• Minister: Digital strategy to bring economic and social benefits

    Minister of Commerce, Industry, Tourism and Energy Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said today that the implementation of an overall digital strategy will bring many benefits to the state, the economy and the society.

    Addressing an event in Nicosia on the occasion of the second phase of Digital Championship 2014-2015, the Minister said that the implementation of a digital strategy will be important to strengthen the competitiveness of the economy, to create new jobs, to modernize and restructure the state and increase productivity.

    Lakkotrypis said that Information and Communication Technologies will embrace the important sectors of the Cypriot economy such as tourism, education, health, transport and entrepreneurship and will help Cyprus become a regional service center, attracting investments.

    He referred to the Ministry`s actions to strengthen the sector and said that 40 businesses took part in the government`s pilot project aiming at enhancing innovation with an overall budget of four million euro. The new plan announced recently, he said, has a budget of 10 million euro.

    In addition, he said that the Ministry will announce a series of new fundings in the framework of the EU structural funds for the period 2014–2020 with an overall budget of 30 million euro.

    Speaking at the same event, Cyprus` digital champion and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Stelios Chimonas said that the competition on innovation in the fields of technologies, information and communication, called digital championship, was one of his primary goals as digital champion of Cyprus.

    “The idea began two years ago. We cooperate with an excellent team of people ranging from all areas, the academic community, the public and private sector, the EU representation and other organisations”, he said.

    He noted that the message is that Cyprus can and should exploit the ideas of the Cypriot scientists and their innovative ideas. This, he concluded, will give a boost to economy and competitiveness of the country.


  • Cyprus Airways liquidators appointed

    Avgoustinos Papathomas and David Dunckley have been appointed as liquidators for the purpose of winding up the affairs and distributing the assets of the Cyprus Airways.

    The appointment of the two liquidators was held here today during the two consecutive meetings of shareholders and creditors of the company.

    The two were nominated by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus as the largest shareholder of the Cyprus Airways with approximately 93% of the share capital and the largest creditor with 56%.

    The members of a Committee of inspection were also appointed during today`s meetings.

    The Committee is comprised of five members, three officials from the Ministry of Finance and particularly from the office of the Accountant-general and two representatives from the empoyees’ trade unions.

    This committee will inspect the work of the two liquidators under the supervision of the Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver Spyros Kokkinos who was present at today`s meetings.

    The meetings were held under the strong protests and discord of shareholders, creditors and the company`s employees, who described the procedure as “illegal” and irregular”, noting that any decision taken” will be void”.

    State-owned CA entered a voluntary liquidation on Friday January 9, after the EU Commission Directorate General ruled that the air carrier should return €103 million of state aid it had received since 2012, breaching EU rules on state aid.


  • President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades reiterated the Government’s strong support towards the shipping industry and determination to introduce those mechanisms necessary to further enhance it.

    Addressing the official dinner of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, held Friday evening in Nicosia, President Anastasiades reminded that in this respect, the Ministry of Communications and Works and the Department of Merchant Shipping, with the active involvement and support of the Shipping Chamber, CIPA and other related bodies, commissioned a “Strategy Study on Cyprus Shipping”.

    “I understand from Minister Demetriades that the Study is nearing completion and I am, therefore, eager to learn about its findings and see a well-structured `Shipping Strategy` being designed, in order to take Cyprus Shipping into the future” he added.

    He also noted that during the past two years when Cyprus had to “sail through some rough financial storms”, the resident shipping industry proved, beyond doubt, to be a crucial part of the island`s economy and has managed to continue projecting Cyprus as a reliable maritime centre, demonstrating that the shipping operational and taxation infrastructure in Cyprus and the Cyprus flag remained intact, fully operational and very competitive.

    President of the Republic stressed once more the appreciation of the Government to the shipping industry and its valuable social and financial contribution to the people of Cyprus, through fully utilising the comparative advantages Cyprus offers to the shipping industry.

    These advantages, he added are “the competitive ship registration costs and annual tonnage taxes, a favourable tax regime for ship management and other international business enterprises, and generally low operational and construction costs, coupled with Cyprus’ strategic location, and its highly qualified and professional workforce”.

    “The Shipping Chamber, therefore, has an even more important role to play in ensuring that the Cyprus’ shipping industry will continue to be a reputable shipping centre worldwide and an important asset to the Cyprus economy” the President noted.


  • FinMin Varoufakis concludes meeting with Eurogroup chairman

    ANA-MPA — The meeting between Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and visiting Eurogroup President Jeroen  Dijsselbloem at the ministry of finance in Athens ended on Friday afternoon.

    Varoufakis said that the meeting was held in an excellent atmosphere and that it will serve as a basis for a good cooperation. He said that he briefed the Eurogroup president on the priorities of the new Greek government and underlined its determination to proceed with reforms. He noted that the Greek state has continuity “but we will not accept the continuity of deflation and unsustainable debt.”

    Dijsselbloem said that there is mutual interest in the recovery of the Greek economy, noting that it is important that the progress made so far will not go to waste and pointed out that “we are ready to move toward the future together.”

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    Bulgaria No Longer in Top Ten ECHR Pending Cases, Judgments

    Sofia, January 30 (BTA) – Bulgaria is no longer among the top ten countries with judgments and pending cases before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), the Justice Ministry said Friday. More…

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    NATO Command and Control Structure to Be Set up in Sofia

    Sofia, January 30 (BTA) – A NATO command and control structure will be set up in Sofia and 50 per cent of the staff will be made up by service members from NATO member countries, Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev said during Question Time in Parliament Friday. More…

  • Five former Bank of Cyprus officials referred to trial before the Criminal court

    Nicosia District Court has referred to the Criminal Court five former Bank of Cyprus officials and the Bank as a legal entity, in the context of a broad investigation of the 2012 financial meltdown.

    The five officials are: former Bank of Cyprus Board Chairmen Theodoros Aristodemou and his successor Andreas Artemi, former CEO Andreas Eliades and his successor Yiannis Kypri and former first deputy CEO Yiannis Pehlivanides, in charge of the bank`s Greek operations.

    The Criminal Court will convene on February 27.

    They face charges concerning market abuse and conspiracy to deceive investors.

    They are charged with failure to inform the public that the bank`s capital needs had risen significantly compared to the €200 million which were announced on May 5, 2012 and with failure to take the necessary action to enable the company to announce that the bank`s capital needs had increased significantly from the €200 million announced on May 5 2012.

    Excluded from international markets, Cyprus applied and received a €10 billion financial assistance from the EU and IMF to avert the collapse its banking sector and cover its fiscal needs. The programme featured an unprecedented haircut to recapatilise Bank of Cyprus. As a result almost half of deposits over €100,000 converted to shares, whereas the island`s second largest lender has been wound down.


  • Albanian FM expresses support to a Cyprus settlement

    Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania Ditmir Bushati has expressed support to a settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of UN principles and relevant resolutions.

    Bushati and the Minister of Energy and Industry of Albania Damian Gjinkuri, on an official visit to Cyprus, met today with House President Yiannakis Omirou.

    According to an official press release, Bushati thanked Omirou for Cyprus` support to Albania`s European course and noted that the two countries face common challenges and that further enhancement of their cooperation will be mutually beneficial.

    The Albanian Energy Minister referred to his country`s energy policy as well as to the structural reforms promoted in the country to face the economic crisis.

    On his part, Omirou praised the importance of strengthening relations between Cyprus and Albania, both at the inter-state and the inter-parliamentary level. Furthermore he reaffirmed his support to Albania`s European course.

    Referring to the current developments in the Cyprus problem, the House President underlined the sincere will of the Greek Cypriot side to solve the problem, according to the international law, the UN relevant resolutions and the EU principles.

    He noted that unfortunately “our efforts are hampered by the intransigent stance of Turkey, which culminates its provocations in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus, violating the international law and the UN Law of the Sea Convention.”

    According to the press release, during the meeting both sides stressed the need for stability to prevail in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans and for a common will of the two countries to further enhance their cooperation with a view to promote this goal.

  • Cyprus denounces terrorist attacks in Egypt

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus strongly condemned on Friday the multiple terrorist attacks that took place in Egypt’s North Sinai and Suez, resulting in a high number of casualties, mainly among the security forces of the country.

    “We express our deepest condolences and solidarity to the families of the deceased and the Egyptian people at large” the Foreign Ministry states.

    Cyprus is extremely concerned over the proliferation of terrorism that threatens peace and stability across the region and stands alongside Egypt in its fight against terrorism and extremism, the statement adds.


  • NATO Command and Control Structure to Be Set up in Sofia

    Sofia, January 30 (BTA) – A NATO command and control structure will be set up in Sofia and 50 per cent of the staff will be made up by service members from NATO member countries, Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev said during Question Time in Parliament Friday.
    The Defence Ministry has never considered a possible construction of a NATO command centre and a military base near the city of Shabla (Northeastern Bulgaria) or on the territory of Dobrich Region, and a decision to this end has not been adopted, Nenchev told the MPs.

    The Alliance has never asked Bulgaria to allow the construction of such a base, he underscored. What will be built is a coordination centre which will most probably be located in Sofia, but a decision on the matter has not been adopted yet, he added. MORE

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