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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-07-27

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] DEADLY BLAST - FIRE SERVICE OFFICERS SUSPENDED
  • [02] INTERIOR MINISTER - EU EXPERTS - REPORT
  • [03] FINANCE MINISTRY - MOODY`S - CYPRUS` ECONOMY
  • [04] PAFOS APHRODITE FESTIVAL 2011

  • [01] DEADLY BLAST - FIRE SERVICE OFFICERS SUSPENDED

    Four Fire Service officers were suspended on Wednesday as part of ongoing investigations over the deadly blast, on July 11, at a naval base which killed 13 persons and injured dozens.

    Police Spokesman Michalis Katsounotos told CNA Katsounotos said that as part of ongoing investigations over the blast at the naval base Evaggelos Florakis at Mari on July 11th 2011, evidence has transpired relating to four members of the Fire Service which may possibly constitute criminal and or disciplinary offences.

    Chief of Police Michalis Papageorgiou, with the approval of Minister of Justice and Public Order Loukas Louka, has appointed an internal investigator to look into the possibility of disciplinary offences having been committed, in addition to the ongoing criminal investigations, he noted.

    Katsounotos said that after consulting with the Chief of Police Louca suspended four Fire Service officers, the Fire Chief officer, the Deputy Chief officer, the Commander of the Fire Services Special Unit dealing with catastrophes (EMAK) and the EMAK assistant station master, as of today.

    Massive explosions occurred at the naval base, in Zygi, near Limassol, on the southern coast, in the early hours of July 11th.

    Thirteen people were killed, namely six firemen, five National Guard members and two sailors, by the huge blast which rocked nearby communities and caused extensive damage. Nearby Mari village suffered most of the damage.

    The blast occurred in containers, full of munitions, which Cyprus had confiscated from ``Monchegorsk``, a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009. Nicosia was acting in accordance with UN sanctions against Teheran.

    A one-man investigation commission, set up by the government, has already started work into the circumstances that have led to the massive explosion, which destroyed the islands main electricity power plan, resulting in daily cuts. Following the blast, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence and the chief of the National Guard have stepped down.

    [02] INTERIOR MINISTER - EU EXPERTS - REPORT

    Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis has said that the report of EU civil protection mechanism experts concerning the damage caused by the deadly explosion at Mari, near Limassol, is important as regards the aid which the Republic of Cyprus will probably receive from the EU Solidarity Fund.

    Following the tragic explosion at the naval base Evangelos Florakis on 11 July, an EU civil protection team has been deployed to Cyprus, headed by Austrian expert Alois Hirschmugl.

    Sylikiotis met on Wednesday with a delegation of the group of experts, which handed over to him a report containing their initial assessment of the damage at the island`s main electricity power plant at Vasiliko. The meeting was also attended by the Head of the European Commission representation in Cyprus Androula Kaminara.

    The duty of the experts is to assist the Cypriot authorities in assessing the damage at Vasiliko. This covers engineering damage assessment, restoration work estimates, economic assessment and health and safety issues.

    [03] FINANCE MINISTRY - MOODY`S - CYPRUS` ECONOMY

    Cyprus` Ministry of Finance has called for consensus among political parties with a view to conclude to a fiscal consolidation package, as Moody`s rating agency downgraded on Wednesday Cyprus`s government bonds to Baa1 from A2.

    In downgrading the Cypriot economy, Moody`s sighted the ongoing concerns about Cyprus` fiscal position, which are amplified by the fiscal and economic consequences of the destruction of the Vasilikos power plant on 11 July 2011, caused by a massive explosion at the nearby ``Evaggelos Florakis`` naval base, the increasingly fractious domestic political climate, which has increased implementation risks to the government`s new fiscal plans and the material risk that at least some Cypriot banks will require state support over the medium term as a result of their exposure to Greece.

    In a press release, the Finance Ministry said it agrees with Moody`s rationale that the destruction of Cyprus` main power station further deteriorates the economy both in terms of economic growth and in terms of public finances, as well as with Moody`s view that a climate of political consensus is necessary given the difficult juncture in which the Cypriot economy is in.

    [04] PAFOS APHRODITE FESTIVAL 2011

    The popular opera Les Contes dHoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) by Jacques Offenbach will open the Pafos Aphrodite Festival, in the first week in September.

    The production will take place at the Medieval Castle in Pafos, on the western coast, and will be staged by the Opera of the National Theatre Prague.

    Addressing a press conference on the event, Chairman of the Pafos Afrodite Festival Board, Pafos Mayor Savvas Vergas said that the festival, taking place for the 13th consecutive year, upgrades the countrys cultural level, strengthens the arts and promotes the island internationally.


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