Daily Press Review - 19/12/2019

ΠΟΛΙΤΗΣ NEWS Δημοσιεύθηκε 19.12.2019
Daily Press Review - 19/12/2019
Alithia reports that according to a well-informed source, the plans for the EastMed pipeline are proceeding as normally without changes

Green light for sale of 49% stake in KEDIPES to Altamira


The European Commission’s DG for Competition yesterday published a change made by the Republic of Cyprus in a commitment concerning the procedure to sell the 49% stake it owns in the former Cyprus Co-operative Bank (CCB) to Altamira Cyprus, thus opening the way for it to sell its stake. Addressing a Press Conference, state asset management company KEDIPES’ Chairman Lambros Papadopoulos said the announcement referred to the commitment made by Cyprus to sell the stake with an open and transparent, condition-free procedure. However, he said, this commitment could not be met due to contractual restrictions deriving from the agreement that was signed at the time between the CCB and Altamira Spain. And so, a time-consuming procedure began between the Finance Ministry and DG for Competition, with Altamira Spain adamant that it would not relinquish any of its contractual rights, thus preventing Cyprus’ commitment from being implemented. So, the DG responded positively to a request by Cyprus to amend the wording of the commitment, so it now says that the stake must be sold at a market-compliant price, which must be evaluated by an independent special appraiser. Currently, an independent appraiser is looking at the agreement with Altamira Spain and news on the matter is expected in early January 2020. Meanwhile, announcing KEDIPES’ quarterly results, the company’s head of finances Lambros Papalambrianou said that the Loan Guarantee Scheme for Hellenic Bank has been activated, with €65.8m being paid to the bank for the period 1 September 2018 – 30 June 2019. The claim mainly concerns accounting provisions that emerged after HB completed the transfer of operations from the CCB to its systems. According to the procedure, SEDIPES/KEDIPES has informed HB that it is not in a position to confirm the claim, and so the two sides must apply to a specialised firm that has been appointed jointly to confirm the sum of the claim. According to the terms of the scheme, HB has submitted €15m to the Republic of Cyprus for the guarantees that were granted. Papalambrianou said the two sides have appointed a firm from abroad, which they will resort to if they cannot agree on the exact sum.



Surplus of 100 employees at KEDIPES

KEDIPES has a surplus of 100 employees, according to a preliminary study by an independent firm into the company’s internal structure. KEDIPES’ chairman Lambros Papadopoulos yesterday officially launched the conversation about reducing the KEDIPES staff. “We are overstaffed in number and understaffed in quality,” he said. He avoided giving an exact number of the employees that need to depart, but he said when a decision is made, it will take into account the workers’ rights. He also insinuated that there could be another voluntary retirement plan, though he added that KEDIPES was waiting for the views of the European Commission’s DG on Competition, the Finance Ministry and the Tax Commissioner. It is noted that there are currently 350 people employed at KEDIPES (excluding those who were dispatched to Altamira) and according to Haravgi’s sources, the study provides for the exit of 100 employees. It is noted that the previous retirement plan was implemented following the agreement with Hellenic Bank, leading to the departure of 1,040 employees with compensation of up to €180,000.



Crime without punishment

Opinion article, with the author accusing the DISY-Anastasiades government of being behind the scandals of the century, which include the sell-off of the Co-op. This is something Cypriot society will pay the price for, for many years to come, it says. It has already been revealed that Hellenic is asking for €65.8m from KEDIPES, it points out.



Two properties sold through e-auctions

Just two of the 15 properties that were up for auction at yesterday’s first e-auction have been sold. The 15 properties were farm plots and land plots, with prices ranging from between €17,600 and €310,000. So far, 120 potential property buyers have registered on the e-auctions platform. The next e-auction will take place on 30 December 2019.



Retroactive pay rises at National Bank of Greece (Cyprus)

National Bank of Greece (Cyprus) will grant retroactive annual increments and the Cost of Living Allowance, according to a circular by bank employees’ union ETYK. “It is with great pleasure and satisfaction that our organisation has been officially informed by the Management of NBG (Cyprus) that with immediate and retroactive effect, the Bank will grant annual increments and CoLA to all colleagues,” said ETYK. It added that it hoped this climate of mutual respect would continue in the future.



SYKALA is back

The association of the depositors who suffered a haircut at legacy Laiki Bank (SYKALA) are back with a new announcement, reiterating the need for their money to be returned and the solidarity fund to be further reinforced. It said the fund did not currently have enough money to cover the needs. The announcement followed the announcement that Italy’s Populare di Bari bank would be rescued by the government. “Clearly Italy has leaders who care about their citizens, as opposed to certain other countries,” said SYKALA.



Satisfaction and concerns over tourist arrivals

Phileleftheros’ article reports that the tourist arrivals data for the first 11 months of the year, are indicative of the changes to our tourist inflows. It was surprising to see a big increase in the arrivals of Israeli tourists, which reached 25.3%. Israel’s market contributed to maintaining the 2019 arrivals, balancing any losses from the German market. Almost 280K Israelis arrived to our island this year, while Scandinavians followed with 270K. The Scandinavian market has been on a downward trend and this must concern the authorities. The 19.7% drop in the German market, caused a real headache for the Authorities. This fact, in combination with the downward trend of the Scandinavians creates a dangerous cocktail if someone takes into account that traditionally, Scandinavians and Germans have been very good and generous customers, while they stay on our island for more than a week.

 

Yeroksipou: access to the beach

After almost 15 years, the urban-planning project PANIA KOT in Yeroskipou has finally been completed, connecting the coastal avenue with the coastal pathway and the sea. Yesterday, the contracts with the company Multibuild Ltd were signed at the Municipal Council of Yeroskipou, which won the tender announced by the Yeroskipou Municipality for the implementation of the first phase of the configuration and landscaping of the coastal walkway and the public spaces of the coastal area. The project is valued at €397,000 and includes three walkways that will reinstate the connection of the PANIA KOT urban-planning project with the coastal walkway.



EU Court to define Airbnb’s status

U.S. homesharing site Airbnb will get a better idea of how it should be labeled when Europe’s top court rules today on the tricky question of whether it is an online booking service or a real estate agent subject to onerous rules. The question arose following a complaint by French tourism association AHTOP, underlining the clash between lightly-regulated online platforms competing with bricks-and-mortar rivals. According to Reuters, a Paris prosecutor subsequently charged Airbnb of breaching the country’s Hoguet Law which governs the activities of property agents. A French judge then sought advice from the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). Airbnb has in recent years clashed with hoteliers and authorities in cities from New York to Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris, accused of worsening housing shortages and pushing out lower income residents. On its part, Airbnb has said that the 50-year real estate law does not apply to an internet platform.



YKAN is looking for the owners of the drugs in the shipment to Australia

The head of the drugs squad YKAN Glykerios Leontiou explained on Alpha that the cargo ship departed from Limassol port on June 4 and the authorities begun investigations on specific information. The ship stopped in Singapore where the container was unloaded and boarded another ship bound for Sydney, Australia. On 17 December the cargo arrived and on the next day the Australian police began its investigations and found the drugs. YKAN explained that the checks at Limassol port are done on a sample basis focusing on cargoes from certain known destinations for distribution of drugs. It added that there is no capability nor equipment to check all cargoes. The head of  YKAN pointed out that the service is concentrating on Cypriot involvement in the case that allegedly arranged for export of the cargo. We have identified everything and sent it to the Australian authorities he said. The number of people involved is small, mainly the shareholders and directors of the companies involved. Mr Leontiou said that there still unanswered questions in the case in relation to the manufacturing of barbeques and the packaging of the drugs that appeared to have been loaded together in the container.



Shipping and Climate

International shipping organizations propose the introduction of tax on fuel use in order to finance the sector's transition to zero carbon emissions. The shipowners associations including the largest in the world, such as Bimco and the World Shipping Council (WSC) propose to create an independent organization under the supervision of members of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) who will be responsible to invest the funds that are collected. The ship owners’ announced plans are for a $5bn (£3.8bn) fund to design zero-emissions vessels. They propose $2 (£1.50) should be levied on every tonne of ships' fuel - to support research into clean engines. Shipping creates about 3% of the emissions that are over-heating the climate - equivalent to all of Germany's CO2. Environmentalists welcomed the proposal but also described it as too little, too late. They say it's outrageous that international shipping pays no fuel taxes, unlike lorry owners. Around 250m tonnes of fuel a year are burned by ships. The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) says that 90% of owners globally are behind the $2 levy on fuel.



Still no answer for ferry link by EC

The Deputy Ministry of Shipping, is still waiting for an approval by the European Commission, as it comes to Cyprus’ application to launch a ferry link between the Limassol and Piraeus ports. The request was submitted a few months ago through the State Aid Commissioner and the question that was posed to which the government is still waiting an answer is whether a part of the losses of the link can be subsidised on a national level, so as to make it attractive for the sectors’ businesspeople. If the answer received by the Commission is positive, the goal is to make the line operational by summer 2022. Speaking yesterday at the TV show, Protoselido, the Deputy Minister of Shipping Natasa Pilides said that many companies are interested in the route. “A lot of companies have approached us”, she said, “but what they’re waiting to see is the amount of subsidy by the European Commission”. “Once we have this information, we will issue a tender”, she noted.



We are proceeding with EastMed and Turkey with Libya

Alithia reports that according to a well-informed source, the plans for the EastMed pipeline are proceeding as normally without changes. The same procedures are being followed, we hope to soon have a better view of the geology and our gas discoveries to make a decision. But certainly, there is enough gas from all the projects since Cyprus already has the deposits at the Glaucus-1 and Calypso targets and half the Leviathan deposit for which Israel is still looking for a buyer. As far as the schedule of the next drillings in the Cyprus’ EEZ, the source indicated that it will depend purely on technical reasons and also on the timing of other drillings in the area.



Energean wants a health competition

Energean that made its proposal for the transfer of Israeli natural gas to Cyprus public, indicated that all its actions are done within the framework  of free and healthy competition. Dr Constantinos Nicolaou technical advisor at Energean explained to Alithia that Energean did not participate in the original state competition since the terms were for the transfer of exclusively liquified natural gas. Energean was excluded from the preliminary competition since its activities concerned transmission of natural gas by pipeline.

 

Πολιτική Δημοσίευσης Σχολίων
Οι ιδιοκτήτες της ιστοσελίδας www.politis.com.cy διατηρούν το δικαίωμα να αφαιρούν σχόλια αναγνωστών, δυσφημιστικού και/ή υβριστικού περιεχομένου, ή/και σχόλια που μπορούν να εκληφθεί ότι υποκινούν το μίσος/τον ρατσισμό ή που παραβιάζουν οποιαδήποτε άλλη νομοθεσία. Οι συντάκτες των σχολίων αυτών ευθύνονται προσωπικά για την δημοσίευση τους. Αν κάποιος αναγνώστης/συντάκτης σχολίου, το οποίο αφαιρείται, θεωρεί ότι έχει στοιχεία που αποδεικνύουν το αληθές του περιεχομένου του, μπορεί να τα αποστείλει στην διεύθυνση της ιστοσελίδας για να διερευνηθούν. Προτρέπουμε τους αναγνώστες μας να κάνουν report / flag σχόλια που πιστεύουν ότι παραβιάζουν τους πιο πάνω κανόνες. Σχόλια που περιέχουν URL / links σε οποιαδήποτε σελίδα, δεν δημοσιεύονται αυτόματα.
ΔΙΑΒΑΣΤΕ ΑΚΟΜΗ
Γκουτέρες: Δεσμευτικές οι αποφάσεις του Διεθνούς Δικαστηρίου - Όλες οι πλευρές να συμμορφωθούν
ΚΟΣΜΟΣ

Γκουτέρες: Δεσμευτικές οι αποφάσεις του Διεθνούς Δικαστηρίου - Όλες οι πλευρές να συμμορφωθούν

Γκουτέρες: Δεσμευτικές οι αποφάσεις του Διεθνούς Δικαστηρίου - Όλες οι πλευρές να συμμορφωθούν

Εντολή από το Διεθνές Δικαστήριο να σταματήσει το Ισραήλ την επίθεση στη Ράφα - «Θα συνεχίσουμε» λέει το Τελ Αβίβ
ΚΟΣΜΟΣ

Εντολή από το Διεθνές Δικαστήριο να σταματήσει το Ισραήλ την επίθεση στη Ράφα - «Θα συνεχίσουμε» λέει το Τελ Αβίβ

Εντολή από το Διεθνές Δικαστήριο να σταματήσει το Ισραήλ την επίθεση στη Ράφα - «Θα συνεχίσουμε» λέει το Τελ Αβίβ

Γραφείο Νετανιάχου: Ψευδείς και εξωφρενικές οι κατηγορίες για γενοκτονία στη Γάζα
ΚΟΣΜΟΣ

Γραφείο Νετανιάχου: Ψευδείς και εξωφρενικές οι κατηγορίες για γενοκτονία στη Γάζα

Γραφείο Νετανιάχου: Ψευδείς και εξωφρενικές οι κατηγορίες για γενοκτονία στη Γάζα

Κατά της εξαγοράς της Ελληνικής από την Eurobank, η ΕΤΥΚ - Προσέφυγε στο Διοικητικό Δικαστήριο
ΟΙΚΟΝΟΜΙΑ

Κατά της εξαγοράς της Ελληνικής από την Eurobank, η ΕΤΥΚ - Προσέφυγε στο Διοικητικό Δικαστήριο

Κατά της εξαγοράς της Ελληνικής από την Eurobank, η ΕΤΥΚ - Προσέφυγε στο Διοικητικό Δικαστήριο

Υπό έλεγχο τέθηκε η πυρκαγιά στο Παραμάλι - Δεν υπήρξαν τραυματισμοί και υλικές ζημιές
ΚΥΠΡΟΣ

Υπό έλεγχο τέθηκε η πυρκαγιά στο Παραμάλι - Δεν υπήρξαν τραυματισμοί και υλικές ζημιές

Υπό έλεγχο τέθηκε η πυρκαγιά στο Παραμάλι - Δεν υπήρξαν τραυματισμοί και υλικές ζημιές