Current Events

ALGERIA AND BULGARIA REMOVED; UK ADDED TO CYPRUS’ SAFE COUNTRIES LIST

 

In view of recent developments as regards the novel coronavirus, the government of Cyprus has made several changes to its ‘safe list’ countries for travel.

The first remarkable step is removing Algeria and Bulgaria, after a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in both countries. The countries in question have reported over 200 cases in the last week, which has led to the revision of their travel safety status.

On the other hand, the United Kingdom has been brought in to the safe list – after a consistent and marked decline in the number of new coronavirus infection cases. The country currently lies in category B, which implies that travelers from the UK entering the island nation will have to show a negative COVID-19 test to gain entry into the island nation. Quarantine will not be necessary.

In the meantime, Georgia has been upgraded from category B to A, with incoming travelers from the country no longer needing negative tests or quarantines.

The safe list systems works by placing various countries in one of 3 categories – A, B, or C, depending on their current epidemiological situation.

Countries on the A-list need are the safest, and need not show a negative COVID-19 test or undergo quarantine. Those on the B-list need not quarantine, but must show a negative test result. Those in category C, will have to show a negative test and undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine.

 

TURKISH VESSEL SAILING TOWARDS CYPRUS LEAVES WASHINGTON TROUBLED

 

In what is considered bad news for military arrangement and coordination in the Mediterranean, the United States’ Washington has expressed being troubled by Turkey’s maritime developments.

The latest of these developments has Barbaros, a Turkish research vessel sailing off of the coast of Cyprus – soon after Ankara issuing a navigational telex that reserved parts of the island nation’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The vessel, called the Barbaros, which left Tasucu port in Turkey, was first seen off Famagusta’s coast at 6 in the morning (local time). The vessel, which followed the Navtex, reserved blocks 2, 3, and partially, 13. All these blocks fall with Cyprus’ EEZ.

This provocative development has come after Ankara’s earlier decision to put its seismic research plans on hold in the off of Kastellorizo in Greece till the talks with Athens is complete.

 

GOVERNMENT RELEASES SUPPORT PACKAGE WORTH €150 Million

 

To cushion the devastating economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Cyprus has announced a massive support package worth €150 million.

The package, which was announced by Labor Minister Zeta Emilianidou and Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides, will be offering over €3 billion to support businesses and workers for the next 4 months.

The numbers of beneficiaries for the plans are slated to reach at least 50,000.

The biggest plan in the package is made for hotels and tourism-related establishments, and other entities that have been subjected to mandatory suspension of operations. There are other schemes as well, however – ones those unemployed professionals, as well as businesses which have lost at least 40% of their annual turnover.

The monthly cost for the plans is slated to be between €35 to €40 million. This, is not, however, a strict figure, as the turnover depends on the actual amount of reduction.

 

GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES SMS CAMPAIGN TO CHECK MIGRATION

 

To check migration, the Cypriot government has launched a “blitz” SMS campaign to keep incoming migration to the island nation in check.

The campaign, which comes after dispelling the notion of the island nation becoming a “gateway” to the European Union for migrants, was announced by the country’s Interior Minister Nicos Nouris.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the campaign is meant to filter migrants who are tricked by migrants to believing that they would get EU access once Cyprus grants them political asylum.

The reality, however, is far from this – Nouris explained that migrants who arrive to Cyprus are, in reality, in a worse position by entering Cyprus. This is because while the island nation is part of the European Union, it is not a part of the Schengen area. The EU is meant more for political mobility, whereas it is Schengen which allows frictionless borders and the lack of internal controls.

 

MINOR CABINET RESHUFFLING IN CYPRUS

 

The Cypriot cabinet is slated to undergo a major reshuffle.

The first to be reappointed was the former Justice Minister George Savvides, who will now serve as the attorney general.

He was followed by Defense Minister Savvas Angelides, who will be serving as the deputy attorney general.

The third to join the list is George Lakkotrypis, who will be standing down from his position as Energy Minister.

The reshuffling comes after the pending expiration of Costas Clerides’ term as attorney general.

While Savvides and Angelides will be sworn-in on 10 July, their successors have not been identifies as of yet. While former Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou was offered the position, he turned it down after members of the opposition party objection to his suitability.

 

CYPRUS HAS EUROPE’S CLEANEST BATHING WATERS, SAYS STUDY

 

In an announcement to the public, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis has announced the results of a major European study that reveals Cyprus to have the cleanest bathing waters in all of Europe.

The study, which was conducted by the European Environment Agency, has put Cyprus in the first place, accounting for the island nation to have over 99.1% clean, excellent-quality bathing waters.

Cyprus’ position was followed by Austria, Malta, and Greece at 98.5%, 97.7% and 95.7% respectively.

In his announcement, Mr. Kadis explained how the quality of bathing water directly affected that amount of tourism. The better the quality of the waters, the better is the quality of the sea and the level of tourism.

The in-depth report which studied over 21 000 bathing waters, reported that 112 out of 113 bathing water sites were excellent in quality.

 

MALLS OFFERING EARLY SUMMER SALES TO REBOOT RETAIL SECTOR

 

In a bid to give the retail sector a much-needed reboot, Cyprus’ apex mall has announced the beginning of an early summer sale, where shops are slated to offer discounts of over 50%.

Having reopened to customers on June 9, the Mall of Cyprus has already begun its ‘Summer 2020’ collection.

The collection includes various season-suited clothing items –shoes, bags, beachwear, casual clothes and athletic wear.

Shops will remain open from 10am to 8pm every day.

 

CYPRUS HAS THE SECOND-HIGHEST NUMBER OF NON-NATIONAL RESIDENTS, SAYS STUDY

 

A recent Eurostat study has revealed that Cyprus has the second-largest number of non-nationals living in the country within the European Union.

The island nation has 18% of its population coming from foreign countries – second only after Luxembourg, the same figure lies at 47%.

Malta takes the third place at 17%.

Besides these three, other EU countries that have recorded a high proportion of foreign nationals included Spain, Estonia, Austria, Ireland, Latvia, Germany and Belgium. For each of these countries, the proportion of foreign national is over 10%.

Contrastingly, Romania and Poland had the least percentage of non-national workers, at under 1%.

 

WIZZ AIR EXPANDS ITS NETWORK INTO CYPRUS

 

In what is being considered good news after the intense lockdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, budget aircraft carrier Wizz Air has introduced 5 new routes, expanding its presence in Cyprus.

Besides the new routes, Wizz Air is building a third aircraft at its latest base in Larnaca.

Scheduled to start on August 1, the budget carrier will increase the number of flights to Athens, while introducing new ones to Prague, Paris Beauvais, Heraklion, Gdansk, and Eindhoven.

With the new additions, Wizz Air is now offering 36 routes to over 20 countries from its base in Larnaca, with a yearly seating capacity of 280,000.

In a statement to the press, Chief executive Jozsef Varadi announced the news, explaining how the new flights and routes have been added weeks within the opening of the Larnaca base. The further added that the airlines is delighted with the new development, and is currently making arrangements to add as many routes as is safely possible in the near future.

 

2 NEW COVID-19 CASES DETECTED AS THE LAST PATIENT WAS DISCHARGED

 

Just as the novel coronavirus pandemic was about to die down in Cyprus, 2 new cases were detected on the island nation. The cases were detected on the very day the last remaining COVID-19 patient was discharged.

According to the health ministry, the new development leads to the total number of confirmed cases now standing at 988.

Both the cases in question were among incoming passengers and repatriated Cypriot nationals. The ministry said that their contacts are currently in the process of being traced.

Apart from these two, there are no other coronavirus patients in treatment in any state hospitals.

The last patient to be discharged before the 2 new infections was an 80-year-old gentleman.

The health department has currently kept at least 40 beds on standby in the event a second wave of the disease strikes.

Furthermore, all health, hygiene and social distancing measures are being maintained to ensure that the spread of COVID-19, if any, remains as minimal as possible.

 

LONDON-TO-CYPRUS FLIGHTS ARE FULL FOR JULY, SAYS EASYJET

 

Booking flights post-Covid has been increasing steady, and the latest data only proves this to be true.

According to Easyjet, flights from London to Cyprus that are slated to run in July have mostly been sold out.

The airline further explained how this development has partially happened due to the fact that the flight capacity has reduced to maintain social distancing measures. More and more seats will be opened up as and when the pandemic eases.

According to an Easyjet spokesperson, the airlines’ customer care department is currently writing to waiting customers that they are doing the best they can to maintain the schedule and accommodate as many persons as they can without putting anyone in jeopardy.

They explained that every passenger who gets a ticket will be contacted at least 21 days before their scheduled flight.

They also assured that they will maintain all safety precautions necessary to keep the contagion at bay. This includes social distancing, luggage handling, and of course masks being compulsory throughout.

 

1 IN 3 WOMEN OVER 65 LIVE ALONE IN CYPRUS, SAYS REPORT

 

In what is considered a worrying statistic, especially for gender inequality, a Eurostat report has revealed that around 1 in 3 women over the age of 65 are living alone and unassisted.

This is a stark contrast to men, as only 1 in 10 of those are living in similar conditions.

In the same age bracket, those living with just one more adult is also 30 percent for women, which is the same as the over-65 bracket. In the case of m en, however, the figure is much high – at over 33 per cent.

The data in question here applies exclusively to those who are living in private homes.

 

CYPRUS TO ALLOW TOURISTS FROM ISRAEL AS CORONAVIRUS EASES

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the tourism industry the most, and countries are taking the safest possible routes to get back on track as the spread eases.

According to a report by KAN News, the island nation will now allow Israeli nationals for tourism purposes without them having to undergo any kind of quarantine.

This, however, applied only on the condition that travelers would have to take and test negative for a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving on the island.

The move comes after a sharp decline in active cases and steadfast recoveries in both countries. Cyprus has shied away from reaching the 1,000 mark in coronavirus cases and has thus far reported only 17 deaths.

Meanwhile Israel too is making its way to normalcy with the economy’s staggered reopening, and only 2,600 pending active cases. The rate of infection in the country is progressively dropping daily.

 

NICOSIA REPORTS TURKEY BLOCKING MEDICAL SUPPLIES FROM ENTERING CYPRUS

 

The media in Cyprus has reported Turkish aviation authorities preventing a chartered airplane with medical supplies reaching Cyprus.

The Cypriot government-chartered airplane, which contained over 36 tones worth of mask, gowns, gloves, and other medical equipment from China was blocked by Turkey.

According to Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos’s statement to the press, Turkey’s disallowance of aircraft enter Cyprus via the Turkish airspace resulted in the pilot having to recalculate his course. Added to this was the issue of lack of fuel.

The issue was finally solved with the pilot redirecting to Moscow airport in Russia. The plane will refuel here before embarking to Cyprus via a different route that does not include the Turkish airspace.

He further added that The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was informed of this interruption so as to take proper actions against concerned parties as and when required.

 

CYPRUS REOPENING AIRPORTS FROM JUNE 9

 

Cyprus is all set to reopen its airports on June 9 after ending strict lockdowns put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This reopening is happening right as said lockdown restrictions which were imposed to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus are being slowly lifted.

In a statement to the media, Cypriot’s Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said that the authorities expect to fully contain virus’s by June. This means that it would be safe to go back to business as usual and open airports and other transportation means – especially since it is very essential.

The island nation was one of the few countries in Europe that took early measures to prevent the coronavirus outbreak to take deadly proportions. Borders were sealed in around the middle of March – much before other European nations, and went on to stop all passenger flights since March 21.

Cyprus currently has 918 cases of COVID-19.

 

WELFARE SPENDING SPIKES BY 108% DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK

 

The government has reported a sharp increase in welfare spending resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19.

The report says that the state’s welfare spending has increased to a total of €513 million as the state has launched multiple support programs to ensure the personal and professional safety of its residents.

The money spent during the period of January to April 2020, is an increase of a whopping 108% – as compared to the €246.9 million that was spent between January to April 2019.

The report clearly attributes the spike in welfare spending to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the resulting expansion of the National Health Scheme and its payment.

The top spender in this regard has been the Ministry of Labor, which spent over €153 million in the month of April. Its total expenditure in the January-April period has been €407 million. This was confirmed by Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou, who explained to the Parliament how a sum of €219 million was paid to the people from March May through a variety of welfare schemes.

The spending has had an adverse effect on the state’s financial status. The state revenue has gone down by 13.5% during this period, as opposed to the expenditure which has risen up by 16.5%.

 

RYANAIR RESTARTING SERVICES IN CYPRUS FROM THE 1ST OF JULY

 

As coronavirus outbreak eases, European nations are slowly opening up to return to a new normal. Temporarily shut down Ryanair is all set to begin flights to and from Cyprus from the 1st of July.

The budget airliner reported that it will start offering daily flights all Northern European countries including the Netherlands, Ireland, the UK, Germany and Belgium, to top holiday destination airports such as Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, and of course Cyprus.

It will, however, be operated only at 40% of its schedule and remain compliant with health and social distancing guidelines – even as it continues to serve during peak tourism season.

To give the business a much-needed boost, Ryanair is launching an exclusive travel sale, offering travelers fares as low as €29.99 for a one-way flight. Seats must be booked by May 28 midnight, however.

 

17 MIGRANTS TO BE DEPORTED FOR TERROR LINKS

 

The Cypriot government is all set to deport 17 migrants for having links with terrorist organizations.

The government recently announced that the 17, who were arrested on the basis of suspicion of having links to extremist groups or being part of terror activities were being held in a detention centre.

They will be deported once the transport system is back online after the end of the coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions.

According to a statement by the ministry, the information of the individuals’ involvement in terror groups was verified by Interpol and Europol. Both organizations iterated that these people either belonged to extremist groups, or were directly involved in acts of terrorism.

The details of these people were not disclosed for security reasons.

 

12% OF CYPRIOT POPULATION TESTED FOR COVID-19

 

Cyprus has successfully tested over 12% of its total population for the novel coronavirus.

Health minister Constantinos Ioannou recently revealed to the House health committee that the island nation is now the sole country in all of the European Union to achieve this status.

He further added that Cyprus will continue its contact tracing to further test people for the deadly pandemic-causing virus.

Minister Ioannou went on to explain how over €6.7m has been spent thus far over testing, and that the expectations are for prices to go down further.

Tests in Cyprus currently cost €65, only second to Romania’s €63 – which is the cheapest in the European Union.

 

SPIKE IN CYPRIOT FIRMS BEING TARGETED BY HACKERS

 

According to Google, many “hacker-for-hire” firms that are backed by the Cypriot government are now targeting consulting firms, healthcare facilities and financial institutions all over the island nation.

Google went on to say how they sent over 1700 warnings to users whose accounts were compromised by these government-based hackers. Clearly exploiting the coronavirus pandemic, they use phishing and hacking techniques under the guise of messages related to COVID-19.

Google’s Threat Analysis Group says that many of these “hacker-for-hire” firms are actually based in India. They have been creating Gmail accounts that spoof top organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

 

RUSSIAN NATIONALS FLYING TO CYPRUS DESPITE LOCKDOWNS

 

The coronavirus pandemic has led to lockdowns all over the world, with all forms of transport suspended till further notice. With no trains or planes in sight, all travel plans, and trips have been foreseeably canceled. This has not, however, stopped the wealthy and affluent in Russia from fulfilling their plans.

Private jet companies have reported a sharp rise in demands of planes from rich Russian nationals who wish to spend time away in Europe away from their home country.

Many of these have close relations with countries such as the UK or Cyprus – be that the form of owned property, close relatives, permanent residency or even dual nationality.

Believing that their private homes abroad would be safer than those at home, these people have been seeing paying a lump sum of anywhere between 16,000 to 25,000 euros per flight. Notably, this would generally be the cost of the air fare of more than 13 passengers.

 

FIRE DESTROYS KITI VEGETATION

 

A massive fire burned more than 2½ hectares worth of vegetation in Cyprus’ Softades area.

The fire broke out in the early hours of the morning on the road from Kiti to Mazotos. The vegetation it destroyed included olive and eucalyptus trees, reeds and other wild plants and vegetation.

It took over 2 hours of fighting before the firefighters finally brought it under control. More than 4 vehicles from the Larnaca station were used for this purpose.

 

HOEGH CONFIRMS INSTALLATION PROPOSAL OF FRSU IN CYPRUS

 

Rumors have finally been put to rest as Norwegian energy company Hoegh LNG has finally confirmed that it had indeed submitted a proposal to install of a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FRSU) in Cyprus.

According to a statement from the company itself, officials sent letters to President Nicos Anastasiades along with finance and energy ministers, where they highlighted the key benefits and advantages to installing an FSRU in Cyprus, and especially at Vasiliko.

Hoegh LNG went on to add that the main purpose behind sending these letters was to help the government understands more regarding the proposal that had officially been submitted to Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (Cera).

In the meantime, CERA itself, refused to make any comments due to the ‘under-review’ status of the application.

The proposal in question includes installing said FSRU at Vasiliko in Quarter 1 of of 2021, along with a pipeline that would to transport gas to EAC’s power plant, as well as other potent users.

 

EXPORTS IN CYPRUS FALLEN BY 40% IN JANUARY-FEBRUARY

 

In news that indicates hard time for the Cypriot economy, a Eurostat report has revealed that over 40% of exports have dropped in the period of January to February in 2020.

According to the report, the value of exported goods reached around €0.4 billion – around €0.1 billion less than the average €0.3 billion.

In the meantime, imports remained steady at €1.5 billion – out of which, €0.8 billion was from the EU while the remaining €0.6 billion was from other parts of the world.

This means that Cyprus faced a -€1.0 billion deficit in the aforementioned January-February period.

The struggling economy of the EU along with the growing crisis of the coronavirus pandemic are being touted as the main reasons for this downturn.

 

80 ARRESTED OVERNIGHT FOR DISOBEYING CURFEW

 

The coronavirus pandemic and its resulting lockdown have kept many on the edge, and many are resisting and violating the law. In the latest incident, over 80 persons were arrested within 12 hours in the space of Saturday night and Sunday morning during the Easter weekend.

The police, who carried out over 4,000 during the time booked violators of the lockdown. They conducted checks 976, 815, and 311 checks in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca, booking 31, 20 and 16 persons respectively.

Others were booked in Famagusta and adjoining areas, where over a thousand were checked.

 

CYPRUS HAS EUROPE’S LOWEST BIRTH RATES, SAYS STUDY

 

In a news that reveals much about Cyprus’ demographics, a Eurostat study has shown that Cyprus some of Europe’s lowest birth rates.

According to data obtained from the study, countries with the lowest birth rates in Europe included Luxembourg (at 1.38 births per woman), Greece (1.35), Cyprus (1.32), Italy (1.29), Spain (1.26) and Malta (1.23).

In the meantime, highest birth rates were observed in Czech Republic (at 1.71 births per woman), Denmark (1.73), Ireland (1.75), and Sweden and Romania (tied at 1.76). France was seen having the highest birth rate at 1.88.

Meanwhile, for 2018, the average birth rate for all of European Union (EU) was 1.55, as of 2018.

 

TURKISH NAVY CONDUCTS MILITARY EXERCISES AMIDST TENSIONS WITH CYPRUS AND GREECE

 

Amidst severe tensions with Cyprus and Greece, and the coronavirus pandemic to boot, the Turkish Navy was seen carrying out operational readiness exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean seas.

The military exercise included several unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and helicopters, a maritime patrol aircraft, and 27 warships participated actively in the training.

The military drill is being touted as bad news as Ankara is currently on bad terms with both Nicosia and Athena due to its forced hydrocarbon drilling activities.

On the 21st of April, the government of Cyprus called Turkey’s drilling activities an “act of piracy” that breached the island nation’s rights. Greece had released a statement criticizing Turkey as well.

Turkey, on the other hand, made it clear that its drilling activities were on the west of island, which they regard as well within its rights.

 

NO NEW COVID-19 CASES REPORTED IN TURKISH CYPRUS IN A WEEK

 

In what is being considered great news amidst the looming pandemic, The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has not reported any new COVID-19 cases in the last week.

In a statement to the media, Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli revealed that in 2,868 conducted in the last few weeks, not a single sample tested positive. He went on to say that 546 persons were tested on Friday alone, with no positives.

The last positive case in Northern Cyprus was confirmed on April 17. This was after the first case was reported in the territory on March 10 – a tourist from Germany. 108 cases have been reported there so far, and 4 persons have died.

Over 8,423 persons have been tested for the disease so far.

 

CYPRUS RECEIVES A 5TH BATCH OF MEDICAL SUPPLIES FROM CHINA

 

Cyprus has been receiving medical supplies to combat the coronavirus crisis – the island nation is currently accepting its fifth consignment of medicines and supplies from China.

In a statement to the press, Health Ministry of Cyprus announced that the consignment will contain shoe covers, protective masks, and testing swabs – all of which are necessary equipment for medical professionals.

Donated by China, the supplies, once received, will be distributed to State Health Service hospitals for usage.

The island country has so far used around 35 tons of medical supplies donated by China.

The Chinese Embassy in Cyprus recently said in a statement to the press that Health Ministry has expressed its regards to China for their kind contribution. Huang Xingyuan, the Chinese Ambassador to Cyprus went on to praise the preventative efforts made by the Cypriot authorities in his social media account.

Cyprus currently has a total of 795 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.

 

BRITISH TOURISTS STRANDED ON CYPRUS TO BE FLOWN HOME

 

The lockdowns put in place have inconvenienced many, and tourists are no exception. In Cyprus alone, hundreds of tourists have been left stranded.

British tourists standred here, however, are about to get a reprieve, the British government is making arrangement to fly them out of the island nation.

In one of the biggest repatriation missions of recent times, the British government will be sending 10 flights to rescue all British tourists who are currently left stranded due to ongoing travel restrictions.

The flights, which will run from April 25 to April 30, will be operated by Aegean Airlines. The flights will arrive to Larnaca and return to Edinburgh, Heathrow, and Manchester.

The meaure has been taken by the Foreign Office seeing the plight of stranded tourists and the ban on flights that is set to remain at least till April 30.

A statement by the Foreign Office clarified the situation, saying that while all commercial flights have been banned, few cargo and humanitarian flights will still be allowed on a case-by-case basis.

 

LIDL TO DONATE €40,000 TO CYPRUS RED CROSS SOCIETY

 

In what is being considered a breather for the frontline fighters in the novel coronavirus pandemic, retail giant Lidl has collected €40,000 to be donated to the Cyprus Red Cross Society.

The amount, which was collected through the Favorina initiative, was sourced from selling Favorina products at 17 Lidl stores on the island nation in the months of March and April.

The company sent a heartwarming message to patrons by showcasing Favorina products as their Easter specials to support the Cyprus Red Cross Society (CRCS). The organization, which has been working tirelessly to manage the pandemic, will be receiving the €40,000 financial reward.

The money was specifically collected by donating €0.30 from every sold product under the Favorina label. The collected grand total of €40,000 will be used to support the vulnerable, the elderly, and migrants, tending to their alimentary needs.

Besides the donation, Lidl Cyprus has also donated “Love Packages.” These include food and essentials for citizens in need.

 

TOURISM IN CYPRUS DOWN BY 67%

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the death of several industries and business, and the Cyprus tourism industry is no exception. As a result of the nationwide lockdown that been put in place to curb the spread of the pandemic, tourist arrivals in the island nation has fallen manifold.

According to statistics, the percentage of tourist arrivals has fallen by a record-breaking 67.4% – going down from 169,934 in March 2019, to 55,342 in March 2020.

This is due to the lockdown that has been imposed from 15 March. It includes bans on entry and exit to the country for all residents and non-residents, including tourists. This led to the number of tourist arrivals falling by leaps and bounds.

Arrivals from the UK fell by a record 70.2% in March 2020 (as opposed to the same time last year), while that from Russia and Greece declined by 60.8% and 66.6% respectively.

This has been a very bad news for the country’s economy, especially after it enjoyed a record 3.97 million visitors in 2019.

 

BOAT WITH MIGRANTS HAS BEEN FOUND OFF OF CAPE GRECO

 

In the latest instance of migrants seeking asylum, a boat with around a hundred migrants reached the southern part of Cape Greco.

The Cypriot Coast Guard is currently on the way to offer them necessary supplies but will not be able to allow them to enter the country due to the lockdown in place to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The boats currently lies around 10 nautical miles off of the south coast of Cape Greco.

 

EXPLOSION AT CYPRUS TIME OFFICES

 

A pipe bomb has exploded right outside MC Digital Media Group’s office building.

The building currently houses the Cyprus Times along with other media outlets that the group owns. The offices are located in Limassol in south Cyprus.

The windows were cracked, and some minor damage was sustained by the building. No one was injured.

According to Myriella Avraamidou, the editor-in-chief of Cyprus Times, the attack was related to the reporting activities of the news outlet. That being said, she had neither heard of nor received any threats regarding any of the articles before the bombing.

So far, the police have negated any personal motivations behind the attack. They are currently investigating ties between the bombing and the journalistic activities of the outlets of MC Digital Media Group.

 

LIDL OUTLETS TO OPEN EVERY MORNING EXCLUSIVELY FOR ADULTS

 

In order to assist the needs of the elderly without exposing them to the coronavirus, Lidl outlets in Cyprus will open in the country for the early hours exclusively for the elderly and the disabled.

All of the 17 Lidl stores on the island nation will be open daily from Mondays through Saturday s from 7am to 10am, and on Sundays from 8am to 10am. in all 17 Lidl stores in Cyprus.

All customers will be expected to follow the staff members’ guidelines and instructions at the entrances and follow all safety protocols.

Vassiliki Adamidoum, the Communications, Corporate Responsibility and Social Media Manager of Lidl in Cyprus has said that during trying times such as this, Lidl and all of its employees are committed to work towards the benefits of those who need their care.

 

AC MILAN PARTNERING WITH CYPRUS-BASED ‘ROInvesting’

 

Popular sports team AC Milan has secured a sponsorship from ROInvesting, a popular Cyprus-based trading platform.

ROInvesting, which is keen to feature AC Milan’s logo and showcase their services to a global audience, is yet to reveal the exact details of the partnerships. It does, however, seem like it is one of the many partnerships that Ivan Gazidis has been working on in the last few months.

Reciprocally, AC Milan has added ROInvesting’s logo into its its own website in a third tier along with the other sponsors, namely PES2020, Boglioli, Piquadro and Peroni.

The designation given to the company is the Official CFD Partner for AC Milan. CFD, here, stands for ‘Contracts for Difference’ – the service that ROInvesting provides to the team.

 

24 PUNISHED FOR PARTYING AGAINST CURFEW ORDERS

 

In the latest case of curfew violation, 24 persons were arrested for violating curfew by holding a house party.

The party in question was held in an apartment in the first few hours of the curfew in Larnaca. An anonymous tip led the police to the gathering, which clearly ignored the decree of having only a few household members available at any point of time. All of the members present were fined €150 and released.

Had thos incident happened after the passing of the curfew law, the fines would have been at least double (at least €300 spot fine per person).

According to police spokesperson Christos Andreou, the public must act as a neighborhood watch and inform authorities should they observe any curfew violations.

 

CURFEW DECLARED IN TURKISH CYPRUS

 

In a new move to curb the deadly disease, Turkish Cyprus’ government has declared a full curfew to keep itself out of community transmission.

The curfew, which will come in action from March 31 and remain till April 5, will remain in effect from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. These curfews will not be partial ones, and residents will not be allowed to go out unless they have a perfectly valid reason and/or are facing an unavoidable emergency.

Turkish Cypriot Deputy Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay, who made the announcement, explained how the curfew is stricter than before, and how making home visits is not allowed nay longer. He added that while essential services such as supermarkets will continue to work, they will close down at 8 p.m. Özersay went on to call on municipalities to ensure that all supermarkets were taking the required measures to maintain hygiene, and that the staff was being regularly screened for symptoms.

The curfew decision has been announced after a cabinet meeting that was held to discuss the recent development underlying the COVID-19 pandemic.

Turkish Cyprus has around 70 confirmed cases thus far. The death toll stands at 1, a tourist from Germany who passed away from complications due to the virus.

 

HIGH VOLUME OF DUST SETTLES OVER CYPRUS SKIES

 

S high blanket made of dust was recorded across Cyprus skies. This affected those with pre-exiting conditions and allergies more serious.

The Air Quality Monitoring Network, which is monitoring the situation from the ground, has warned the public to keep themselves and especially those in vulnerable groups ( such as sick persons, older persons, children, and pregnant women) to move in open areas since the respirable particles in dust might affect their health adversely.

Of course, with the COVID-19 lockdown in place, most persons already do not travel and are only allowed to get out for essential travel. With the dust, however, it is not advisable for people to go outside – even if said place is their own backyard.

The law says that daily average dust concentrations should not go beyond 50 μg/m3 (i.e. micrograms per cubic meter). Among the worst affected were the areas of Paralimni and Larnaca.

 

BILL FOR “QUARANTINE-BREAKERS” APPROVED BY CABINET

 

The  Cypriot cabinet has approved a bill that amends the spot fines law to fine all “quarantine-breakers” a 150 Euro fine.

The health minister has stated that the police will impose said fine to any patient who violate the rule on quarantining for the coronavirus by not adhering to circulation restrictions and bans issued in public interest to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

According to Justice Minister Giorgos Savvides, that depending on the circumstances the police may also bring more serious charges to some offenders, especially repeat ones. The police can also take the offenders to court if necessary, where they will be awarded higher fines and even jail sentences.

The bill, which still requires the approval of the Parliament, will award fine quarantine breakers for a minimum of €3,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to 6 months.

 

“MAN OF WAR” CONTINUES CYPRUS FILMING SCHEDULE AMIDST CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

 

The movie, directed by Greek-American movie director Dimitris Logothetis is continuing despite the outbreak, even as the Cypriot government is shutting down most businesses and setting up as many quarantine facilities as is possible.

According to Mr. Logothetis, they are being patient, but they understand that their work must continue regardless of the circumstance. He elaborated how it is important for him and his crew to continue as per schedule, since they have more than the movie in question to shoot.

The Highland Film Group distribution company, which is producing the film, is currently undertaking the pre-production process as it scouts for various locations on the island.

 

NON-PAYING TENANTS’ EVICTIONS FROZEN DUE TO COVID-19 CRISIS

 

To maintain law and order amidst the crisis posed by the novel coronavirus, the government of Cyprus has frozen the pending eviction of all tenants who are unable to pay their rent till May 2020.

The executive order was made after the rapid passed of a bill by the Cabinet. Said bill amends the Rent Law and freezes any and all eviction notices and court proceedings for a period of time. Any owner who evicts their tenant during this period will thus be going against the law.

The decision was taken taking into account the difficulties faced by business and households after the various lockdowns that have been put in place due to the crisis posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. All businesses and stories except kiosks, supermarkets and bakeries are currently closed.

The amendment to the bill will cover tenants failing to pay rent till May 1.

Interestingly, this amendment to the Rent Control Law comes very soon after the one that was made in January this year. This first amendment made it easier for landlords to evict those tenants who did not pay their dues on purpose. Under this, landlords can file a suit and evict tenants who have failed to pay their rent despite having the means to do so.

In an exigent circumstance such as COVID-19, however, this amendment has been put on hold on grounds on maintaining law and order and helping business and families best keep afloat.

 

NAVY FRIGATE FROM ITALY CODUCTS JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES WITH CYPRUS

 

In an ongoing chain of events promoting better military cooperation between countries in the Mediterranean, Italy and Cyprus have recently conducted joint military exercises of the course of Larnaca.

The Cyprus Navy participated in various drills along with the” Virginio Fasan” as Italian Navy Frigate. The Fasan was docked at Larnaca port for this purpose.

The Italian Embassy in Nicosia issued a press release stating that the frigate is conducting joint exercises for the purpose of better patrolling and surveillance in the Eastern Mediterranean. They added that the activities are totally within the interests of both nations, and in full compliance with international statutes.

Notably, ENI, the Italian energy company conducts drilling for possible gas and oil deposits in the island country’s EEZ.

The Fasan joins a slew of Italian ships that have visited Cyprus ports in the last few months. The frigate had originally come into service in 2013 in the Italian. It currently serves with the First Marine Division Command in La Spezia.

 

WOMAN SUSTAINS BURNS IN MASSIVE HOUSE FIRE

 

A massive house fire that broke out in Konia has led to its occupant – a woman, being hospitalized with severe burns.

According to a report by The Cyprus News Agency, the fire, which broke out at approximately 11.30 am in the morning, originated in the kitchen from cookware that was left unattended on a gas stove.

The woman did try to remove it to prevent a mishap but was unsuccessful and suffered severe burns to her left foot and her hands. She was hospitalized to be treated for first as well as second degree burns.

 

CYPRUS HAS SOME OF THE LOWEST OVERCROWDING RATES IN THE EU, SAYS STUDY

 

A newly published study has revealed that Cyprus has the second lowest rate overcrowded households populated by non-EU citizens among all countries of the European Union.

The study, which was conducted and published by Eurostat, revealed that the island nation stands second only to Ireland, which has the lowest rate of non-EU citizens who live in overcrowded homes.

The study further revealed that around 35% of non-EU citizens who lived in EU countries dwelled in overcrowded homes. In other words, the number of rooms in most of these households did not correspond to the family sizes. The name rate for EU nationals, on the other hand, stood at 17 per cent.

In all EU countries, the member states to have the highest rates for non-EU citizens living in overcrowded homes included Bulgaria (the highest of these at 60%), followed by Croatia, Poland, and Greece at 59%, 56% and 55% respectively.

 

CYPRUS OFFICIALLY EXECUTES PHONE TAPPING LAW

 

In what is touted as one of Cyprus’ most groundbreaking laws, the island nation is finally bringing the law of phone tapping into force.

The development, which happened after a three-member committee was appointed, will serve to submit requests for removing telecommunications data confidentialities.

According to a report by Phileleftheros, the requests will be approved by the attorney general. The court order, on the other hand, will be issued once the court has fully determined that conditions are met.

Notably, the only ones eligible to carry out the surveillance will be some specific authorized members of the intelligence services and the police.

While the committee members’ names were not revealed for safety reasons, Phileleftheros has reported that the appointees were all personally chosen by the President.

 

SYRIAN REFUGEE GROUP PICKED UP IN ATHIENOU

 

The migrant crisis has left several countries in Europe in a scurry to manage the situation, and Cyprus is no exception. In the latest incident involving migrants, 14 of them who had arrived from Syria were picked up in the buffer-zone village of Athienou in Larnaca district.

The migrants, all of whom were found wandering in the village, were picked up by the police at around 2.30am in the morning. The group comprised of 2 children, 3 women and 9 mine men were then questioned by the police.

Upon being questioned, the migrants reported that while they understood that they had arrived to the village through the north, they could not re-identify the exact place from where they had entered the island.

At the end of the day, the migrant group was transported to the Kokkinotrimithia processing centre on the outskirts of Nicosia.

 

MAN ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF ASSAULTING HIS OWN MOTHER

 

In the latest incident, a 34-year-old in Limassol was arrested on suspicion of physically assaulting his own mother.

The man, who was sitting in the passenger seat in a car that was being driven by his mother, allegedly made her stop, got out of his seat, removed his clothing and began to hit his mother with a pen-knife after opening her side of the door. After this, he even pulled her out of her sear to further hit her and kick her head.

Notably, the man did not stop even after his stepfather intervened in the scene to stop him. In fact, the man ran away in his stepfather’s car after threating him with the pen knife as well.

He was arrested after being spotted by the police around one-and-a-half hours after the incident.

In the meantime, his mother was hospitalized and taken to a private hospital. She sustained eye injuries, as well as face and neck as abrasions. Both appeared to have been made with sharp instruments.

 

CYPRUS HAS A SHORTAGE OF SURGICAL MASKS, SAYS REPORTS

 

News outlet Philenews has reported that pharmacies all over Cyprus have a severe shortage of surgical masks after they were all sold out due to coronavirus fears.

While the island nation has not seen any cases of the rapidly spreading coronavirus so far, the panic related to the global crisis has surely overtaken it. Despite high-level screening being done at all ports of entry, people have panicked enough to buy surgical masks in large quantities – an act that has caused a severe shortage of the same.

According to Eleni Piera Isseyeg, president of the Pharmacists Association, the coronavirus outbreak has superseded the pharmacies extra stock that is generally kept in anticipation of the flu season. Much like the rest of Europe, masks have practically sold out as people are in panic over contracting the disease.

Ms. Isseyeg, who explained that most of the mask buyers are travelers and tourists (especially Chinese tourists) buying extra masks to take home to relatives, has urged the public to exercise discretion while buying them.

In the meantime, another item whose stocks have suffered are antiseptic gels. Heightened concerns over the coronavirus outbreak has caused scores of people to buy these gels in large quantities, which has caused a shortage in their supply.

 

4th CYRPUS SATELLITE CASINO OPENED BY MELCO RESORTS

 

In under a week after the progress of the €550m City of Dreams Mediterranean project, popular entertainment company Melco Resorts and Entertainment has launched its 4th satellite casino in the island nation.

The casino, named Cyprus Casinos Paphos has already begun to welcome guests. As mentioned earlier, it is the fourth of its kind to open after Melco’s other satellite casinos that were opened in Larnaca, Nicosia, Ayia Napa and Larnaca.

The casino is located in Geroskipou near Paphos International Airport, has 25 individuals under its employment, and is graced with over 50 high-end gaming machines.

 

A MOTORCYCLIST WAS INJURED IN THE SOVEREIGN BASE AREA

 

A head-on collision between a car and a motorcyclist has left the latter in serious condition and hospitalized.

The accident, which happened in Dasaki Achnas in the British base area of Dhekelia, led to the closure of the main Achnas road for investigation purposes.

The motorcyclist, who was described as about 27-28 years old, suffered injuries to his shoulder and leg, and was transported to Larnaca general via ambulance.

 

CYPRUS CHECKPOINTS SHUT DOWN AMIDST CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

 

The spread of coronavirus disease has caused panic all over the world, and Cyprus is no exception. The island nation has closed four of its checkpoints for a weeklong period for the first time.

Closed for the first time since 2003, the decision for the closure was made despite the fact that it would have political ramifications for the divided island. The island has had a tough history being divided into Greek and Turkish Cyprus after Turkish forces made in coup in 1974.

Although the island nation has not reported any coronavirus cases, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said that the checkpoints will be closed for a period of 7 days to prevent even the chance of the rapidly-spreading pandemic entering Cyprus.

The only checkpoint that was not closed was the one in Ayios Dhometios – contrary to initial reports of the checkpoint being curbed, the checkpoint will continue to operate.

 

CYPRUS HAS THE LARGEST NUMBER OF LATE BILL PAYERS, SAYS STUDY

 

Over 12.2% of people in Cyprus are unable to pay their utility bills within the stipulated time, making the island nation to have one of the highest number of individuals in the EU in this position.

A study by Eurostat has revealed that as of 2018, over 7% of households could not pay their utility due to financial problems. This included water, gas, heating, and electricity.

The island nation is currently 6th on the list, other countries above it being Slovenia, Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Greece. Greece tops the list, with over 36% of its citizens defaulting on bills regularly in 2018, followed by Bulgaria at 30%.

The lowest percentage of households which defaulted on timely payment of utility bills were Czechia, Sweden, Austria and the Netherlands – it is around 2% for all of them.

 

HELLENIC AND BANK OF CYPRUS OFFLOADING €4 BLN WORTH OF “TOXIC” LOANS

 

In a bid to improve their financial status, the Hellenic Bank and the Bank of Cyprus will be selling-off their bad loans worth a combined total value of €4 Billion.

Constantinos Herodotou, the governor of Central Bank of Cyprus recently announced in a brief to the House Financial and Budgetary Affairs Committee that the move is being made in light of the fact that the quantity of non-performing loans (NPLs) remain practically unchanged over the last few months. He went on to highlight how the offloading would help both of Cyprus’ largest lending institutions improve their portfolio dramatically.

Sales for the Bank of Cyprus will expectedly happen by the end of February, while that for the Hellenic Bank will happen at a slightly later date. The offloading will help both banks expel over 10% of their non-performing loans and help them concentrate on other more dynamic issues.

 

FOREIGN MINISTER CHRISTODOULIDES SAYS THAT CYPRUS AND SAUDI ARABIA HAVE STEADY RELATIONS

 

Cypriot Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulide and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud met in Riyadh and discussed various topics pertaining to the improvement of relations between the two countries they represent.

Furthermore, they discussed how they could boost co-operation in other areas where mutual cooperation was needed – this included defense, finance, security and tourism. The launching of planned direct flights between the two nations was also heavily discussed. They also discussed the relations between Saudi Arabia and the European Union, especially in light of recent developments in the Middle East and in the Gulf area at last.

Mr. Christodoulides then went on to inform his counterpart regarding the recent developments of the island nation’s relations with Turkey, both in light of the unification matter and the Cyprus EEZ issue.

 

CYPRUS JOINS ‘THE MARS SOCIETY’

 

Cyprus joins the international organization “The Mars Society”.

The Cyprus Space Exploration Organization (CSEO) will become a member of The Mars Society after the Cyprus chapter of the latter organization will be established. This will serve to help promote Mars-related research on a domestic level and increase cooperation with other countries working domestically.

The Mars Society’s website says that it is the largest space advocacy organization in the world that is committed to exploration and subsequent colonization of Mars. It was founded in 1998 by Dr. Robert Zubrin along with his associates, and serves to educate the media, government and the public on the plus sides of the exploration and creation of settlement on Mars.

 

TWO MEN WANTED FOR ROBBING A BAKERY

 

The Police are on the hunt for two men for reportedly conducting a robbery at a bakery in Larnaca.

Two men with their faces covered in masks entered the bakery at around 0.45am and demanded money from one of the employees at knifepoint.

The men managed to steal €300 from the scene before they fled.

The employees did manage to get some detailed descriptions – they described one of the perpetrators as 1.85 to 1.90m tall, wearing dark clothes and having a normal physique. He was speaking English during the robbery. The second man was described as around 1.50 to 1.55m tall, and also wearing dark clothes.

 

GREENS PARTY REPORTS ILLEGAL STRUCTURE ON SODAP BEACH

 

The Cyprus Greens party heavily criticized the Paphos Municipality for building an illegal building in Sodap beach.

According to the Green Party’s announcement, the municipal authorities of Paphos removed the rocks to have a canteen built illegally, violating the Barcelona protocol regarding the protection of the coastal Mediterranean region. Despite outraged and angry messages and letters from the locals, the Municipality has refused to listen.

The Green Party has called upon the Paphos Municipality to answer if a permit had been obtained.

 

ROAD ACCIDENT CLAIMS LIFE OF 24-YEAR-OLD WOMAN

 

In the latest incident – the fourth one this year, a 24-year-old woman died in a car accident that happened on the Avgorou-Liopetri.

The woman, Rafaella Pattichi, resided in Avgorou but was originally from Achna. She was on her way from Avgorou to Liopetri reportedly lost control of her vehicle, veered off the road, overturned multiple times and finally stopped in the field. The exact circumstances of her losing control is currently being investigated.

The woman had died on the spot. The fire service ultimately cut her free from the wreckage, after which she taken to the Famagusta Hospital where she was declared dead on arrival.

 

TURKEY HAS BANNED GREEK CYPRUS FROM FORUM ON DISARMAMENT

 

Turkey has vetoed Greek Cyprus’ request to participate in the capacity of an observer at Conference on Disarmament in Geneva later this year.

According to a source who refused to be named, this happened during the General Assembly meeting of the conference, which was held on 21st January.

Despite a well-made application made by Greek Cyprus, Turkey chose to have it barred by vetoing against the island nation attending as an observer in the conference and in the following meeting. On the other hand, applications by 37 other countries were approved.

Established in 1979. the Conference on Disarmament is an international forum that functions to negotiate the control of arms and agreements pertaining to disarmament agreements. The forum has and 65 member countries, Turkey included.

 

POMPEO CANCELS CYRPUS TRIP

 

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has canceled his upcoming trip to Cyprus.

According to the announcement made by the US State Department, Secretary Pompeo will not visit Cyprus as per his schedule in light of the ongoing tensions with Iraq that ensured after the attacks on the American Embassy.

The announcement further added that the cancellation of travel plans would extend to Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Belarus, and Kazakhstan as well, since the Secretary was needed more in Washington, D.C. to continue monitoring the ongoing tensive situation within Iraq. His priority right now is to make sure that American citizens are safe in the Middle East. That said, the trip is not all canceled and will once again be scheduled sometime in the future.

This comes as quite the disappointment to several countries, especially since the cancellation of the  much awaited Kyiv visit, and how it would reflect on the ongoing situation of the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump over the supposed pressures he made on President Volodymyr Zielensky in the alleged investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

The Cyprus visit too was very strategic due to the importance of the region in general, and the tense atmosphere that has permeated there due to recent actions by Turkey.

 

MOSCOW DENIES PLANS TO RECOGNISE TURKISH CYPRUS

 

Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry of Russia has denied all rumors of Moscow having any plans and considerations to recognize Turkish Cyprus.

According to several reports, Russia had allegedly planned to recognize the “nation” in exchange for the recognition of Abkhazia by Turkey.

Ms. Zakharova quashed all reports and rumors, however, clearly stating that Russia does not and will not recognize Turkish Cyprus as a nation, but in fact supports the potential reunification of the divided island nation on the basis of the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

According to her, the news spread was in fact misinformation fabricated by miscreants who would prefer to Russia-Cyprus relations undermined and the level of stability and security essentially damaged.

 

ROADS CLOSED DUE TO FLASH FLOOD IN XYLOPHAGOU

 

Flash floods have been a recurring problem all over Europe, and Cyprus is no exception. The island nation has been suffering the effects of flash floods, and the latest of developments is the closure of part of the Larnaca-to-Paralimni road that lies near Sotira.

The move was made to mitigate damage and ensure public safety; both directions of the road was closed all the way from Sotira exit till Xylophagou.

All the same, drivers are being encouraged to be alert maintain vigilance at all times.

The flash floods happened due to the unwanted accumulation of excess water after the heavy rain and hail, which in turn caused flooding on the streets of Xylophagou.

 

STATE DOCTORS HAVE CONFIRMED HOSPITAL STRIKES

 

The union of State doctors, popularly known as Pasyki has confirmed that its members would be going on a three-hour strike, during which they will not be working.

The protest in question is against the lack of change in stance of Okypy (the state health services organization) on the matter of making incentives for specialists’ services.

Soteris Koumas, the union leader said in a statement that all members of the Pasyki will not be working in their respective state hospitals in the morning for protests. He further defended the Payski, saying how protesting is a course of action they had to take up due to the lack of suspension by of certain rules by Okypy. The explained how the union is upset over various issues such as incentives given to state specialists, the lack of doctors and other medical staff in state hospitals, the abject lack of vocational training, among others.

Okypy’s spokesman Charalambos Charilaou, on the other hand, claimed that they were highly surprised to see Pasyki’s decision especially since dialogues and negotiations were underway with all state doctors’ unions.

 

GDP HAS GROWN BY 3.4% IN THE 3RD QUARTER, SAY GDP RECORDS

 

The records have revealed that the island nation’s GDP has increased quite a bit since the last quarter.

According to the Cyprus Statistical Service’s data, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the fiscal year’s third quarter has increased by 3.4 percent since the last one.

In a statement, the Statistical Service revealed the figures, adding that the GDP growth rate is in real terms and is based upon both working day and seasonally adjusted data.

Credits to the increase in GDP growth rate is being given to key areas, from administrative and support service systems, technical, scientific and professional activities, and even the arts, recreation, and entertainment.

The only area where there was a negative growth rate was in the insurance and financial activities sector.

 

2 ARRESTED FOR SHAM MARRIAGE

 

The police has arrested two more men in its investigation into a spate of fake marriages that help third-country citizens stay on the island illegally.

The men, aged 32 and 43, were the latest among the 27 people who were found guilty in connection to the investigation, and against whom was found compelling evidence.

The conclusion of the investigation was that of the 13 marriage cases that happened at the town hall (the one that was the focus of the investigation), the employment papers for the third-country citizens for registration was in fact fake.

Before the above 6 people, three of whom were women aged 19, 27 and 33, and three men aged 24, 25 and 47, have been arrested.

 

CYPRUS TO INTRODUCE MORE MEASURES TO REDUCE THE INFLUX OF MIGRANTS

 

Nicos Nouris, the country’s Interior Minister recently announced that authorities would be introducing additional security measures in order to regulate migrant influx.

Measures to be introduced will include 24-hour-long patrols along the 185-kilometer long buffer zone by both soldiers and the police. Said buffer zone is very strategic since it is what separates Greek Cyprus from its Turkish counterpart. It is currently controlled by a UN peace keeping force.

The island nation has claimed several times about a dramatic increase in the incoming of unregulated immigrants from, who cross over the buffer zone (called the ‘Green Line’) in order to ask for Asylum.

While most of them are from the heavily conflict-ridden Syria, there are other migrants from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and even the African countries Nigeria and Cameroon.

According to statistics, migrants make up approximately 4 percent of the population.

 

THE US TO LIFT THE ARMS BAN ON CYPRUS

 

The American Congress will be sitting to approve the lifting of ban of arms on Cyprus – one that was originally instated 1987.

The move comes as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act for the financial year of 2020, in the aftermath of an agreement between Democrats and Republicans on the bill’s more divisive aspects.

According to reports, the bill will serve to repeal the existing restrictions on the United States when it comes to exporting weapons, defense articles and other defense-related services to and/or via the island nation.

The ban was lifted by the US Senate in the previous summer.

 

ARTIFICIAL REEF CREATED BY SINKING A CARGO SHIP

 

Cyprus has begun the creation of what will be the country’s first ever artificial reef by sinking a 63-meter cargo ship off of its coast.

The move comes after the island country’s concerns of coral reefs being endangered due to climate change; authorities and scientist believe that the latest attempt will help combat the situation and helping marine life to thrive as well as attract divers from abroad.

In a statement to the press, Costas Kadis, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment for Cyprus, explained how pursuing sustainable development project which has a positive contribution to the ecosystem is one  of the their biggest priorities, and that they plan to see them through to fulfill their goal of helping both enrich and protect marine biodiversity, while furthering the country’s economy and touristic products.

The sunken vessel, called Elpida, which was originally destined for scrap, is now going to be the beginning of a reef.

The Elpida will be joined by another smaller one in the span of a few days.

 

THE HILTON PARK HOTEL HAS BEEN RENAMED HILTON NICOSIA

 

The Hilton Park hotel in Nicosia has been renamed as simply ‘Hilton Nicosia.’ This makes it the single-most hotel of that brand in all of Cyprus.

Located in Engomi, the Hilton Nicosia has made renovations to match its change in names – the owners of the property Louis Hotels announced how the hotel had only recently refurbished all of its rooms, upgraded all common rooms, and started a brand-new bar as well.

The company went on to highlight how Hilton International, which had proved its its trust in Louis Hotels is once again renewing its partnership for a minimum for 10 years.

 

CYPRUS INTERIOR MINISTER IS NOW THE COUNTRY’S FINANCE MINISTER

 

The President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, has announced that he will be reshuffling his cabinet in order to make up for the absence of his long-serving finance minister.

Outgoing Finance Minister, who is credited for overseeing the rebound of the Cypriot economy from its debilitating financial crisis will be replaced in his post by now outgoing Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides.

Mr. Petrides will be taking over after a 6-year term by Harris Georgiades, who was appointed immediately after a multibillion-euro rescue deal that Cyprus had to sign after having to face a severe banking crisis that almost bankrupted the country’s banking system.

The move has not been a surprising one, given Georgiades’ announcement earlier this year that he would be vacating his position after an inquiry into the end of the one the Cyprus’ banks partially put him to blame.

There were other moves in the shuffling as well, including making Democratic Rally party lawmaker Nicos Nouris take the Interior Minister post, and having government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou take up the post of the Education Minister.

 

2 WOMEN WITH FAKE IDS HAVE BEEN ARRESTED

 

Two women were arrested in Paphos for staying on the island illegally, in addition to forging documents as well as circulating forged ones.

The police revealed in a statement that the immigration police, while carrying out a search in a Coral Bay hotel found two women from Georgia staying illegally.

The women, aged 49 and 41, were working as cleaning staff when they were arrested.

Upon being questioned, their employer told the police that said that they were from Latvia when they were being hired, and that they had ID cards while they were identifying themselves. He admitted to having no clue that said IDs were actually fake.

Meanwhile, the ladies, when questioned, admitted that the forged documents they were using were bought overseas for €100 each.

 

MAN AND WOMAN REMANDED FOR TRYING TO LEAVE CYPRUS WITH FALSE DOCUMENTS

 

A man and a pregnant woman – both Congo nationals were arrested at Larnaca airport after they were caught trying to travel to Munich with false IDs and passports.

While the man was remanded for 4 days post-court appearance, the woman was released and places in a hotel.

The police said in a statement that the couple was trying to fly out from the Larnaca airport when they were caught. While the man was holding a 19-year-old French national’s ID card and passport, while the woman was holding 35-year-old French national’s document.

They were intercepted by passport control officers once they determined that the people in fact did not look anything like the photos on their documents, and thus came to the conclusion that the pair arrived in Cyprus on an illegal basis in the first place.

 

OVER TWO DOZEN PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ARRESTED FOR WORKING IN CYPRUS ILLEGALLY

 

The island nation’s authorities have arrested and charged over two dozen individuals for living and working in Cyprus illegally.

The arrests were made in the aftermath of a raid conducted at a construction site in the city of Larnaca. Where the police arrested 25 nationals from outside the European Union for working on the island nation sans permit. Upon being charged, they were released pending their court appearance.

Additionally, the police fined four employers for illegal employment.

 

CYPRUS MUST CLARIFY ITS CITIZENSHIP SCHEME, SAYS EU

 

The European Commission is seeking clarification from Cypriot authorities regarding the granting of citizenship to 26 individuals under its newly minted investor scheme.

While there were no spokesmen available from the Cyprus government, the European Commission did send a to Nicosia asking if it would be investigating what could a possible misconduct when it comes to granting people with “high-risk” profiles citizenship only on the basis of investment. A deadline for January 6, 2020 has been reportedly set for a response.

In addition to Cyprus, the European Commission has additionally asked Malta to clarify on how it would be addresses the shortcomings of the Bank of Valletta over its lack of monitoring of foreigner who have allegedly taken undue advantage of the Maltese “golden passport” citizenship scheme.

 

POLICE CONDUCT CHECKS AT ENGOMI NIGHTCLUB

 

The police rushed to an Engomi nightclub after being alerted of a victim’s relative of an attempted murder being present at the nightclub.

According to a statement by the police, officers reached the night club upon being alerted another 30 people besides the relative was present. Meanwhile the relative himself was accompanied by a second person.

The officers went to the nightclub with the intention to preventing another potential incident. Given that, they conducted checks on all people, including the relative and the individual and gave them permission to leave once the checks were carried out.

2 men are currently in custody in connection with said attempted murder after an altercation with the victim and his brother – which took place at the Engomi club.

 

THE MAN WHO ADMITTED TO 11 BURGLARIES HAS BEEN REMANDED

 

The Larnaca district court has remanded a 30-year-old man who was arrested in for conducting multiple burglaries in the Larnaca and Nicosia region.

The man is one out of two suspects who were arrested after the police found that the jewelry in their possession was in fact not theirs.

The men, aged 33 and 33, were caught whilst attempting to sell jewelry for cash in a Larnaca gold shop by Nicosia police officers who were en route to investigate a jewelry theft case. When asked as to how they could have come in possession of the jewelry, the men failed to give a suitable explanation – putting them on the police’s radar.

Other objects found with the remanded 30-year-old included some clothes, a knife, and three credit cards that were found to have been reported as stolen in Nicosia.

Upon questioning, the man ultimately allegedly admitted to carrying out one burglary in Nicosia and ten in Larnaca.

 

CYPRIOT CHILDREN ARE BELOW AVEAGE AT MATHS, SCIENCE AND READING, SAYS STUDY

 

A surprisingly concerning statistic has revealed that children in Cyprus fall below the average line when it comes to math, science and reading.

According to a report that was published by the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) after studying scores by comparing those of 2018 with those of 2015, the organization found that children in 2018 have scored quite a bit worse that what they did in 2015.

When it comes to reading, scores on an average have gone down from 442 in 2015 to a 424 average as of 2018 – which is quite the downward trend.

As far as science as math is concerned, these have shown an improvement – with scores for science having improved from 433 in 2015 to 439 in 2018; and that of math having gone up from 437 in 2015 to 451 in 2018 – all of the scores still fall well below the average of the 79 nations that were part of the study.

On the top of the list were Eastern Asian countries, especially China, followed by Singapore (which had previously topped the chart in 2015), both of which outperformed almost every other country. The top performer in Europe was a title bagged by Estonia.

Pisa is an international survey that triennially evaluates education systems all over the world via testing 15-year-old children’s knowledge and skills.

 

CYPRUS TO HOLD A SPECIAL CAREER FAIR FOR REFUGEES

 

The Cyprus Refugee Council will be organizing the first ever careers fair meant exclusively for refugees, International Protection candidates and asylum-seekers.

Known as the ‘Refugees@Work Career Fair,’ the event, which will bring employers and the aforementioned category of jobseekers under the same roof, will be held at the Nicosia Multipurpose Centre. As of now, there are at least twenty-five companies and organizations from all over the island nation working as registered participants.

According to a statement on the website of the Cyprus Refugee council, one of the best ways to increase productivity of Cyprus while benefitting people at large would be to employ refugees and asylum seekers. Not only would it help them become economically independent, it would also help with the current workload that the island is currently facing and utilize the domestic human resource that is available at hand.

The event will be held in conjunction with Nicosia Municipality and the UNHCR in Cyprus.

 

BURGER KING OFFICIALLY OPENS IN TURKISH CYPRUS

 

Well-known Burger King will now operate in Turkish Cyprus under its own name in an official capacity, marking the end of the years-long blockade posed by its Greek counterparts.

Whilst Burger King has been operating there for as long as 20 years, it has been doing so under wraps and using the name “Burger City” to combat the pressure that the Greek Cypriot administration had created.

After several key negotiations, however, it is now decided that Burger King will now operate under its original and official banner – starting with a brand-new branch that it opened along the Nicosia-Kyrenia highway.

Reports are saying that with time, all of the restaurants that are operating under the name ‘Burger City’ will be changing to the entire official branding template of Burger King.

 

CYPRUS WILL BE LAUNCHING A COURT CASE IN THE HAGUE OVER FORCED GAS DRILLING BY TURKEY

 

The Cypriot president has said that the island nation’s authorities is all set to launch legal action against Turkey at the Hague’s International Court of Justice.

In a statement to the press, President Nicos Anastasiades explained how the Cypriot government has its full intentions to utilize every legal mean that it possibly can in order to defend the rights of Cyprus and its ethnic situation. He further added that Turkey has been given a notification of said legal actions via the Turkish embassy in Athens.

Turkey has acted as a great disdain to Cyprus by not recognizing the country as a state and using that as a “reason” to drilling in waters where of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone since July 2019. Thus far, it has claimed over half of said exclusive economic zone, which it claims is being done in the interest of “defending the rights of the Turkish on the island.”

 

CYPRUS GOES TO UN SECURITY COUNCIL FOR THE VAROSHA ISSUE

 

Compounding the Cyprus issue of separation and reunification is the fact that Cyprus has now approached the UN Security Council to help reach an agreement on the issue of Varosha.

The Security Council will begin planning of the discussion of the threat of Turkey to settle in the fenced town of Varosha in Famagusta. This was done after Andreas Mavroyiannis, the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN sent an official request to the international organization. Once the discussion will be conducted during a closed session, the date of the official discussion shall be finalized.

Once the official discussion is done, a presidential statement will be issued to reaffirm the relevant resolutions on the matter.

In addition to the official request, Mavroyiannis will be sending letters to the General Assembly President as well as the Security Council President detailing how the Turkish are threatening to make Varosha their personal settlement. Said letters will be circulating as official documents of the UN.

 

CYPRUS HONEY WINS ACCOLADES AT LONDON HONEY AWARDS

 

3 honey-producers from the country have won huge accolades at the London Honey Awards in 2019.

Winner include – Ayii Anargyri’s Thyme Blossom Honey, which won the Gold Honey Award, and Mount Machairas and Thries Honey, which each won the Silver Award.

Ayii Anargyri was founded in 1975, and besides the Thyme Blossom Honey, produces the Orange as well as the Mountain Blossom Honey. Meanwhile, Silver award winners Mount Machairas, which was founded in 1983, additionally produces pure pollen and genuine Cypriot royal jelly. Thries Honey, on the other hand was founded in 2012 as a small family business and was named after the 3 Thries Nymphs who were known for their love for honey.

The London Honey Awards included participants from over 150 different companies from all over Europe – many from Greece and Italy. The “blind” method of tasting product samples to judge its taste, features and quality were used by judges.

 

12 MIGRANTS WERE PICKED UP IN PERISTERONA

 

The migrant crisis has been going on a head-to-head level, and circumstances do prove that there is very little to alleviate it.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, 12 irregular migrants have been picked up wandering around in Peristerona early in the morning. The migrants – consisting of 10 grown men and 2 youths, all male and of Syrian nationality were transferred to the Kokkinotrimithia temporary accommodation centre.

According to a statement from authorities, it has been a struggle to cope with the surging increase in asylum seekers, which in comparison to population size is literally the highest in all of the European Union.

According to Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides, the percentage of applications for asylum seeking has increased by over 130% in 2019 from what already was a higher number in 2018.

 

IRISH PRESIDENT TO VISIT CYPRUS

 

Michael Higgins, the President of Ireland will be visiting Cyprus in in response to an invitation from Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

The first such visit in Cyprus by Irish president since 2006 following President Anastasiades’ official Ireland visit in 2016. Said visit will include the discussion of the issue of the violation of the island country’s Exclusive Economic Zone by Turkey, along with others like Brexit and the bilateral relations between Cyprus and Ireland.

Additionally, President Higgins will be shown the buffer zone. He will also visit the Irish civilian police currently serving with Unficyp and will be addressing the House.

According to a statement issued by Ireland, the visit is a great opportunity to renew the bilateral relationship between Ireland and Cyprus and will publicly recognize Ireland’s contribution to the Unficyp.

 

3 KILLED AND 2 INJURED IN ACCIDENT IN TURKISH CYPRUS

 

In the case of a tragic accident, three people were killed and two were injured in a massive traffic collision on Turkish Cyprus’ Strongilos-Marathovounos road.

According to a statement from the Turkish Cypriot media, the accident involved a direct collision between two cars during the evening. One of these cars were carrying a family of four, while the other had only one driver.

Among the family of four, both parents – aged 42 and 40 were killed as their children aged 18 and 13 were critically injured. The second car’s driver, 30, was also injured.

 

FOUR SUSPECTS WERE ARRESTED IN LARNACA ON SUSPICION OF A SHAM MARRIAGE

 

4 people were arrested in Larnaca for trying to orchestrate a false marriage.

The four people in question include a 23-Year-Old woman and three men of ages 22, 23 and 41. They were arrested early morning right outside the municipality of Larnaca.

According to the police, the 23-year-old woman had arrived in Cyprus for the sole purpose of marrying one of the three men – a Cyprus citizen – and was to offer payment in exchange for her ‘service.’

All of the four were arrested and are currently due to appear in court in order to be remanded.

 

DOCTORS FROM ISRAEL FLEW TO CYPRUS TO SAVE A WOMAN IN MEDICAL EMERGENCY

A team of four doctors – heart specialists from Israel arrived at the Cypriot hospital with the technology to save a woman in medical distress.

The patient in question was a 29-year-old woman resident of Nicosia who was suffering from childbirth-induced cardiac issues. With the lack of time and the appropriate technology to save her life, the doctors went on to issue a call for emergency that was later answered by doctors at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel.

The Israeli doctor gave the woman an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine, who’s function is to oxygenate the blood of a patient outside their body and allow their lungs and heart to get rest.

Once the Israeli doctors stabilized the woman, they transported her back to the Leviev Heart Center the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, which is where she is currently recovering.

THE MINISTER FOR EUROPE HAS MADE HIS FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT TO CYPRUS

 

Christopher Pincher, the Minister for Europe and the Americas has arrived in order to meet with the Foreign Minister and the President of Cyprus.

Aside from meeting President Nicos Anastasiades, the Minister will be discussing Brexit will be welcoming the latter Government’s offer that will be guaranteeing UK nationals’ rights to live in Cyprus.

Besides the President, Mr. Pincher will also meet Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides as well as Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. He will further visit British Sovereign Base Areas and visit the members of the British military who were serving in Cyprus.

Mr. Pincher had nothing but great words for the Cypriot community and emphasized on the relationship between the two island nations, and how they will continue to grow in spite of Brexit.

 

THE CYPRUS CANNABIS ASSOCIATION HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED

 

The Cyprus Cannabis Association has been established with the blessings of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, popularly known as Keve.

The first ever meeting of the newly minted organization was held at the Chamber’s offices, where the main aims were discussed. These were – representing the interested organizations and stakeholders which will benefit from the cannabis industry, representing said industry at every government level to for education, research and promotion of its growth; and the creation of an economically practical and sound and prosperous cannabis industry on the island nation.

Founding Members of the Association include Harneys Law firm, Remedica Ltd, Quality Group, Deloitte Ltd, Alexander College Education Ltd, Constantinos Hadjiandreou, Logera Consulting Ltd, Olivier Sigolet, Magda Kozikowska, Athos HQ Group Business Services (Cyprus) Ltd, and KPL Biomedical Labs. Key officials of the Association include Andria Andreou (the President),  Konstantinos Hadjiandreou (the Vice President), Magda Kozikowska (the Secretary), and Kyriakos Lambrou (the Treasurer).

 

A LARNACA BRITISH AIRWAYS FLIGHT WAS FORCED TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY LANDING

 

A British Airways airplane that had taken off from Larnaca in Cyprus made an emergency landing in Athens in Greece due to smoke being detected in its cabin.

The media in Greece has reported that the flight, that was originally intended to land in London in the UK instead ending up making an emergency landing at Eleftherios Venizelos airport in the country at around 7pm in the evening once smoke was detected in its cabin when the airplane was over Lemnos island.

The plane, specifically Flight BA2673 had 152 passengers and 6 crew members was in fact bound for Gatwick Airport.

Once the airplane made its emergency landing, the passengers were taken off of it as the technical servicemen checked it to find where the problem originated. The true cause of the problem is yet to be identified.

 

PRESIDENT ANASTASIADES TO MEET WITH FINANCE MINISTERS OF CHINA AND RUSSIA IN NEW YORK

 

It has been found that Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades is all set to meet with the finance ministers of China and Russia in New York.

Arriving to New York to attend and address the UN General Assembly, President Anastasiades will be meeting with the UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres on September 27, along with attending the UN Climate Action Summit 2019.

The CNA has also discovered that besides the meeting with the finance ministers, he will also meet with the UN Security Council member state representatives, the Prime Ministers Macedonia and India, as well as the leaders of prominent American–Jewish organizations.

Additionally, President Anastasiades will meet with the Archbishop of America Elpidophoros and also attend a dinner which will be hosted by the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations in his honor.

The President is set to arrive to New York via via London, where he will be attending a dinner and delivering a speech. Said dinner is hosted by the National Federation of Cypriots’ UK Chapter.

 

CYPRUS HAS THE FIFTH LOWEST CIRCULARITY RATE IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

 

The EU’s circularity rate in 2016 was 11.7% – therefore, 11.7% of materials used within the EU were sourced from recycled and recovered items, leaving behind a similar percentage of primary raw materials from being used.

The circularity percentage of various countries varies from one to another –Cyprus, for example stood at the fifth lowest with only 2.3% circularity rate.

The lowest was Greece with a circularity rate of 1.3 per cent while the highest was the Netherlands with an impressive 29 per cent circularity rate.

A lower circularity rate indicates several other factors such as recycling rates, which in turn shows the quality of life and environment and levels of pollution, not to mention their carbon footprint.

 

12 RESCUED FROM BOAT FROM LARNACA COAST

 

After a successful operation by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC), over 10 people on a small boat off of the Cyprus coastline were rescued by a commercial ship nearby.

According to the JRCC, a total of 12 people had been rescued – 10 of whom were on the boats and 2 of whom were in the water. They activated their Nearchos search and rescue plan, and thereafter sent the Onisilos police launch along with a police helicopter and a nurse.

Out of the 12, the two in the water were in critical danger and thereafter rescued by the commercial ship first.

The ship, along with the authorities and survivors will be arriving at Larnaca port, with other authorities on standby to transfer the survivors to the accommodation centre at Kokkinotrimithia.

 

CYPRUS HOME TO THE 3RD HIGHEST SHARE OF PART-TIME WORKERS

 

Cyprus has been found to have the 3rd highest share of workers who work part-time due to the unavailability of a full-time job.

According to a study by Eurostat, over 70 percent of the 65 percent people of the total population who worked part time jobs was because they simply could not find a job that employs them full time and pays accordingly. Given the lack of choices and the requirements of life (family, bills, loans, etc.) these people opted for part-time employment to escape unemployment. Other reasons were being in education, holding another part-time job, and having to spend time to look after family members and relatives. Several women reported to resort to part time jobs in order to balance their other responsibilities.

Among the EU member states, the highest share of people working part-time went to Greece (70%), followed by Italy (66%), Cyprus stood third, after which came Bulgaria (59%).

The lowest shares were taken up by Estonia at 6% followed by Slovenia, Belgium, and Czechia at 7% each.

 

MPs SEEKING HEALTH HAZARD REPORT BEFORE APPROVING 5G

 

Legislators all over the island nation have asked for an independent study to be made to research the potential health hazards of 5G before it is actually approved.

Akel MP Adamos Adamou announced to reporters that before issuing 5G licenses, a thorough account of the health of people must be taken into account. He added that while the addition of new technology would leave both the private and public sectors profited, the health and safety of citizens always comes first.

In recent days, professors and scientists have done and cited research that show that areas with higher levels of electromagnetic radiation tend to have more cases of cancer. According to the headmaster of a primary school in Nicosia, a cluster of cancer cases had occurred after the installation of three mobile phone masts – all within 20 metres of the school.

Whereas the pilot program for testing 5G is yet to happen in Cyprus, a couple of 5G Antennas have been installed in the town centre and along the coast of Limassol as a part of Cyta’s preparation phase phase. It is one of the many local telecom companies that have been given the license to run pilot 5G programmes subject to the approval of the legislature.

 

YOUTH PROTEST AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE TO TAKE PLACE

 

The youth in Cyprus are set to gather outside the House of Representatives to demand active participation to combat climate change.

According to the organizers of the event, the threat of climate change is no more a future one – rather it is as present as it can get. They emphasized on how scores of communities all over the world are striving to gain access to clean air, water and other natural resources – which are constantly getting scarcer due to overconsumption and lack of sustainable living – as well as powerful entities such as governments doing nothing about it.

They focused on the Energy Action Plan 2021-2030, which seems to have no bearing from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)’s reports and is unclear at best. They also added how the execution of said plan will additionally lead to massive fines being levied on Cyprus by the EU.

In response to the youth’s actions, the Ministry of Education taken their mass participation into account and has duly informed secondary institutions’ head teachers to mark those students as present who have in their hand a signed consent form from their parent or guardian and do participate in the protest. That said, any student found to be using the protest as an excuse to skip school will immediately be marked absent, with further actions pending.

 

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.