Current Events

 

CYPRUS-TO-GREECE FERRY TO BE RELAUNCHED IN MAY 2020

 

Natasa Pilides, the Deputy Minister of Shipping of Cyprus, has announced to the parliament that the ferry link between Greece and the island nation is set to be reinstated with the help of a ferry service between the two countries that will reportedly begin in May 2020.

With the establishment of this line, an almost two decade long disconnected link will become history. Ms. Pilides added that the Shipping Ministry will be submitting a request to the European Commission to finance said project as well as prepare tenders for route operations.

Ms. Pilides and her team in the Ministry aims to finish up with all prework procedures before EU’s approval, so that once they do get the approval, they can call for tenders immediately and work fast enough to reinstate the line by May in 2020.

The ferry route is planned to operate once every week between May and September, and once every fortnight during the remaining winter months. The trip will take up about 30 hours, and prices will be much cheaper than that of flights in the same route.

The ports in question here are most likely to be the Piraeus port in Greece and the Port of Limassol in Cyprus.

 

CYPRUS RECALLS ALL DRUGS CONTAINING RANITIDINE OVER POSSIBLE RISK OF CANCER

 

Cyprus’ pharmaceutical services have recalled all medications that contain ranitidine due to concerns that It has possible links with cancer.

The measure has been taken in response to FDA’s announcement of the detection of low levels of NDMA – a carcinogen that is probably present in ranitidine. Tests done on animals have shown that NDMA does indeed have risks of inducing cancer in those consuming it.

Commonly taken for heartburn and minor digestive issues, ranitidine’s main function is to block stomach acid. Products that contain ranitidine include were Zantac injection and tablets, Lumaren injection and tablets, Ranitidine Accord tablets, and Verlost oral solution.

The cease will continue till the European Medicines agency makes its own tests to determine the actual safety of the drug – or lack thereof.

For now, patients who are on said medications on a regular basis have been advised to visit their doctor and/or pharmacist to get tested for issues or to get prescribed an alternative medication.

Both European and U.S. drug regulators are currently reviewing the safety of ranitidine after having made the shockingly breakthrough discovery.

 

MASSIVE BLAST ON ARMY BASE LEAVES TOURISTS FLEEING

 

A series of explosions at an army ammunition depot in Cyprus left at least 12 injured and several fleeing to save their lives.

Tourists described what seemed like “several fireballs rising” from the Turkish military base, where a fire has been determined as the cause for the blasts. According to several witnesses who were at the scene, there a large number of deafening bangs were head and many pieces of shrapnel were seen flying and falling around.

The blasts, which happened in the village of Catalkoy in the Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus practically shattered the windows of the Acapulco Hotel nearby, leaving several injured. Most of the injured were guests. Needless to say, the Acapulco Hotel was considerably damaged due to the blasts.

Kudret Ozersay, Foreign Minister for Turkish Cyprus later announced on Facebook that the area was cordoned off due to continued explosions at the military base. Additionally, guests at the Acapulco Hotel were evacuated and moved to a safer spot.

 

EMPLOYERS SEEK 6 KINDS OF TAX RELIEFS

 

The  Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEB) General Director Michalis Antoniou has announced that the OEB has openly asked the government for six tax reliefs, that amount to €500 million annually combined.

Speaking at a working breakfast, General Director Antoniou explained to journalists how said proposed tax reliefs will help increase state revenue by €650 million in the next three years and add at least 9,000 new jobs within the same time period.

Proposals include – abolition of employers’ contribution to Social Cohesion Fund, reduction of percentage of the employers’ contributions to the Protection of Employees’ Rights Fund and the Redundant Employees Fund in the event of an employer’s insolvency, resetting the natural persons’ tax rate, Reduction of interest rate of deposits on national defense contribution from 30% to 15%, Abolition of €350 compulsory company fee to the Official Registrar, and finally, the abolition and/or reduction of deemed dividend distribution.

George Petrou, board chairman of the OEB said that the conditions now being mature enough for tax reliefs in return to payments to the island’s fledgling General Health Scheme (Gesy), businesses can now maintain their edge.

 

ENI AND TOTAL DRILL FOR OFFSHORE GAS APPROVED BY CYPRUS

 

Both France’s Total and Italy’s ENI are now approved to legally explore Block 7 of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) – and legally conduct nine different drilling operations over the following two years.

EEZ Block 7’s access, which is also claimed by Turkey was finalized in a cabinet meeting – the companies had originally applied for the access in November 2018.

Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone is divided into thirteen blocks. Thus far, Turkey claims to have drilling rights in various parts of blocks 1, 4, 6 and 7.

 

YAVUZ TO BEGIN DRILLING OFF OF CYPRUS COAST

 

A statement from Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez has revealed that that a second Turkish drillship – the Yavuz will be starting to drill for gas and oil off of Cyprus’ coast. The ship, which was sent by Turkey on the 20th of June, 2019 will be exploring up until the Karpasian peninsula.

The Yavuz was escorted by Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as the Barbaros frigate, one of Turkey’s premier warships. The ship has also had of F-16 jets saluting Yavuz, which have promptly been shared on social media.

The first of such vessels, the Fatih, is currently drilling in the search for oil and gas off of Cyprus.

It is a notable fact that Turkey has continued its drilling process, despite warnings from several EU states. Turkey has, however – and continues to – assert that it – along with Ankara do have the right to drill off of the Mediterranean area – Cyprus included.

 

WOMAN MURDERS HER CHILD AND THEN ATTEMPTS SUICIDE

 

A woman stabbed her 12-year-old son to death and thereafter attempted to commit suicide.

The act was discovered when the woman’s husband and child’s stepfather, a Greek Cypriot man of 52 years of age, could not enter his own flat on account of the locked door and no answers on knocking. A traffic policeman himself, he called the fire department, who broke in through the window to discover the child dead in his bed, along with the woman unconscious in the hall.

Medical examination proved that the child was killed from being strangulated by his mother. Other wounds and corresponding sharp objects were also found, which is determined to probably have been used in the crime.

The woman, who was found injured and unconscious was taken to Nicosia General Hospital by ambulance, where she had to undergo surgery, he said. The 40-year-old Kazakhstani woman, who committed the crime in Yeri, Nicosia, is currently serious but not critical condition.

 

CYPRUS TO NAME AN EXOPLANET

 

In what is being considered a very interesting development in the Cypriot community, Cyprus will be getting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to name an exoplanet.

Coming right after the accession of the Cyprus Space Exploration Organization’s (CSEO) to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the process of naming will start with a crowd-based campaign. A press conference to be held at a later date will announce other details such as timeframes, the details of the exoplanet, and of course, what the name itself will be.

Founded in 1919 the IAU aims of safeguard and promote the interests of the astronomy community all over the world via international cooperation. It currently stands as the largest body in the world serving the interests of astronomers. Members includes professional astronomers from the world over.

In addition to the above, the IAU functions to assign designations to and surface features on celestial bodies.

 

MAN FALLS FROM SCAFFOLDING AND DIES

 

In a tragic accident that has many in Cyprus in mourning a 62-year-old man has by falling from a scaffolding in an under-construction building.

According to a statement from the labor inspection department, Demitris Georgiou fell from the scaffolding on the 4th floor – at a height of 10 meters from a building in Limassol that was under construction.

Work was halted at the site the moment the incident took place. According to Inspector Kypros Kyprou, who conducted the preliminary investigation, the platform that Georgiou was working on was rather narrow and had no side rails.

 

SUSPECT REMANDED FOR MURDER OF TURKISH BUSINESSMAN

 

Crime has been on the rise in Cyprus, but the latest development proves that so has the justice system. The suspect for the murder of 52-year-old Gökhan Naim has been remanded for three days by a court in North Cyprus.

The suspect, İmran Arşad – a citizen of Pakistan, was transferred by the Greek police to their Turkish Cypriot counterparts. He has run away to government-controlled areas after having gunned down Naim just outside of his residence in Nicosia.

Another suspect, Azmad Ali Virk, was later handed over to Turkish Cypriot police by the Greek police. Additionally, another two were arrested in connection with the shooting, bringing the total number to four.

 

AERIAL PHOTOS PART OF NEW DEAL

 

In what is being considered a landmark move in the science and technology department, the Department of Land and Survey in Cyprus has partnered with signed an agreement with Erathosthenes SA from Greece and Sintegra SAS from France to take on a project taking aerial photos of Cyprus that are more enhanced and accurate.

The project, which is expected to continue for a year will be conducted with the purpose of providing high-precision aerial photos of the island nation with the help of precision software and cutting-edge technology. Data collected in the process will be admitted to land information system – it will be an open source resource and can be used by department staff, government staff, private companies and even citizens.

The new and more accurate photos will allow the police to better investigate difficult cases by using cartographic data that is more reliable and accurate.

 

2 MORE ARRESTED FOR BRAWL IN AYIA NAPA

 

In addition to the ten Kuwaitis arrested for the brawl at Ayia Napa, two additional arrests have been made.

The two arrested are a 30-year-old UK national and a 37-year-old South African national. Both were in connection with the incident which left the victims seriously injured.

The incident involved a group of people – mostly Kuwaiti and British nationals, who started a fight in a hotel complex in Ayia Napa in the presence of at least 250 persons. Starting near the swimming pool, the fight was stopped by security guards, but only temporarily, as it resumed outside the hotel complex itself.

The incident left two Britons severely wounded, who were later taken to Famagusta hospital for treatment. Also among the injured, were some Kuwaitis, albeit less so with scratches and bruises only. In the meantime, the Kuwaiti nationals arrested were remanded for 6 days.

 

VAROSHA VISITED BY TURKISH JOURNALISTS

 

In what is being considered a new development in the process of reopening of the city of Varosha (Maraş), a group of journalists from Turkey have made a visit to the closed city.

The visit to the city, which has been closed to outsiders since 1974, was organized by the Foreign Ministry as well as the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister the Turkish Northern Cyprus.

The journalists were accompanied by special guides, given that only Turkish army members have the right to enter the ghost town. Also accompanying them was Abdulhamit Gül, the Justice Minister of Turkey.

As a part of the initiative to reopen Varosha, which has essentially been a ghost town since 1974, the Turkish Cypriot government has announced its decision to undertake ownership inventory work there.

 

A 4TH RESEARCH VESSEL FOR TURKEY HAS SET SAIL FOR CYPRUS

 

In accordance with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s announcement, a fourth research vessel from Turkey – the Oruc Reis – has set sail towards Cyprus.

The vessel, which started its journey from a port in Istanbul was reportedly on its way to another in Tasucu opposite to Cyprus’ northern coast, where it will be refueling before resuming its activities.

The plan for the Oruc Reis is to apparently and ultimately encircle the island nation of Cyprus – the Yavuz and Fatih drill ships are already active in the island nation’s eastern and western coast respectively while the Barbaros is on its way to the south.

In the meantime, Greek authorities in Athens are making their attempts to assess whether the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan does actually plan to create a crisis situation, or is simple sizing up its neighbors.

 

President Anastasiades To Undergo Surgery for Repairing Thighbone Fracture

 

A spokesman for the Cyprus’ government has announced that President Nicos Anastasiades will be undergoing surgery to repair the femur fracture, otherwise known as a thighbone fracture, that he has sustained on his right leg.

The Spokesman, Mr. Prodromos Prodromou made a written statement saying that the procedure was completely safe and sound and posed no threat to the health of the president – general or otherwise. According to Mr. Prodromou, President Anastasiades suffered the fracture while he was in Limassol.

The 72-year-old President Anastasiades, who is presently in the second year of the second consecutive term as president, has previously undergone a heart surgery to repair dodgy heart valves back in December 2014.

 

Cyprus Makes Effort to Establish Itself as a Desirable Filming Destination

 

After seeing the considerable impact filming has on a country’s perception and economy, Cyprus too is making its own set of efforts to establish itself as a filming destination for film makers far and wide.

Branding their work as Olivewood, the island nation has decided to offer lucrative incentives to film makers who choose to film in the country. Incentives are many, and include seamless paperwork process, less red tape, tax credit of up to 35 percent, and cash rebates of up to 35 percent as well. is

According to Antonis Antoniou, a contributor for Forbes, not only is the effort lucrative because of the incentives in question, they extend beyond films and to other media formats such as mini-series, TV series, Made-for-TV movies, documentaries, and animations. The aim here is not just to attract film makers but to attract new talent and capital from producers all over the globe.

Mr. Antoniou also remarked on the smart move of naming the industry as ‘Olivewood,’ much on the lines of Bollywood and Hollywood, paying reference to the famous olive fields of the island nation.

Two films are currently undergoing shooting in Cyprus – William Baldwin-starrer ‘S.O.S: Survive or Sacrifice’ and Nicolas Cage-starrer ‘Jiu-Jitsu.’

 

Roman Shipwreck Discovered Off of Cyprus Coast

 

An undisturbed Roman shipwreck has been discovered off of Cyprus’ southern coast.

The antiquities department has announced that the shipwreck – the first ever discovered in Cyprus – was filled with transport amphorae, is undisturbed, and is in all possibility from Cilicia and Syria.

Originally spotted near the Protaras beach resort by volunteer divers from an archaeological research team as a new unidentified object in the water, the “object” was later found to be the shipwreck. Not much later did the antiquities department announce that it has secured funding for a complete investigation, pending commencement soon. They are also working on proper protection and documentation for the site.

An amphora is a special kind of Roman jar that is narrow at the neck and is made to store liquids such as wine and oil.

 

Lorry Damaged in Bomb Explosion in Limassol

 

Cyprus Police have revealed that a bomb has exploded in a company vehicle in the Limassol area.

The police, who are currently investigating the situation, said that the explosion took place in the early morning hours and the reason behind it was a low-level Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that was placed on a lorry which was parked in an open area in Ayios Ioannis.

The police are currently treated the incident as an attempt of vandalism with explosives. Limassol CID is continuing their investigation into the matter.

 

Cyprus Is One of the Safest Countries, Says Interpol Chief

 

Jurgen Stock, Secretary-General of Interpol has publicly praised of Cyprus and called it a “very safe” country.

According to Mr. Stock, the fact that millions of tourists choose the island nation as their ideal holiday destination is itself testament to the fact that it is safer than many. He further added that the level pf cooperation between Interpol and Cyprus is one of the best within the police community, and serves as an ideal model to follow for several other nations.

Meeting with Justice Minister Giorgos Savvides, Mr. Stock discussed mutual issues of interest and exchanged ideas and opinions on areas where either side could cooperate – or cooperate better.

Stock further added that the purpose of his Cyprus visit is to further strengthen the level of cooperation between the two entities, and that he is looking forward to it happening.

 

Missing Nigerian Man’s Body Found in Car Boot

 

A missing Nigerian man’s body has been found in the boot of a car.

The man, identified as Obasanjo Adeola Owoyale, went missing on the 1st of July, and was discovered more than a day later.

According to initial investigations, Mr. Owoyale was probably killed elsewhere, wrapped in a blanket, and then stuffed in the car boot where his body was discovered by police officers. The police officers had gone to check when multiple people in the area reported of a very foul smell coming out of the car.

The police are currently studying security camera footage within the area to find out if any suspects may have been caught on video.

 

Yellow Alert Issued in Cyprus Due to Sweltering Heat

 

The Meteorological Office of Cyprus has issued its second another yellow alert, warning residents of the sudden and ongoing rise in temperature. According to the Met Office, the maximum temperature is set to hit 32 C near the Troodos’ peaks area, and 41 C in the inland area. Said warning shall remain in full force from 11 am to 5 pm.

Additionally, the Health and Labor Ministries both issued warnings requesting employers, workers, and vulnerable groups to be careful of the weather and stay indoors and out of the way of the heat.

In the meantime, The Forest Department made a red alert, citing the high risk of fires as the reason.

 

USA Requests Turkey to Cease Drilling Off of Cyprus Coast

 

In the ongoing case of Turkey drilling on the Cyprus coast, the USA’s government has urged Turkey to cease its oil-drilling operations.

In a statement, the State Department condemned the act, calling it a “provocative step” that would increase tension in the region. They further said that the island’s reserves should be shared between communities on an equal basis, just like all other types of resources.

Turkey has so far declined to comment on the matter – it has not responded to requests by both the USA and Greek Cypriots, who have and are protesting on the issue.

The island nation of Cyprus was split into a Greek South Cyprus and a Turkish North Cyprus since 1974, when Turkey sent its own troops in response to a military coup by the Greeks. While the Greek portion is recognized internationally, the Turkish north is recognized exclusively by Turkey.

 

Cyprus Criticizes Turkey’s Second Attempt to Drill Offshore

 

The Cyprus has criticized Turkeys second attempt to drill on their offshore areas in search of gas sources.

The island country has condemned the act as an escalation of breach of international law and will take any measures necessary to protect its legal and diplomatic rights.

In response to the above, Turkey has replied that it is in fact protecting its own rights along with those of Turkish Cypriots by utilizing hydrocarbon deposits in the area.

The Turkish currently have two vessels – Fatih which started drilling 42 miles off Cyprus’ west coast the month before, and Yavuz, which is on route to a place off of the Karpas peninsula on the east coast of Cyprus.

Turkey’s act has been heavily criticized by the European Union. Meanwhile, Cyprus has urged Ankara to participate in peace talks once again.

 

Cyprus Promotes Tourism Along with Its Neighboring Countries

 

In a bid to improve the tourism industry and help it flourish further, Cyprus officials are making a joint effort with its neighbors. Savvas Perdios, Tourism Deputy Minister of Cyprus, has met with his counterparts in Jordan and Lebanon, and will be visiting Israel, Greece, Egypt to reach an agreement when it comes to common tourism packages.

According to a press release made by the office of the deputy minister, Mr. Perdios has submitted proposals to each country for the purpose of reaching said common agreement.

Common tourism packages are set to include places of natural as well as urban interest, events of significance, monuments, and cultural attractions. Authorities assume that this would prove to be far more popular with visitors who could visit attractions in all countries as part of a single package.

The deputy ministry wishes for all efforts to reach a desirable outcome as soon as is possible, and to that end, is working methodically to achieve the goal.

 

FUNERAL SERVICE FOR TWO OF THE SEVEN VICTIMS OF CYPRUS SERIAL KILLER HAS BEEN HELD

 

A funeral service has been held for two of the seven victims of the serial killing in Cyprus.

The service of the victims – a mother and a daughter – 36-year-old Livia Florentina Bunea and her 8-year-old daughter, Elena Natalia Bunea, – was attended by Senior Greek Orthodox priests. They were the first two of seven killings committed by the career soldier who killed five foreign women and two girls.

Also present were relatives, who wept at the service and at the coffins of the dead, placed beside one another in a village church in the southwest of Nicosia, as well as members of the Cyprus police and the Cyprus fire chiefs, along with some of the many divers who had searched for the bodies after the army officer’s confession to killing the foreigners.

 

CYPRUS’ REGIONAL EVACUATION DRILL HAS 21 NATIONS TAKING PART IN IT

 

Nikos Christodoulides, foreign minister of Cyprus has announced that twenty-one will be participating in the drill organized by Cyprus which famously involves the possible evacuation of civilians of nations in the Middle Eastern region.

According to Mr. Christodoulides’ statement, made during the final phase of the drill, Cyprus will have a crucial role to play here whilst functioning as a “safe transfer hub” for the region.

Participants include the USA, the UK, Germany, France and Israel. The drill itself will have several rescue operation scenarios during the transport process.

Mr. Christodoulides has stated that the increasing number of countries in the exercise shows that the task at hand has value and that countries involved understand that fully.

The last time Cyprus was used as a ‘safe haven’ was in in 2006, when around 60,000 civilians were evacuated from Lebanon.

 

CYPRUS-GREECE-PALESTINE SUMMIT HAS BEEN PLANNED

 

Palestinian officials have announced that the trilateral summit between itself and Cyprus and Greece will be held before 2019 ends.

This announcement comes after Tasos Tzionis, Cypriot permanent secretary ambassador’s visit to Ramallah. Mr. Tzionis held several bilateral meetings here along with Dr Riad al-Malki, prime minister of Palestine and Dr Amal Jadu, his assistant minister.

According to the announcement, Malki will be making an official visit to the island nation to finalize arrangements for the of a joint committee meeting, which would kick-off preparations for the Greece-Cyprus-Palestine trilateral summit  – all of which is set to take place before the end of the year, and in all possibility in Cyprus.

Malki was present at the announcement praised the historical ties between the two nations and went on to call for their efforts in strengthening the process of mutual relations and development.

 

VAROSHA SET TO ‘REOPEN’

 

In a bid to improve odds of resolving the Cyprus issue and easing the divide between people on the basis of their ethnicity, Turkish Cyprus is all set to “reopen” the city of Varosha and allow for people to settle there again.

Kudret Özersay, foreign minister and deputy prime minister of the unrecognized Turkish Cyprus “nation,” has revealed that the “Council of Ministers” in the region will be evaluating the conditions for action in the city, which technically is in a military zone. He added that all actions in this regard will be coordinated with Ankara, and a team of experts from the latter country shall be visiting Varosha to make a record of all movable as well as immovable property. The next steps will then be decided on the basis of the results of the study.

Özersay also spoke of the Maronite village, saying that contracts will be signed to allow current residents to move to other places, and to allow 10-15 homes to be returned.

Once one of Cyprus’ most popular tourist destinations, Varosha was abandoned in 1974, Varosha continues to stay in Turkish occupation.

 

GREECE AND CYPRUS’S EXPANDING ALLIANCE WILL INCLUDE ARMENIA

 

In what is being considered a political move that will help improve international relations between the Mediterranean region and other parts in Europe, Greece and Cyprus are expanding cooperation agreements beyond their region by including Armenia into their fold as well.

Armenia is latest in a train of new additions which include Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Egypt. Armenia, along with Greece and Cyprus will be holding their first meeting soon.

Speaking at a conference, Christodoulides said that the aim of this initiative is to promote stability, peace, and security through increased diplomacy and more political dialogue.

Foreign Minister of Armenia, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, has stressed on the importance of the new platform, saying how the three countries’ next joint effort moves will help strengthen all of them individually, as well as their relationships. He added that Armenia will be hosting a summit soon.

 

MAN ARRESTED FOR POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

 

Crime in Cyprus has been on the rise, and going by the latest news, it is going far beyond the reach of preventative measures.

In what is another instance among several this this year, a 42-year-old man has been arrested and brought into custody for allegedly possessing and distributing child pornography.

The man, who is from Paphos, had his residence searched by police officers by means of a judicial warrant. They found and confiscated several incriminating materials, including a computer, a mobile phone with a SIM card, as well as two electronic data storage devices – all of which will be examined.

Further investigation is underway.

 

DIMITRIS CHRISTOFIAS, 72, THE “UNLUCKY” CYPRUS PRESIDENT WHO STAYED FOR ONLY A SINGLE TERM, HAS DIED

 

Dimitris Christofias, the Communist leader known best for his disastrous term as the “unlucky” Cyprus President has died at the age of 72. The former President, whose one and only term was marred with political frustrations, mishaps and financial crisis died in the capital city of Nicosia.

Born to a working-class family in Kyrenia (now in Turkish Cyprus), Mr. Christofias studied history at the Academy of Social Sciences in Moscow, and became involved with politics and the left-wing ideology as a young man. He returned to Cyprus after earning his doctorate in Moscow, joined the Communist Party and rose steadily through the ranks, earning the post of secretary general in 1988. He became Cyprus’s first ever communist leader in 2008 by securing one-third votes in the initial round and a clear majority in the runoff. He was also regarded as the most popular politician at the time.

His term, however, was a disastrous one, with Cyprus reaching the height of financial crisis, further deterioration of the Cyprus issue, and the explosion near the naval base. The latter essentially ended his short-lived and already damaged Presidential career, as Mr. Christofias was blamed for not paying any attention to any amount of growing warnings of things becoming dodgy in the Mediterranean area.

By the time of his term’s expiry in February 2013, Christofias had become highly unpopular, and to that end did not opt to try and get himself re-elected. He was succeeded by political conservative leader Nicos Anastasiades.

According to the Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL), Mr. Christofias’s had been suffering from a severe lung illness. He is survived by his wife, Elsie, son, Christos, and daughters, Christina and Marianna.

 

7TH BODY FOUND IN CYPRUS SERIAL MURDER CASE

 

In what is the first serial killing incident on the island nation – the Police have found yet another dead body in due course of their investigations.

The 7th body found is that of the daughter of the first victim. Found in Nicosia, the body was discovered at around 6 meters depth, wrapped in a bedsheet and weighed down with a block of cement. Said discovery completes the obtaining of the dead bodies of all the seven victims that the suspect has confessed to murdering.

The investigation sparked off after the police found the body of one of the seven victims – that of Marry Rose Tiburcio, a 38-year-old Filipino national in a flooded mine shaft in the capital city of Nicosia on the 14th of April 2019. Tiburcio, along with her 6-Year-old daughter were reported missing on May 5, 2018.

According to the Cyprus Police, the suspect, who is a career officer in the Cypriot National Guard, has confessed to killing five adult women and two children – all of whom were foreign nationals. According to his confession, he met some of these victims on an online dating site where he went by the name “Orestes.”

 

MACRON’S SUPPORT FOR CYPRUS UPSETS ERDOGAN

 

Emmanuel Macron’s support for Cyprus has upset Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish President, and the latter has not hesitated to express his dissatisfaction.

The Turkish leader is upset at his French counterpart for supporting the island nation – and not Turkey, and for approving the arrest warrants that Cyprus issued on the crew of Fatih , the Turkish drillshi –  in the dispute between the two countries over Turkey attempt to drill in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus.

Speaking to a journalist from Sabah, a Turkish daily whilst returning from a conference in Tajikistan, Erdogan expressed his dissatisfaction, saying that those who do not have any right to speak about Eastern Mediterranean issues – like the French – must refrain from doing so and not act as interlopers. He mentioned that while countries like the UK, Greece and Cyprus have all the right, being guarantors, to express their views, France has none, and therefore must keep out of the issue completely.

He concluded his statement by saying that anyone living in Cyprus are entitled to and must get equal shares and rights, regardless of their ethnic background.

 

CYPRUS-UAE TIES TO BE PROMOTED BY JOINT COMMITTEE

 

Cyprus Foreign Minister Foreign Minister and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a joint cooperation committee.

The two Foreign Ministers, who met in Nicosia, also signed an agreement to foster better cooperation in matters of technical and economic importance between the and technical cooperation between the two nations.

Sheikh Al Nahyan, who came to Nicosia from his home in the UAE, met Demetris Syllouris, the House President and discussed at length the various political developments in the eastern Mediterranean region. Said discussion included the Cyprus problem, its ramifications and possible solutions.

In turn, Mr. Syllouris informed Sheikh Al Nahyan various initiatives, including (but not limited to) promoting the Arabic language in Cyprus, the creation of a Middle East cooperation centre in the island nation, and of course, ways to promote regional, bilateral and multilateral relations across all countries and regions.

Accompanying Sheikh Al Nahyan was Sultan Ahmed Ghamen Al Suawaidi, UAE’s Ambassador to Cyprus along with a group of his ministry’s top officials.

 

CYPRUS TO ISSUE 5- AND 30-YEAR BONDS

 

Cyprus’ Finance Ministry has revealed that the island nation will soon issue bonds worth 5 years and 30 years. The debt issuance will be carried out by all major financial instructions, including Deutsche Bank, Barclays, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Societe Generale and Morgan Stanley.

The Ministry has revealed that Cyprus – with its Standard & Poor’s rating of ΒΒΒ-, Moody’s rating of Ba2-,  Fitch’s rating of BBB, and finally, DBRS rating of BBBL will issue five-year maturity 2024 (euro) and thirty-year maturity 2049 (euro).

The purpose of said activity is to pay early the loan worth 2.5 billion euros that was taken from Russia, which currently has 1.57 billion euros worth of outstanding.

Kathimerini has said that given the inability of the new debt issuance strategy to make full re-repayment, they would offer a solution of partial repayment.

Auctions for both bond types would take place at the same time.

 

CYPRUS PRESIDENT ANASTASIADES VISITS GEORGIA

 

Nicos Anastasiades the President of Cyprus made his first and very historic visit to the country of Georgia. First arriving in the capital city of Tbilisi, the President met with the Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili.

He also held several important meetings with several key officials, including (but not limited to) Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, as well as Parliamentary Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze.

The purpose of the trip was to have the two nations know each other better, to improve upon trade settings, investment arrangements and most importantly, bilateral relations, between the two nations.

 

MAN DETAINED FOR SMUGGLING CANNABIS

 

In a recent spate of drug-related arrests, A 39-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a case that dealt with the alleged smuggling of over 25 Kgs of cannabis.

The drugs were in a woman’s luggage. The 34-year-old woman had arrived at Paphos airport from last October. The cannabis, weighing a total of 25.3kg were discovered by customs and later by police officers – stored in 20 nylon bags.

The woman in question was arrested on the spot and will stay under custody till the trial.

The man, on the other hand, was arrested in Greece on the basis of the Europe-wide arrest warrant issued by Cypriot authorities and extradited to the island nation. He was formally arrested by Cyprus.

 

ITEM FOUND AT KOKKINI LIMNI IDENTIFIED AS A FILM PROP

 

The item found at Kokkini Limni in Mitsero – the site of the mass dumping of killed women – has been determined as completely unconnected to the case.

The item, which consists of several of sponges that are tied to a piece of wood, which are wrapped in a carpet, is actually a prop from “I Sfagi tou Kokora” (literally, the killing of the rooster) a film that was directed by Andreas Pantzis and released in 1996. In the movie, the protagonist (Georges Corraface) wrapped the “body” in the carpet and dropped it in the very toxic lake.

The item came up during the thorough search being made by the police, who have been using divers, robotic cameras, as well as sonar equipment to find murder victims.

According to Pantzis, he had alerted the police of the possibility of finding the prop as he was aware of it being thrown during filming.

Meanwhile, the serial killer in question is a Greek Cypriot army officer who confessed to having murdered 5 women and 2 children. His confession included the fact that the bodies of three of his victims two women and a child were put in suitcases and thrown into the Kokkini Limni. Two of these have been recovered, and search for a third one is still underway.

 

THE BANK OF CYPRUS HAS APPOINTED ITS NEW CEO

 

The Bank of Cyprus has appointed Panicos Nicolaou its new CEO.

According to the board of directors, who made the announcement, Mr. Nicolaou, would be succeeding John Patrick Hourican.

Mr. Nicolaou’s appointment as a serving CEO remains subject to the approval of the European Central Bank (ECB), which once done, will allow him to actively take up his duties.

Mr. Nicolaou has been working for the bank since 2001, and has spent most of the time in the corporate banking division. In June 2016, he was promoted to director of the corporate banking division, and since then has been a member of the executive committee.

He has a BSc in financial services from the UMIST School of Management in United Kingdom, a BSc in mechanical engineering from Metsovio in Greece, as well as MSc in mechanical & industrial engineering from University of Illinois in USA. Besides these, he has been a well-regarded associate member of UK Chartered Institute of Bankers in the United Kingdom since 2004.

Working in the capacity of a CEO-designate till his approval, Mr. Nicolaou will be working closely Hourican to help make sure that the transition will be a smooth one.

 

COALITION GOVERNMENT COLLAPSES IN NORTHERN CYPRUS

 

The coalition government in Cyprus has collapsed, courtesy of the withdrawal of centrist HP leader, and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay, along with his party from.

According to the minister, the withdrawal was being made due to the ridiculous property rentals of the ministry of finance, that was causing a “crisis in confidence.”

According to Turkish Agency Cyprus (TAK), Özersay stated that party members were left to decide if they would continue to be a part of the opposition party or make their own bid to form government. Özersay has also said that snap elections were not beyond possibility.

This announcement comes along with that of Tufan Erhürman, Prime Minister and leader of Republican Turkish Party (CTP), who revealed he would be submitting the government’s resignation. To that end, the met President Mustafa Akıncı and offered said resignation.

Before this, Finance Minister Serdar Denktaş – a leader of the Democratic Party (DP) – announced his own resignation. In a written statement, he explained while he would continue his support of the current government in Parliament, he would be resigning from the post that was his in the ministry.

 

CYPRUS AIRPORT PASSENGER TRAFFIC INCREASES BY 3.7%

 

The airports on the island nation have observed an increase in passenger traffic by 3.7 percent – which gives everyone working in the sector – workers and stakeholders alike – some much-needed hope 2019 too would go on to reach last year’s record four million arrivals.

Hermes Airports has revealed that the from January 2019 to April 2019, the number of passengers passing through Paphos and Larnaca airports was 2.26 million, increasing by over 3.7% 2018’s 2.18 million during the same period.

The credit for the increase is being given to the Paphos airport’s dramatic increase in flow of passengers. Between 2019, January to April period, 641,100 passengers passed the airport – up by an impressive 13.4% from 2018. Larnaca airport, on the other hand, had an increase of just 0.3% – going up to 1.62 million in passenger flow from 2018’s 1.61 million.

Paphos has been having a massive increase in passenger flow – in April alone the upswing there was a record 3.7 percent, compared to Larnaca’s much lower 1.2%.

 

MICHALAKIS ZAMPELAS, EX-MAYOR OF NICOSIA DIES AT THE AGE OF 82

 

Michalakis Zampelas, the former mayor of Nicosia died, aged 82.

Mr. Zampelas was known to have founded the famous accounting and consulting firm – Coopers & Lybrand in Athens, Greece and in Cyprus, which opened doors for trade and development in accounting in the Mediterranean and beyond. The firm was later renamed as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) in a merger made in 1998.

The Cyprus branch of PricewaterhouseCoopers today has over 1000 people in staff and partners and is considered a pillar when it comes to professional services on the island nation.

Mr. Zampleas was also serving Estonia’s Honorary Consul General in Cyprus, a post he received in 1997, and used to substantially contribute to the improvement of economic, political and cultural development between the two countries. He was awarded the title of the Order of the National Coat of Arms by the Estonian President for his contributions.

Mr. Zampelas went on to win the Nicosia municipal elections in 2001 and took office on the 1st January 2002, going on to serve in the same position till 31st December 2006.

Mr. Zampelas received several honors in 2007, including (but not limited to) the honorary medal of the city of Nicosia, and a special honor from the board of The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus.

He is survived by his wife Loukia, their three daughters and their eight grandchildren. The funeral is set to take place in Ayia Varvara church, Kaimakli.

 

NEW POLICE CHIEF IN CYPRUS APOLOGISES OVER SERIAL KILLING CASE

 

On behalf of the Cyprus Police and Justice system, the new police chief in Cyprus has apologized over the “rather negligent” handling of the serial killing case that shook the morals of the people all over the island nation.

Cyprus Police Chief Kypros Michaelides apologized to the to the families of the 7 foreign women and their daughters who were killed by the army captain (according to his own confession). He explained how the police could not protect the victims, and addition failed to conduct a proper investigation. He further added that the people who failed to do their duties would be held responsible.

Trying to smoothen ruffled feathers, Michaelides said that he fully understood the public’s frustrations and anger and promised to do everything that was “humanly possible” to restore lost ground and the trust of the public in the island’s policing system.

This comes a week after the resignation of the Justice Minister and the firing of the then police chief by President Nicos Anastasiades. All of this happened on grounds of improper investigations into the first missing persons, which, if done properly, could have found the suspect much before he could kill the women and girls who became his later victims.

Victims include a 36-year-old woman from Romania along with her eight-year-old daughter – both of who went missing in 2016. The police, however, instead of diving deeper into the matter, has apparently said that the mother-daughter has absconded to Turkish Cypriot.

Had the police made their investigations properly, the next five who went on to become the suspect’s victims would never have disappeared in the first place. These included two Filipino women, a Nepalese woman, and two other as of yet unidentified girls.

 

FIFTH VICTIM OF SUSPECTED SERIAL KILLER FOUND

 

The police have found a fifth body in a lake – believed to be the fifth victim of the suspected serial killer who as it seems has been targeting foreign women for over three years and stayed undetected.

The body was retrieved by divers from a lake that lies west of the Cypriot capital city of Nicosia, the location where another woman was found dead and stuffed in a suitcase.

Police officials have revealed that the body was decomposed and in an unidentifiable state when it was found and will be taken to the mortuary for further investigations. Like the last one, this too was found in a suitcase.

The police currently have a 35-year-old man – an army captain – in custody. The man was taken in custody in April on grounds of suspicion of at least 5 women (all adults) and their young daughters.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, the newly discovered body is probably of a child.

Among the five dead, 4 are determined to be from the Philippines – this includes a six-year-old girl and her mother. Others include a Nepalese woman, and a Romanian woman along with her eight-year-old daughter. Almost all of these women were employed as housekeepers and had at some point gone missing between 2016 and 2018.

According to the police, the suspect has given to two written confessions from the arrested suspect, who says that he met the women on the internet.

 

FORMER AMBASSADOR OF CYPRUS ANDREAS MAVROMMATIS PASSES AWAY AT 86

 

Former Ambassador Andreas Mavrommatis has passed away at the age of 86.

The foreign ministry has expressed grief over the death of the Ambassador on Saturday, hailing the man as one of the leading figures in the Cyprus diplomacy scene and a relentless advocate the island nation’s interest.  The ministry went on to say how Mavrommatis, throughout his professional tenure had left an “indelible mark” in the foreign affairs ministry – one that will remain for years, if not decades.

Mavrommatis had an incredible career, having served in several influential positions over the due course of the same – besides serving as Cyprus’ ambassador from 1982 to 1989, he served as Cyprus’ Permanent Representative to the Office of the UN in Geneva 1975 to 1978. During the 1979-1982 and the 1989-1992 period, he continued to serve as the Permanent Representative of Cyprus in United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Besides the aforementioned, Mavrommatis also served as the Vice President, and later the President of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. He was also a prestigious member, and later became the chairman of the United Nations’ Commission on Human Rights. A relentless advocate of human rights, he was the elected president of the UN Convention against Torture committee, and before that served as a UN Special Rapporteur for the human rights situation in Iraq.

Last but not the least, he served as a minister of labor in Cyprus on various occasions and was one of the key negotiators on Cyprus talks.

Mavrommatis’ funeral will be held in Engomi in Nicosia.

 

SUSPECTED SERIAL KILLING BEING INVESTIGATED BY CYPRUS POLICE

 

The police are investigating the incident of a possible serial killer on the loose after the discovery of two women were murdered and later dumped in a mine shaft.

A third victim, a child of 6 years of age, continues to be missing.

The victims, who were discovered within a week at an abandoned mine 30 kms. away from Nicosia, have been identified as a 39-year-old and a 28-year-old, both Filipino women, both from separate families who had disappeared sometime in 2018.

The prime suspect for the crimes is a 35-year-old career officer serving in the Cypriot army. He is currently in custody.

Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou has condemned the crimes, emphasizing on the need to assess what is an unprecedented crime at best. Both the mine shaft, which is completely underwater, and the nearby reservoir are being searched for possible clues.

 

TURKEY TO BEGIN DRILLING OFF OF THE COAST OF CYPRUS

 

The Turkish Republic of North Cyprus – a breakaway nation that is recognized exclusively by Turkey, has announced to the UN that it would begin its drilling activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The two entities, namely Turkish-occupied Cyprus and Turkey have made their efforts to increase their drilling and gas exploration activities. This has had Nicosia (capital of EU-member Greek Cyprus) and Ankara to go at odds with both Turkish Cypriots’ apparent gas revenue shared and Turkey’s territorial claims.

According to Greek news platform Ekathimerini, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has published a map, whereby ‘Areas F and G’ – the place of research and drilling are in fact Cyprus’ Special Economic Zone parcels 1,2,8,9 and part of parcels 12 and 13.

Turkey made headlines in February by using its survey vessel, the Barbaros to make explorations in Cyprus’ offshore block 9 in the EEZ.

 

GREEK OPPOSITION LEADER VISITS CYPRUS FOR TWO DAYS

 

Kyriakos Mitsotakis is on a visit to Cyprus for a duration of 2 days, where he is said to hold talks with the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. The Greek opposition leader and conservative leader was welcomed by Averof Neofytou, the Cyprus’ Democratic Rally (DISY) party’s head upon his arrival in Nicosia.

Mr. Neofytou was very optimistic about the visit and about the impending general elections in Greece. He made no hesitations to express the same, saying how Greece would be fortunate to be under Mr. Mitsotakis’ leadership, which he believed was only a matter of time

Mr. Mitsotakis too had good words to say in reply, mentioning Cyprus’ efficiency in recovering from its financially downtrodden condition and making growth rates as high as 4%. He praised the island nation’s efforts by emphasizing on how Cyprus managed to accomplish what Greece has not been able to do thus far. He further added emphasized that a country could never restructure their fiscal system by pressuring the middle class through over-taxing the productive economy.

Further statements from the Greek conservative leader included the lauding of elections as an opportunity for making big political change that will change the flow of creative forced and in turn help the economy get better.

 

RAFALE JETS FROM FRANCE ENTER CYPRUS SKY SPACE

 

As part of its military exercise, the Rafale jets of French Air Force continued its flights in the Nicosia FIR, and were therefore seen in Cyprus skies.

According to a statement that was issued by the Ministry of Defense in Cyprus, helicopters from Cyprus and Rafale fighter jets from France will be conducting exercises over Polis Chrysochous and Paphos.

According to the local Kathimerini Cyprus, the French fighter jets were seen in Cypriot skies participating in the exercise and flying over Famagusta and Larnaca.

The aeronautical exercise conducted by the French Navy and the French Air Force is a part of military cooperation-related activities between Cyprus and France.

 

LOCAL COMPETITION HONOURS CYPRIOT WINES

 

A prominent local competition has made the gesture of honoring local wines of Cyprus.

Speaking at the 12th Cyprus Wine Competition, Costas Kadis the Agriculture Minister of Cyprus praised the Cyprus wine industry’s efforts to restore the island country’s reputation on the international level. He added that to further the cause, a sum total of €23 million will be made available through the National Viticulture Support Programme from 2019 to 2023.

Mr. Kadis went on say how it is a state’s duty to support genuine efforts strengthen the wine sector, especially local ones, and how Cyprus, by fulfilling this duty allowed Cypriots to develop the local character of their wines, that are reflective of their country’s terroir.

The competition has 194 different wines from 36 wineries taking part in it – the largest to have taken part in the event. It is being considered landmark on account of its success in reflecting the uniqueness of Cypriot local wines. They managed to win an overall total of 5 Grand gold medals and 60 gold medals along with and 5 special mentions.

 

CYPRUS SHOWS INTEREST IN IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION

 

Cyprus, the island country has made its intentions known for participating in the bid to help in the reconstruction of Iraq. This happened during the recent trilateral meeting in Jordan, where the Iraqi foreign was present.

While the actual level of inclusion of Iraq is yet to be clear (according to geopolitical analyst Zenonas Tziarras), the intentions of Cyprus to utilize its ties with Jordan and gain access to construction contracts in Iraq certainly is, especially with Jordan already being actively involved with the reconstruction scene in Iraq.

Mr. Tziarras further speculatively suggested that Iran, having gained a good number of inroads to the Iraqi government, might also be seeking its own place among the trilaterals that currently include Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, and Jordan.

The meeting in question was held in Amman between the foreign ministers Iraq, Greece, Cyprus, and Jordan in order to discuss issues that concern trade, commerce and tourism cooperation. Also discussed was how Cyprus and Greece, could help in the Iraqi reconstruction, especially as part of the European Union.

Meanwhile, an Honorary Consul of Cyprus has been appointed in Iraq, with efforts being made by Cypriot construction companies to participate in said reconstruction process.

 

CYPRUS RANKED 28TH IN WORLD PRESS FREEDOM INDEX 2019

 

The island nation has been ranked 28th out of the 180 countries which are part of the International Organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF)-compiled 2019 World Press Freedom Index.

The country has gone down three spots from being the 25th in 2018, and four spots from the 24th place in 2013, which was its record ranking.

The RSF says that despite being constitutionally granted press freedom in Cyprus, the press is often heavily influenced by commercial parties, political parties, and the Orthodox Church, among other influential factors. The most pressing of these is the concern of the intolerance of most politicians to see themselves being criticized in the press. The organization cited the example of a voluntary glossary that was prepared by two Greek Cypriot and two Turkish Cypriot authors, which drew extended criticism from almost all politicians in Greek Cyprus, the President included. Furthermore, no attempt was made to follow-up on the rape and death threats issued to the authors.

The RSF also mentioned the issue of journalists being unable to report on Cyprus’ citizenship program to the best of their ability, given the resistance they receive from authorities when they do so, along with the unfavorable state reaction to Politis’ publishing of hacked emails between the Russian prosecutor-general’s office and Cypriot prosecutor Eleni Loizidou.

Meanwhile, press freedom has declined across the world as well – a worrying trend that continues to increase as the time passes.

According to the 2019 World Press Freedom Index, 11% countries have a serious situation when it comes to press freedom, 29% are said to be difficult with journalists, while another 37% have become and are becoming increasingly problematic.

Scandinavian countries continue to dominate the rankings, with Norway being ranked first three times in a row, Finland moving up by two places to take the second place; the Netherlands, which was formerly in the 2nd is now occupying the 4th position.

The bottom of the Index consists of Turkmenistan at the 180th place going down by two places, and North Korea at 179th, having gone up one place.

 

BAG AND VALUABLES OF A TOURIST STOLEN

 

Among recent deviant activity, cash and Items thousands of Euros have been reported stolen from a tourist in a shop in Larnaca.

The items belonged to a Palestinian woman, who had arrived from Jordan, and had left her handbag outside the changing room as she was trying clothes in said shop, located in central Larnaca. She found the bag disappeared upon coming back from the changing room.

The woman says that the bag contained some Israeli shekel, some Jordanian dinars, $2,160 and €1,600 in cash, along with mobile phones and rings collectively worth €3,000. The bag in question was itself worth €2,000.

So far, police action taken includes seizing of some items and evidence and collection of security camera footage, the latter of which will be checked to find the perpetrator.

 

EARLY RUSSIA LOAN REPAYMENT CONFIRMED BY CYPRUS FINANCE MINISTER

 

Harris Georgiades, the island country’s Finance Minister has confirmed the Cypriot government’s ahead-of-schedule partial repayment of a 2.5 billion-euro Russian loan going back to 2012. The Minister was speaking during the ninth Nicosia Financial Conference, where he made the confirmation of the same.

The Minister expressed his gratitude to Russia, explaining how Cyprus has been grateful of Russia’s help, but have since become stronger and now rely on their own strength.

The CAN says that the repayment has started, with Cyprus paying Russia two instalments annually; the outstanding is currently at 1.57 billion euros.

 

OUTGOING RUSSIAN DEPOSITS AMOUNTING TO €5 BILLION

 

It has been determined that the value of outgoing Russian Deposits have shot up to a surprising €5 Billion.

Amidst the trending action of Russian depositors taking their money out of banks in the island nation, the Central Bank of Cyprus has released data that shows a steady decline in monthly deposits of Russian origin.

The decline in deposits and increasing in withdrawals have happened as a result of Cypriot banks making their effort to combat money laundering in the EU since 2013. Before this, Cyprus was more or less a safe haven as far as Russian deposits were concerned.

With Russian customers scrambling to close down their bank accounts in Cyprus in a bid to “save” their money, withdrawal deposits have averaged to around €93 million within a month. Within two months, this figure shot up to €140 million.

According to the data from the Central Bank, Russians deposits bottomed to were €11.76 billion at the end of 2013, and since then has gone down by €4.95 billion as of February 2019. From the 2015 year until the February of 2019, €5 billion in total withdrawn funds from Cypriot banks were Russian.

 

BUTTERFLIES SWARM THROUGH CYPRUS

 

Dozens of new butterfly species have been spotted passing through Cyprus in large numbers, making for an amazing show for laymen, enthusiasts and nature experts alike.

The butterflies, which are migrating from Africa to further north, have had Cypriots seeing millions of the beautiful insects navigate their way from coast to coast.

Among the many species the famous Vanessa cardui – an medium-sized outgoing butterfly species that is adorned with several colors. The type is considered as one of the most beautiful to look at.

The species tend to migrate in large groups of millions and even billions and go on their journey during the beginning of springtime. Some, however, are known to migrate during summer.

Some of these butterflies are expected to stay behind in Cyprus and give birth, spawning an entire generation of caterpillars on the island nation.

 

CYPRUS FINES FOREIGNERS FOR ILLEGAL SHIPWRECK SEARCH

 

An official of Cyprus’ law enforcement has announced that that a Norwegian national and U.S. national have both been fined 6,000 euros (around $6,730) each for searching for an old shipwreck off of its coast without legal basis.

The official, who spilled the details anonymously due to not being allowed to disclose case details in publicly has revealed that the arrest was made on the basis of a tip that the police received in February, which said that the men – a 44-year-old Norwegian and a 36-year-old American were illegally looking for the shipwreck. The men in question were arrested two charges – attempting to illegally search for antiquities without formal authorization, and conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor.

Cyprus is no stranger to seafaring, having wreck searches made to as long as 5th Century BC. That being said, wreck searches today require going through proper bureaucratic channels and having the right paperwork before embarking on a search.

 

MAN IN NICOSIA ARRESTED OVER DOWNLOADING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

 

A resident of Nicosia who was suspected of indulging in child pornography has been arrested.

The 35-year-old man was a suspect in the case of viewing child pornography, which is a highly punishable offense and without a doubt, against the law. He has been remanded for at least four days in police custody.

An initial search of the suspect’s home (that was made on the basis on a tip received by the cybercrime unit), child pornography was indeed downloaded using a certain e-mail ID. Further search revealed the existence of a hard drive as well as two computers – all of which had pornographic content on it.

With the second discovery in picture, the police took no time in arresting the man to be brought before court. Keeping in view the sensitive nature of the offense, the in-court session was taken place behind closed doors.

 

HOLLYWOOD ACTOR NICHOLAS CAGE TO FILM HIS NEXT MOVIE IN CYPRUS

 

Famed Hollywood actor and Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage has announced that his next movie will be exclusively filmed in Cyprus in a bid to highlight the value of the island on the global scene.

According to The Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (also known as Invest Cyprus), the martial arts and science fiction-themed movie will be directed by Dimitri Logothetis and produced by Logothetis and Martin J. Barab on a budget of €24.6m. The cast includes JuJu Chan, Rick Yune, Marie Avgeropoulos, Frank Grillo, and Alain Moussi thus far.

In a statement to the press, Invest Cyprus applauded the development, stressing on how decisively importance it was to the island nation’s audiovisual sector and the economy and will have multiple benefits to help portray itself better on an international scale.

It is to the organization’s credit that it managed to attract such mainstream attention not much long after it assigned the task of having to promote Cyprus as a suitable and viable international location for filming. The organization itself was made by the Cabinet to help develop the film sector. The Cabinet also appointed a chair of the evaluation committee the Cyprus Film Scheme, which would help the film sector gain several good incentives.

In October 2018, Invest Cyprus along with the Cyprus Tourism Organization and the Press and Information Office organized the first ever Cyprus Film Summit 2018 that was held in Nicosia. The summit had some of Hollywood, Bollywood and Pinewood’s leading figured attending it, along with participants from all over Europe. Dubai, Russia, Egypt, Egypt and Australia, among others.

It was at this event that that then Senior Officer for Invest Cyprus, Lefteris S. Eleftheriou presented announced the christening of the Cyprus’ film industry as Olivewood.

 

CYPRUS TOURISM GETS NEW BRANDING

 

In a bid to renew its branding and give it some much needed freshness, the Deputy Ministry of Tourism has decided to lose its Love Cyprus’ logo and in about a year’s time will be coming up with a brand-new image that will represent the wonders of traveling on the popular holiday Mediterranean island.

Deputy Minister Savvas Perdios has revealed that besides a new logo Cyprus will debut with new color schemes and photos at the 2020 tourism exhibition in Berlin.

He added that while they are making this change highlight the unique selling points of the island nation, the most important factor here is to find the funding that will finance the tender call worth €2 million. While the amount will come from of national funds, The House of Representatives will have to approve the relevant amounts that will be included in annual budgets. For this to happen, the Deputy Ministry of

The contractor in question will be responsible for preparing and creating any and all creative materials to bring the new branding to action, along with designing and producing said material for commercial and advertising purposes.

 

CYPRUS MAKES PREPARATIONS FOR IMPENDING BREXIT

 

Demetris Samuel, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry of Cyprus has revealed that the island nation has intensified its preparations for the possible eventuality of a hard Brexit.

Mr. Samuel expressed the opinions of the government through a public statement, which said that while the island nation does respect the House of Commons’ sovereign decision, they are disappointed by the direction of voting in London, which portrays a less-than- orderly Brexit. He continued to add how Cyprus, like its sister European nations as well as the European Commission itself were assured of an orderly Brexit. However, what are seeing now seems chaotic at best.

All said and done, it is being hoped that despite any and all disagreements, there will be positive developments that would help Cyprus and other EU countries deal with their losses better and in a smoother manner. In the meantime, Cyprus will continue to intensify preparation should they face the harsh and difficult eventuality of a no-deal Brexit.

 

CYPRUS FINANCE MINISTER TO RESIGN AT YEARS’ END

 

Harris Georgiades, the finance minister has revealed that he will be resigning from his current and aforementioned post by the end of the year. The minister is set to vacate the position he has occupied since 2013 on account of the controversy created by the findings of an inquiry that has at least partially blamed him for the demise of one of Cyprus’ biggest banks.

According to the Finance Minister Georgiades himself, he felt it the right time to move on having spent almost seven years in the same post and having to fiercely defend himself findings that are inaccurate and unjust.

He proceeded to add how the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades gave him his full backing – even amidst the opposition party constantly calls for his dismissal, going on to explain how the economy of the island nation has rebounded positively under his administration and guidance.

According to Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, there were no actual grounds that the inquiry had to level blame to Georgiades for what clearly appears to be billions in ill loans that that bank itself has accumulated over decades before Georgiades ever came to power. As a matter of fact, The whole point of Georgiades being appointed was to make the then volatile Cypriot economy stable in the face of the Euro rescue deal worth billions that Cyprus had to accept after a massive banking crisis that almost got the island nation bankrupt.

The inquiry, however, painted things in a much different light, blaming senior executives for making ill-informed judgments, not taking adequate action and taking virtually no stance whereas dealing with the bank’s bad loan portfolio was concerned. It proceeded to mention how Georgiades was responsible for not firing the executives in question when the time was right.

 

CYPRUS IS THE 49TH HAPPIEST NATION, ACCORDING TO UNITED NATIONS WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT

 

According to the recently-published U.N. World Happiness Report, Cyprus is the world’s 49th happiest country. The island nation rose by 11 places – from being in the 61st position in 2018, and 15 places from being in the 65th position in 2017.

Produced by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network along with famed economists Jeffrey Sachs, John F. Helliwell and Richard Layard, the report uses raw data obtained from the Gallup World Poll and provides valuable insights in which countries and happy and the reasons behind the same.

The title of the happiest country went to Finland, which has retained the title since 2018, and leads the five Nordic countries that are among the top ten. Following Finland is Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands at second, third, fourth and fifth places respectively.

The UK went up 4 places to be ranked at placed 15th, while the US reached its lowest ever at 19th.

The bottom-most spot on the index was taken up by South Sudan. Others in the bottom ten include Zimbabwe, Yemen, Botswana, Central African Republic, Tanzania, Syria, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Haiti and Malawi.

 

GREECE AND GREEK CYPRUS SUPPORT TURKEY’S BID TO ENTER THE EU

 

Turkey’s bid to enter the European Union has been quite the controversial one, having garnered opinions that differ severely. Amidst the controversy, however, both Greece and Greek Cyprus have showed their unanimous support for the nation’s impending entrance into the EU.

According to George Katrougalos, Greece’s foreign minister, Turkey entering the EU would work in the best interest of not just Greece, but of Cyprus and even the EU as a whole, adding that they should do their best to keep the bid on track.

The statement came after Katrougalos had a meeting with Nikos Christodoulides, Greek Cyprus’ foreign minister, during which Katrougalos also said that while having a nation that is hostile in nature wouldn’t look the best, it would ultimately work in favor in the long run.

Meanwhile, Christodoulides supported Greece and said that Greek Cyprus to would support Turkey’s bid to enter the EU, which, among other things, would help reunite the divided groups of Mediterranean island nation.

 

NEW BORDER CROSSING OPEN IN CYPRUS

 

A rare moment of peace is being celebrated as two new border crossings have been opened on the island nation.

The first of the two crossing was opened in Dherynia, where scores of people were seen moving on to both sections of the divide within moments of it being opened at around noon. Notably, one the first who crossed the divide – a Turkish Cypriot was carrying a small branch of an Olive. In a statement to the press, the man expressed his happiness on being able to see even a glimmer of a possibility that they could be united again. He added that he hopes that border keep on opening till a day when there are no borders and division on the island nation.

The second crossing was opened in Aplici at around the same time as the one in Dherniya.

According to commentators, these new crossings and their opening will help ease the friction between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, especially after the fallout of peace talks in July 2018.

The UN appears to be optimistic on the matter, though, and believes that Greek-Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will be resuming talks soon. Elizabeth Spehar, special representative of the UN in Nicosia has said that the crossing points will help in increasing the scale of face-to-face contacts, which in turn will help build more trust and confidence within the two major communities in Cyprus.

The Cyprus issue has been on the most long-standing and troublesome issues faced in the history of the United Nations. Despite 44-years of division and some very bitter arguments, however, the U.N. firmly believes that it is possible to arrive at an agreement provided there is enough political will.

 

FATHER OF THOUGHT TO BE ABUSED BABY HAS BEEN RELEASED WITHOUT ANY CHARGES

 

In what is being considered an interesting turn in what was being touted as one of the most serious alleged sexual abuse cases, the father the five-month-old girl who has allegedly abused her was released on Monday without any charges.

The man was initially brought before the Nicosia district court, where a closed-door hearing was conducted. The result of the hearing was that he was to be remanded for five days pending police investigations.

After the legal services’ examination of the case, however, the remand order was not renewed. The infant and her family, however, continued to remain under close monitoring although Social welfare services were instructed to continue to monitor the infant and her family.

The father of the infant had been arrested after her mother took her to the Makarios children’s hospital in Nicosia upon noticing inflammation in her genital area. She told the police it that she was at work and had left the baby girl alone at home with her father. She noticed the inflammation after coming back home.

After being examined by 3 doctors, a gynecologist, and a pediatrician, along with state pathologist Eleni Antoniou, the medical professionals came to the conclusion that the infant had been sexually abused.

 

OVER 3000 DRIVERS HAVE BEEN STOPPED IN TRAFFIC SAFETY CAMPAIGN

 

Around 3,500 have been caught speeding during a week-long campaign carried out by the police.

According to the Cyprus Police, 3,453 people were caught for driving above speed limit, with 5 being booked within hours before the end of the campaign.

Notable defaulters include two drivers, aged 21 and 23, who were stopped by the police at around 8.15pm for driving at 139km/h on a road in Limassol where the speed limit itself is 50km/h. The two kept speeding away even after the police signaled them to stop but were finally apprehended 5 minutes later.

After a thorough checking of their papers, it was found that neither of the drivers had valid MOT. Their road tax too was expired.

Another driver was apprehended in a similar manner evading traffic officers while driving at 103km/h on 65km/h permitted road on the Cape Greco – Ayia Napa road in Famagusta. The 35-year-old man also did not have valid MOT and insurance or MOT.

Others include an 18 and a 20-year-old, who were booked in the early morning hours. While the first was driving at 174km/h on 80km/h road, the second was driving at 112km/h on a 50km/h road.

 

MAN REMANDED IN CONNECTION TO INVESTIGATION ON GOALKEEPER’S ELIGIBILITY

 

A court in Cyprus has ordered that a 42-year-old man be detained in police custody for three days for the purpose of facilitating an investigation into a complaint that goalkeeper Francis Odinaka Uzoho was unfit and ineligible to play for Anorthosis Famagusta.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Stelios Stylianou, spokesman for the Cyprus Police said that the suspect, who will not be named for legal reasons, will be subject to facing serious charges that include circulation of a forged document as well as forgery, among others.

This development happened after Apollon Limassol’s complaint that Uzoho was ineligible to play courtesy its 1-0 defeat to in the previous week in the Cypriot league’s top tier.

According to Apollon, Uzoho’s health certificate was probably obtained with the help of forged medical documentation – which of course is strictly against the rules.

In the meantime, The Cyprus Sports Organization – the issuer of Uzoho’s health certificate has announced that it is conducting its own investigation into the matter and will take the appropriate action needed.

 

RELIGIOUS LEADERS IN CYPRYS URGE CHURCH RESTORATION

 

Most Muslim and Christian in Cyprus have actively begun are urging to have the 15th century partially collapsed church speedily repaired.

The Church, which is housed inside a United Nations-controlled buffer zone, cuts across the capital city of Nicosia.

Religious leaders, which include Mufti Talip Atalay, Orthodox Archbishop Chrysostomos II, as well as the leaders of the Latin, Maronite, and Armenian churches have made and repeated their joint plea to have the St. James Church and the adjoining 17th century church of St. George repaired as swiftly as possible.

In their plea, they have said that they “stand together as brothers” to make sure that any and every place of worship is and remains well-protected.

Repair work is stalled on the churches, as they are located in what is a disputed area within the buffer zone. Work crew access with in the area is therefore restricted.

 

MEN WHO CRASHED INTO ATM MACHINE ARRESTED

 

Two men of Syrian origin have been in Paphos in connection of an ATM machine that was attempted to be robbed by someone crashing into it with a truck (which itself was stolen).

On 19th February, a pickup truck was crashed into an ATM on the main Kissonerga -Paphos road, with the intention to rob it. The attempt was unsuccessful however as all the drivers could do was damage the truck itself. In the light of their apparent failure, they swiftly drove away from the scene.

Cyprus Police later found the truck in a nearby rural area, whereupon they found out that it was actually a stolen vehicle that has been reported in Chloraka.

The two men, aged 53 and 23, both are from Syria and were residing in Paphos where they were arrested.

 

TURKISH FORCES ACCUSED OF BORDER VIOLATION

 

The country’s foreign ministry has accused the Turkish forces of creating fresh troubles for Greek Cypriots who have been residing in a village that abuts a British military base.

According to the foreign ministry, the new fence that has been erected a rural road in Strovilia, prevents farmers from making it to their own fields. They added that the U.N. peacekeeping mission itself has noted the “outrageous” actions as a serious breach of the military status quo of the area.

Turkey has been stationing 35,000 troops within the Turkish Cypriot north since the 1974 division of the island, when they invaded it after a coup. They had proceeded to advance into Strovilia in 2000.

 

ANASTASIADES LEAVING FOR EGYPT FOR MAIDEN EU-ARAB LEAGUE SUMMIT

 

Greek-Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has left for Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt in order to attend the first ever edition of the EU-Arab League Summit. The leaders expects to have bilateral meetings with various heads of states in the region within the event and hopes to adequately to promote Cyprus’ bid to play a more coordinating role in introducing strategies and policies and strategies by neighboring countries to help combat the issue of climate change.

The summit, officially called the EU-League of Arab States (LAS) summit, is landmark, in the sense that it will be bringing in heads of states of both Arab and EU leaders on the same platform. The meeting will be co-chaired by European Council President Donald Tusk and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Also representing the EU will be Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

President Anastasiades is set to meet Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (President of Egypt), Saad Hariri (the Premier of Lebanon), and Kind Abdullah of Jordan. Said meetings will act as a moment of opportunity for the island nation to promote its bilateral and trilateral policies and highlight its role as a dependable European nation that can help boost security in the region.

Accompanying Anastasiades will be government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou.

 

OVER 3K HECATRES OF FRUIT TREES ARE IN CYPRUS, SAYS STUDY

 

According to the results a study conducted by Eurostat, Cyprus has 3,286 hectares (ha) of land covered with fruit trees.

Most of said fruit vegetation consist of orange trees, which take up 1109 ha of space, followed by 377 ha of apple trees, of 933 ha mandarin trees, 312 ha of lemon trees, 299 ha of peach trees, 186 ha of apricot trees and 71 ha of pear trees.

According to the study, which has data collected over a period of 5 years, over 1.3 million hectares of land in the entire EU region was covered with fruit trees. Most of this contained apple orchards (which covered a third of the area), followed by orange groves (covering one fifth). The remainder areas consisted of peach trees, citrus fruit trees, pears, apricots and lemon groves.

Overall, it was found that the planted with fruit trees accounted for 1% of all utilized agricultural areas.

 

RADISSON EXPANDING OPERATIONS IN CYPRUS

 

Following the recent series of openings and expansions on the island nation is The Radisson Hotel Group, which, according a new master development agreement with SunnySeeker Hotels, will be expanding in Cyprus from its current three to six hotels within 2025.

The Radisson Hotel Group currently runs three hotels on the island nation – the Radisson Blu Hotel in Larnaca, and the soon-to-open Radisson Blu Larnaca Beach resort and the Radisson Blu Conference & Airport Hotel. The latter two are also located in Larnaca. With the new deal in place, the current 500 rooms that are currently in operations or under construction will grow to over a thousand in the next six years.

In a statement to the press, Antonis Hadjinicolas, the general manager of SunnySeeker Hotels said that working with the Radisson Hotel Group has been nothing short of fantastic, and that they are looking forward to further developments with them.

SunnySeeker Hotels and the Radisson Hotel Group have been in partnership since 2015.

 

CYPRUS MAKES PREPARATIONS FOR BREXIT

 

Amid the impending crisis, Nikos Christodoulides, foreign minister of Cyprus has announced that Cyprus in collaboration with EU authorities is making preparations regarding the status of British bases post-Brexit.

According to the minister, an “interim solution” would be applied to British bases on the island nation, to avoid any potential mass disruptions caused Brexit without any kind of prior agreement. Speaking to the press right after a meeting of the cabinet, Christodoulides explained how he briefed the council of ministers on all developments concerning Brexit and declared that the preparations started from October 2017 have now been intensified.

He further added that the island nation’s government is in contact with Brussels so that management by the EU, if needed, can be possible.

As of now, the British Overseas Territories on Cyprus include the British Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (S.B.A.), with over 11,000 Cypriots living within them. So long as UK remains an EU member, any movement between the SBA and Cyprus would remain unrestricted. In case the UK does depart completely from the EU without any agreement, however, the free movement will cease, making the SBAs virtually a legal no-man’s land.

Needless to say, this can cause wide-scale disruption in the lives of over 16,000 people living, which includes both Cypriot and British nationals.

 

TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT NORTHERN CYPRUS

 

As part of an increasing level of cooperation between Turkey and Turkish Cyprus, Minister Cavusoglu, foreign minister of Turkey, will be visiting the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

The meeting will have the Turkish foreign minister meeting with Mustafa Akinci, TRNC President, as well as TRNC authorities, along with political party leaders and discussing opportunities that would help in the enhancement of cooperation between Turkey and Turkish Cyprus. The meeting will also help the two states coordinate on recent happenings regarding the Cyprus issue as well as other developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Cyprus, an Eastern Mediterranean island has remained divided since 1974 after a coup from the Greek Cypriots was followed by violence against Turkish on the island – to the extent that Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power.

The division later led to the creation of an “independent” state called The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, on Nov. 15, 1983. The state, however, is recognized by independent only by Turkey and no other country or organization – especially Greek Cyprus.

 

UK TO PAY £1m TO CYPRUS TORTURE CLAIMANTS

 

The British government has announced that it would pay a sum total of £1.0 million (i.e. 1.1 million euros) to the thirty-three Cypriots who had earlier claimed that they were mistreated while in detention during the anti-British rule campaign on the island nation.

In a written statement, Alan Duncan, Junior foreign minister has revealed the payments that are related to the so-named “Emergency” period of when Cyprus used to be a British colony (during 1955-1959). He announced that the government, while not admitting any kind liability (primarily due to the fact that issues as far behind as 60 years ago were impossible to be weighed with certainty), has reached mutual agreement with the claimants, and is willing to compensate for the losses.

He went on to express regret, speaking of how the British government is unhappy with the transition of Cyprus from British administration to independence having taken loss of life and violence over five years.

The Cypriots – all Greek – had previously made claims of human rights abuses and torture at the colonialists’ hands and had started their battle in 2015. Some of these were former members of the Eoka, the Greek Cypriot nationalist guerrilla organization which fought against British rule.

 

CYPRUS RANKED THIRD MOST POPULAR ON FAMILY BEACH INDEX

 

In addition to the series of accolades the island country has been receiving, it has now been declared as the third most sought-after family beach destinations on a new ‘Family Beach Index.’

The index, which ranks 50 family beach destinations across eight European countries, has researchers looking at a variety of factors, from attractions, flight durations from the United Kingdom, sea and air temperatures, and hotel costs, among others.

The destination to come first on the ranking was Crete, with 10 different amusement and water parks (the highest) 10, and an average temperature of around 24C during the May to October period. Costa Blanca came second on the list.

Cyprus, third on the list, has more water parks than Costa Blanca, scores higher on average sea temperatures but has an inherent disadvantage of being the furthest away from the UK.

Following Cyprus on the rankings are Costa Brava and Costa Dorada, at number four and five respectively, Majorca at number six, Malta at number seven, Corfu at number eight, Sardinia nine, and Costa De La Luz in Spain at number ten.

The index was compiled by On the Beach – a travel firm. A spokesperson for the firm said how despite the long flight duration, Cyprus’ picturesque beaches, temperatures and family-friendly attractions made it a worthwhile destination.

 

CYRPUS SET TO BE THE VENUE FOR SUMMIT OF SOUTHERN EU COUNTRIES

 

In the landmark decision on the level of cooperation between southern European countries, a special summit will be held in Nicosia that will address and discuss issues that have both a direct and indirect bearing on their economy and polity.

7 southern European countries (who are also members of the European Union) will be holding the summit- namely Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Malta, and of course Cyprus. The countries will be discussing several issues, from region-specific issues, to Europe-specific issues (like the uncertainty of Brexit) to human interest issues such as climatic changes, energy, security, and immigration, among others.

The summit will have the heads of government or state of all the seven countries attending. They will discuss important issues such as the EU-Arab League meeting and the multi-annual financial framework for 2021-2027.

Nicos Christodoulides, Foreign Minister of Cyprus has expressed his interest in the success of the summit, emphasizing how important it is in the backdrop the current state of affairs in the EU, and Brexit, the discussion of the same at the May 19 Romania meeting. He further added that a declaration on the same will be issued once the summit is over.

According to Christodoulides, Cyprus will make sure that the immigration crisis remains an issue properly discussed. The island nation had previously warned the EU of unprecedented migrant arrival (with over 4000 immigrants having arrived in the last year on Cyprus alone – the island nation currently has a population of 1.2 million, with an increase of 1000 per month). The minister added that this problem is also being faced by other countries attending the summit, and they must come to a solution that is fair to both them and the migrants. He aims to have a very concrete answer on the declaration in this regard.

 

TWO MEN WHO ‘BOUGHT’ BABY REPORTED MISSING

 

Cypriot police have announced that they are on the hunt for the two men who were trying to adopt a baby girl they originally purchased from Philippines through a domestic worker. Both the two men and the baby girl are currently missing.

The two men – who are believed to be a couple, consist of a foreign national and Greek Cypriot, and are facing several serious charges, including (but not limited to) forgery, conspiracy and human trafficking.

According to Cyprus Police, the men had a the female domestic worker buy the baby from the Philippines and bring it back to Cyprus under the pretense that it was hers. As it turns out, the woman herself is a former employee of father of the Greek Cypriot man. She was found and arrested and is presently under police custody.

The baby and the couple, however, have thus far managed to evade arrest, so much so that they are now categorized as ‘missing.’

 

CYPRUS’ GREEN CAPITAL DECLARED

 

The municipality of Strovolos has been declared as the “green capital” of Cyprus after receiving the Green Moufflon Award during the 2018 edition of the Environmental Awards.

The high-profile event saw a twenty-eight different awards being given by the government to communities, municipalities and organizations, in addition to a special distinction that was won by Cyta – an organization which earned the highest environmental score.

President Nicos Anastasiades, who was present at the award ceremony, spoke highly of the awards format and had great appreciation for both the government and the winners at the event. He showed immense pride in heading a government that genuinely cares about green policies and actively invests in them to promote sustainable development and generate and maintain jobs that would contribute to the environment.

He also showed his deep appreciation for communities, businesses and organizations, stating how important a role they have played promoting a cyclical economy by promoting eco-friendly elements such as carbon-neutrality, saving of energy and water, and preservation of cultural monuments and biodiversity, among others.

 

CYPRUS POST TO USE DRONES FOR DELIVERING PACKAGES

 

The organization, which has of recent been trying to find ways to make its services more effective and efficient, has found a way to incorporate modern technology into its practice. According to an statement made by Andreas Gregoriou, Director of the Department of Postal Services to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), the Cyprus Post is looking for a suitable way to utilize unmanned drones which can deliver parcels of up to 4kg to recipients.

Gregoriou added that the department is maintaining contact with the University of Cyprus KIOS Research Centre to come up with a suitable and practical plan. He went on to explain how the post was “at a very satisfactory level” as regards seeing the potential of utilize drone technology to make the Cyprus postal services more efficient in delivering correspondence – and especially parcels and small packages within time.

According to Gregoriou, the Cyprus Post should be in a position where it could utilize drones for delivery later in this year, pending Civil Aviation approvals.

 

MISSING RETIREE FOUND DEAD IN AKAMAS

 

A retired pensioner, who had been missing for close to two weeks has been found dead. Eleni Plakidi, 69, was discovered dead in the Akamas region after being missing from her home in Argaka since January 10.

According to reports, her body was found at a distance from where her car was previously found. Initial reports could not determine any concrete cause of death – a post mortem will soon be done to determine what really is the cause of the death.

Ms. Plakidi disappeared from her home on January 10. She had left home to buy something from a nearby kiosk and was not seen or heard from since. Police discovered her car near the local beach around a day after her disappearance.

Ms. Plakidi’s family, who were the ones to report her missing have stated that she was suffering from the effect of memory problems.

 

BREXIT FLURRY LEADS TO BRITISH SHIPPING COMPANY REGISTERING FLEET IN CYPRUS

 

In what can be considered a very surprising move during the height of Brexit, a well-known British shipping company has registered an entire fleet of ships to Cyprus. P & O Ferries has registered its English Channel operating fleet in Cyprus after having two of its ships re-flagged.

Said ships, which were set to be named “Pride of Britain” and the “Pride of France” – operate between Dover, England and Calais, France.Other ships from the fleet which have been registered in Cyprus include the “European Seaway,” “Pride of Burgundy,” “Pride of Kent”, and “Pride of Canterbury”.

According to a statement made by a spokesman of the shipping company, the decision, which has been made in advance of the official Brexit in March 2019, has been made after thorough review of the flag status of all ships on the English Channel. After much consideration, the decision to re-flag all ships under Cyprus has been made.

He added the reason for choosing Cyprus over any other country – the island nation stands as a member of the “white list” of both the Paris and Tokyo “Memoranda of Understanding”, and will allow for more seamless maritime activity due to lesser ship inspections and other operational delays. The move will also allow the fleet to have a more benefiting tax system, since the ships will be flagged under a country that is a member of the European Union.

 

DOG SHOOTER RELEASED

 

The 62-year-old man who was arrested on Sunday for shooting a dog dead has been released after being charged.

The man was arrested following a complaint from the owner of the dog, another 53-year-old from Paphos, who had seen the older man shooting both his dogs in his own front yard, one of whom was shot dead while the other injured.

According to the shooter, he did so in defense of the dogs earlier getting into his yard and killing his rabbits. He did try to throw water first to shoo them away but resorted to shooting them as when they became aggressive.

The Police are currently investigating the matter and looking into whether the owner of the dogs did in fact taken precautions to secure them. The man has claimed innocence, saying that the dogs must have run out when no one was looking and one of the gates was open.

The dead dog and rabbits were taken by the vet department while the injured dog was taken to a vet for treatment.

The vet department confirmed that the cause of death for the dog’s was gunshot wound caused by the hunting rifle. It also confirmed dog bite marks on the rabbits.

 

MAN DRIVING TWO TIMES THE SPEED LIMIT ARRESTED

 

In a spree of traffic arrests made by the police, a 28-year-old man who was driving on a speed that was twice of the prescribed limit was stopped near Latsia.

The man was seen to have been driving on the Limassol Nicosia highway at a speed of 214km/hour, which is more than twice the speed limit.

A routine police operation ended his driving spree. Upon testing his blood, it was found that his alcohol intake was also over the set limit – while the first showed 45μg (twice more than the allowed 22), the second test failed to get any reading.

The man was arrested by the police and will be produced before court in the near future.

 

LARNACA AIRPORT SEES THE LAUNCH OF LATEST CASINO

 

After the launch of casinos in Nicosia and Limassol, Larnaca sees the launch of its first casino.

The casino, which is launched by Cyprus Casinos (C2), is located at the Larnaca airport, features forty-two high-end slot machines that stand across in two separate spaces within the airport terminal. The first of these terminals is accessible exclusively to departing passengers, while the second is accessible to the general public.

Craig Ballantyne, C2’s Property President of City of Dreams Mediterranean showed his happiness regarding the expansion and went on to talk about the latest addition to the C2 portfolio. He stated that the latest casino will a unique entertainment experience to tourists as well as locals travelling within the island nation – something that has never been done before.

The launch was announced by Eleni Kaloyirou, CEO of Hermes Airports.

The casino, which will be open 24/7, will allow visitors of a minimum of 21 years of age, and will observe all of C2’s responsible gaming policies posted both online and at all locations.

C2 will open another 2 satellite casinos in Ayia Napa and Paphos. These will also be also known as Cyprus Casinos ‘C2’.

 

AGE OF MARRIAGE HAS SHIFTED IN CYPRUS, SAYS STUDY

 

According to a study conducted by the national agency for demographic and family policy, the average age for marriage in the island country has shifted to 30 years old.

Statistics have revealed that men in Cyprus enter their first marriage at age of 31.2 years on an average whereas women do so at around 29.4 years. Said figures tend to be lower in the rural areas.

In 2017, 1,896 men within the age group of 30-34 entered marriage for the first time, while in 2018 249 men and 118 women got married, along with 36 women who had crossed 60 years of age.

The total number of marriages in a year have also decreased. In 2017 this figure stood at 13,062 from 13,558 in 2016. The downward trend is expected to continue in 2018.

2017 saw a grand total of 9,120 civil weddings, with 2,301 weddings being held in September, Cypriot’s month of choice for marriage ceremonies.

Other statistics, such as that of divorce, were also revealed. With every 1 in three marriages leading to divorce, divorce rates in Cyprus reached 307.7 per 1,000 marriages in 2017 – more than seven time from the very low rate 41.6 in 1980.

 

CYPRUS VOTED BEST DESTINATION FOR BRITONS IN 2019

 

According to a survey, Cyprus has been found as the best and most popular winter destination for Britons in 2019, followed by Canary Islands Lanzarote and Tenerife.

The research, which was conducted by the UK Post Office’s Travel Money team, considered factors such as the cost of a one-week holiday package and the cost of dinner (including wine), as well as the average price of beer and coffee.

Within Cyprus, the city of Paphos proved to be the most popular destination, with trips costing around £381.98pp on an average.

The biggest reason contributing to Cyprus’ popularity is perhaps the fact that temperatures in the island nation are not too hot, and definitely much more pleasant than the brutal winter months of the UK. Not only is there an abundance of sunshine, the temperatures go up to around 16C.

Though not exactly the ideal weather to laze on the beach, it is quite suitable for people who like exploring and sightseeing.

Other popular destination on the list included Dubai, Phuket and Cancun.

 

AT LEAST FIVE INJURED FROM TANKER EXPLOSION OFF CYPRUS

 

An explosion on a product tanker off Cyprus’ southern coast had started a massive fire that has at least five crewmembers injured.

The explosion took place on Athlos, a 7,000 dwt product tanker that has left the port of Larnaca on a ballast voyage. The blast happened sometime during amidships and had 5 crew members going to the side. Two of these, both Indian nationals, sustained serious injuries in the shape of severe burns.

All the five were rescued by Cypriot responders, who ferried them to the shore to get treated. The two severely burnt were sent to hospital in Nicosia, while the remaining three, who only suffered minor burns, were given first aid.

Responders included the fire department, the health ministry, local harbor tugs, the JRCC Larnaca, and the Cypriot port and maritime police.

The cause of the explosion is yet to be known and is current being investigated by authorities. Meanwhile, the Athlos will remain in Cyprus pending a detailed examination.

 

FIRST EVER TOURISM MINISTER APPOINTED IN CYPRUS

 

In a move that will serve to bring in more economic revenue to Cyprus, the island nation has appointed its first ever tourism minister.

Savvas Perdios, former hotel executive is all set to be sworn in as the first ever deputy minister for tourism.

The move is part of its strategy to help develop the nation’s tourism sector, which is by far its biggest, and replace the Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO), a 50-year-old organization which has so far singlehandedly overseen the tourism sector.

The CTO has been highly criticized for being “too slow” on account of its lack of legislative powers. The tourism ministry aims to correct this with better improvements and more power.

With the tourism sector going stronger by the day, it only makes sense to have an body that is dedicated to its development, and has more power than its predecessor.

There are a few commentators however, who doubt the potential of the ministry. The author of an editorial in the Cyprus Mail, for instance, has stated his lack of confidence, saying that the deputy ministry might not be turn out to be efficient in taking decisions and implementing policies after all, given the ever-changing conditions in the tourism market.

Such a line of criticism was also echoed in the local Financial Mirror, where it was stated the ministry might just end up seeing the same fate as the CTO, given the restrictive nature and anti-progressive “civil service” mentality of the government.

 

PIZZA DELIVERY MAN PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED

 

A 27-year-old pizza delivery man was physically assaulted in Limassol as he was delivering pizza.

The robbery took place at 7.30pm in Limassol’s Neapolis area as three men surrounded the delivery worker and stole €300 worth of restaurant takings from him. They also stole the pizza that was on his way to deliver.

The man, who has been traumatized by the event, could not identify the perpetrators as they had their faces covered.

Cyprus Police is currently on the hunt for said perpetrators.

 

AN AVERAGE CYRPIOT’S EARNS 1,827 EUROS, SAYS STATISTICS

 

An eye-opening statistic on the earning trends in Cyprus has revealed that the average Cypriot employee earns 1,827 euros every month.

According to provisional statistics put forward by the Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat), the figure has increased by over 3.1 percent from last year’s 1,772 euros.

According to Cystat, the data used to calculate the statistic comes from transactions made in the third quarter of the year. Given that payments at this time includes payments made to employees of Cyprus Cooperative Bank at its closure, the increase is more than the expectation.

Cystat further revealed that average monthly earnings with seasonal adjustment for the third quarter of 2018 stood at 1,950 euros, an increase of over 1.6 percent over the second quarters average of 1,920 euros.

Also revealed was the gender-wise breakdown of average monthly earnings – while the average earned by male employees for the third quarter of 2018 was 1,960 euros, that of female employees was considerably less at 1,666 euros. Compared to last year, there has been an increase of 2.8 percent and 3.3 percent respectively.

 

CYPRUS TO BREAK TOURIST ARRIVAL RECORDS

 

Cyprus has always been a well-known and popular tourist spot, and in the last two years has managed to secure a record number of tourist visits.

The island nation is yet again on its way to break records as official figures have revealed that the number of tourists coming to it has surpassed a whopping 3.8 million – something that has never happened before.

According to a statement from the Cyprus Tourism Organization, the number of tourist arrivals in November had gone up to 160,000 – more than 10 percent from what it was the same time last year. Overall, arrivals went up by over 7.8 percent on an average.

Tourism is one of Cyprus’s biggest source of economic revenue, most of which comes from Britain – it’s former colonial power.

Surprisingly, there was notable increase in tourists from Ireland – an increase of over 180 percent.

 

US DIPLOMATS WORK ACTIVELY TO IMPROVE US-MEDITERRANEAN RELATIONS

 

Kathleen Doherty, the US ambassador in Cyprus, has visited the ExxonMobil drilling site in Cyprus’s EEZ. The high-ranking diplomat was flown to the area by helicopter along with Cypriot ministers of energy and foreign affairs, Giorgos Lakkotrypis and Nikos Christodoulides respectively. Also present in the helicopter was Exxon vice president Tristan Asprey.

In the meantime, in a four-day visit to Greece, Elizabeth Neumann, the US Department of Homeland Security’s assistant secretary for threat prevention and security policy, said that her talks would work as “important basis” for the upcoming US-Greece Strategic Dialogue.

According to the US Embassy in Athens, Greece, Neumann visited Greece in context of the Greece-US counterterrorism and law enforcement cooperation, along with seeing to the preparations for the first US-Greece Strategic Dialogue.

 

UK ALLOWS CYPRUS REFUGEES ENTRY AFTER 20 YEARS

 

The refugees, who included over 75 people from Iraq, Syria, Sudan and Ethiopia, had previously abruptly landed in Cyprus after the boat they were traveling to (with Italy as their intended destination) capsized in 1998. While these individuals were recognized as refugees, they were barred from entering Britain by the then interior minister Theresa May on grounds of them pursuing a legal challenge.

They have since been living on the Dhekelia base – a British sovereign territory.

In a speech made by a spokesman of the British interior ministry, it was announced that the UK government had decided to end the long-standing legal issue of settlement of the refugees in question, and courtesy their very unusual circumstances will allow them to leave Dhekelia and settle down in the UK.

They also have the option of claiming asylum in Cyprus, but none have opted for the same claiming the feeble of finding both work and permanent residency there.

The refugees, who have been living within the boundaries of the seven-square-kilometer (three-square-mile) outpost, have been there for over 20 years, with some refugees even marrying and having children of their own.

 

‘SAY NO TO PLASTIC STRAWS’ TV SPOT LAUNCHED

 

In a bid to join the global battle against plastic use and subsequent pollution, a TV slot for ‘Cyprus says no to plastic straws’ has been launched. Said slot featured ‘Salina the flamingo,’ who symbolizes the animals whose existence has been threatened by the use of plastic drinking straws. The students of Ayios Spiridonas, a special school in Larnaca have made their aim to save these animals. Officially presented at a press conference in September, the initiative is being headlines by the special school.

The initiative students as groups of volunteers from the school replacing all plastic straws with reusable and/or biodegradable straws – all of which will be given students in schools all over Cyprus.

The initiative plans to have all pupils of all schools across the island nation take a reusable straw each home, before seeing a presentation on why plastic straws must be boycotted.

 

RUSSIA WARNS CYPRUS ON INCREASING RELATIONS BETWEEN ITSELF AND THE US

 

The increasing level of cooperation between Cyprus and the United States has several countries in doubt, Russia being one of them. The country’s capital recently warned Nicosia, saying that the increasing military cooperation between the island nation and the US to keep away from Russian influence might just backfire and end up with destabilizing consequences for itself.

According to a speech by Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, that the American military buildup might just force Moscow to take response measures. She added that her comments were based on special information that DC is planning to make a dominating military presence on the island nation,

Said comment came only two days before Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s a visit to Moscow, and 2 weeks before the United States-backed Greece-Israel-Cyprus trilateral summit.

Increasing military relations between Cyprus and the US have been going on for a while no, with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades’ declared expectation to have the US express its interest in taking part in said trilateral summit.

Ms. Zakharova also said that the US wants all but to stay hidden – they want to counter the growing Russian influence under the guise of cooperation – in response to the Russian military’s recent successful operations in Syria.

In response to the warning, Nicos Christodoulides, Cyprus Foreign Minister contacted Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister to keep tensions at bay. Prodromos Prodromou, spokesman for the Cypriot government even went on to claim that “militarizing Cyprus” has never been – and will continue to not be their intention.

 

4 KILLED AND SEVERAL INJURED IN CYRPUS FLOODS

 

According to the Turkish Cypriot media, the floods happened due to uninterrupted rain that went on for days. Some resident even went on to claim it as the heaviest they had seen in years.

At least 4 lives were claimed by an accident caused the rains. Said accident occurred when a car carrying 4 people got swept away during the heavy rains.

While Cyprus is known to see some flash flooding every year – even from isolated downpours, sustained floods are rare, if they ever occur.

The bad weather led to the met office issuing a severe 24-hour weather alert warning.

Resident were shocked by the developments, with one claiming how astonishing it was to see the sky go from sunshine to freezing cold with thunder within minutes. Within hours, people began sewing sandbags to keep water from seeping through window seals and under doors.

Social media was abound with images, which showed several scenes, from cars being swept into the sea to vehicles submerged in flood water and water flowing through homes.

The rains caused rivers to burst their banks, which caused damage to people and property in Nicosia and forcefully led to the part-closure of the motorway that linked Kyrenia, a historic harbor city to the northern coast. Schools, offices and even several public buildings were shut down.

 

BLACK FRIDAY TRADITION TAKING OVER CYPRUS

 

The previously American-wide tradition-gone-global, which first came to significance in Cyprus around three years ago, was seen being observed with great pomp in the island nation.

Black Friday refers to the day after Thanksgiving and since 1952 has been known to mark the first day of USA’s shopping season.

The holiday is known for goods being sold at hefty discounts, enticing buyers to wait in lines at store entrances before embarking on a wild shopping spree. While these are mostly done in good spirit, some “fights” have been known to go to an intense level, causing violent incidents. The US alone is said to have faced 10 casualties and 111 injuries caused due to violent incidents on Black Friday sales.

That said, the situation in Cyprus is visibly calmer, partially due to the lower population and partially since discounts on goods on the island nation don’t go to as high as they do in shops in America. Leading online flyer-making and aggregating portal Portofolakis has revealed that Black Friday discount levels in Cyprus have increased alongside the numbers of participating stores from last year’s 20% to around 30-40%, this year. According to Antonis Papadopoulos, Portofolakis’ Marketing Manager, Black Friday is very much a growing tradition in Cyprus, given the entry of “standard players” like Public and Stephanis, along with newer entries from verticals like air travel. The discount shopping section is also on a rise, given the 180 offers and counting on the site’s Black Friday list this year.

Apart from Black Friday, Cyber Monday is also gaining momentum. Cyber Monday refers to the first Monday after Black Friday, where discounts are offered online.