• Primary schools promote recycling among pupils at an early age

    Teaching the right attitude vis-à-vis waste management is one of the basic goals Cypriot schools aim to promote among their pupils.

    According to Costas Hambiaouris, a primary education senior officer who spoke to CNA, Cyprus` Pedagogical Institute, with the support of the primary education department, is behind a wide range of activities, aiming at better waste management.

    One of the main activities at schools is recycling of paper and plastic, in cooperation with Green Dot Cyprus. Pupils learn to dispose of their non reusable paper and plastic waste into special bins, that are regularly collected by Green Dot.

    Another activity concerns the collection of cooking oil, that is turned into biodiesel, with 11 schools in the Pafos District taking part. Furthermore, pupils are encouraged to donate old clothing, which is then collected by “Anakyklos”, a non-for-profit organisation.

    Hambiaouris noted moreover that schools cooperate with the Cyprus Antirheumatic Association, engaging thus pupils with volunteerism, while contributing to the purchase of much-needed equipment.

    A series of activities take place within the Life+ funded programme “Rethink” (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), whereby schools participate to promote their own initiatives.



    ** The interview is in the context of the project Rethink: Reduce- Reuse – Recycle which is funded by the EU programme LIFE+ (project code: LIFE13 INF/CY/000910) of the EU. Coordinating Beneficiary: CyBC. Partners: Green Dot Cyprus, Department of Environment, Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, CNA, Fost Plus Belgium **

  • Iohannis, after attending opening of Enescu festival: We have to restore culture, education’s deserving places

    President Klaus Iohannis, who attended the opening on Sunday evening of the George Enescu Music Festival, says the deserving places of culture and education have to be restored.

    “The opening last evening of the George Enescu International Music Festival, in its 22nd edition, is a new opportunity for Romania to promote its culture and spirit thanks to our great composer. I am convinced that for three weeks one of the most important cultural events hosted by Bucharest City will gather together thousands of classical music lovers from around the world. We have to restore the deserving places of culture and education, the places they deserve in a strong society,” Iohannis wrote in a Facebook post in Romanian on Monday. More…

  • Bulgarian Actor Named Top Actor Of The Year In Germany

    Sofia, August 12 (BTA) – Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov congratulated Samuel Finzi on being named top actor of the year in Germany, Rashidov’s Ministry said. As berlinonline.de reported, the prestigious award is conferred
    on the actor for his performance of the role of Vladimir in Samuel Becket’s “Waiting for Godot”. The annual ranking is made based on a questionnaire filled by 42 theatrical critics of the “Theater Heute” magazine. More…

    Culture Minister Congratulates Actor Finzi on Being Named Germany's Top Actor of the Year

  • Negotiations resume on Tuesday with property issue high on the agenda

    Negotiations for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem resume on Tuesday after the summer break, with the property issue high on the agenda.

    Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides told CNA on Monday that the property issue and in particular the criteria pertaining to it will be discussed.

    During the last meeting of the leaders, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, it was agreed that the individual’s right to property is respected.

    The UN Secretary-General`s Special Advisor, Espen Barth Eide told reporters after the meeting at the UN Protected Area in Nicosia that the leaders made progress towards their shared vision of a united, federal Cyprus.

    He also said there shall be an “independent Property Commission mandated to resolve property claims based on mutually agreed criteria. The Property Commission shall comprise of equal number of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot members”.

    Government Spokesman Christodoulides said on Sunday that the coming period will be decisive as regards the course of the UN-led Cyprus peace talks, adding that current conditions “allow us to be cautiously optimistic”.

    In statements after a memorial service, Christodoulides said Turkey must appreciate the benefits it will enjoy from a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    Eide arrives on the island on Monday and is expected to meet with the negotiators of the two sides before attending Tuesday`s meeting of the leaders.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The leaders of the two communities, President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since mid May with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

  • PM Ponta: Romanian language, the cornerstone of Romanians’ national identity

    Prime Minister Victor Ponta says the Day of Romanian Language is a spiritual celebration of all Romanians from Romania, the Republic of Moldova and everywhere else.

    “The Day of Romanian Language — a spiritual celebration of Romanians from Romania, the Republic of Moldova and elsewhere! It is a day when we celebrate our common heritage and value, when we can proudly say that the Romanian language is the cornerstone of our identity, the sweetest language there is. We may find speaking and writing Romanian a routine, but our predecessors’ fight for it was tough and the win to the European culture by Romanian creators is priceless. Many happy returns of the day to all!” Prime Minister Ponta wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. More…

  • Code Orange for scorching heat in 10 counties in western, eastern Romania, Monday and Tuesday

    The counties of Satu Mare, Bihor, Arad, Timis, Caras-Severin, Mehedinti, Botosani, Iasi, Bacau and Vaslui will be on Monday and Tuesday under Code Orange for scorching heat, with the heat wave with highs frequently reaching 35-37 degrees Celsius to persist in all regions, under Code Yellow for scorching heat.

    According to the warning issued on Sunday by the National Weather Administration (ANM), in the 10 counties under Code Yellow there will be highs of 37-38 degrees and thermal discomfort also high. More…

  • Bank of Cyprus makes timely progress implementing its restructuring plan, Moody’s says

    The Bank of Cyprus, the island`s largest lender, is making timely progress in implementing its restructuring plan, rating agency Moody`s notes in a credit outlook bulletin.

    On the occasion of BoC`s announcement that it repaid an additional €500 million of Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) during July and August, reducing its stock to €5.4 billion or 23% of assets, Moody`s notes “this repayment will lower the bank’s funding expense and strengthen confidence in its ability to continue implementing the restructuring plan it agreed on with the European Union in 2013.”

    “The progress thus far allows the bank to continue focusing on its significant asset quality challenges, including non-performing loans (NPLs) at 52.7% of gross loans at the end of June,” Moody`s note.

    Cyprus and its international lenders (the EU and the IMF) concluded on €10 billion bailout to avert the collapse of the island`s financial sector. As part of the bailout conditions, Bank of Cyprus was recapitalised through the conversion of 47.5% of deposits over €100,000 to equity, whereas it absorbed the assets of Cyprus Popular Bank, the island`s second largest lender, which has been wound down. Last year the bank proceeded to a €1 billion capital raise, enabling the group to pass the ECB`s stress tests.

    According to Moody`s, since April 2013, when ELA funding peaked at €11.4 billion, the BoC has repaid around €6 billion.

    According to Moody`s during the second quarter of this year, BoC’s deposits in Cyprus stabilised at €11.6 billion, and as assets declined by €1.4 billion, deposits increased to 53.7% of assets from 51% in March 2015.

    Furthermore, the agency refers to notice letters sent by the bank to around 25 defaulted corporate borrowers with €84.9 million of total loans outstanding regarding foreclosure proceedings on their real estate collateral.

    “Even though the amount is only a fraction of the bank’s €12.1 billion of NPLs, the letters signal the legal change to strategic defaulters who have refused to repay their loans despite having capacity to pay,” the agency notes.

    However, Moody`s points out that “although the ELA repayment is ahead of plan, we nevertheless expect BoC’s balance sheet repair process to be lengthy given its high stock of NPLs, and we expect high provisions and write-offs to burden the bank for years.”


  • Parliament Speaker Tells New York Meeting that Bulgaria Is Making Progress towards Gender Equality

    New York/Sofia, August 30 (BTA) – Addressing the 10th Meeting of  Women Speakers of Parliament in New York on Saturday, Bulgarian National Assembly Chairperson Tsetska Tsacheva said gender equality policies are a measure of democracy and should always be present on the agenda of any institution. Gender equality, and innovative ways of promoting it, is the main topic at the meeting, which has brought together 32 of the world’s 46 women speakers of parliament – the largest number to ever come together. The event has been organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and is taking place at UN Headquarters. More…

  • Bulgarian Prime Minister Says Refugee Wave Should Be Dealt With At Its Source

    Varna, on the Black Sea, August 30 (BTA) – Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said on Sunday that unless the refugee wave is dealt with at its source, nothing good awaits Europe. Borissov said he was referring to the destabilized countries of Africa and the Arab world. Asked by a journalist whether this could be achieved with external aid, he said this is up to the “big leaders of the world” to decide. “This is beyond our powers. We only have to bear the consequences, which will be getting ever worse,” he said. More…

  • Mayor Oprescu on George Enescu Festival: It turns Bucharest into a capital of music

    Bucharest City General Mayor Sorin Oprescu believes the George Enescu Festival in the city is turning the city into a capital of music.

    “In my opinion, the festival is turning Bucharest City into a European capital of music for three weeks. That cannot but engage the local administration,” Oprescu told a meeting on Saturday at Palace Hall in Bucharest for the opening of the 2015 George Enescu Festival.

    He added that they tried to experiment with organised street social forms.

    “We have tried to experiment with organised street social forms because symphonic music is not liked by the musically trained only, but also by other people. We had a revelation in 2008, when I joined my colleagues in organising a symphonic music concert before the National Bank of Romania,” said Oprescu. More…

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