Archbishop told: don’t meddle

PRESIDENT Demetris Christofias has warned Archbishop Chrysostomos to stop meddling in politics, as the deal-making for the election of a new House Speaker spun into overdrive yesterday.

“The Church has nothing to do with politics and has no right to interfere in political affairs,” Christofias said in comments from Australia.

“It [the Church] is entitled to its views on the Cyprus problem, but its involvement today exposes us internationally,” he added.

“Even the priests have their faults. The garb does not make the wearer the priest,” Christofias noted.

Our View: Race for House president only noteworthy for backroom deals

AS SOON as the votes were counted and the parliamentary seats shared out among the winners, the political parties began the horse-trading with regard to the presidency of the new House. In the ensuing nine days we have heard little else from politicians and the media commentators who have been treating the election of an official to a ceremonial position as an issue of the utmost importance.

SEC aiming to expedite Fitch announcement on Cyprus

CYPRUS’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was yesterday trying to get the Fitch rating agency to expedite an announcement on Cyprus, after rumours of an impending downgrade caused heavy losses in the stock market last week.

Rumours on Friday suggested that Fitch will today announce a downgrade of the Cypriot economy.

Coupled with the fact that Greek political parties failed to agree on the measures needed to pull the country out of the crisis, it prompted a 4.77 per cent drop of the stock market with banks – that are exposed to Greek debt – being the hardest hit.

Alert over killer cucumbers

HEALTH ministry officials are on high alert after a fatal outbreak of E Coli poisoning hit north Europe at the weekend.

By yesterday afternoon, there had been almost 300 confirmed cases of poisoning in Germany, Sweden, Holland, the UK and Denmark, making it the worst outbreak of its kind in Europe.

And while Cyprus is so far unaffected, the Health Ministry issued advice to travellers to the affected countries, readied the state labs and had contacted food importers to assess the risk to Cypriots.

According to Chief Health Ministry epidemiologist Chrystalla Hadjianastasiou, the source of the E Coli outbreak is believed to be a batch of exported Spanish cucumbers.

‘We’ll fight for full smoking ban’

WITH OFFICIAL local figures showing that 12 to 13 per cent of all deaths in over-35s are smoke related, the Cyprus Anti-Drugs Council has promised to step up efforts to have the smoking ban fully enforced

Marking World No Tobacco Day today, the council yesterday announced figures they said showed that the island’s death toll from smoking was five times higher than the number of road fatalities. Around 100 people a year die on the roads, which would put the number of smoking-related deaths at 500 a year.

“It is estimated that in 2025, global deaths related to smoking will exceed 10 million,” the council said, adding that this made them more determined to push for a full smoking ban in all public areas.

Teachers protest site of French-Cypriot school

THE OPENING of a French-Cypriot school to be run by both France and Cyprus is of huge political significance, said Education Minister Andreas Demetriou yesterday in response to the project’s critics.

Demetriou quashed thoughts of shelving the idea, saying: “There are very serious national and ethnic reasons the government decided to proceed with this. The decision has been taken that it will happen,” he said.

“A proposal was made by the French government to the Cyprus government for the creation of a French-Cypriot school. This school will come under the supervision of both governments,” he said, noting it was a joint venture of both countries, whose governments would appoint a French/Cypriot board, with the Cypriots being the majority.

Paphos launches 2017 ad campaign

Paphos municipality has launched its advertising campaign to become 2017 European Capital of Culture.

Running under the slogan “Linking continents: bridging cultures”, the municipality hopes to win the prestigious award by drawing upon its archaeological heritage and location as Europe’s easternmost city.

Coordinator for Paphos 2017 steering bid Phemis Filippides said yesterday: “We want to play with the position of Paphos as the easternmost European city –It provides the possibility to open the cultural horizons of the Middle East and North Africa.”

The one area where Paphos may struggle to compete with main rivals Nicosia and Limassol is in infrastructure.

Woman brutally attacked in Yeri

A WOMAN from the Nicosia suburb Yeri was yesterday being treated in hospital after being injured in an attack by a 31-year-old man during a visit to a friend’s house.

The suspect has been remanded for three days.

According to the police, the woman had been visiting friends when she was attacked outside the house by the suspect, also from Nicosia. The 31-year-old allegedly started verbally abusing the plaintiff, before grabbing her by the dress and dragging her across the road, resulting in a series of injuries.

The suspect, according to the young woman, then grabbed her by the throat and threatened her with a knife, before slashing her knee.

Museum victory for architects

LOCAL ARCHITECTS have won their battle to ease tough regulations for the architectural competition for the design of the new Cyprus Museum which they said made it virtually impossible for a local architect to be chosen.

The decision was taken yesterday after a meeting between the Cyprus Architects’ Association and the Communications Ministry.

“They [the Communications Ministry] decided to revoke the competition and to re-announce it without such extreme demands,” said president of the association, Constantinos Constanti. “We want to send out a big well done to the minister,” he said, adding that the ministry had decided to adopt all of the association’s requests.

New mall to bring life back to Paphos

CONSTRUCTION is underway to build a new mall in Paphos, which is hoped will help boost the flagging local economy.

The Kings Avenue mall is a joint venture between Aristo developers and  K. Athienitis.

Work is due to be finished within 20 months. According to Fivos Theodorou, the marketing officer or Aristo developers the project will cost more than €100 million and the mall will cover an area of 46,000 square metres.

The new mall is being built on an old KEO site in Kato Paphos and will have parking space for 1,000 vehicles.

Theodorou said the mall is being built in the tourist area of Paphos and will house numerous shops, cafes and restaurants as well as a seven screen cinema, a fun park and a supermarket. There will also be a green area.