"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, February 29, 2008

Cyprus Government formed and Ryanair tells it like it is in air fares in Europe.

President Demetris Christofias , the 6th President since Cyprus obtained independence in 1960, was sworn in today and the Cyprus cabinet met for the first time under his control - he had previously been the speaker in Parliament and defeated MEP Ioannis Kasoulides in a presidential election run-off on Sunday.

He determined that they would have two major goals , reviving peace talks with the Turkish Cypriots and ending the 30 year division of the strategic Mediterranean island.

Christofias who is Russian educated , is leader of the AKEL party ,with avowed Marxist-Leninist ideals but is seen as more socialist than communist rooted and is the largest party in the Greek part of the island.

The tri-party coalition of AKEL with socialist EDEK and DIKO now takes power for a 5 year term

EU health commissioner Markos Kyprianou, (son of three-time Cyprus president Spyros Kyprianou) takes up the key post of foreign minister . His commission job will be taken by former MP Androulla Vassiliou, the beautiful and engaging young wife of wife of former Cyprus president George Vassiliou.

Harilaos Stavrakis, a senior Bank of Cyprus executive ,takes over the Finance Ministry as the country expands into the Eurozone with a growth rate of 4% expected in the forthcoming year. Much of which will be the growth of offshore banking and financial services. Helped by a helthy dose ofg money laun dering from the immigrant Eastern Europeans and the leaky Northern Turkish border with its money juggling casinos.

Overall AKEL has taken the most portfolios with five (including affiliated members), followed by DIKO with three, the socialists with two and the finance minister was appointed by common consensus.

Negotiations with the Turkish Cypriots had gone nowhere with the previous President DIKO chief Tassos Papadopoulos, (who had a surprise defeat in the first round of voting) who led Greek Cypriots in rejecting a UN reunification plan in a 2004 referendum. Christofias, has agreed to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to try to end the stalemate - a move that has been welcomed in the halls of the European bureaucrats.

Ministers appointed are :
Finance Charilaos Stavrakis
The Interior Neoclis Sylikiotis
Defence Costas Papacostas
Education and Culture Andreas Demetriou
Communications and Works Nicos Nicolaides
Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Michalis Polyniki Charalambides
Labor and Social Insurance Soteroulla Charalambous
Justice and Public Order Kypros Chrysostomides
Health Christos Patsalides

ELSEWHERE Ayia Napa mayor Nakis Tsokkos is seeking to impose a year-round blanket ban after after nine soldiers were charged with smashing up a pub and attacking locals - the 9 will stand trial on March 31 after pleading not guilty to a variety of offences ranging from causing grievous bodily harm to breach of the peace over the Ayia Napa pub rampage in February.

Ryanair’s Director of Route Development Bernard Berger told a hoteliers` conference that something had to be done about airport charges before they would fly to Cyprus. Berger gave a speech - ‘Europe soars, Cyprus slumps’ to the conference, organised by the Cyprus Hotel Association (PASYXE).

Ryanair's current average ticket price is With an average ticket price of €44 and the current €30 fee per departing passenger from Cyprus will continue to be strong dis-incentive to use Cyprus..

Berger quoted the example of Latvia where they had taken the decision to lower its rates, and since then Ryanair had brought in between one and four million passengers through Riga airport. he also highlighted malta's 11% growth in visitors after more realistic pricing.

Berger said Ryanair could initially bring in 60,000 to 70,000 new tourists a year (would include flights to and from Stockholm, Milan, Pisa, Marseille, Barcelona and Dusseldorf) and after a few years this could increase to as much as 750,000 a year...if they could strike a deal. (GB Airways -part of EasyJet. Gatwick- Paphos 7 days return today is £278)

Pics are of Christmas Stamps from 2007 see the story of these here Cyprus remembers theft by Turks of Christian relics from ocupied churches in Christmas Stamps.

Cyprus post office issued memorial stamps depicting Murals From The Chapel Of St. Themonianus In The Turkish occupied village of Lysi. The little chapel was plundered completely by the Turks, probably between 1974 and 1983, under the strict surveillance of the occupying Turkish army and with the criminal intention of removing without exception everything including the wall paintings.

Possibly not on the agenda when Demetris Christofias meets Mehmet Ali Talat

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