First signatures for Estia tomorrow
The Legal Service completed the legal vetting of the agreement between the banks and the government for Estia. Tomorrow (Friday), the Government and the participating financial institutions will sign the MoU at a special ceremony. According to CNA, the memorandum will be initially signed by Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank, KEDIPES and the House Finance Corporation. The remaining participating banks, have until 31 July to sign the memorandum. The article reports that Hellenic Bank has so far sent out 1200 letters and has had an adequate response.
Cyprus gets a gold medal once again
According to Eurostat, in the last quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019, Cyprus recorded the biggest public debt increase out of all the countries of the European Union. The government managed to issue bonds amounting to €4.2b, which according to the author, were given as a gift to Hellenic Bank, along with the remaining Co-op assets.
DIKO decides to reject referral of foreclosures laws
The die has been cast as regards the foreclosures laws. On Monday, the House Plenum will decide whether to accept or reject the referral of the foreclosures laws. As it seems the laws will be referred to the Supreme Court. Opposition parties will keep their position and support the amendments. This means that the Supreme Court will have the final say on the matter. DIKO decided yesterday at a meeting to reject the referral of the foreclosures laws. The party’s intense meeting took more than 4 hours, and many opinions were heard. It should be noted that until the Supreme Court decides on the legislation, the current laws will be valid and the foreclosures will continue on the basis of the current procedures. At the same time, the borrowers groups have called their members and all borrowers to a protest on Monday at 10am outside the House.
The benefits are already starting to show
During an event to present the Marine and Maritime Research Innovation and Technology Centre of Excellence, Larnaca’s municipal engineer and coordinator of the Maritec-X programme Andreas Karakatsanis presented the plans for the creation of the Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute. He presented the vision and objectives of the centre, its activities and sectors in which it plans to develop expertise. He added that the timeframe for the centre to achieve full sustainability was end-2024. Karakatsanis said the benefits from the centre’s establishment have already started to show, as a keen interest has been shown in the Mackenzie area where it is being built. The location is ideal, he said, as it is adjacent to the sea and provides perfect access to the Larnaca port and airport.
Negotiations treading on thin ice
A new joint meeting will take place this Tuesday at the Labour Inspection Department, with the participation of hoteliers’ association PASYXE, the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises (ACTE) and trade unions SYXKA-PEO and OUXEKA-SEK, to discuss the thorny issue of renewing the collective agreement in the hotel industry, which expired on 31 December 2018. The Cyprus News Agency reported yesterday that the issue will be discussed for the first time under the head of the labour inspection department, Marina Ioannou Hasapi, as previous discussions in the presence of department officers failed to resolve the dispute between the two sides. The hotel industry’s employers and employees reached a deadlock in the negotiations, leading the Labour Ministry to launch a compromise procedure to help them find common ground.
Deputy Ministry of Tourism to change operating mode
The Deputy Ministry of Tourism is expected to open tenders soon to purchase the services of a specialised firm to assist in overhauling its operations, with the relevant study expected to follow the best international practices. The overhaul will include changes to the way in which the deputy ministry’s island-wide information offices operate. Meanwhile, it was announced that the deputy ministry’s deputy permanent secretary Theophanis Tryfonos met with the tour guides’ association to explain the changes that are being planned (the latter had reacted to plans to shut down the CTO’s Yermasogia information office), and explained that the changes aim to gradually upgrade the services offered to tourists.
Cyprus’ 10 biggest hotels
Citing an article in StockWatch, 24H reports that of the roughly 90,000 hotel beds offered by over 800 hotels in Cyprus, 7,000 beds of just 10 hotels really stand out. Paphos has the majority of these hotels, even though it offers the second highest number of hotel beds. The top ten hotels are Leptos Coral Beach (Paphos – 842 beds), Athena Beach (Paphos – 835), Atlantica Aeneas (Ayia Napa – 828), Louis Phaethon (Paphos – 802), King Evelthon (Paphos – 768), Sunrise Beach (Paralimni – 762), Parklane (Limassol – 678), Aldiana (Larnaca – 664), The Landmark (Nicosia – 588) and Laura Beach (Paphos – 584).
Tserkezoi community properties record increase in value
The chairman of the property valuers association, Kyriacos Talatinis told Politis that the reason why the value of state property has dropped, must be looked into. He argues that the huge differences between 2013-2018, may indicate a calculation mistake. The differences in some areas of Nicosia and Limassol are evident. Most of the times, the property’s value has dropped, but in some areas the value has increased. In Nicosia, the value of properties in Ayios Pavlos marked an increase, while the value of properties in the rest of Ayios Dometios area, decreased. The biggest reductions in Nicosia are observed in Aglantzia and Lakatamia. In Limassol, the biggest reductions were detected in Moni and Pano Polemidia. The value of properties located in the Tserkezoi community on the other hand, recorded an increase. The community in question only has 50 residents and borders on the My Mall area as well as the developed area of the Municipality of Limassol. The community is also located very close to the developing area where the casino-resort will be built.
New deadline for Helinikon casino
Phileleftheros reports that the deadline for an international tender for a casino license in Helinikon, Athens has been extended to 30 September. The extension of the deadline was necessary so as to tie up loose ends in regards to the issuance of the necessary Joint Ministerial Decrees for the Development Zone (including the Integrated Casino-Resort) and the Town-Planning Zone (including residential usages) as well as the lease agreement that will be signed between Lamda and an investor. The government has already aims to issue the three Decrees by 10 August.
Important decisions for GHS
The Ministry of Health (MoH) began the distribution for 5.500 various types of vaccines in order to meet the GHS paediatricians’ needs. Meanwhile, on Monday, the Health Minister will submit a proposal to the Council of Ministers, which foresees the transfer of pharmaceuticals that are in state storages to the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO), that will in turn distribute them to private pharmacies, in an attempt to tackle – even temporarily – the drug shortages. According to Phileleftheros’ sources, the quantity of medicines in these state storages are still insufficient to meet the needs of all the GHS patients, but these medicines are not exchangeable, thus their transfer from the public sector to the private sector is deemed necessary. At the same time, the HIO is expected to deliver the lists of pharmaceutical sales of the first month to pharmaceutical distributors and producers so they can move forward with their orders on the basis of the market’s demands. Additionally, following the HIO’s recommendation, they will appoint a special committee (with representatives of the MoH, HIO, pharmacists and pharmaceutical suppliers) which will oversee pharmaceutical storages in both the private and the public sectors. Their aim is to have a consistent inventory of stocks, so as to put orders forward with the necessary quantity in a timely manner. Moreover, they announced the decision that each GP or paediatrician will have the right to appoint more than 1 substitute doctor when they are absent, in order to avoid burdening the substitute doctor and to allow patients options. During the conference, all of the involved parties shared their problems, which for the most part had to do with the GHS software. Specifically, representatives of diagnostic centres and clinical laboratories, expressed the problems that they encounter with the software due to the way referrals are issued and reported that they are forced to call doctors for clarifications, leading to long delays. The HIO informed them that they can’t upgrade the software for a couple of weeks, as the budget has been exhausted and they have to undergo the necessary procedure for its renewal.
Patients demanding unnecessary examinations
Politis reports that citizens continue to visit their GPs demanding examinations; diagnostic, blood tests, etc. There are even reports that some patients were sent to receive these examinations by their private doctors. According to Politis’ sources, this issue emerged from the first day that GHS was implemented, and it was discussed during yesterday’s conference with all the involved parties. The conference was focused on the operation of the new health system, and both GPs and pediatricians said that they are receiving are being pressured by the patients, stressing that they need to explain when it’s necessary to get an examination and when it’s not.