confusion and left hundreds scurrying from their homes.

According to a statement by the Cyprus Geological Survey, the earthquake happened at 4:27 p.m. in the afternoon, with an epicenter depth of 55 kilometres.

Tremors were felt over a large area, including the countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and Syria.

Shocking as it was, the incident was not all that out of the ordinary, gives as the country is located in what is an active seismic zone, known to be responsible for over 15% of the earthquakes worldwide.

The last major quake seen by the island nation. It was 6.8 in magnitude, and occurred in 1996. It was touted as the biggest on the island in over 120 years.

 

€2,000 FINE SLAPPED ON MAN WHO AVOIDED HIS GAME SERVICE CHECK

 

The Cypriot police fined a 25-year-old gentleman with €2,000 for avoiding stopping for a Game Service check.

The man, who is from Paphos, was see driving a car in Ezousa, after which he was flagged by patrolling game wardens.

Despite the flag, the man failed to stop and continued to flee the area. The wardens were not fazed, however, as they had already taken down his license plate number and forwarded all necessary information to the police.

The police then successfully located the man, and promptly charged him with the fine.

In his defense, the man explained that he ran away out of abject fear. He then paid off the entire €2,000 fine.

 

PRESIDENT ANASTASIADES CONFIRMS HE IS READY TO RESUME CYPRUS TALKS

 

President Nicos Anastasiades of Greek Cyprus has expressed his readiness to resume talks of Cyprus settlement.

He did so by receiving the invite to the UN Secretary General’s special envoy Jane Holl Lute. He also informed her that Greek Cyprus will be ready to utilize the opportunity to come to a conclusion.

Ms Lute and the envoy had arrived in Cyprus a few weeks prior to make preparations for a five-pronged informal meeting.

Participants of the meeting will include Turkey, UK and Greece. All the three nations are guarantors of the island nation’s security, integrity and independence.

 

1 OUT OF 4 YOUNG CYPRIOTS SUFFER FROM INTERNET ADDICTION, SAYS STUDY

 

The results of a study by Alexander College has revealed that over 24% of young Cyrpiots have internet addiction, while approximately 8% undergo social media addiction.

The study was carried out behind closed doors as a pancyprian survey with the support of the Cyprus Addiction Treatment Authority (CETA). Besides Alexander College and the CETA, the survey was handled the Hellenic Bank and the Youth Board.

The sample for the survey had a total of 1,059 individuals between the ages of 15 and 35. 465 of these were full-time students, 437 were men and 622 were women.

The study also revealed a correlation between the over-reliance on technology and the lack of social skills, a lesser attention span and lessened ability to remember information.

 

BILL SEEKING BAN ON PLASTIC BAGS APPROVED

 

The island nation’s cabinet has approved the bill to ban the circulation and sale of of any type of disposable carrier bags made with thin plastic.

The new regulation shall apply on every usage point, including that of home and office deliveries.

Costas Kadis, the minister of Agriculture and the chief architect of the amendment, released his statement on the matter. The statement explained how the ban, though sudden, will help both citizens and visitors be more self-aware of their environmental footprint, which in turn will help benefit the future generations greatly.

The official cabinet announcement affirmed Minister Kadis’ statement, explaining how the approval is yet another step towards lessening the damaging impact plastic bags have upon the environment and the quality of lives of people in general.

The decision comes over 2.5 years after levying a charge on the use of said bags. In fact, it was part of the reason why this amendment was proposed in the first place. According to reports, the introduction of the charging system alone reduced thin plastic carrier bag usage by over 80%.

 

PRESIDENT ANASTASIADES FAILS TO WIN BUDGET APPROVAL

 

Nicos Anastasiades has failed to garner the a yes from lawmakers for this new 2021 budget.

It is being speculated that the rejection was made in the background of the fallout over the flawed investment-based citizenship program.

While 24 lawmakers did approve the budget, a vote of disapproval by 29 others meant that the budget would have to be thrown out.

Notably, the development has not been all that surprising, given as the Disy party, i.e. Anastasiades’s ruling party does not currently hold a majority in the Cypriot parliament.

 

€150,000 WORTH OF CASH AND JEWELRY STOLEN FROM NICOSIA HOME

 

In the latest incident, a residence in Nicosia was burgled, where the thieves in question broke in and took off with a safe containing jewelry and cash.

The break-in, which happened between the hours of 10:30am and 1:45pm, led to the theft of money and items worth a total of €150,000.

Nicosia’s Criminal Investigative Department are currently investigating into the matter.

 

CYPRUS LIFTS TRAVEL BAN FOR 56 COUNTRIES

 

The island nation of Cyprus will be lifting its travel ban on 56 different countries.

Many of these countries belong to the European Union and the European Economic Area in general.

The Cypriot government has also released new protocols and freshly divided arrivals from foreign countries into green, grey red and orange.

Both the ban lift and re-arrangement of protocols, which has been set according to the standards of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), will come into effect on the 15th of January, 2021.

 

CYPRUS AND INDIA REVIEW BILATERAL RELATIONS

 

The island nation has reviewed its level of cooperation with India in a bid to improve their bilateral relations.

According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (IMEA), various fields were discussed in this process. This included culture, consolatory, economics and of course, politics.

This was the fifth round of Foreign Office Consultations between the two countries.

Held on December 10,2020 on a virtual basis, the meeting was chaired by Thessalia Salina Shambos, the political director of the Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Neeta Bhushan, Indian Joint Secretary of Central Europe.

Appreciating their already cordial relations, the two went on to review the various terms of their cooperation in order to make substantial improvements where possible.

According to the MEA’s statement, both the Cypriot and Indian sides reviewed the MoUs and agreements.

Other than the above-mentioned topics, issues such as sports, defense, military and the arts were discussed. Culture-specific topics, such as Ayurveda was also discussed.

Last but not the least, they discussed pertinent political matters that affect both nations – including the Indo-Pak conflict, the Northern Cyuprus issue, and EU-India relations.

 

RENEWALS ON ROAD TAX TO BEGIN ON JANUARY 7, 2021

 

The Cyprus road transport department has announced that the renewals shall begin on the 7th of January. The last date for said renewals will be March 11, 2021. Any renewals made after that will carry a surcharge.

Road tax renewals can be made for 3,6,9 or 12 months. All vehicles in said renewals are required to have insurance and an MOT.

In their announcement, the department encouraged vehicle owners to renew their road taxes in due course, and not wait till the last hour. They explained how such a callous behavior leads to a lot of inconvenience as the system gets overloaded.

They further added rgar those vehicle owners who had opted for renewals in 2020, but will not in 2021 are required to notify the department of such. They must complete form TOM12B and inform the government of their intent. Not doing so lead to surcharges and outstanding fees.

Vehicles left unrenewed in 2020 that have as of yet remained avoided being officially declared as immobilized will be taken of the registry. The only way to prevent this is for the owner to renew their road tax and pay off the outstanding fees before the March 11, 2021.

Finally, the department said that they will not be individually notifying owners to renew their road tax.

 

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS STARTING ON THE 27TH OF DECEMBER

 

Vaccinations to prevent the virus from proliferating will be starting on Sunday, the 27th of December.

According to an announcement by Olga Kalakouta, a senior health official, the first batch of Pfizer vaccine will arrive in Cyprus. She further explained that the vaccinations will take place through dedicated vaccination centers.

The goal of the health department is to carry out the vaccinations through all districts at the same time. The first to be vaccinated will be the health workers.

As of now, the consent forms have been sent to all the centers. Owners will be required to ask their staff for consenting to the vaccination. They will also be required to inform the ministry on the number of vaccines they need for their employees.

While Ms. Kalakouta has no knowledge of who will be the first person to receive the vaccine, reports suggest it may be the President Nicos Anastasiades. Moreover, his vaccination will be streamed live and filmed.

 

PRESIDENT ANASTASIADES TAKES TO SOCIAL MEDIA TO SEND PUBLIC MESSAGE

 

On the occasion of Christmas, President Nicos Anastasiades went on social media and wish the public good health, just as the first batch of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine’s upcoming arrival on Boxing Day.

The President added that with the pending arrival of the vaccines, people should now be hopeful of things becoming “more tangible” in the coming days.

He went on call the vaccine the “the gift of humanity by the scientific community,” and stated that he will be getting the vaccine himself live on television in order to convince the public about the vaccine’s safety.

Proper inoculations will be starting on the 27th, starting with elderly care home residents.

Cyprus currently has a total of 19,316 COVID-19 infections, with 107 deaths.

 

THIRD GROUP OF MIGRANTS ARRIVE IN CYPRUS

 

In the latest incident, a boat with over 21 migrants reached the shore of Cyprus.

This is the third boat full of migrants to arrive from Turkey in a single week.

According to the state radio, the police in Cyprus intercepted 21 migrants in the early hours of the morning. They were on a boat that was in all possibility transported by smugglers who travelled a total distance of around 70 kilometers.

Interestingly, the police did not find any trace of said smugglers.

 

RUSSIAN FRAUD SUSPECT ARRESTED

 

The Cyprus police has arrested a Russian national, who has been suspected of fraudulent activities.

The man, 33, has long since been suspected by the Russian authorities for embezzlement and fraud.

The man was located from a tip by Interpol based on information by the Russian Federation. The police in Limassol placed him under arrest, subject to being shown before a judge for arraignment.

The man has allegedly conspired with several people, and defrauded many individuals of a total sum of 68 million Russian rubles.

The crimes seem to have been committed in Russia between the years of 2015 to 2018.

 

MASSIVE DRUG BUST IN LIMASSOL

 

The Cyprus police found and seized 10 Kgs of cannabis and 0.5 Kgs of cocaine in Limassol.

Both varieties of narcotics were found in two separate incidents – one in the flat of a 20-year-old man, and the other with a 34-year-old man.

Both men were originally intercepted while driving in Limassol. The Narcotics police arrested them from their vehicles after they had received a trafficking-related tip-off.

In this case of the cannabis search, the 20-year-old consented his flat being searched. After being arrested for interrogation, the young man was remanded for 8 days at the district court in Limassol.

In the meantime, the 34-year-old cooperated with the police, and admitted to carrying 5 gms cocaine. He was released after being charged in writing.

 

FORMER GOOGLE CEO ERIC SCHMIDT HAS SUCCESSFULLY APPLIED FOR CYPRUS CITIZENSHIP

 

Eric Schmidt, the former CEO, has his Cyprus citizenship application approved.

According to a report by Recode, as well as an October notice in the Cyprus publication Alithia, Eric Schmidt along with and his family have won the approval to become Cypriot citizens.

The report further added the repercussion of this move, one of them being that the new citizenship will allow Schmidt to move around several travel bans and go more freely within the European Union.

The Cyprus citizenship will also help him get some new tax benefits, given that he did apply via the “Citizenship by Investment” scheme. Unlike other methods, the investment scheme offers strategic tax breaks to foreigners who invest an amount of $2 to $3 million.

Schmidt served as the CEO of Google 2001 to 2011, and then stayed on as the executive chairman of both Google and Alphabet till 2018.

 

MULTI-NATIONAL MILITARY EXERCISE MEDUSA 2020 TO BEGIN

 

The much-awaited aeronautical military training exercise Medusa 2020 is all set to start on the 30th of November, and is set to continue till the 6th of December.

According to a statement by the defense ministry, the joint exercise will be conducted in 3 different phases. These will be dealing with marine formations, cyber warfare, search & rescue, and surface drills.

Held annually since 2017, the Medusa is conducted in honor of the trilateral cooperation between the countries of Egypt, Greece, and of course, Cyprus, Greece and Egypt.

In 2020, the level of cooperation will be further increased as the air forces of UAE and France will also be present.

The exercises shall be conducted in the Cairo FIR region.

 

YELLOW WEATHER WARNING ISSUED WITH POSSIBILITY OF SNOW

 

The Cyprus Meteorological Service has issued a yellow weather warning in anticipation of intense thunderstorms, which are expected to stay for over a day.

According to them, isolated thunderstorms along with rain are expected, with the rainfall intensity to reach over 35 millimeters an hour.

They further added that for the Troodos Mountains’ peaks, snow can be expected.

Temperatures are set to go up to 9C in the mountains, 19C inland, and 21C at the coasts. During nighttime, they are set to drop to 2C in the mountains, 9C inland, and 11C at the coasts.

Further, albeit isolated – rain and thunder showers are expected till up to 2 days after the main thunderstorm.

 

CYPRUS CANCELS MAIL SERVICE DUE TO MASS AIR CARRIER CRISIS

 

In the latest incident, the island nation has canceled its mail service due to a worldwide air carrier shutdown.

With over 22 countries having fallen victim to the crisis, Cyprus has forcefully stopped its mail services to several countries, seeing as there are no carriers for pickups and deliveries.

The countries for which mail has been canceled include Finland , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Argentina, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Norway, Hungary, Ukraine, Croatia, Belarus, Latvia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Poland, Slovenia, as well as some other European Union countries.

That being said, the country still has the more expensive Quickpost international courier available for all countries.

 

NEW SEXUAL ABUSE CASE SURFACES IN CYPRUS

 

The police are currently investigating a case of minors being forced into marriages.

The case involved the discovery of 2 minor girls being forcefully married to adults belonging to the same nationality.

The girls were initially brought into the country on false pretenses and then married to the adults. The police went on to remove their “husbands” as they made the arrests.

The “husbands” have been booked under violation of the Law N° 91(I) of 2014 on Preventing and Combating the Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography.

 

POWER GRID DAMAGED AS TORNADO RIPS TURKISH CYPRUS APART

 

A massive tornado hit Turkish Cyprus’ Girne (or Kyrenia) district, causing considerable damage to structures and particularly destroying the power grid.

The tornado caused roofs being ripped off of rooftops, trees being uprooted, and power lines being completely tangled and disturbed. Some people were also reported to be injured.

In particular, the areas of Lapta Hotels Region, Çatalköy, Karşıyaka and Ozanköy were badly affected.

The biggest damage of all, however, was that to the The Teknecik Power Plant – Turkish Cyprus’ largest electricity plant. A transformer got blown up due to the storm, which caused a widespread blackout in Girne and its nearby settlements.

 

SOUTHWEST CYPRUS PUT UNDER LOCKDOWN OVER SURGE IN COVID-19 CASES

 

A recent surge in COVID-19 cases has led to all of the island nation’s southwest being put under a 19-day lockdown period.

The lockdown entail a complete shutdown of all non-essential businesses, as well as non-essential people movement. This comes after the current set of restrictions failed to curb the surge in infection numbers.

According to Constantinos Ioannou, the Cypriot Health Minister, the lockdown was practically unavoidable given the circumstances, and after strategic consultations with the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, it was finally deemed as absolutely essential.

The alarming statistic that caused this development was the increase in infection rates in Paphos and Limassol by 70% and 28% of the national average in a period of six weeks.

In the meantime, the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients being treated shot up to around two-thirds.

As a part of the  lockdown, a curfew will be maintained between the hours of 8 p.m to 5 a.m. Movement to and from both the districts concerned will be banned bar emergency and essential goods and service-related trips. Religious services will conducted sans worshippers. Ever form of public gathering, schools, colleges, universities, malls, parlors, salons, gyms, pools, casinos, non-essential goods stores, will all be shut. Educational activities, private offices, and non-essential government office operations will all be conducted remotely. Like the three-month-long lockdown that happened this year, the aim of this one is to bring down the number of new novel coronavirus infections.

 

HEAT CONTINUES TO FLOW THROUGH CYPRUS

 

Cyprus is continuing to see its temperatures soar, even as the island nation is approaching winter season.

Said temperatures currently stand on an average of 36 degrees Celsius, which is over 10 degrees more than the season’ average.

And with Temperatures remaining steady at 40 degrees Celsius, October may turn out to be the hottest month for island nation.

It is currently only second to the 40.6°C record of 2nd and 3rd October 1943.

The island nation has already recorded its hottest August and September, with 44.6°C and 46.2°C recorded respectively.

 

RESTRICTIONS RELAUNCHED DUE TO SPIKE IN NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES

 

A spike in new novel coronavirus cases means that Cyprus will be rolling out a new set of restrictions to curb the spread of the disease.

The restrictions will be imposed on its most populous districts – Nicosia and Limassol.

Gatherings in both private and public areas will be limited to 10 persons, children included. Religious service attendance is to be restricted at 75 persons per gathering. Sports arenas are banned from having sectators.

Receptions for baptism and wedding is prohibited. Meanwhile attendance at theaters, cinemas, restaurants and bars is capped at 150 persons outdoors and 75 indoors. Any eating place can have a maximum of 10 persons per table.

 

CYPRUS TO SUSPEND CONTROVERSIAL ‘GOLDEN VISA’ SCHEME

 

In light of the recent controversies surrounding the ‘Golden Via’ passport, the Cypriot government has announced that it will suspend its scheme.

As the name suggests, “Golden Visa” allowed foreigners to gain a Cypriot passport if they could a make a substantial investment in the island nation.

According to Kyriakos Koushos, a spokesman for the government, the move has been made due to the scheme’s inherent weaknesses and exploitation by applicants.

As of November 1, 2020, the scheme will go on the fritz.

Discussions will be made to create a new scheme, which will be replacing the Golden Visa.

The move comes years after Cyprus being pressured to suspend the Golden Visa scheme, mainly on the basis that the situation makes something as sensitive as the Cypriot as ‘up for sale.’

The scheme was originally set up in 2013.

 

HOTEL ORDERED TO DEMOLISH 2 OF ITS ILLEGAL FLOORS

 

Cypriot interior minister Nicos Nouris has announced that the Sun City project will have to demolish 2 of its floors.

According to the town planning department’s notice, the illegal floors violate both the urban planning permit and the environmental impact assessment, and will therefore have to be taken down.

The Sun City project, which is located near the marina in the Ayia Thekla, has the Giovani Group involved. Their former head, the former Akel deputy Christakis Giovanis resigned from his post after an undercover Al Jazeera video caught him helping a Chinese businessman with a criminal record.

The five-star resort had originally received permission for a ground floor and basement, five stories and seven levels, along with 203 rooms. They have, however, managed to violate that adding another two floors during constructions.

This goes against the rules of the Sotira Municipality’s tourist zone T2a, which mandates hotels to keep their floors to a maximum of five levels.

 

THREE ZIM STUDENTS PERISH IN HORRIFIC CAR CRASH IN CYPRUS

 

A horrific car crash has claimed the life of three people.

The persons, all of whom are Zimbabwean students studying at the European University of Lefke in Cyprus passed away while on their way home from an outing.

The 3 students in question were identified as current students Dean Tafara Marufu and Elliot Simbarashe Kanofema, along with the recently graduated Electious Vhere.

They were killed in what was a head-on collision on the Guzelyurt-Nicosia highway.

The European University of Lefke later posted the tragic news on their website.

 

MAN BEATEN AND SHOT

 

This latest incident has a man beaten and shot. The police are currently investigating a robbery incident during which this person was both assaulted and shot in Nicosia.

The man, a 28-year-old resident of Larnaca, was taken to the hospital immediately. There, he was diagnosed with a head injury, a broken nose and various abrasions.

The man was discharged after being given first aid.

In the course of investigations, he reported to the police that the attack, which happened in the evening hours, was done by persons who he could not identify. They went on to snatch his cellphone and car keys.

The attackers, one of whom was a woman, proceeded to flee in his car, as well as rental one.

 

ASTRONOMY EVENT POSTPONED DUE TO SPIKE IN COVID-19 CASES

 

A top astronomy event has been canceled due to a spike in the number of new coronavirus cases.

The event, which was due to be held at the Nicosia town hall, had a lot of preparations done, including arranging special facilities for those who are disabled.

The organizers of the event issued a statement, citing an increased number of COVID-19 cases. The cancellation was made in the interest of public health.

 

CYPRUS STAYS ON ENGLAND’S ‘GREEN LIST’

 

Cyprus has been facing a recent increase in the number of coronavirus cases, but that hasn’t stopped the island nation from slipping off their safety list.

It remains on the UK’s ‘Green List,’ meaning that those traveling to the UK from Cyprus have unrestricted access and do not need to isolate.

However, they are required to have celebrated the entirety of their previous 14 days in Cyprus, or at least on another country that is on the green list.

In case they have visited anywhere not on the green list, they will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

The only country removed so far from UK’s green list is Liechtenstein.

 

ARTIFACTS DATING BACK 3,200 DISCOVERED IN NORTHERN CYPRUS

 

A team of archeologists in Northern Cyprus have excavated over 137 pieces of artifacts that are around 3,200.

It is estimated that the artifacts pertain to various works done during the latter part of the Bronze Age in all of the eastern Mediterranean region.

According to Bülent Kızılduman, chief of eastern Mediterranean Cultural Heritage Research Center (DAKMAR), the team of archaeologists were investigating commercial and political relations between the Cypriot and the Anatolian civilizations, and carrying out expeditions within the Karpas peninsula.

Known as “King’s Hill,” the site literally located on a hill in the Kaleburnu village, around 1.5 kilometers near the sea.

Kızılduman said that the site belongs to one of the then several important kingdoms that date back around 3,200 years. He went on to state how a significant number of bronze artifacts were found here.

The aim for the team is to preserve the artifacts in their DAKMAR conservation and restoration laboratory, to later exhibit those in a soon-to-be-opened museum.

 

RAPID COVID-19 TESTS TO BE DEPLOYED IN CYPRUS

 

The health authorities have announced that rapid PCR tests are going to be introduced.

In a statement to the press, Cypriot epidemiological team member Petros Karayiannis, mentioned how the rapid tests, which as efficient as their normal counterparts, will be instrumental in speeding up the process.

Mr. Karayiannis added that as scientific advisors will be discussing implications of the test with the health ministry, an announcement indicating the extent of the application of the tests is due to be issued.

He went on to explain how these tests, which will be used in crowd-intensive areas a such as hospitals, schools, and airports will simplify the otherwise complicated process of contact tracing.

Rapid tests work by detecting certain types of proteins called antigens, which are present on the virus’ surface. Reading the antigens can also determine other factors, such as how long the person has been infected, and how much at risk they are when it comes to spreading the disease.

 

CYPRUS MIGHT EVOLVE INTO A WINTER TRAVEL DESTINATION, SAYS DEPUTY MINISTER OF TOURISM

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the Cypriot travel industry. But the island nation’s Deputy Minister of Tourism doesn’t think that it is all setbacks and bad news.

Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios says that while Cyprus has missed out much on the summer tourism season, but it still has the potential to emerge as a top winter destination.

According to Perdios, the fact that Cyprus is less chaotic in general, along with its cleaner epidemiological situation means that country could serve as a first-class winter tourism destination.

Speaking to the CNA, Perdios said that the willingness of tourists to travel in spite of the pandemic can mean good business.

That of course, is fully dependent on safety measures and adherence of social distancing guidelines.

 

BOYDEN ENTERS CYPRUS

 

Top talent advisory and leadership company Boyden, which has over 70 offices in 45 countries, has finally entered Cyprus.

The entry into Cyprus is part of a larger expansion phase into the Mediterranean, and will include an expansion into Greece.

The expansion will be headed by Anny S. Chatzikonstantinou, the new Managing Partner. Chatzikonstantinou is a well-known figure within the industry, having spend a 20-year-long career in senior roles with companies of the likes of Hasbro, Unilever, SingularLogic, and Diageo. She then spent over 10 years in consulting.

At Boyden Cyprus and Greece, she will be joined by partners Fani Mamalaki, Michalis Moraitis, and Simi Farrou, each of whom are an expert in HR, Consumer & Retail, and strategy IT respectively.

 

EUROPA LEAGUE GAME WILL NO LONGER PLAY IN ARMENIA, WILL BE MOVED TO CYPRUS

 

The next soccer game for Europa League will be moved to Cyprus, after safety issues that arose from the security lapses due to Armenia’s increasing conflict with Azerbaijan.

According to the UEFA, the playoff game, which had Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade and Ararat-Armenia playing against each other in Yerevan, will now be played in island nation city of Nicosia.

The winner of this game will be advancing to the Europa League group phase.

 

GREECE SAYS IT IS FULLY COMMITTED TO SOLVING THE CYPRUS PROBLEM

 

In honor of Cyprus’ 60th anniversary of independence from the British rule, Athens has sent a message of solidarity, expressing their undaunting support to island nation in solving the issue of division.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Prime Minister of Greece showed his utter disapproval on the violations made by Turkish forces both on sea and on land for Cyprus and vowed to go all in if needed to protect the sovereign rights of Cypriots.

Mitsotakis clarified that Greece refuses to accept the legalization of the Cyprus problem, which Turkey is currently pushing for. He added how Cyprus ‘political situation happens to be a top priority for Athens, and that efforts are currently underway to aid the resumption of talks.

 

CYPRUS TO CONTINUE SEEING UNUSUALLY HIGH TEMPERATURE

 

The unbearably hot weather on the island is said to continue till the month of October.

The meteorological office said that the general temperatures will be rising to up to 23C in the mountainous region, 28C on the coastal areas in general, and 32C on the east and south coast.

While there may be slight drop in the temperature in between, this will only be a temporary phase, for the temperature will continue to rise.

This sudden rise in temperatures has been extremely unusual and uncharacteristic. The general temperatures for October on the island nation are around 4 to 7 degrees lesser than the usual seasonal levels.

 

CYPRUS AND US SIGN MoU FOR BORDER SECURITY TRAINING CENTER

 

Mike Pompeo, State Department Secretary of the United States has announced that Cyprus and the US have recently signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This is for the purpose of building a new training centre for border security.

The institution will serve to offer expertise to Cyprus for the on the topics of nonproliferation and border security in the Mediterranean region.

State Secretary Pompeo met with Cypriot President Anastasiades, tweeting about how wonderful his experience was. He further added that he is looking forward to have the Republic of Cyprus as a key partner within the Eastern Mediterranean region.

The US State Department also released a statement, explaining how the foreign minister of the tqo countries signed the MoU. Fully funded by the US, the training center will serve to function as intended, and will be officially named as the Cyprus Center for Land, Open-seas, and Port Security (CYCLOPS).

 

TURKISH IMAM DEMANDS CYPRUS INVASION

 

A Turkish Imam has declared his “demand” for invading Cyprus.

İhsan Şenocak, one of Turkey’s most popular imams, has aggressively endorsed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s foreign policy, publicly urging the country’s military to invade and occupy Greek Cyprus, just as it has once what is now Turkish Cyprus.

He went on to say that the activity should be done in the name of the prophet Mohammed and his Umm Haram (also known as Hala Sultan). The latter’s tomb is currently within the Greek Cypriot territory.

Imam Şenocak tweeted how the time for the Turkish to greet Hala Sultan in person must come very soon.

The statements have attracted immense uproar and condemnation from communities the world over, many of whom have openly claimed the statements as undermining human rights.

 

INTERNATIONAL LAW FIRM OPEN BRANCH IN CYPRUS

 

Famed international law firm Ince has opened a brand-new office in Cyprus.

Having merged with local law firm LG Zambartas, Ince has opened its 6th European office in the location of the form.

The office, which is focused on maritime issues, will be headed by George Zambartas, who up until recently was the head of shipping and corporate law in LG Zambartas. He will have the support of a premium staff supplied by Ince.

The Ince office will have 6 Cypriot and English lawyers, all of whom have been working for the 14-year-old LG Zambartas.

As mentioned earlier, this office will serve to handle maritime issues such as yachting transactions and shipping funds, along with other common law topics such as immigration, private wealth, energy and financial litigation. This office will also work in a consultancy capacity, offering business corporate support services such as trust management, project management, and other management services.

Acquired company Zambartas specialized in offering consultancy services to shipping companies in Ukraine and Russia and helped them find ship finance from other banks in Western Europe. They further offered legal opinions to international banks on Cyprus law, and even drafted security documents.

 

MASS BIRD SHOOTING INCIDENT HIGHLY CONDEMNED

 

BirdLife Cyprus has revealed the killing of dozens of birds in mass animal shooting.

The non-government organization released photos of several birds, which were slaughtered by hunters near Larnaca Salt Lake in the Meneou region.

The highly cruel act of violence against animals led to the death of over a hundred birds, along with at least a few dozen bee-eating birds.

According to Tassos Shialis, the campaigns coordinator of BirdLife Cyprus, this hasn’t been the only incident – or even the first. As a matter of fact, the area has been notorious for hunters going on illegal bird killing sprees. Despite incidents being reported time and again, the criminal activity has not ceased at all. Birds belonging to several protected birds and even many migratory species birds have been killed in this year already.

This is quite ironic, given as there is virtually no chance for the area in question to be anywhere close to a designated hunting area. Such areas much meet a number of criteria, not least of them being that they must be located a minimum of 500 meters from any residence. The Meneou lake completely fails this criterion, seeing as the near residential property is as little as 150 meters away, along with a plethora of coastal properties.

The slaughter incident has been reported to the relevant authorities, while the bodies of the birds have been handed to the Game Fund.

 

95% OF CYPRUS TOURISM COMES FROM NON-RESIDENTS, SAYS STUDY

 

The latest results of a Europol study on Cyprus tourism has revealed that the as much 95% of the revenue earned from travel comes from foreign visitors.

It is therefore no wonder that the island nation’s tourism sector has been completely battered as the Covid-19 pandemic has almost halted international travel. According to various hoteliers on the island, the worst-case scenario of only a fraction of non-resident arrivals have already rung true.

This has been a sharp contrast from 2019, which had welcomed over 4 million tourists. While a target of meeting at least 20% of those figures have been set this year, fulfilling them is difficult at best, seeing as Israel, Russia and the UK – Cyprus’ biggest sources of visitors, have either been excluded or shrouded in complicated safety-related paperwork.

To meet these numbers, the government is currently making an effort to encourage as much local tourism as possible. A number of schemes have been introduced to this end.

Cyprus’ position comes next only to Malta and Crete, both of which attribute 96% of their revenue to non-resident tourists. Other major destinations that follow the same trend include the Austrian mountainous regions of Vorarlberg and Tirol, as well as the cities of Budapest, Brussels, Vienna and Prague.

 

TURKEY HOLDING MILITARY EXERCISES AMIDST TENSIONS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION

 

In the middle of ongoing tensions between Turkey and Greece, the former has made a sudden announcement to hold a military exercise off of Cyprus’ northwestern coast for 2 weeks.

This announcement comes right in the middle conflicts between Turkey and Greece, over the multiple claims of exploratory rights in the eastern Mediterranean region.

The dispute between NATO members Turkey and Greece arose after both countries signed clashing accords regarding their maritime boundaries with Egypt and Libya. Turkey took matters into its own hands and sent a survey vessel, which sparked off the confrontation.

Both countries have conducted military exercises thus far, with Greece conducting a joint naval exercise with Italy and Cyprus only recently.

Not much time after that, Turkey has issued its own Navtex notice explaining how it will conduct its own “gunnery exercise.”

 

UNIVERSITY OF CYPRUS RANKS AS ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST

 

The University of Cyprus has been ranked in the 601 to 700 range for the third year in a row. The ranking system, known as Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), ranks the 1000 best universities in the whole world.

Popularly called the Shanghai Ranking, these three years are the only instance that a university from the island nation has been featured on the list. Therefore, it goes without saying that the University of Cyprus is only Cypriot university to have made the rankings thus far.

Notably, the Shanghai list is one of the world’s three most important worldwide university ranking systems. It also holds the distinction to be the first system that uses several indicators to evaluate universities.

The model itself was developed by the Shanghai Jiaotong University (hence the name). It monitors 6 different indicators for evaluating universities – the overall performance in relation to the institution’s soze, number of articles featured in the Science Citation Index, number of articles in other scientific journals, the number of researchers that have been selected by Thomson Scientific, and finally, the number of Nobel graduates in the faculty and student population.

 

THE CEO OF HELLENIC BANK HAS UNEXPECTEDLY RESIGNED

 

In what is being considered bad news for the banking sector, Yiannis Matsis the CEO of Hellenic Bank has suddenly turned in his resignation.

Mr. Matsis will be replaced by Constantinos Loizides, who is currently serving as the CEO of AstroBank.

The news broke out via a notice that was placed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange’s Regulatory News wire. The notice clearly stated the event, but did not state any underlying text, as it was not available.

Mr. Matsis had been serving as CEO since April 2017. He had already been serving as a member of the board of directors since December 2013 and held the position of being a member of the board’s internal governance committee, as well as the chairman of the risk management committee.

 

TOP ECONOMIST CLAIMS CYPRIOT GOVERNMENT HAS 2 YEARS WORTH OF FUNDS

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has sent the world into a flurry, with countries scrambling for funds to deal with the emergency and run the nation. Cyprus, of course, is no exception. The rising coronavirus case numbers have left many in doubt of the capability of the government to maintain fiscal balance.

The country’s top economist, however, does not agree. Fiona Mullen, who works for Sapienta Economics claims that the Cypriot government is far from being in danger; in fact, it has enough reserve to last for at least 2 years.

Her statement was confirmed by the Finance Ministry, who’s spokesperson declared that the bank has reserves worth €4.2 billion.

Mullen further explained that while the government may have issued a lot of debt in the last year, it has more than enough funds to cover this debt. She stated how the during December 2019, the public debt was at €20.96 billion, which is 95.5 per cent of island country’s GDP. While this is a lot, the good news is that this time around, the 100 per cent mark has not been crossed.

As of May 2020, the amount of public debt stood at €24.4 billion.

 

CYPRUS TOURISM SEES A FURTHER PLUNGE IN REVENUE

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused several casualties – both direct and indirect, and the Cyprus tourism industry is clearly one of them.

The novel coronavirus has been instrumental in the plummeting of what was once the island’s top economic performer to go down to almost zero, as the entire world has gone into various modes and phases of lockdown.

According to Harry Kyrillou, the owner of the travel agency Planet Holidays, not a single booking was made for Cyprus in the month of July. He further expressed his frustration at the situation, saying how they have practically lost the entire year, and that any travel bookings, if made, will be very few. He explained how this has and will continue to affect hoteliers and anyone else who is in the tourism industry.

According to the National Statistical Service (Cystat), the first 6 months of 2020 saw tourism revenue plummeting to €122 million from last year’s €1billion.

It is, therefore. No cliché that the local economy is – and will be bearing the brunt of the loss of tourism revenue. Not only will the GDP be significantly lower, but the level of unemployment for those working in hospitality will continue to be on the rise.

The partial lifting of travel bans haven’t been as much of a help, since there are still strict lockdowns in effect in other countries. Add to that the fact that people are reluctant to move around as freely given the threat of the virus.

In a bid to salvage the situation, the tourist season has been furthered till the end of October. However, there still isn’t much hope for the numbers to dramatically improve.

 

CYPRUS TO DONATE ADDITIONAL AID WORTH 170 TONNES FOR BEIRUT BLAST VICTIMS

 

The whole world has been doing its best to help Lebanon cope with the effects of the deadly Beirut blast, and Cyprus is no exception. The island nation will be donating shipping an additional 170 tons of humanitarian aid to Lebanon.

According to a statement by the volunteerism commissioner’s office, the aid, which has been collected by NGOs. companies, local government authorities, and the Church and has been sent to be distributed in Lebanon.

The office expressed their pride, saying it has been incredible how a country as small as Cyprus has managed to collect such a large number of things through cooperation.

They praised the efforts of the volunteers, who took the mammoth effort to receive every individual package, sort out all the packages, and finally packaging all the items.

The total package will be loaded on containers at the port of Limassol.

 

OUTGOING FRENCH AMBASSADOR TO CYPRUS EXPRESSES CONCERN ON RISING TENSIONS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

 

Isabelle Dumont, the ambassador of France to Cyprus, is about to end her term. She was received by Cypriot president Nikos Anastasiadis for this occasion.

After her meeting with the President, Dumont reflected on several events. One of these was the rising level of tensions in the Mediterranean region.

She remarked how the region, which has been known to be a place of peace, has become a site of conflict. So much so that she feels that the EU must now have a larger presence in the Eastern Mediterranean to maintain harmony.

In particular, she expressed her concerns on the activities of Turkey.

Notably, France has maintained an active presence in the Eastern Mediterranean after the escalation of tensions. Their navy also recently participated in an aeronautical exercise along with their Cypriot, Greek and Italian counterparts.

 

CROATIA, FRANCE AND THE NETHERLANDS NO LONGER ON CYPRUS’ COVID19 SAFE LIST

 

The rising case of COVID-19 cases in various parts of Europe has brought considerable changes to Cyprus’ safe list.

The island nation has edited its list once again, having removed Croatia, France and the Netherlands. Cyprus has also the non-EU countries Tunisia and Andorra from the list.

All the three EU countries in question have been bumped down from Category C (i.e. the safe list) to Category B. The latter category mandates restricted entry, even with a COVID-19 test.

Category C countries allow exclusive entry to Cypriot nationals and residents, and those who have special permits. Those cleared under this category must have a coronavirus negative test with them, get a test once they arrive on the island. Then, they must go under self-isolation for 14 days. They also need to take a test again 48 hours before the end of the 14-day isolation period.

Other European Union countries that have received a downgrade in status – from category B from A – are Ireland, Austria, Iceland, Denmark and Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s status was upgraded to category B from category C.

Category B countries have more relaxation – all they require is a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of boarding the flight to Cyprus.

 

LIDL CYPRUS HAS LAUNCHED THE FIRST EVER RECYCLED WASTE-MADE SHOES

 

Environmental consciousness has become the norm, and companies are increasingly swaying towards making eco-friendliness products.

In the latest such initiative, Lidl Cyprus has just launched its own shoes that have be made with recycled waste.

Named the Ocean Bound Plastic Crivit Shoes, these are made from 25 percent PET bottles that have been collected from the coastal areas and islands, along with 75 percent recycled polyester. This concoction will help both clear and protect the ocean, while protecting first-hand materials.

These new trainers are available for all ranges – children, men, and women. Plus, they are just as comfortable and durable as their conventional counterparts, while maintaining an affordable price.

This shows come as part of the REset Plastic, an initiative by the Schwarz Group, which aims to reduce the impact of plastic waste by reducing plastic wastage as much as possible.

Lidl Cyprus is a participant within this initiative. The company has 5 areas of action – Reduce (i.e. reducing plastic use as much as possible), Redesign (i.e. redesigning plastic to make them recyclable and prolong their life cycle), Recycle (i.e. collecting and sorting recyclable materials and close the life cycle of raw materials), Remove (i.e. supporting campaigns that advocate plastic waste removal); and Research (Looking for ways to develop innovative solutions recycling used materials and protecting new ones.

Lidl aims to reduce the use of new plastic to at least 20% by the year 2025.

 

CYPRUS, ITALY, FRANCE, AND GREECE TO HOLD JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE

 

In what is being considered in new step in military cooperation, a joint exercise between Cypriot, Italian, French and Greek naval forces will be held near the west of Cyprus.

The preparations for the exercise, which comes in the middle of continuing tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean region, have already begun. 3 Greek F-16 jets and 3 French Rafael fighter jets have already arrived the Paphos’ Andreas Papandreou airbase.

They will be participating with the Cyprus National Guard.

The joint naval drill comes after repeated claims by both Cyprus and Greece of Turkey violating their respective exclusive economic zones (EEZ). Turkey had sent the Oruc Reis, its seismic research vessel, along with several naval escort vessels the EEZ regions.

 

OUTRAGE OVER ANTI-ISLAMIC ACTS IN GREEK CYPRUS

 

Both Turkey as well as Turkish Cyprus have expressed their outrage at the “Islamophobic” act of the hanging of a Byzantine flag on a mosque in the Greek Cyprus region.

Fuat Oktay, the vice-president of Turkey, took to Twitter to express his disapproval, saying how the Greek Cypriot administration must end the encouragement of anti-Islam and anti-Turkish activities. They must take measures and see to it that the “diseased mentality,” should be put to an end.

The move was further criticized by Omer Celik, a spokesman of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party. He also took to Twitter to express how the Greece must end its hostility towards Islam with immediate effect.

“We strongly condemn the hanging of a Byzantine flag on a mosque in Tuzla village in Southern Cyprus. The Greek administration should stop hostility toward Islam,” he said in a tweet.

Greek Cyprus has seen a series of attacks in the recent days. The most prominent of these has been the hanging of the Byzantine flag on a mosque in Southern Cyprus’ Tuzia village.

Another incident includes an arson attempt on another mosque in the region.

 

CYPRUS WELCOMES NEW SHIPPING MINISTER

 

Vassilis Demetriades has taken the post of the new shipping minister of Cyprus. He has replaced outgoing minister Natasa Pilides, who herself is taking up a new post as the Energy Minister.

In his handover ceremony, Demetriades expressed his happiness at taking over the new role. He explained how it has been a long 22-year-journey since he first entered the premises of what was then the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS).

He described himself as a bright-eyed employee with great ambitions to grow the shipping sector of the island nation.

He further explained how he, along with the Deputy Ministry will be working as a single unit to work towards the growth of development of the sector.

Shipping has historically been a major part of Cyprus’ economy, and is said to contribute over 7% to the island nation’s GDP.

Prior to his new position, Demetriades serves as a maritime policy expert at the Directorate-General’s office for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission.

Outgoing minister Pilides, who was the first shipping minister of Cyprus, praised Demetriades, saying she was happy to see the junior ministry in the safest hands.