Latest News Report (translated from original in Greek)
The amendment of the Harmonised Legislation to Prevent and Combat Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children as well as Child Pornography is proceeding with the request of the European Commission (the European Commission). As noted in Brussels, some important provisions of the Harmonised Legislation (Directive 2011/93 / EU), according to which, inter alia, do not constitute a criminal offence, sexual activities between children are sufficient if they are 14 years old and above.
The Commission’s letter was sent on 13/9/2018 and it took eight months before the relevant amending bill was tabled in Parliament, which should be voted by the following month at the latest in order to avoid the risk of taking measures against the Cyprus problem Republic.
It has been reported that many of the migrants working in the entertainment industry in Cyprus are underpaid and some not paid at all.
Seasonal entertainers in Paphos hotels are complaining that the agencies that hire them are not paying their wages and in some cases threaten violence when they complain. The Sunday Mail has spoken to a number of singers, dancers and other acts that say that some agents are pocketing wages for themselves.
“It’s like the mafia. There are a couple of agencies in particular, one in Paphos and one that works island wide, that you don’t want to get on the wrong side of,” one entertainer told the Sunday Mail.
“They use their muscle to scare you and they are scam artists. I wish I was brave enough to give my name, but I just can’t.”
All but one of the entertainers requested to remain unnamed when they spoke to the newspaper, as they are fearful of possible serious repercussions, both financial and physical. Another professional performer said that the owner of an agency had actually threatened to kill his pregnant wife. He owed the pair money and was also angered when a hotel employed them directly, instead of using his agency. “We didn’t go to the police, as these people can be very volatile. There are many dancers that don’t want to come to work in Paphos as it has a reputation for not paying,” he said.
Paphos police spokesperson, Nicos Tsappis, told the Sunday Mail that no such instances have been reported so far. “If any threats are being made against people by employers, then the police will investigate and take the matter very seriously,” he said. “People should not be afraid to come forward.” Yet those that say they have been cheated clearly are scared.
They say they have been scammed in a number of ways: wage cheques issued and then cancelled before they can be cleared by the bank, and in some cases professional dancers and performers remain unpaid by the agents after they refused to give them any money at all. This can be hard to prove when no contracts have been issued or signed, just verbal agreements and a ‘gentleman’s handshake.’ Most entertainment agencies in Cyprus are well run and operate above board, but, as is the case in tourist hot spots all over the world, there are always exceptions.
Adverts such as this one found online appear on social media and entertainment sites and in publications aimed at performers: ‘Hotel entertainers (animators) with or without experience for seasonal contracts. If you are interested and, please send us a message for more information.’ Often, inexperienced youngsters will apply and can expect to be paid around 500 euros a month, plus accommodation and food. Higher amounts apply to those which don’t include these.
“I know of dancers and singers who are in their teens, who were hired in Paphos on contracts for the season and the agency failed to pay them anything,” one dancer said. “They can’t go to court as they have no money for a lawyer and they end up leaving Cyprus empty handed.”
She explained that venues and hotels are paying the agencies, but then some agencies are pocketing the money for themselves and not passing it on to the acts. The head of the hoteliers’ association of Paphos, Euripides Loizides, who has his own hotel and pays an agency for his performers, said that he is unaware of any such cases. If he found out performers at his hotel were not being paid by the agency that hired them, he would step in and pay acts directly the following month, he said.
“We (hotels) use agencies as we trust them to do the job better than us in this area, as it’s their profession, they have the experience and connections. I have used various entertainment agencies through the years.” Loizdes pays around 8,000 euros a month for his entertainment programme which includes a full time ‘animator’, and an animation team. They offer aqua aerobics, all sorts of day time activities, a kids’ disco and seven full shows every week.
“I am surprised to learn that this is happening. It’s down to each hotel to decide if they use individual performers directly or employ an agency. Some have limited budgets and make savings,” he said. “At my hotel, it is important for us to have entertainment and we always check that the agency has employers’ liability insurance.”
Giedre Sky arrived in Cyprus from Lithuania in 2010 after answering an advert. She underwent training in Ayia Napa. She speaks four languages. She has experienced both good and bad situations. One job saw her and three other girls, as well as their luggage, crammed into a single room. “Once, I worked in Paphos at a hotel doing all sorts of things like aqua aerobics, kids club and other stuff, It was nice and relaxed, but I received another offer from Ayia Napa which was more money and I explained this to the agency. They said they were fine with it and I gave two weeks’ notice and trained up another girl to take my place.” However, their attitude changed once she left.
“They kept making excuses and then said they would bring me my salary to Ayia Napa, but they never did. Then they stopped answering my calls. I complained to the authorities, but they didn’t do anything about it.”
“It’s better if you work for a hotel directly as you get paid directly from them. Agencies can always find a reason not to pay if they don’t want to and the system will ensure the hotels have to pay you.”
One performer said that after trying, and failing, to get paid money owed to him from a Paphos agency for work last year, enquiries uncovered that an entire group of entertainers were all owed more than one month’s wages, some an entire season, as they were told they would be paid at the end of the season.
“For a long time, these people have been issuing cheques and then cancelling them before they get paid into our accounts. Some of the venues and hotels know what they are doing but they keep on using them, they don’t care.”
No contracts were made in most instances, only agreements via text messages. He added that their calls and emails are now going unanswered.
Lawyer Tasos Coucounis urged unpaid performers to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
“It’s better to have a written contract,” he said. “But also text messages confirming terms of employment, pay and these sorts of things are also admissible evidence in court.”
But an initial consultation with a lawyer could be anything from 80 to 170 euros.
Tsappis said that if agencies are issuing cheques and purposefully cancelling them, there is a case and victims of such a crime can report it to the police or get legal advice.
“As the lawyer says, text messages are evidence and any cancelled cheques are exhibits. In fact this is the best exhibit to prove the charge,” he said.
Obviously, he added, a charge of non payment of cash is more difficult to prove.
He said that complaints can also be made to social insurance. Employers are afraid of this route, as very high fines can be imposed if the employer is not following the regulations.
But the fear of going to the authorities remains.
“We all know that this is a crime and must stop, but people are afraid to stand up for themselves and so this practice will just continue,” one entertainer said.
Just when we thought that we may have reached the bottom, in the realms of moral injustice, we are faced with yet another revelation that demonstrates the degree of moral bankruptcy that exists in Cyprus. I have no doubt that this happens, in the past we had ‘Cabarets’ which were glorified clubs for the purchase of favours from imported ladies, who had often flown to Cyprus under a misapprehension, which was not an accident, it was very much by design to get them there and them manipulate, pressure or even threaten them in to a life of prostitution.
I personally had a pub in Larnaca a few years ago and I made the strategic error of getting involved with a girl who had recently arrived and was being pressured by a Cabaret owner. After we got close she left and had to go in to hiding due to the threats while I entered the world of retribution by all those involved. I was suddenly being persecuted by the Police they came every day and found an excuse to give me a penalty, I gathered over 40 in a two month period!
We are also very much aware that many women who are brought in as domestic assistants suddenly find themselves actually made to maintain two or three homes, or they are forced to hand back some of their salary and if they do not, they are abused, threatened and the with the law being the way it is in Cyprus, they are conveniently at a disadvantage.
I believe that there is a real need for an anonymous helpline and an independent body designed to protect these workers. Independent, now that is an uphill task within the corruption of Cyprus, the only realistic way would be if the team were NOT Cypriot, there is no way that any group of Cypriots can be trusted to police anything!
On the 5th June, 1975, the British public voted in a referendum regarding membership to the EEC, The European Economic Community, which was founded on the 25th March 1957 by Benelux, France, West Germany and Italy and sold to the British nation as a free trade agreement between member states. The sinister agenda of the EEC was intentionally kept secret from the British public, by Prime Minister Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher, as they were ell aware, even then that the masses would not accept a policy of an “ever closer political union in Europe” which was the agenda from day one!
On the 13th March, 1979, the ERM, European Exchange Rate Mechanism was founded, with the intention of reducing exchange rate volatility in Europe and bringing the countries closer to economic union. The UK did not join at that point, as that was just after the ‘Winter of discontent’ and our economy was in pieces. We did however join the ERM in October 1990, but this was to prove catastrophic for the UK, it led to us being plunged in to a recession that lasted for 5 quarters, which was then followed by months without any growth, until one day, on the 16th September 1992, known as ‘Black Wednesday’ our currency was under attack by speculators, the Chancellor Norman Lamont doubled interest rates and was then left with no alternative but to leave the ERM.
The should have been a lesson in Geo-Economics, but it was not. Spurred on by the staggering cost of re-unification, Germany was determined to exploit the economies of other European nations, to save itself from bankruptcy. In the first instance, Germany continued to champion the ERM, which as this point was directly leading to the introduction of the Euro.
The first part of Germany’s plan was to champion the accession of Turkey as a European Union trading partner in 1995. This would allow Turkey to trade freely with Europe, without joining, but also, without being restricted by EU bureaucracy. This was to become a major factor in the decline of many industries in southern Europe.
The Euro was introduced as an electronic currency on the 1st January 1999, with physical currency coming in to circulation on the 1st January 2002. This was good for Europe wasn’t it?
NO IT WAS NOT!
Germany was still struggling with the cost of reunification and therefore, on entry in the Euro, Germany pulled one of the greatest economic acts of deception on history, it entered the Euro, significantly undervalued, in terms of trading within the EU, this was HUGE. This meant, that the German people had a sense of poverty and needed financial prudence, whilst other nations that joined, suddenly had a false sense of wealth, that encouraged them to spend more. Also, due to the fact that Germany had entered much lower than it should, German goods appeared cheaper and therefore they outsold many other European goods. The other countries needed assistance to keep purchasing, but Germany was happy to lend to them and slowly, enslave them to debt.
Germany pulled one of the greatest economic acts of deception on history
Fast forward 2 decades and the southern European nations have lost most of their textile and light industries to Europe, they are in serious debt to Germany, they have lost control of issues that matter most, but worst of all, after 2 decades of left wing in-doctrine, many people now believe that we would be cast in to economic wilderness without the EU, this is simply not true.
European leaders who are not elected, not accountable to anyone and conduct their decision making in private, without even having minutes of their meetings recorded. People are under the illusion that just because there is a European Parliament, that the EU is a Democracy……..IT IS NOT! It is one of the most arrogant, authoritarian and corrupt institution in the Western world.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says ‘stupid nationalists’ are ‘in love with their country’ & hate foreigners
Leaving the EU would offer a chance to put the UK in charge of our own destiny and laws again — and restore our status as a sovereign nation.
According to the Commons Library, up to 60 per cent of regulations originate from the EU and the 28-member Commission in Brussels — none of whom were elected. Britain’s Commissioner, Lord (Jonathan) Hill, is a former lobbyist and Tory researcher who has never stood for elected office in his life. Nor had his predecessor, Cathy Ashton, a Labour appointee and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament official.
We’d be free to negotiate our own trade deals — especially with the world’s emerging new economies.
Since we import £89 billion of goods more annually from other EU countries than we sell to them, the EU stands to lose more than Britain if it seeks to impose tariffs post-Brexit. We are a crucial export market for Germany, the EU’s most powerful country, which would be the post-Brexit deal-maker.
There are an estimated 3.3 million British jobs ‘linked’ to our membership of the EU. By the same measure, there are more than five million jobs on the Continent that are linked to trade with Britain. This includes one million jobs in Germany, 494,000 in France, 309,000 in Italy and 421,000 in Spain.
We pay far more into the EU budget than we get back — making a net contribution of around £8.5 billion last year (£23 million a day), which is more than we spend on the police service or border controls.
The NHS costs £8.5 billion a month and the Health Service would get an extra £5 billion a year as a result of Brexit.
Also, almost £1 billion of British cash goes to the EU for international aid.
Currently there’s no upper limit on migration and no proper control of our borders. More than three million EU migrants live in the UK — double the number in 2004 when the EU expanded to include Eastern European countries, who have sent more than a million people here (despite the last Labour Government saying it would be only 13,000 a year.)
Net migration from EU countries to the UK, according to official figures, is 184,000 a year — enough to fill a city the size of Oxford. David Cameron has never hit his target to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands — and most agree he never will if we remain inside the EU.
Under EU law, we must let in any EU citizen regardless of their qualifications. The result? Businesses can’t get work permits for highly skilled or educated people from the Commonwealth, U.S., Australia and elsewhere outside the EU.
Using a new points-system, every applicant to live here would be treated on their merit rather than on their nationality. Equally, we’d be able to accept more genuine refugees.
Parliament is powerless, under EU treaties, to defend itself against the rulings of the European Court of Justice — which has interfered in everything from the price of beer to the right to deport terror suspects.
The UK has lost three-quarters of the cases it’s challenged since 1973. This makes a mockery of the idea that the UK’s Supreme Court is supreme.
Thanks to Brussels diktats, some of the EU’s most evil killers, rapists and drug-dealers have been allowed to remain here — because their right to free movement has been put ahead of keeping the British public safe.
A report by the Labour-led Commons Home Affairs Committee said the number of foreign criminals who had not been deported could fill a ‘small town’. British jails hold almost 10,000 foreign prisoners — including 1,000 Poles.
UK law stops anyone from outside the EU entering Britain if their presence is deemed ‘not conducive to the public good’, but Brussels says EU citizens can only be turned away if there is a ‘serious, credible and present threat’.
Thus the list of criminals able to come here include a Latvian who murdered his wife before moving to the UK, where he killed a 14-year-old girl. Over the past decade, UK officials have only been able to turn away 11,000 EU nationals.
The EU’s Frontex border security agency has warned that jihadists are exploiting the Union’s open borders and the migrant crisis to sneak into the continent and plot atrocities. Two of the attackers responsible for last year’s outrages in Paris used exactly this approach.
The British head of Europol also said that as many as 5,000 Islamic State-trained jihadists are moving freely in Europe. And Sir Richard Dearlove, ex-head of MI6, said we could be safer outside of the EU as it would be easier to deport fanatics. Leaving the EU would still allow us to work with U.S. intelligence agencies — as the so-called gold standard ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence-sharing partnership consists of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.S. and the UK.
David Cameron has repeatedly refused to drop his government’s support for Turkey — which has 77 million citizens — joining the EU.
Yet he’s said that at the current rate it won’t join until the year 3000 — despite the European Commission announcing last week that Turkey’s membership application was being ‘accelerated’.
Before the referendum campaign, the PM said his wish was to ‘pave the road from Ankara [Turkey’s capital]’ to Brussels. Turkish citizens are already being given visa-free access to mainland Europe after a deal that saw the Turks getting £4.6 billion in aid.
Campaign group Migration Watch has warned an extra 100,000 Turks would flock to Britain every year if the predominantly Muslim country joined the EU.
Last year — for the 21st year running! — the EU Court of Auditors admitted that Brussels expenditure was compromised by irregularities, with ‘a persistently high level of payment errors, which means too much money is still not spent in accordance with the EU’s financial rules’.
By the end of last year, the UK economy was 6.8 per cent larger than it was at the start of 2008, whereas the EU economy was only 1.9 per cent bigger (France’s grew by 2.9 per cent and Italy’s is 8.8 per cent smaller than in 2008)).
Also, unemployment in the UK is five per cent — less than half the 10.2 per cent jobless rate in the eurozone. (In Greece, it is 24 per cent — with youth unemployment at a desperate 51 per cent — and 20 per cent in Spain).
Treasury research has shown that the EU’s ‘single market’ rules could impose costs of seven per cent of GDP on the UK economy. At £125 billion a year, that’s the equivalent of £4,639 per household. Only 6 per cent of British companies export to the EU — but all must comply with EU ‘single market’ legislation.
Small businesses — the lifeblood of our economy — suffer most, whereas big firms can lobby Brussels.
Freedom of movement rules mean we have no idea many foreigners settle here — which means it’s impossible to plan the necessary health, education, transport and housing requirements for them. This has led to intense pressures for anyone trying to get a school place for their child or a GP appointment.
Rents are rising and first-time buyers struggle to get on the housing ladder as prices soar and supply diminishes.
With five more nations — Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia — hoping to join the EU, this will only get worse.
According to its own statistics, 1.3 million people claimed asylum in the EU last year. Some 363,000 came from Syria. Applicants who get EU citizenship are free to move to the UK.
Despite contributing 12.5 per cent of the overall EU budget, the UK sees just 7 per cent of the Common Agricultural Policy budget spent here. By contrast, France gets 16.4 per cent, Spain 11.6 per cent, Germany 11.3 per cent, Italy 10.1 per cent and Poland 8.8 per cent.
The EU’s farm subsidy system meant that prior to 2003, the so-called Single Farm Payment was linked to how much farmers produced — leading to massive over-production and waste.
Now, farmers don’t have to produce a set amount — they are paid automatically for keeping land in ‘agricultural condition’. As a result, it’s been reported wealthy landowners absurdly get Brussels payments for having pony paddocks.
Following the EU’s ban on incandescent light-bulbs, many people suffered epilepsy from the flickering, supposedly eco-friendly fluorescent bulbs. Equally controversially, vacuum cleaners sold in the EU have been limited to an output of 1,600 watts. This directive is expected to be extended to kettles, toasters, hair-dryers and other domestic appliances.
Under EU rules, once a product is liable for VAT, any EU member government is not allowed to abolish that tax without Brussels’ approval. Thus, the lowest VAT Westminster can impose is 5 per cent — which imposes hardship on some British families with VAT charged at 5 per cent on energy bills. (Our Government even had to seek permission to scrap the levy charged on tampons.) Brussels pockets around 0.3 per cent of VAT paid.
EU membership has devastated our fishing industry — halving the number of fisherman to fewer than 12,000 since 1975. Under international law, each nation enjoys an ‘Exclusive Economic Zone’ extending 200 miles from its coast. However, the Common Fisheries Policy pools the zones of member states into a single zone.
The first 12 miles is restricted to a nation’s own fishermen, but the area from 12 miles to 200 miles is open to the fleets of any EU member state.
Spanish vessels last year got a quota of 15,546 tonnes of hake for a large area of the Atlantic off Scotland while UK vessels were allowed just 7,131 tonnes. Leaving the EU would allow us to fish our own waters — and breathe new life into harbour towns.
These are the words of Jean-Claude Juncker, basically saying that his is not concerned with Europeans, he is more concerned about the migrants pouring in from Asia and Africa, which is part of the bigger plan of course.
They don’t like those coming from far away, I like those coming from far away… we have to act in solidarity with those who are in a worse situation than we are in. Jean-Claude Juncker
As we have seen from the behaviour of EU officials as well as Pro-EU campaigners, they cannot construct a logical argument and in true cultural Marxist fashion they resort to abuse, insults, name calling and labels. Racist, Fascist, Xenophobe and many more. Leavers have been making an argument to leave, why they want to leave and what they would want, the remainers on the other hand, have revealed their contempt for Democracy, for the Nanny-state, for thought control which has always been the same. There has never been a period in history when so many people are using their democratic right, to vote for an end to Democracy!
WE MUST LEAVE ASAP
Nigel Farage today warned the Tories he will wipe them out at a general election unless they push through Brexit by Halloween – after securing a stunning triumph in EU polls.
The stark ultimatum came after the Brexit Party won at least 28 MEP seats and 31 per cent of the vote, despite only being formed six weeks ago.
In grim contrast, the Conservatives have dropped to fifth place across much of the country on just 9 per cent of the vote. The disastrous showing immediately sparked warnings from would-be leader Boris Johnson that things will get even worse for the Tories if the UK does not leave the EU by the new deadline at the end of October – deal or no deal.
And Jeremy Corbyn was facing civil war within his party as critics blamed the party’s poor third-place finish on 14 per cent on his failure to back a second referendum. The Remainer Lib Dems surged into second place on 20 per cent with the Greens coming a close fourth on 12 per cent. A jubilant Mr Farage demanded a role in the next round of negotiations with the EU, threatening to contest a general election.
Speaking this morning, he blasted the Tories for their handling of Brexit but said he would be willing to support a Conservative leader who promises to take Britain out of the EU with No Deal. He said: ‘If we don’t leave in October the Brexit party will go on to a general election.
‘We are happy to help any leader who is genuine about us leaving the EU. We would like to be part of the negotiating team, use us and give us some responsibility, but they need to be prepared to leave with a clean break Brexit. Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Michael Gove – all of them voted for Mrs May’s European treaty.
‘It’s all about establishing trust – if the next leader says the same thing then no one is going to trust them.’
‘This is just the beginning of a new political movement.’
For those of you still spitting your dummies out and crying Stop Brexit, here is a map detailing how the British feel.
Point to note, those who voted for anyone other than the #BrexitParty may have voted for any number of reasons, but those who voted for the Brexit Party, voted for one reason and ONLY one reason #BREXIT
However, for you Snowflakes out there, there may be a small consolation, it is rumoured that the BBC will be changing the way Football results are calculated, the scores of Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham & Chelsea will be added up and London will be the new cup champions!
“It’s all fake new I hear you cry,
when the man with the truth has passed you by.
The BBC is the one for me,
I hear no evil and cannot see!”
Walk through the same hangars and buildings as those who served at RAF Duxford. See aircraft take to the skies from the airfield that Spitfires first flew. And get up close to over a century of aviation with hundreds of aircraft and objects on display.
Download a Visitor Map HERE
Visit the Imperial War Museum website HERE
FOREIGNPOLICY.COM: When Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s finance minister and the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced on May 12 that his country would soon send a drill ship to exploit natural gas resources in an area widely considered to belong to Cyprus, it was tempting to write off the incident as just another harmless flare-up in the decadeslong territorial disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean. Periodically stoking tensions with Greece and Cyprus has always been a part of Turkish foreign-policy strategy.
This time is far more dangerous, however, because there are signs Turkey might be ready to escalate its confrontation beyond mere rhetoric. Albayrak’s announcement came a day before Turkey held Sea Wolf, its largest annual naval exercise in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. Then, on May 15, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reiterated the country’s intention to buy the S-400 missile system from Russia. And throughout this period, Turkish jets have been violating Greek airspace almost daily.
The S-400 purchase has been a source of tension on its own. The United States and NATO believe that the missile system, once plugged into Turkey’s radar network, will give Russian systems access to sensitive NATO data—potentially making it easier, for instance, for Moscow to detect the F-35s that Turkey has been looking to procure from the West. Turkey claims those concerns are overblown, but that hasn’t stopped Washington from threatening Ankara with removal from the F-35 purchasing program and further sanctions.
All this, again, could be seen simply as part of the generally problematic relationship between Turkey and the West following the events of the Gezi Park protests and the escalation of the war in Syria, when Erdogan began consolidating power at home almost six years ago. But recent local elections in Istanbul—in which Erdogan lost the city he considers his seat of power—have clearly spooked the once unshakeable strongman, causing him to overreach and force a rerun. This looks likely to backfire, with opposition parties withdrawing their candidates and throwing their support behind the Republican People’s Party’s Ekrem Imamoglu, who was the winner of the first round.
This comes amid an economy in decline, as reflected in the price of the Turkish lira, and grumbling about Erdogan inside his own party. The frosty reception the president got when he visited Turkey-aligned Northern Cyprus last year also didn’t help his standing at home.
These are developments that Erdogan was clearly not ready for. Turks may ultimately benefit from their autocratic president’s sudden weakening. But as far as international politics go, the effects are far more ambiguous. History suggests that leaders who are losing their grip on power have incentives to organize a show of strength and unite their base behind an imminent foreign threat. Erdogan has every reason to create hostilities with Greece—Turkey’s traditional adversary and Cyprus’s ally— to distract from his problems at home.
This wouldn’t come out of nowhere. Turkey has never allowed Cyprus to benefit from the natural gas reserves in its waters without some sort of confrontation. In that sense, Turkey’s strategy in the Aegean Sea has been consistent for many decades now: apply pressure, put forth demands, wait for a crisis, and then bring the other side to the table on your own terms. This is precisely what it’s trying to do in Cyprus right now. “What is developing before our eyes is a systematic strategy engineered by Turkey to bring into question the status quo in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean regions,” wrote Alexis Papachelas, one of Greece’s most senior and well-respected journalists, in his column on May 15. “All evidence points to a climax in tensions next autumn.”
It’s hard to say what the limits of the current confrontation might be. The present conditions make for a dangerous mix. Erdogan has steadily moved Turkey away from the Western institutions it belongs to (NATO) and the ones it once aspired to be a part of (the European Union) and closer to Russia as he attempts to portray himself as a regional leader in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Cyprus and Greece are both members in good standing of the EU. Indeed, Greece has moved closer to the United States and NATO than it has at any time in the past four decades. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has promoted stronger ties with both Israel and Egypt, Cyprus’s partners in its natural gas ventures.
Erdogan has rarely been so weak at home—or so aggressive with his neighbours in the Mediterranean.
Europe has an important role to play in deterring a conflict. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, has expressed “great concern” over Turkey’s plans. “We call urgently on Turkey to show restraint, respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus in its exclusive economic zone and refrain from any such illegal action to which the EU will respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus,” she said last week, while in January, French President Emmanuel Macron had said that France supports Cyprus’ right to gas deposits off its coast, despite Turkey’s objections. The EU’s current approach to protecting its borders, however, is unlikely to be enough to deter Erdogan.
There are broader geopolitical stakes for Europe. In case of an escalation, including any sort of military conflict, wavering by Cyprus’s and Greece’s allies will invalidate the choices made by the two EU members to strengthen their ties with the West and create further doubt about NATO’s effectiveness.
None of this is to suggest that the EU has always handled Turkey and Erdogan as well as it could have, or that Greece, Cyprus, and Israel haven’t made decisions of their own that have raised tensions in the region. But those arguments are not relevant to the present situation. The road map Erdogan is following is of his own creation, as are the seeds of his troubles. In responding to his provocations, Europe must now take a levelheaded but firm approach, one that leaves no room for doubt that Cyprus and Greece have allies on their side. That will do more to dissuade an escalation than any attempt to appease a troubled Erdogan with concessions.
Cyprus is one the most vulnerable states in Europe, people live in constant fear of attack from Turkey, which takes pleasure in constantly intimidating a tiny island state. Whatever the reasons for the troubles back in 1974, neither side is completely innocent, but even though Turkey was allowed ti intervene, being one of the three protector states, after six months, that is legally occupation, which has been deemed illegal by international courts, yet nearly 50 years later, they are still there.
How did Europe deal with Turkey for its behaviour, both to Cypriots and to surrounding neighbours, who have suffered at their hands? (I won’t get in to that now as I will go off on a tangent) Europe, decided to make Turkey an associate member, this was championed by the recently unified Germany who was bankrupt at the time, allowing them to slowly undercut and steal the light industry from most of Southern Europe. Over the last decade especially, turkey has increasingly hinted at expansion, with many of its politicians calling for a number of Greek islands to be taken. They are also very unhappy with their EEZ which is dwarfed by the area that Greece and Cyprus have.
Unless something drastic is done to roll back this expansionist ideology, the problem will soon extend beyond Greece and Cyprus, who are unfortunate enough to border this aggressive nation.
The BBC reported that Ed Bridges decided to launch legal action after being picked up by a facial recognition unit on two occasions.
The first major legal challenge to police use of automated facial recognition surveillance will begin in Cardiff today. A man whose image was taken while doing some Christmas shopping in Cardiff, by cameras operated by South Wales Police, says the system breached his human rights, blaming weak regulation.
Civil rights group Liberty, who will be representing office worker Ed Bridges, has even compared the current use of the tool to taking DNA or fingerprints without consent.
It says it breached Bridges’ human rights to privacy, freedom of assembly, and freedom from discrimination. South Wales Police defends using AFR but has not commented on the case. Mr Bridges told the BBC that in December 2017: ‘I popped out of the office to do a bit of Christmas shopping and on the main pedestrian shopping street in Cardiff, there was a police van.
‘By the time I was close enough to see the words ‘automatic facial recognition’ on the van, I had already had my data captured by it.
‘That struck me as quite a fundamental invasion of my privacy.’
He was also ‘recognised’ by the cameras at a peaceful protest against the arms trade, in 2018. His legal challenge argues the use of the tool breached his human right to privacy as well as data protection and equality laws.
Although the use of these devices has been justified for numerous reasons, this is always the case, the pattern is consistent:
Create a problem
Exaggerate the problem
Offer a solution
Further erode civil liberties
We have already reached the age where protests are illegal, unless they are granted permission, well in advance, to allow the authorities to either, prevent, sabotage or divert attention. You may at first glance believe that to be a good thing, but most people’s intake of current affairs is at best, little more than a fleeting glance, therefore what we are presented in little snippets may be far removed from the truth.
In fact, I myself have been in the vicinity of a protest in London, where there was absolutely no trouble whatsoever, but I aw images of burned out cars released that had nothing to do with the event, but they still succeeded in creating the image of hooliganism, where in fact it was just people protesting about basic essentials.
We are now in an age when the authorities are using this technology to make a digital recording of every one of us, thereby enabling them to identify us anywhere at any time. It will not be long when even more draconian laws are in place and anyone seen where they should not be, will be prosecuted. This must be objected to, while we are still free to object.
Sex between minors no more than 3 years apart decriminalised
Sex between a 15 year old and a 12 year old would not be against the law!
With the EU Parliament election, set for May 23, inching closer, Farage’s anti-EU party has taken pole position, leading with 34 percent thanks to a six-point increase in voter support from two weeks ago, a new Opinium poll commissioned by the Observer has revealed.
While the Brexit Party and Labour shared first place with 28 percent in the last poll, Jeremy Corbyn’s party has since lost seven points, while Farage’s newest political creation pulled ahead and is now separated from its closest rival by a 13-percent gap.
Theresa May can set ‘clarity’ on her resignation date in coming days – senior Tory backbencher
Support for the Tories continues to hurtle downward. According to the Opinium poll, Prime Minister Theresa May’s party is down three points and occupies fourth place with 11 percent, behind the Brexit Party, Labour and now the Liberal Democrats. The latter have gained five points and are now at 12 percent.
The Brexit Party is making similarly massive gains in general election polls. At 21 percent, it has almost caught up with the Tories, who have just one percentage point more.
While the Brexit Party is still trailing Labour in the national polls, the lead held by Corbyn’s party is by no means secure. Now at 28 percent, as it has lost five points in the last two weeks.
In light of Farage’s advance, high-profile Tories and Labour have been sounding the alarm over the rise of populism embodied by the Brexit firebrand.
In an op-ed published by the Observer on Saturday, former Labour PM Tony Blair urged Remainers to unite and stop Farage at any cost. “Farage cannot be allowed to dictate Britain’s future. He must be thwarted,” its headline says. Any party is better than the Brexit Party, Blair pleadingly writes.
“There are unequivocal remain parties – Liberal Democrats, Change UK, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru. If, because of Labour’s equivocation, you simply won’t vote Labour, then vote for them.”
While some Tory MPs, dissatisfied with May’s failure to deliver Brexit, have indicated they might back Farage in the European election, and others like Telford MP Lucy Allan have openly endorsed the Brexit Party’s candidates, Tory chiefs warned MPs that they would be shown the door if they back anyone but their own party. The Sunday Times reported last month that a strong-worded email was sent to MPs noting that “campaigning for or endorsement of any other political party is incompatible with membership of the party.”
Meanwhile, pressure is mounting for May to step down following a calamitous performance in the local election, the worst for Tories since 1995. May vowed to step down as the party’s leader if her Brexit deal is passed by Parliament. Although that has not happened yet, she was called to clarify her resignation date in a meeting with backbench MPs next week.
The Opinium poll was taken online between May 8 and 10 and involved 2,004 respondents.
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A Cypriot army captain who confessed to killing seven foreign women and girls will remain in custody after a court on Monday approved a police request to extend his detention for another eight days.
Investigators need more time to collect testimony and other evidence as authorities continue to search for the bodies of two of the victims, police investigator YIannis Georgadjis told the court.
The 35 year-old suspect, believed to be Cyprus’ first known serial killer, faces charges including premeditated murder and kidnapping in the slayings of three Filipino women and the daughter of one of them, a Romanian mother and daughter and a woman believed to be from Nepal.
The killings appear to have taken place over a period of 2 ½ years starting in September 2016 with the disappearance of 36-year-old Romanian Livia Florentina Bunea, and her 8-year-old daughter Elena Natalia.
Police are accused of failing to properly investigate initial missing persons’ reports that may have prevented the suspect from claiming more victims. Revelations of what the Cypriot president called “negligence” on the part of some police officers led to the justice minister’s resignation while the police chief was fired.
The suspect, who authorities haven’t formally identified, faces an additional charge of raping a woman he contacted through a social media platform. The woman, who was 19 in early 2017 when the alleged rape took place, told police the suspect had sex with her against her will in his car when he picked her up supposedly to give her modelling photographs he took of her.
The suspect is denying the rape allegation. Wearing a bulletproof vest, he represented himself in court on Monday and said he didn’t object to his detention.
The chance discovery of the bound body of Mary Rose Tiburcio, 38, from the Philippines, down an abandoned mineshaft triggered an investigation last month that led to the suspect’s arrest.
The suspect confessed to seven killings in a 10-page handwritten note and took investigators to where he dumped some of his victims.
They include a poisonous lake that is part of a disused copper mine where he said he disposed of the bodies of Bunea, her daughter and another Filipino woman after placing them in suitcases. Divers have so far retrieved two suitcases from the lake and are continuing to search for a third.
A separate search is being carried out at another lake where the suspect said he dumped the body of Tiburcio’s 6-year-old daughter Sierra Grace.
Investigators said the suspect, who is divorced and has two children, had a six-month relationship with Tiburcio before she and her daughter vanished in May 2018.