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PM Harper says attacks will not intimidate Canada

Emergency responders attempt to secure a portion of downtown Ottawa near Parliament Hill after a shooting took place in Ottawa

By Leah Schnurr and Randall Palmer

Canada will not be intimidated by a pair of attacks that killed two soldiers this week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Wednesday, adding that security agencies would do everything needed to counter threats to the country.

“Let there be no misunderstanding. We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated,” Harper said in a brief address to the nation.

“In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our...

Apollon face tough test in Germany under new boss

Despite a hugely successful last two seasons, AEL parted ways with manager Christakis Christoforou and replaced him with Ioan Andone, whose new side face Borussia Monchengladbach on Thursday night

By Andreas Vou

AFTER what has been a hectic few weeks for the club, Apollon will be eager to get back in action on Thursday when they take on Borussia Monchengladbach on Matchday 3 of the Europa League (10.05pm).

Despite a hugely successful last two seasons which have seen Apollon lift the Cyprus Cup as well as reaching the groups stages of the Europa League two years running, the board of the Limassol club opted to part ways with manager...

IMF: Cyprus needs to redouble efforts

The Supreme Court is to rule on October 30 on whether four instruments tagged to the legislation by parliament are constitutional

By Jean Christou

CYPRUS needs to redouble its efforts to put its adjustment programme back on track after derailment by “heightened political opposition, entrenched vested interests, and reform fatigue”, which were taking a toll, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said yesterday.

“The authorities need to redouble their efforts to achieve a durable economic recovery and an eventual exit from official financing,” the IMF said in a Staff Report at the end of discussions with Cypriot officials on an Article...

Our View: Measures against Turkey will have little, if any, effect

The National Council

EIGHT measures will be taken to counter the violations of the Cyprus EEZ by Turkey’s ships. These were decided at a two-day National Council meeting, in what the government spokesman described as a “spirit of complete consensus,” and were not very different from those decided a couple of weeks earlier. This time there was no talk of the need for the president to meet President Putin as he had already done a few days ago, during an official dinner in...

Foreclosures reform ‘critical’

The IMF concentrated on the banks’ non-performing loans (NPLs), citing the urgency for Cyprus to implement a foreclosures framework

By Jean Christou

OF all the obstacles to putting the economy back on track, the IMF yesterday honed in on the banks’ non-performing loans (NPLs), citing the urgency for Cyprus to implement a foreclosures framework.

“The recovery of the Cypriot banking sector now hinges primarily on the successful and sustainable resolution of NPLs,” the IMF said in the Staff Supplement to its report. “Uncertainties related to NPLs also contribute to high funding costs, which translate into lending rates that...

Key changes needed in public service wage reform

The number of students has been declining but the number of teachers increased almost continuously since the 90s

By Jean Christou

DESPITE the significant reduction in public service wages, Cyprus’ compensation of government employees remains among the highest in the EU, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said yesterday.

Even after wage cuts of 9–15 per cent and a 3 per cent decline in central government employment, compensation of public employees as a share of GDP is the fourth largest in the EU, it said.

And, on the basis of current projections, the compensation is expected to...

Cabinet tasks project team to enforce insolvency law

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By Elias Hazou

THE Cabinet yesterday green-lighted the establishment of a project team tasked with implementing new insolvency procedures.

According to a statement, the team will comprise of at least three officers from the Department of Companies and Official Receiver, as well as the finance ministry, which is the project manager.

Where necessary, the team will work and liaise with the public administration and personnel department, the ministry of labour and social insurance, the ministry of the interior and the...

30 companies owe €100m in VAT

According to the finance ministry, as of December 31, 2013 the VAT service is owed €421m

By Elias Hazou

AS MANY as 30 companies owe the state about €100m in VAT, according to data revealed by Politis yesterday.

Of the 30 legal entities, two of them (or their directors) cannot be traced, while criminal prosecutions are pending against another seven.

The data was prepared by tax authorities and handed to parliament at the latter’s request. The list of 30 largest corporate debtors includes investment companies, contractors, developers, banks, trading companies and football clubs. The tax data...

A third of public tenders failed on poor data

Conditions for public tenders should become more detailed according to the head of the tender review board Efi Papadopoulou

By George Psyllides

SOME 30 per cent of public tenders have been cancelled because the conditions were not clear, a senior official said yesterday, highlighting the need for more clarity in the provisions.

The head of the tender review board Efi Papadopoulou told MPs that conditions had to become clearer to avoid cancellations.

“The clearer the conditions of a competition, the more remote the possibility of cancellation,” Papadopoulou said.

House Finance Committee Chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos said the review board had...

Hoteliers confident about winter season

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IT seems that things are looking up for the island’s winter tourism as more inbound flights have been scheduled for the winter, the hoteliers’ association PASYXE said yesterday.

According to the association, this is a development that will substantially contribute to the efforts to extend the summer season.

PASYXE chairman, Haris Loizides, said that at the moment no one can predict the number of reserved seats and that it is something that remains to be seen along the way.

...

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