Monthly Archives: August 2019

25% of private landlords do not meet safety standards

A quarter – 25% – of homes rented from private landlords fail to meet the national Decent Homes Standard when taking into account hazards, costs and other characteristics, analysis of the English Housing Survey reveals.  Households containing several million people are currently living in unsafe or unsuitable rented accommodation, according to the research by VeriSmart.  The study by the independent property inspectors details how 19.5% of homes in the country, which works out at about 4.5 million properties, failed to meet the government’s Decent Homes Standard, when taking into account hazards, costs and other characteristics.

The assessment of the English Housing Survey, which dates back to 1967, shows that the social sector had the lowest proportion of non-decent homes at 13%. 

The most common Category 1 hazards – the most dangerous type of hazard – were falls and fires. Falls on stairs, on a level and between levels accounted for the three most common types of hazard, with fires in fourth place. Converted flats were deemed the most hazardous property type, with 21% of such homes likely to contain hazards, while private homes were the next most dangerous by this measure (14%).

Houses were close behind (12%), with flats proving safer (8%), though social rented homes were least likely to play host to a hazard at just 6%. Some 1.1 million homes had a serious fire hazard – for example no smoke alarms, old or faulty electrical systems, missing fire doors – and other hazards included damp and mould, electrical safety faults and hot surfaces. Jonathan Senior, chairman of VeriSmart, commented: “The figures are worrying when one considers that one in five homes is sub-standard as far as safety, costs and other measures are concerned.

“Some may fret at the average cost to fix a property so that it meets the required standard, but when these properties are falling below expectations in part due to hazards, safety surely has to take priority.

“We recently looked at the tragic number of home accidents – many involving children and many leading to fatalities – and it’s clear that chances can’t be taken in this area.”

Overseas Investors piling money in to London

Many buy-to-let investors in the UK seem to be sitting on their hands at the moment, owed mainly to the tax and regulatory changes seen in the past few years, not to mention Brexit uncertainty. But Overseas buyers appear to view existing market conditions as ideal for acquiring property in the UK and London in particular, according to James Pendleton. The estate agency reports that there has been a significant increase in demand from foreign investors and funds, with international buyers hoovering up dozens of London homes at a time.

Property values in the capital have been falling for well over a year but demand from foreign investors buying in bulk is stronger than ever, the agent says.

Lee James Pendleton, the founding director of the firm, has called the bottom of the London housing market, at a time when international investors are benefiting from a weak UK pound along with a softening in the attitude of developers to discounting.

Pendleton believes that a no-deal Brexit would only serve to spark a more intense ‘feeding frenzy’, as large players ‘pile in’ to take further advantage of further weakness in the value of the pound. The estate agent is currently handling the purchase of 75 units in south-west London as part of a single transaction worth in excess of £40m.

Combined with a currency dividend, if these investors can get a 25% discount from a developer, they can be looking at a 40% discount on value overall, the agent says. However, Pendleton warns there is still very little demand for anything over £1,500 per sq ft — with bulk buyers favouring anything under £800 per sq ft.

James Pendleton has responded to growing demand from foreign property buyers by launching a new investment advisory service for institutional and bulk investors. Pendleton said: “Anyone who thinks foreign investors and funds have beat a retreat from London are mistaken. The only people who have backed away are UK investors.

“Developers can see the market has softened and they are willing to give bigger discounts than at any point in the past 10 years. 

“They are hoovering up dozens of homes at a time and their behaviour clearly indicates to us that the bottom of the London market is at hand. The prospect of a no-deal Brexit is a concern to some but, in reality, it would only spark a feeding frenzy among these large players who will pile in as the pound falls.

“As a result, there are a lot of big overseas funds and investors looking for freehold buildings that have a mix of commercial and residential in them. 

“This is the perfect time to launch our new department, which will cater to patient investors who believe London property at current prices will pay huge dividends over the long term and are so confident in that belief that they are committing vast sums of money.  “The smart money is now looking at the London market, reading the cycle and deciding this is the time to get in.”

Anastasiades faces money laundering reports

The Cyprus Mail reports:

The government branded on Saturday media reports linking President Nicos Anastasiades and his law firm to the so-called Troika laundromat as libellous and devoid of reality.

A report by the Organised Crime and Corruption Project (OCCRP) released on Wednesday linked the president and his law firm with the Troika Laundromat, a network of shell companies that operated from 2006 to 2013 moving at least $4.6 billion and enabling its users to hide assets, evade taxes or launder money.

In a statement on Friday, main opposition Akel said it was concerned by the reports which linked Cyprus with money laundering and implicating the president and his law firm in suspicious dealings.

“The Republic of Cyprus is being derided since it is implicated in suspicious money dealings, as well as Mr Anastasiades himself,” the party said.

COMMENT

I really don’t know why he is surprised, his administration has presided over some horrendous corruption scandals, he lied to the people before the haircut in 2013, promising that it would not happen, then he had the audacity to imply that his hand was forced by the EU, when it has transpired since that he instigated it, not before ensuring that his family and friends had moved their money to safety. More than SIX YEARS later, we have still been kept in the dark about the 5% commission that the Deutsche Bank offered to dump the toxic bonds that the Cyprus Popular Bank and the Bank of Cyprus bought……….who received that money?

Then he personally pardoned sex offenders, a hit and run driver (Efi Herodotou) who fled the scene, leaving an innocent man to die, then she fled the country for years, on her return when she was jailed, he pardoned her the following year. I’m sure it is no coincidence that her father is an army officer and one of the inner-circle of ‘friends’ who are above the law in Cyprus.

Then there was the disgrace of the coop bank, which is being revealed to have operated not only with gross negligence, but actions bordering on ‘Loan Sharking’ with some of their overcharges being calculated to be in excess of 40% of many outstanding balances! This has left many people hunted by asset management like Altamira, just as the court fee structure has been changed to make it even more expensive for them to defend themselves, absolutely shameful!

There is no transparency in government accounting, no moral compass in domestic policy, Cypriots finding themselves unable to afford a home because under the supervision of this administration, Cyprus is being sold off to overseas investors in exchange for ‘golden Visas’ creating a fake bubble with NO REGARD to the indigenous population that has a right to a home, but all too often cannot afford one.

You sir, have a lot to answer for, the public have a right to place their faith in a fair and trustworthy administration, is that really the case?

Cyprus to hike corporate tax rate

NOBODY expected auditors, lawyers and business organisations to embrace finance minister Harris Georgiades’ suggestion for an increase of corporate tax from 12.5% to 15%. Low corporate tax, which was 10% before the economic crisis and 4% for foreign businesses before entry to the EU, was arguably the main incentive for foreign companies setting up in Cyprus. For companies making good profits, relocation costs could be covered from the first tax year’s additional profit earnings, which made the move a no-brainer.

The finance ministry floated the idea of raising corporate tax on Tuesday and within 24 hours representatives of the business community met at the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and unanimously rejected it. Not only this, but in a statement issued by all participants they demanded “an immediate end to any discussion regarding the particular issue and the express revocation of the ministry’s intention.”

It’s quite interesting how the ROC has had its arm twisted by the EU (no doubt instigated by certain other members with an agenda) to capitulate to actually cutting its own throat.

Prior to joining the EU, Cyprus had an offshore tax rate of 4%, which encouraged companies from around the world to register here, putting Cyprus on course to become the Switzerland of the Med. However, following the money grabbing haircut and successive hikes in the rate of tax, that position has been slipping and will inevitably fall further, should the rate rise again.

Why should corporations avoid tax you may ask? Well, let’s take a look at Gibraltar, which has always been a tax haven:

Corporate tax is just 10% and personal tax is low, with the tax rate on income over £700,000 falling to just 5%.

It seems to me, that this administration is making a grave error, rising tax rates are a sure way to put the economy on a downward spiral, as they gradually need to take more and more, from less and less contributors, as companies simply move elsewhere.

Cypriot History – The British Period

Protectorate of Cyprus (1878−1914)

Cyprus entered the Empire under rather unusual circumstances in 1878. The Ottoman Empire had just been at war with Russia and were very much in danger of losing control of their capital Constantinople. The British intervened in the crisis on the side of the Ottoman Turks by sending a fleet to intimidate the Russians. The Ottoman Sultan was so thankful for the British intervention that he granted the control of the island of Cyprus to the British under the Cyprus Convention.

The timing was quite auspicious for the British, the Suez Canal had opened less than a decade before and so the sea-borne traffic in the Eastern Mediterranean was rising substantially. Much of this traffic was British en route to or from India. Some 4 years later, the British would use the island as a major base of operations for the invasion and occupation of Egypt. This would confirm Britain’s growing dominance of the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus’ role would rise commensurate with that influence.

The first Briton who was placed in charge of the administration was given the title of “High Commissioner” and was Lieutenant-General Sir Garnet Joseph Wolseley (1833–1913). The British faced a major political problem on the island. The indigenous Cypriots believed it their natural right to unite the island with Greece following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The British authorities carried out the first census in 1881, the total population of Cyprus was 186,173, of whom 137,631 (73.9%) were Greeks, 45,438 (24.4%) were Turks and 3,084 (1.7%) were minorities of Maronites, Latins and Armenians.[2] Bishop of Kitium Kyprianos addressed Sir Garnet Joseph Wolseley upon his arrival in Larnaca in a speech on the 22nd of July 1878 saying “We (Greeks) accept the change of the government, because we believe that Great Britain will eventually help Cyprus, just like with the Ionian islands, unite Cyprus with mother Greece”.

By 1906 the major harbour at Famagusta had been completed for this purpose. The British were supposed to be running Cyprus on behalf of the Ottomans, but this informal agreement would be boldly ended at the outbreak of World War One, when the Turks and British found themselves on opposing sides. Indeed many of the Greek Cypriots on the island, as British subjects, joined the British Army and fought against the Ottomans. The island itself was a useful base of operations against the Turks. It became a particularly useful staging area for the Dardanelles campaign.

While the Cypriots at first welcomed British rule hoping that they would gradually achieve prosperity, democracy and national liberation, they became disillusioned. The British imposed heavy taxes to cover the compensation which they were paying to the Sultan for having conceded Cyprus to them. Moreover, the people were not given the right to participate in the administration of the island, since all powers were reserved to the High Commissioner and to London.

British Cyprus (1914–60)

House in Nicosia CBD built in British colonisation era

Cyprus was part of the British Empire from 1914 under military occupation from 1914–1925 and a Crown colony from 1925–1960. However, Cyprus’ status as a protectorate of the British Empire ended in 1914 when the Ottoman Empire declared war against the Triple Entente powers, which included Great Britain. Cyprus was then annexed by the British Empire on 5 November 1914. During the course of the First World War Britain offered to cede Cyprus to Greece if they would fulfil treaty obligations to attack Bulgaria, but Greece declined.

Britain proclaimed Cyprus the Crown colony of British Cyprus in 1925, under an undemocratic constitution. It kept the original Legislative Council that had been formulated in 1882. The Greek majority found that it could not break the constitutional deadlock as the Turkish minority would side with the British appointed representatives. Riots broke out in 1931 over the imposition of certain taxes. This would result in the death of six civilians and the burning down of the British Government house in Nicosia. The constitution would be suspended as a result and direct rule imposed.

International recognition of the new Republic of Turkey resulted from the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 in which the new Turkish government formally recognised Britain’s sovereignty over Cyprus (article 20). The administration was reformed in the latter 1920s, and some members of the Legislative Council (established 1926) were elected by the Cypriots, but their participation was very marginal. The Legislative Council was abolished in 1931.

Greek Cypriots believed the circumstances were right to demand union of the island with Greece (enosis), as many of the Aegean and Ionian islands had done following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. In the years that followed, Greek Cypriots’ demands for enosis (union with Greece), which the British opposed, developed rapidly during the 1930s, leading to the destruction of the Government House in Nicosia, which was burnt down in the 1931 Cyprus Revolt.

Palmerokratia

The period between October 1931 and October 1940 proved to be a very difficult one for the Cypriots. The Governor at the time, Sir Richmond Palmer, took a number of suppressive measures including limitations on the administration and functioning of Greek schools, and prohibition of trade unions and associations of any kind and form. This regime became known as “Palmerokratia”, named after the Governor. Its aim was to prevent local public interest in politics. There were strong protests against the regime but the suppressive measures were not lifted until the beginning of the Second World War, during which more than thirty thousand Cypriots joined the British armed forces. In World War Two, the Greek population would rally whole heartedly behind the British – especially after the Italian invasion of mainland Greece and the subsequent arrival of German forces there. Some 30,000 islanders volunteered to fight for the British. The island itself was actually spared much of the fighting apart from air raids. It would remain in British possession and would prove an invaluable staging and refuelling post and would ensure that the Eastern end of the Mediterranean remain reasonably secure for the British.

Endeavours by the British to introduce constitutional government designed to develop some participation without leading to enosis failed, despite determined efforts to achieve some semblance of liberal and democratic government, notably by the post-war Labour government in Britain.

Proposed union with Greece

In 1948, King Paul of Greece declared that Cyprus desired union with Greece. In 1950 the Orthodox Church of Cyprus presented a referendum according to which around 97% of the Greek Cypriot population wanted the union. The United Nations accepted the Greek petition and enosis became an international issue. In 1952 both Greece and Turkey became members of NATO. After the war, a delegation from Cyprus submitted a demand for enosis to London. The demand was rejected but the British proposed a more liberal constitution and a 10-year programme of social and economic development.

Led by Archbishop Makarios, the Greek Cypriot demand for enosis emerged with new force in the 1950s, when Greece began to accord it support on the international scene. This attempt to win world support alerted Turkey and alarmed the Turkish Cypriots.

The British withdrawal from Egypt led to Cyprus becoming the new location for their Middle East Headquarters.

The island took on a new strategic importance for the British after Egypt became independent in 1952. Cyprus’ strategic situation near to an increasingly volatile Middle East and not far from the Suez Canal shipping lanes. Even after the 1956 Suez debacle (much of which was coordinated from Cyprus), it still provided a useful monitoring station and also played a role in the developing Cold War and supporting NATO allies like Turkey and Greece despite their difficulties with one another. The Soviet Union’s currying of favour with various Middle Eastern regimes in the 1950s and 1960s combined with its Black Sea Fleet in the region meant that Cyprus was well placed to provide surveillance, intelligence and military responsiveness in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Rising Greek nationalism in the post war period saw political tensions rise as the Greek Cypriots on the island wanted to unite with Greece, whilst the Turkish Cypriots were equally keen to join with Turkey. Riots became increasingly violent as the British themselves resisted claims from both sides in order to keep their important military bases there and to try and keep one group being subjugated by the other. From 1955, the Greek Cypriot EOKA started a campaign of violence to speed up the process for some form of independence. The British responded in November of that year by declaring a State of Emergency.

Cyprus Emergency

When international pressure did not suffice to make Britain respond as required, violence escalated with a campaign against the colonial power organised by EOKA (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston). Its leader, Colonel George Grivas, created and directed an effective campaign beginning in 1955. The first bombs were set off on April 1, followed by leaflets. Attacks on police stations started on June 19. The British Governor proclaimed a State of Emergency on 26 November 1955.

For the next four years EOKA attacked British or British-connected targets and those Cypriots it accused of collaboration. Archbishop Makarios and other Cypriot clergy and political leaders were forced into exile in the Seychelles. 371 British servicemen died fighting the independence movement during the Cyprus Emergency, including over 20 in the Operation Lucky Alphonse.

Much of the strategic rationale for maintaining Cyprus would disappear after the Suez Canal debacle in 1956 which saw Britain climb down from their invasion of the canal zone. In many ways this event marked the beginning of the end of the British Empire in Africa and the Middle East. Consequently nationalists on the island of Cyprus took heart and increased their demands for independence. Although the intractable demands of the two major constituencies made these negotiations particularly difficult

Easily infiltrated by Greek Cypriot sympathisers working for them in various ancillary tasks, the British security forces had to exert great efforts under Field Marshal Sir John Harding to suppress the independence movement. They were much more successful than is often recognised, though the attacks on British personnel never quite ceased. Makarios was exiled, suspected of involvement in the EOKA campaign, but was released when EOKA, exhausted but still determined to fight, agreed to cease hostilities on the Archbishop’s release and return.

From mid-1956 onwards there were constant discussions in NATO, but all efforts to create an independent Cyprus which would be a member of the Commonwealth of Nations were futile.

Turkish Cypriots

The Turkish Cypriot response to the challenges posed by the prospect of decolonization and the breakdown of the colonial order was to adopt the call for partition (taksim). Taksim became the slogan which was used by the increasingly militant Turkish Cypriots in an attempt to mirror the Greek cry of ‘enosis’. In 1957 Küçük declared during a visit to Ankara that Turkey would claim the northern half of the island.

In April 1957, in the new conditions made obvious by the Suez Crisis debacle, the British government accepted that bases on Cyprus were an acceptable alternative to Cyprus as a base. This produced a much more relaxed British attitude to the problem. It was now to be solved in conjunction with Greece and Turkey, the latter thoroughly alerted to the dangers of enosis for the Turkish Cypriot population.

Violence was renewed in Cyprus by EOKA, but it increasingly drew in the Turkish community when a new plan for unitary self-government, of British Governor Sir Hugh Foot, incited Turkish Cypriot riots and produced a hostile response from the Turkish government. Violence between the two communities developed into a new and deadly feature of the situation.

In 1957 the U.N. decided that the issue should be resolved according to its Statutory Map. The exiles returned, and both sides began a series of violent acts against each other. In the few years that existed before the Zürich and London Agreements (1959 /1960) Greece tried again to win international recognition and support for the cause of enosis at the U.N. against a background of renewed and continuing EOKA violence directed against the British. It was to no avail. Eventually Greece had to recognise that Turkey was now a vitally interested party in the dispute.

Grivas and EOKA also had to accept the changed situation. Makarios could see no way of excluding Turkey from participating in any solutions. It was widely believed by the Greek-Cypriots that Britain had promoted the Turkish-Cypriot case, thus preventing the achievement of enosis.

In 1958 the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan prepared new proposals for Cyprus, but his plan which was a form of partition, was rejected by Archbishop Makarios. The Archbishop declared that he would only accept a proposal which guaranteed independence, excluding both Enosis and partition.

Cypriot constitution

On February 19, 1959 the Zürich agreement attempted to end the conflict. Without the presence of either the Greek or the Turkish sides, the UK outlined a Cypriot constitution, which was eventually accepted by both sides. Both Greece and Turkey along with Britain were appointed as guarantors of the island’s integrity.

Some of the major points of the Zurich agreement are:

  • Cyprus is to become an independent state.
  • Both taksim and enosis are to be prohibited.
  • Greek and Turkish military forces, at a ratio of approximately 3:2, are to be present at all time in Cyprus. Both forces are to answer to all three foreign ministers: of Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus.
  • The President is to be a Greek Cypriot, elected by the Greek Cypriot population, and the Vice President a Turkish Cypriot, elected by the Turkish Cypriot population.
  • The Cabinet is to include seven Greek Cypriots, chosen by the President, and three Turkish Cypriots, chosen by the Vice President.
  • Decisions will need an absolute majority but both the President and the Vice President have the right of veto.
  • The United Kingdom is to remain a guarantor and keep both of its military bases.

Independence

On August 16, 1960 Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom, after the long anti-British campaign by the Greek Cypriot EOKA (National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters), a guerrilla group which desired political union with Greece, or enosis. Archbishop Makarios III, a charismatic religious and political leader, was elected the first president of independent Cyprus. In 1961 it became the 99th member of the United Nations.

The Zurich agreement, however, did not succeed in establishing cooperation between the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot populations. The Greek Cypriots argued that the complex mechanisms introduced to protect Turkish Cypriot interests were obstacles to efficient government and as such developed the Akritas Plan aimed at forcing all Turkish Cypriot parliamentarians from government so as not to disrupt Greek Cypriot plans of enosis. Both sides continued the violence. Turkey threatened to intervene on the island.

Summary

When the British took control of Cyprus in 1878, they had to pay the Ottomans an annual levy, for which they taxed the Cypriots excessively, causing widespread poverty and resentment. It is understandable that when a population is exploited to this degree, that they will not only be prepared to take drastic actions, (desperate people, take desperate measures) but also, that very desperation makes them vulnerable to political exploitation. In this brief historical account, we see one word appear more than any other ENOSIS! 

In 1828, modern Greece’s first president Ioannis Kapodistrias called for union of Cyprus with Greece, and numerous minor uprisings took place, For the main part, this was kept under wraps until it resurfaced in 1915, when the British offered Cyprus to Greece, in return for them joining the allies in war effort, but the offer was withdrawn before Greece joined, was this the moment that Pandora’s box was opened?

One thing is for certain, the Greek Orthodox Church, which has a dream of a new Byzantine empire has always encouraged the desire for Enosis, for a Greek orthodox empire with the church at its centre. Let us not forget that the Byzantine empire eroded and almost self-destructed as a result of its own treachery. In the rare instance that you will run in to a Greek Orthodox priest who will actually admit the reality, they will confirm this. However, before we condemn the Cypriot public for their blind faith in the church and enosis, we must take in to account the literacy rates at the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century, which were around 30%. A situation that was exploited not only by the British, but also by the church, which had encouraged Cypriots to out thousands of acres of land in the name of the church, to avoid taxation by the Ottomans, but then the church actually kept it and to this day, they are profiting from it with the development of exclusive golf resorts.

This was a period when Cypriots were raised with one mindset, union with Greece. following the October riots of 1931, the desire to rid Cyprus of the British and pursue union with Greece began to increase rapidly, until the formation of EOKA when the struggle for independence began.

The words “struggle for independence” seem so ironic as for many, it was not a struggle for independence, it was a struggle to  take sovereignty away from the British and hand it to Greece. This campaign for freedom was one of the first time in history that the Cypriot people took on a military giant and forced them to desperately seek a manner in which to concede without losing face. Sadly the British were not going to take this lightly.

When filed Marshal Harding arrived in October 1955, the situation in Cyprus was about to take a sinister turn. He not only set about enforcing draconian measures, he also set about implementing a policy of divide and conquer. He instigated a division between the communities that remains to this day. He instigated the assassination of innocent people on each side, then blaming the other, to cause social unrest to break the people.

At the same time, Girogios Grivas began to diver the campaign against Turkish Cypriots, playing right in to the hands of the British, who were happy to fan the flames. One famous EOKA fighter was Grigoris Afksentiou, who fought many brave battles, but eventually went in to hiding in the mountains near Machairas Monastery. On the 3rd March 1955, Field Marshal Harding discovered his whereabouts thanks to an informer and the area was surrounded. Grigoris Afksentiou refused to surrender, so Harding ordered the entire valley be set alight, burning Grigoris Afksentiou alive.

 

This was not warfare, this was a vendetta, conducted by Harding and it was murder!

 

Whilst Grigoris Afksentiou was also a faithful supporter of enosis, which I agree with, I do take the cultural in-doctrine of the era in to account, but that aside, one thing is for certain, the actions of Field Marshall Harding on that day were not those of a military man, this was the highest ranking officer in the British army, the army of an empire, suppressing ordinary people, fighting for their liberty, albeit that it was hijacked by enosis and for him to have ordered a man to be burned alive leaves him, his family and the British with a legacy of SHAME!

Enosis has and still is the nemesis of Cyprus, it is sadly ironic that this beautiful island has been torn apart and divided by a word that means ‘unity’

It is with this in mind that the need, indeed the obligation to cast off the demons of the past and save our island from continuing to be exploited by division, because whatever these people who gave their lives may have believed, they sacrificed their lives for Cyprus, right, wrong, misguided or even reckless, we are obliged to them and if we are complacent and allow Cyprus to disintegrate, that would be the greatest mark of disrespect not only for our island, but also to the many who have given their lives, decade after decade, century upon century, since time began.

I was born and raised in the UK, I do love the UK, but where this matter is concerned, I would like to see an official apology for the despicable way that Cyprus was treated by the British, the suffering they inflicted on the Cypriot people and the social divisions that they instigated that divide us to this day.

Cyprus EEZ, Energy Minister refuses to include hydrocarbons in peace talks

THE CYPRUS MAIL:

We cannot link efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem with the issue of hydrocarbons in the Cyprus EEZ, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said in an interview with Greek media on Saturday.

The Republic of Cyprus is developing and implementing its energy strategy, like all democratic and modern states, in accordance with International law and the relevant United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of ​​1982, Lakkotrypis said.

“Turkey’s claim regarding the protection of Turkish Cypriot interests is automatically rejected, in my view, by the neighbouring country’s own illegal ventures in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.

“How is it possible to safeguard the interests of our Turkish Cypriot fellow citizens when Turkey, through its own arbitrary interpretation of international law, leaves Cyprus with only 31 per cent of its existing EEZ?” Lakkotrypis asked, noting that the Republic has made multiple calls to Turkey to engage in negotiations for the delimitation of their EEZs.

The Cypriot government has adopted legislation for a national hydrocarbons fund to ensure that all legal citizens, particularly future generations, benefit from hydrocarbon revenues, the minister said.

COMMENT

The ROC is not doing anything to help progress here. Whatever resources Cyprus has, or will have, belong to ALL CYPRIOTS. The manner in which this administration has conducted itself, has left the door open to criticism. Even though this should not be a ‘Turkey bashing’ issue, whether Turkey is exploiting this for political reasons or not, they would not have been able to, if the ROC had a clear and determined position that any natural resources should benefit the whole island, not just the friends of the President!

There is a real danger of this backfiring badly, the demand for natural Gas is falling and that decline will accelerate in the coming years. It is also a fact that the Gas off the coast of Cyprus is very expensive to acquire, so even after the massive discovery in block 10, the line between acquisition costs, transport costs and profitable resale is a lot finer than people may realise. Whilst I am not suggesting that a cut is just handed over without any political solution, the gas find is an asset of Cyprus, the President could have demonstrated on the world stage that he is a magnanimous, pragmatic and proud Cypriot, who wants to work towards a united INCLUSIVE Cyprus. Instead, he has pursued a policy that is saying…”Me! Me! Me!”

Crowdfunding for British tourist in Napa rape-case exceeds goal

The Cyprus Mail reported:

A CROWDFUNDING appeal to raise money to cover the legal fees of a 19- year-old British girl who claims she was forced by Cypriot police to withdraw a gang-rape complaint, has raised over £19,000 (€20,200), exceeding its £15,000 target, all within two days of being launched.

As of Saturday afternoon, the Help Teen Victim Get Justice in Cyprus crowdfunding appeal launched by the girl’s parents on GoFundMe raised over £19,223 from 378 people.

Among the donors, there was a significant number of Israeli citizens. Many of them said they believed the girl told the truth when she accused a group of 12 of their teenage compatriots of gang-raping her in a hotel room at the two-star Pambos Napa Rocks Hotel in Ayia Napa three weeks ago.

“To the British teen: I am Israeli and I am terrified by what my fellow citizens did to you and how you were treated consequently by Cypriot law enforcement. I want to say that I fully believe you and admire your courage not to remain silent. I really hope that eventually, you will get justice and your life will be recovered as quickly as possible,” wrote Michael Uritsky who donated £10.

“I believe you, and did from the beginning. Stand strong for justice on all counts. You are not alone. Many of us in Israel believe you and support you,” commented Shelley Bogen who also sent £10.

Earlier this week, the girl’s Cypriot lawyer, Andreas Pittadjis, resigned, citing serious disagreement with his client about how to handle the case.

The girl’s mother, currently in Cyprus, told the press that the family decided to accept legal assistance from the British legal group Justice Abroad, an organisation which, according to its website, “has been set up to help those trying to find their way through foreign justice systems with all the associated hurdles that present”. Together they plan to assemble an expert legal team from both the UK and Cyprus in order to challenge the many breaches of the teenager’s rights they claim took place since the case first started.

In the statement published on the crowdfunding page the family says: “In the early hours of Sunday the 28th of July 2019, following a week of traumatic events, our daughter was arrested for allegedly making a false allegation of rape in Cyprus and is currently being detained in prison awaiting trial. We maintain that the statement was given under duress and in breach of her rights, resulting in the collapse of the initial investigation and charges of public mischief being made against her. She is alone in a prison abroad after an awful series of events, we just want to bring her home.”

The 19-year-old was charged for making false claims after she withdrew her complaint that she had been gang-raped. She is due back in court on August 19.

COMMENT

This young lady deserves a fair trial it’s been sickening to see the ‘trial by proxy’ that has been happening within these posts.

 

CONSENT CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME!

 

For those of you still in the sexual dark ages, it does not make a difference, if you walk down the street in a thong and engage in sex with a dozen partners, CONSENT CAN BE WITHDRAWN AT ANY TIME! I sincerely hope that your daughters are never subjected to the Pig ignorance that I have seen here, if the they are ever unfortunate enough to suffer the same fate.

If the police had conducted themselves properly, they would have had a signed declaration from her refusing legal representation that would/should have been witnessed by an independent third party, they do not have that.

It is not just this young lady who is on trial, the boys who were released, guilty or not, have demonstrated that they have no respect for women by taking and releasing that video, an act that is a serious crime in the UK, therefore, for that alone, they are beyond contempt.

Then we have her so called solicitor who resigned, well, he has a chequered history to say the least. I can’t/won’t comment any further, but if you do some research, you can find out for yourself.

In the meantime, the accused were released and any possibility of a fair trial now gone, based on a gruelling EIGHT HOUR interview of a female tourist, without representation.

Whatever the facts are, the world’s media are making a meal out of this, quite rightly so, because this is not just about what did or did not happen, it is about the entire investigative process. This goes far and beyond Ayia Napa, or even Cyprus, it leaves a legacy of shame!

Napa rape case lawyer resigns

The lawyer of a British woman, 19, who claimed she had been forced by police to withdraw a rape complaint has quit over disagreements with his client.

Andreas Pittadjis told the court on Wednesday that he was quitting due to serious disagreements with his client.

With the lawyer representing the woman at the centre of the rape case in Ayia Napa has resigned, but so far the only explanation has been that he had disagreements with his client.

The turn of events has left the woman at the mercy of public speculation, because the common consensus is that because she agreed consented to one or more who actually filmed her without permission, that she obviously did not object, but that is not necessarily the case.

We don’t know the facts, a video of the girl having sex with one or more of those boys does not make them innocent, consent can be withdrawn at any time. Therefore the video only confirms what the girl already admitted to, but what it also confirms is that those boys had zero respect for her, because they took it and shared it. As for her legal representation, we do not know the full story and basing opinion on the famous “somebody said” scenario is the worst thing to do.

We must not forget that consent may be withdrawn at ANY TIME!

One thing is for certain, there was no recording of her interview, not required by law in Cyprus, but definitely standard procedure in cases as serious as this. The girl was interviewed for hours without legal representation and signed a confession without legal representation, now this IS ILLEGAL! In Cyprus the accused must have legal representation and only if they flatly refuse and then, sign a statement declaring that they DO NOT want legal representation in front of a whiteness, can they proceed without. That did not happen in this case.

The Brit teen’s message breaks off mid-sentence minutes before her arrest!
Credit: COLLECT

 

Therefore, so far we have an illegal interview, an illegally gained confession, boys who had so little respect for the girl that they filmed her and then released the video which would be a serious offence in the UK, but at the very least, it displays what kind of people they must be.

Who were the officers who conducted this interview? Why have they not explained themselves? What will be done about their interview technique, which at best is gross negligence, but at worst, a blatant, premeditated and illegal abuse of procedure?

 

QUESTIONS AROUND INVESTIGATION

  • Police reports of the incident seen by The Sun have also raised further questions about the conduct of the investigation
  • Medical examinations of two Israelis found “suspicious scratches” and bruises on their backs and chests, as if they had been in a struggle.
  • They told detectives they had been attacked at the hotel by the girl’s friends.
  • The hotel’s manager insisted no such fight took place.
  • An early police report noted how “suspect No1” — the teenager’s holiday fling partner — had changed his story.
  • Another Israeli recalled meeting five of his friends heading towards the room 30 minutes before the alleged attack occurred.
  • When suspect No1 was asked what his plans were, he allegedly said the girl was coming to the room for “an orgy.” As his four friends laughed, he is said to have added: “Everyone will have sex with her.”
  • The teenager, who grew up in rural Derbyshire, is described by friends as popular and “party loving”.
  • She had been in Ayia Napa on a working holiday for a fortnight before the alleged attack — staying at the two-star Pambos Napa Rocks hotel.
  • The Israeli group, some having a last break before three years’ military service, were also at the hotel, which is well known for its pool parties. A source said: “They were living it up, ogling the girls round the poolside and shouting things to each other in Hebrew like ‘All English girls are hookers!’”

Cyprus non-performing loans crisis

The press reports that up to 100 protesters gathered outside parliament on Friday morning while an extraordinary House plenum session was underway inside to vote on a second veto by the president on changes to the law of foreclosures which seeks to prevent changes to existing legislation.

The protesters, members of anti-foreclosures and borrowers’ associations, called on MPs not to agree to the referral of the bills.

Their concern is that any changes to the law amendment passed by the House plenum on July 12, and later  vetoed by the president, would mean losing their rights. They argued that the foreclosures framework approved a year ago in July 2018 had given banks too many weapons against borrowers and last month’s amendments redressed the balance.

The president referred the embattled bills on foreclosures that have been deemed as unconstitutional. The changes made by opposition parties on July 12, would defang the banks’ ability to recoup loans that have gone bad by making it more difficult to repossess mortgaged properties.

 

The loans in question were sold off for just 20% of their value, so why is Hellenic Bank and Altamira not passing this on to the borrower?

COMMENT

The loans in question were sold off for 20% of their value to, Hellenic and Altamira asset management. Before passing judgement we need to take on board the fact that most of these loans were found to have been either illegal or in breach of banking laws in the first place.

The Banks have instigated a stranglehold on innocent people be firstly refusing to transparent in their policies, refusing to negotiate with people on the loans themselves and most importantly, subjecting people to outrageous overcharges that are nearly always wiped out when the borrower has the means to contest them through the courts.

This brings me to the second point, the banks were obviously, not only in full support of the changes to the legal defence fee structure, but they were actually lobbying for it. this has resulting in a massive up-scaling of court fees for people just to respond to court action, making it even hard for innocent people to force the banks to account for their actions in a court. For example, a case involving a sum of between €100,00 and €500,000 will cost €2,250.00 JUST TO RESPOND.

It would have been more prudent for the Banks and Altamira to simply offer restructured loans at a little higher than they were sold for, say 30% as proposed by the MP Kostas Efstathiou before parliament this week.

Cyprus to demand EU relocates ‘significant number’ of island’s asylum seekers

The Cyprus Mail has reported that:

Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides is sending a formal letter to the EU and Commission counterparts asking that a significant number of refugees under asylum protection in Cyprus be relocated to other member states, it emerged on Sunday.

In statements in Dromolaxia, Petrides was asked about the increasing inflow of asylum seekers coming through the north. “This is indeed a unique anomaly due to the occupation. We are a country in the European Union that cannot control our northern borders and Frontex cannot patrol as in other countries so we cannot take these measures taken by other countries,” he said.

“In the absence of any permanent solution at a European level, namely the Dublin Regulation, which provides for temporary and voluntary arrangements, and because it seems that a permanent solution is not going forward, we are officially demanding a more substantial redistribution of people.”

Petrides said that next week an official letter would be sent by Cyprus, “from me to all my counterparts but also to the European Commission” to request the relocation of a significant number of people who are protected in Cyprus,” he added.

The aim, Petrides said is to stop at least to some degree the disproportionate burden on Cyprus.

“With the official response from these countries in writing, we will see to what extent this solidarity that we are seeking and that the European Union itself says is at its core, exists, Petrides said.

Asked to comment on criticisms that Cyprus is not properly managing the large influx of migrants, the minister said the management that has been carried out by the Republic was one that has prevented a humanitarian crisis in EU countries that do not have the minimum number Cyprus.

“So this criticism is unfair because of the overwhelming burden when you have to process a thousand applications a year means there will be delays,” he added.

He said Cyprus was constantly improving infrastructure and facilities but in any country the local labour market and economy as a whole can only absorb a certain number of people and “when that number is far exceeded then the system, whether it is called an asylum system or a welfare system, cannot cope sufficiently and quickly.”

He repeated that the criticism is unfair and suggested the media ask Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou how much the welfare system has been burdened by the management of so many thousands of extra people.

Petrides announced on Wednesday that his ministry would create one or two more refugee reception centres catering for 1,000 persons to respond to the increased migration flow.

He said there were 15,000 asylum seekers and that another 15,000 had been granted subsidiary protection status.

One or two more reception centres catering for a total of 1,000 people would be needed, he said.

The minister reiterated however that Cyprus could not host 30 to 40 reception centres and end up another “depository of souls”.

COMMENT

I believe the true consequences of joining the EU are only now being felt, since Italy closed its ports to migrants and made the rescuing of migrants a criminal offence, many of them are actually being sneaked in to Cyprus. Along with many others who are being pushed out of Italy, because they have had enough.

Over the last 2/3 years the numbers have swelled exponentially, but it has been a quiet, even distribution that many people have not noticed, but block after block of apartments in the major towns are being set aside for migrants, as the Landlords/Agents receive €150.00 per month for each one that they squeeze in, turning many blocks in to ghettos and making the lives of the residents a misery.

This situation has gotten totally out of control, but it has been conducted by stealth and most people are only now beginning to notice that Cyprus has been FLOODED! However, the numbers are already so great that any change in public opinion will lead to unrest. Before feeling that the appropriate thing to say is that we should take them in, then consider this, the numbers arriving have been increasing constantly, with a massive jump in June, there are millions more where they came from, how many can we take?

Ironically, the government is looking to the EU to solve this, it is in fact the EU that has created this, whilst simultaneously implementing laws, making it harder and harder to object. It is sad that our own government has to beg, cap in hand for the EU to respect our own sovereignty that we handed to them on a plate.