17 MEPs slam Cyprus over aiding Putin against Browder laundering

first_imgBy Stelios OrphanidesTHREE days after Interpol dismissed for the fifth time a Russian arrest warrant against Hermitage Capital founder Bill Browder, a group of European Parliament deputies urged Cyprus, the single EU state cooperating with Russia on the matter, to reconsider its cooperation and to instead clamp down on illicit Russian funds.“We write to you with grave concern about the role that corrupt Russian government officials are playing in Cyprus in relation to the laundering of massive criminal schemes coming from Russia,” the 17 MEPs said in a joint letter to President Nicos Anastasiades dated October 26. “We are equally concerned that while Cyprus is neglecting its duties under the European directives to combat money laundering, the Cypriot government is actively assisting the Russian government in furthering human rights violations through assistance with politically motivated prosecutions, in contravention of its obligations under European conventions”.The European lawmakers told Anastasiades, who completed a three-day working visit in Moscow on Tuesday and held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, that they were “surprised and disheartened” over the island’s lack of action in investigating a tax theft exposed by lawyer Sergei Magnitsky nine years ago, “despite millions of dollars of those proceeds having been laundered through Cyprus”.“Cyprus has not prosecuted those involved in the $230m (€198m) fraud and money laundering despite the evidence of them holding assets in Cyprus,” the MEPs said. “Cyprus has stalled or significantly delayed mutual legal assistance to other EU countries which have been conducting investigations into the $230 million money laundering, most significantly France where it took two years for Cyprus to respond”.“Finally, at the same time as Cyprus is neglecting its obligations to investigate this crime and money laundering, Cyprus has been actively assisting the Russian government in politically motivated proceedings against Browder, the main person who is advocating for justice for Magnitsky,” who died in a Russian prison a year later after the police officials he implicated in the case arrested him and subjected him to torture, they said.Browder filed last month an application for an emergency injunction at the Nicosia District Court in an attempt to force Cypriot authorities to stop their cooperation with Russia in a case launched against him after he successfully advocated the adoption of legislation in the US targeting Russian nationals involved in Magnitsky’s death. The next hearing is set for November 6.In 2014, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution asking member states to adopt similar legislative measures like the US Magnitsky Act of 2012, and not to cooperate with Russia’s government in its vendetta against Browder.“While every other European country, Interpol and the Council of Europe have deemed the Russian proceedings against Browder to be politically motivated, your country has taken a contrary position, and agreed to provide assistance to a Russian politically-motivated process, clearly in violation of your obligations under the rule of law,” the deputies said.They include Ana Gomes, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Marju Lauristin and Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar of the socialist faction, the conservatives Anna Fotyga and Monica Macovei, the liberals Maite Pagazaurtundua Ruiz, Petras Austrevicius and Fredrick Federley, the greens Rebecca Harms and Judith Sargentini, and Christofer Fjellner, Bendt Bendtsen, Lars Adaktusson, Laima Andrikiene, Gunnar Hokmark and Sandra Kalniete of the European Peoples Party to which Disy, Anastasiades’s party is part of.“We were appalled to learn that Cyprus agreed to cooperate with the Russian government in the case against Browder despite the evidence of the high level of political direction and the political nature of those proceedings having been recognized internationally, including by the Council of Europe,” they said. “The Magnitsky case is the most emblematic case of corruption and human rights abuse in Russian modern history. The conduct of Cyprus in this case will have implications that go far beyond this case”.Five years ago, when Cyprus was facing its worst fiscal and banking crisis in its history, euro area members declined to bail out Cypriot banks on the grounds that the banks helped Russian oligarchs launder ill-gotten gains.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research Best Compact SUV CarYahoo SearchUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

House Finance Corporation extends loan facilities

first_imgThe Housing Finance Corporation (HFC) is expanding its low-interest lending activities to household goods, overdrafts, student and medical loans, it announced on Wednesday.The corporation, which has traditionally issued only housing loans for low-income groups, said it was expanding its role and that a public information campaign would be launched shortly.In a statement to CNA, HFC director-general Andreas Georgiou said that apart from its existing activities, which include mortgages for housing and land, and renovation loans, a new plan had also been put in place for young couples.The overdraft facilities it plans to offer would be a first for the HFC, he added.“With that, we are completing the range of products we promised last year,” said Georgiou, adding that HFC credit cards might also be in the offing by the end of the year, or by early 2019.The interest rate on the mortgage scheme for young couples, Georgiou said, would be 1.9 per cent for the first five years, rising to 2.5 per cent thereafter.The student loan would be 1.7 per cent for the first five years, going up to 2.7 per cent, healthcare between 3 per cent and 3.5 per cent and for household goods, 3.3 per cent to 3.5 per cent. The overdraft rate will be 3.7 per cent to 3.9 per cent depending on whether someone has their salary paid into the HFC.With a wage remittance an account-holder could have their overdraft fixed at €15,000 while for other account holders the overdraft ceiling would be set at €4,000.You May LikeTravel Feed12 most remote places at the end of the worldTravel FeedUndoWeightLossHelper.orgTop 20 Foods You Should Eat For Weight LossWeightLossHelper.orgUndoFaresaver.TravelHawaiian Airlines Deals From Only $79.99 One-Way!Faresaver.TravelUndo Limassol police investigating attempted murderUndoCypriot ambassadors gather in Nicosia for annual briefingUndoLicences for ENI and Total to explore block sevenUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Woman attacked by Rottweiler Updated

first_imgA woman is being treated for bites and shock at a private clinic after being attacked by a Rottweiler on Sunday afternoon in Limassol.The woman and her husband were walking with their two dogs, one of them a cross between a German shepherd and a husky and the other one a cross between a Labrador and a German pointer, in the tourist area of Limassol when the incident happened.While they were walking they came across a man with a Rottweiler. The woman told the Cyprus Mail that the Rottweiler slipped off his collar and grabbed one of her dogs by the neck and started shaking him right and left. She said when she tried to rescue her dog the Rottweiler attacked her.The owner of the Rottweiler went to the police following the incident, the woman said, and reported he too had been bitten on his finger but that he didn’t know which of the dogs did it. He reportedly received first aid at Limassol general hospital. “I did not press charges but I asked him to do something about his dog, to have him trained,” the woman said. She said that she is to be discharged by the clinic on Tuesday. The case is now being investigated by the police and the veterinary services, she said.   You May LikeAutoversedQuiz: Can You Guess Engine Parts from a Hint?AutoversedUndoWater Purifiers | Search AdsWater Purifier Prices Might Surprise YouWater Purifiers | Search AdsUndoJay's ProductsElectric Razor For Men By JTrim 3DFLEX Wet dry System JPT-GF500Jay’s ProductsUndo Protest outside the House over foreclosures lawUndoFrom space heroes to artists: women written out of historyUndoLED-lighting the way by 2020Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Cyprus to forge ahead with natural gas plans govt spokesman says

first_imgThe Republic of Cyprus will forge ahead with natural gas plans, having international law and the international community on its side, government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Tuesday.He was responding to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who warned of instability in the area if Cyprus continued.“If the Greek Cypriot side insists on continuing its unilateral hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, security and stability in the area will be continuously in danger. I am saying this openly and clearly…” Erdogan was quoted as saying during a visit to Britain on Monday.Prodromou said the island’s energy plans were in line with international law and had the support of Russia and the US, as well as the European Council.“What’s certain is that the Republic of Cyprus has international legality on its side and the support of the international community and of course it will continue to exercise its sovereign rights in cooperation with neighbouring countries with which we have agreements, but also with EU member states,” Prodromou said.The spokesman said Turkey’s provocations have already received a response from the European Council that urged Ankara to refrain from illegal actions that caused tensions.If Turkey meant what it said about not wanting tension in the area, the way to show it is by supporting the resumption of the reunification negotiations, Prodromou added.“Turkey can really contribute by accepting the parameters set by the UN Secretary-General for the abolition of guarantees and withdrawal of the army, to achieve a solution of the Cyprus problem and truly have conditions without tensions.”In February, Turkish warships prevented Italian energy company ENI from drilling in a field inside block 6 of the Republic’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).Turkey argues it is safeguarding the rights of Turkish Cypriots, but it also has its own claims inside Cyprus’ EEZ.The government has made it clear that it recognises Turkish Cypriot rights, which they can exercise as part of the island’s reunification.The Greek Cypriot side says Turkish and Turkish Cypriot claims over hydrocarbon exploration are overridden by the convergences already reached on the issue during negotiations.The two sides had agreed the exploitation of natural resources would be the responsibility of a federal state in reunited Cyprus.You May LikeSmart SecurityCheapest Way to Protect your HomeSmart SecurityUndoHealthZap50 Places No One Is Ever Allowed To VisitHealthZapUndoThis magazineFoods against bad breath which really workThis magazineUndo Heroes’ welcome for Israeli teens after woman detained for false rape claim (Update 2)UndoClear winner in first round of Kition bishop voteUndoProtest outside the House over foreclosures lawUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

EU Commissioner for Health in Cyprus next week

first_imgEuropean Union Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis will visit Cyprus next week.During his two – day visit, the Commissioner will meet health minister Giorgos Pamporidis and President of the House of Representatives Yiannakis Omirou. He will also meet the Parliamentary committees on health and agriculture, and Cypriot students.The Commissioner`s responsibilities include modernising and simplifying EU food safety policy, ensuring the Commission is ready in supporting the EU’s capacity to deal with crisis situations in food safety or pandemics, reviewing the laws that oblige the Commission to authorise genetically modified organisms, even when a majority of national governments opposes them, building up knowledge on the performance of national health systems to shape national and EU policies, and helping address the challenge of increased calls on national health services at a time of intense pressure on public finances.The Lithuanian Commissioner holds a Medical doctor`s degree, a Master`s degree in history, and was the Party leader of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania. He served as Deputy Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament and lately as Minister of Health (2012-2014). (CNA)You May LikeInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesNew Rule in Rowland Heights, California Leaves Drivers FumingInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoIcePopMan Notices A Strange Hole In This Lake, So He Gets A Drone, Flies It Inside And Captures ThisIcePopUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img

Empty houses could help the homeless

first_imgExisting housing that is currently empty could be put to use to offer some relief for the homeless, Volunteerism and NGO Commissioner Yiannis Yiannaki said on Tuesday.Yiannaki told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that in a letter to Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides, he proposed that “we make use of existing housing potential for those who need aid, such as in refugee neighbourhoods, where there may be apartments or houses that are not being used.”There are also Turkish Cypriot houses, Yiannaki said, “which could be given to vulnerable groups.”Yiannaki called on the relevant services to evaluate both the problems burdening the vulnerable groups of Cyprus, as well as the current situation in terms of the use of existing housing structures.“After such an effort, if we see that there are still deficiencies and the construction of additional housing is required – various such proposals have been made – the state will have to take on the task of construction, either this consists of modular homes or something more permanent.”You May LikeFreedom Debt ReliefPeople In Heavy Debt Are In For A SurpriseFreedom Debt ReliefUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoComparisons.orgRowland Heights Pays Homeowners to Install Solar. See if your zip code qualifiesComparisons.orgUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Cyprus could raise €80m from carbon credits

first_imgBy Elias HazouOver the course of the next seven years (2014 to 2020), Cyprus may raise some €80m from the auctioning off of carbon credits, minister of agriculture and the environment Nicos Kouyialis said yesterday.The proceeds would come from selling surplus carbon allowances, or credits, to other EU countries given that Cyprus would remain below its emissions quota, said Kouyialis.He was speaking after a meeting of the Cabinet which decided, among others, the establishment of a ‘Green Development Fund’.Kouyialis said the fund would be used for ‘green projects’ – such as investing in electric buses, energy-saving buildings, and R&D in renewable energy sources – aimed at further lowering the island’s carbon footprint.The various projects would also create jobs geared at young unemployed people, the minister said.The special fund, as well as a fleshed-out policy plan, would be set up by springtime 2014.From 2014 to 2020, said Kouyialis, the island’s ‘low emissions’ would allow it to auction off its carbon allowances, raising approximately €80m during this period, and perhaps as much as €110m.But as far as power production is concerned, Cyprus goes well beyond its EU carbon allowances.Back in September 2011 the island requested from the European Commission a temporary exemption from the rule that full auctioning of EU ETS allowances would apply from 2013 in the power sector.The Commission accepted Cyprus’ request, clearing Cyprus for about 11 million ETS carbon credits – or EU allowances – for 2013 to 2019. These carbon credits were to be allocated for free to power plants during the period in question.But the electricity sector here has always exceeded its emissions quota. Antonis Patsalis, head of production at the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, told the Mail that each year the power utility emits some 4 million tonnes of carbon.One carbon credit corresponds to a tonne of carbon dioxide. Thus for the eight-year period (2013 to 2020) the Cyprus power sector will roughly generate a total of 32 million tonnes of carbon, or 32 million carbon credits – well above the €11 million free allowance. The EAC has to buy the extra credits on exchanges.A country’s emissions quota is not limited to the power sector; it also includes heavy industry (such as cement factories) and transport.It was thus not clear whether the minister was referring to these other sectors when saying that Cyprus would be able to ‘save’ and sell credits. Also not clear was how the minister arrived at the €80m figure; Kouyialis could not be reached for comment yesterday.Cyprus participates in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), launched in 2005, that works on the “cap and trade” principle: there is a “cap”, or limit, on the total amount of certain greenhouse gases that can be emitted by the factories, power plants and other installations in the system. Within this cap, companies receive emission allowances which they can sell to or buy from one another as needed. The limit on the total number of allowances available ensures that they have a value.At the end of each year each company must surrender enough allowances to cover all its emissions, otherwise heavy fines are imposed. If a company reduces its emissions, it can keep the spare allowances to cover its future needs or else sell them to another company that is short of allowances.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Cruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Experts to help economic collapse investigation

first_imgThe cabinet on Wednesday approved the employment of three experts to help investigators looking into the causes of the island’s economic collapse.The government’s intention to strengthen the team had been announced last week after officials reviewed the course of the investigation in a meeting headed by President Nicos Anastasiades.There has been criticism in recent days over the speed of the investigation into the collapse, which saw one bank close and another recapitalised by seizing clients’ deposits.The scope of the police inquiry covers the banks’ expansion into Greece, bank corporate governance, the acquisition of Greek bonds, and how now-defunct Laiki Bank came to amass some €9 billion in emergency liquidity, a liability since passed onto the Bank of Cyprus.Cypriot banks lost about €4.5 billion when European Union leaders agreed in late 2011 to a Greek debt write-down, designed to make that country’s debt burden more sustainable.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoKelley Blue BookYou Won’t Believe How Affordable These Ford Car Models AreKelley Blue BookUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

MoU for transport of gas to Egypt

first_imgCyprus and Egypt have signed a memorandum of understanding to examine the transport of natural gas through an underwater pipeline.The agreement was signed by the Cyprus hydrocarbon company and Egypt’s natural gas holding company at Sharm El Sheikh.The two companies have agreed to look into technical solutions to transport natural gas from Cyprus’ offshore Block 12 to Egypt through an underwater pipeline.“Without a doubt, the memorandum of understanding is an important step to strengthen the co-operation of Egypt and Cyprus in the area of oil and natural gas, which will further the friendly relations between the two countries,” an announcement said.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Business and politics the focus of presidents trip to Russia

first_imgPresident Nicos Anastasiades departs on Sunday night for Moscow for a two-day official working visit that will include meetings with senior state officials.According to a statement, Anastasiades, flanked by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Finance Harris Georgiades, Transport Minister Marios Demetriades and government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides, will meet with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday and President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.On the agenda will be bilateral relations, the latest developments in the Cyprus problem talks, Russia’s relations with the European Union, as well as regional and international matters.During the meeting with Putin, Anastasiades will sign bilateral agreements in areas like commercial shipping, international road transportation and communications, as well as memoranda of cooperation in areas like the economy, the statement said.The two presidents will make remarks to the press after the meeting.During his stay in Moscow, Anastasiades will also have contacts with Russian businessmen at a dinner organised by the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency, as well as reporters at a news conference for the Russian media at the Tass news agency.The president and his delegation are scheduled to return to Cyprus on Tuesday.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more