Latest Oroklini News

Turkish Cypriot fined €9,000 for cigarette smuggling

A Turkish Cypriot man has been fined €9,000 after he was stopped by customs on Tuesday night bringing 170 cartons of cigarettes from the north to the government controlled areas.

According to police, his car was stopped on the Pyla–Dhekelia road at about 8pm and the cartons were discovered. The man was taken to Oroklini police station.

When the cartons were counted, he was fined €9,000. He was held in custody until arrangements were made to pay the money.

Eurocypria of Cyprus goes belly up, leaving thousands of tourists in the lurch

Flying Off Course IV: Airline economics and marketing
The Cypriot Charter Airline Company Eurocypria with its ongoing financial challenges finally announced on Thursday an indefinite suspension of all flights. This desperately bad news for Cyprus Tourism is expected to disrupt the travel arrangements of thousands of international tourists.
The state-owned board of Eurocypria made this desperate announcement after its 320 staff declared an indefinite strike over job losses. Rumours surrounding the airline seems have impacted on the distraction of its staff, which by some reports compromised air safety.
More specifically the Company stated "The executive board has decided to indefinitely suspend the company's flight programme from midnight, November 4,". The  board went onto advise the Government in the capacity of sole owner to proceed with entering the process of the Company liquidation at the earliest juncture and moreover to seek alternative employment for the Companies existing employees.
As the dust settles, it appears that Eurocypria were in such serious financial difficulty, that in essence it was the core reason why its flight programme could not operate under "conditions of absolute safety."
The Government on the Island of Love declared that it can no longer manage 2 national airlines and that it desires to save the National carrier Cyprus Airways (CA) which earlier posted H1 losses of 25 million euros.
The liquidation and eventual closer of Eurocypria is expected to affect an estimated 15,000 tourists. The greatest impact to of which will come from the markets of Germany and Russia. Cyprus Airways may however undertake some if not all of the routes.
The strategy of the Government is likely to feature the implementation of a voluntary retirement scheme, which will be true for both airlines, in order to  allow Cyprus Airways to absorb as many of the unfortunate staff of Eurocypria as possible. All this said, the Government of Cyprus still needs EU approval (following state aid rules for Cyprus Airways to absorb the staff and services of Eurocypria).
On the Political front opposition MPs jumped on the bandwagon to accuse the current Government of gross mismanagement of the Country’s funds. Other Politicians estimate that Eurocypria's debts may actually exceed a stunning 56 million euros in total, well over double of the purchase price, as it was only in 2006 when the state bought Eurocypria for 23 million euros from Cyprus Airways, for which it has a 70% stake to prevent the more established airline carrier from going bust.

Barclays close accounts in Cyprus under £100,000

Thousands of British expats and other Barclays account holders in Cyprus will see their accounts closed by the bank in September unless they contain a minimum deposit of £100,000.

Customers residing in Cyprus have slammed the bank for the move which has left many scrambling to book flights back to the UK to try to sort out the mess.

The bank is introducing a new minimum threshold for clients in Cyprus of £100,000, with effect from 11 September 2015.

Barclays have confirmed to the Cyprus Mail, that as well as customers in Cyprus, those in Malta have also been contacted, and those in Greece are also on the list.

Expats will find it difficult to open another UK-based current account, especially if they don’t have a UK address, as banks will ask for proof of address, such as a recent utility bill.

Many retirees living in Cyprus are loyal Barclays customers, banking with them for decades. Some have their pensions paid into their UK account on a monthly basis. They have now been given notice of closure or find £100,000 to deposit in their account.

A spokesman for Barclays told the Cyprus Mail: “This isn’t about not providing services to expats, it’s about a de-risking programme that was put in place at the end of 2013 to review and reduce the number of countries we operate in. We haven’t taken this decision lightly and are not looking to simply exit these customers (as Cyprus is still one of the core set of markets we’re focusing on). We’re actively working with our customers to review alternative arrangements, helping them through the transition and giving extensions where we can to find further funds.”

Barclays say they are focusing on a core set of 70 markets globally, where they believe they have the most knowledge and expertise. They also put the latest move down to ‘risk appetite.’

“We are very happy in many countries to provide expat services, it’s more about the risk associated with certain countries. As a result of this decision and in line with our strategy we are introducing a new minimum threshold for customers resident in Cyprus, and they will need to maintain £100,000 across their accounts with us.”

The bank said that the minimum threshold will apply not only to Cyprus and Malta but also to Greece, although ‘out of consideration for the current situation we’re not closing accounts for Greek residents at this time.’

Donna Peters-Harrison, 56, and her Cypriot husband Soteris, live in Peyia in Paphos, and say they have been left reeling by the news which they were informed of by a letter last week.

“We feel that we have been dumped. I have banked with Barclays for forty or so years, since I was 15, and it seems that they can’t make enough money on us, and so we are no longer welcome customers. There are rumours that other banks are going to follow suit. There are a lot of Brits here and they have been loyal to Barclays all of these years.”

The mother of three uses her accounts regularly to send money to two of her children currently in the US and UK. She said she first thought the letter was a scam and was angered to find out this was not the case.

“Until recently, there was a reasonable sum in our accounts as my brother was living in our house in the UK, but he was killed in a crash at Christmas. We used the remaining amount to cover all of the expenses involved with that, including the funeral. The bank is well aware of my situation.”

The Paphos resident said that a number of her neighbours had received a similar letter and are now having to make urgent travel arrangements to fly back to the UK to try and ‘sort out the mess’, and try to open new accounts elsewhere before they are all closed on September 11.

Gordon MacFarlaine, a retired airline pilot living in Oroklini in Larnaca has been a Barclays customer for fifty years. His state pension is currently paid into his Barclay’s account in the UK.

“Following my letter from Barclays last week, I contacted the state pension department in the UK and was pleased to learn that it can now be paid into my bank account in Cyprus. This was stopped about a year ago due to the banking problems but has now been reinstated.”

Widower John, who doesn’t wish to give his full name, lives in Limassol and has also been banking with Barclays for close to fifty years.

“This is a real blow for me and I don’t know what I’m going to do now. My pension is paid into my Barclays account and I was advised not to move my assets to Cyprus. I am under the required threshold and I don’t think I really have an alternative now.”

Barclays said that they have set up a specialist team to handle related calls and are encouraging customers to contact them.

They also noted that some customers may be eligible to apply to open an account with other ‘offshore’ providers, although other banks are carrying out a similar exercise and operating minimum thresholds, they said.

“Also, as Cyprus residents, they can open an account with a local Cypriot bank.”

Man charged after bringing ‘unsuitable’ fish from the north

Addressing Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing (Fish, Fishing and Fisheries)

LARNACA police on Friday, 08 October, arrested a Greek Cypriot man caught with 81 kilos of fish, allegedly from the occupied areas, which was deemed unsuitable for consumption.

The 56-year-old Larnaca resident had been coming from the occupied areas when he was stopped by police in Pyla.

Officers spotted 81 kilos of various types of fish, for which the 56-year-old didn’t offer satisfactory explanation, they said. The load was taken to Oroklini Police Station, where a veterinary officer checked them and found they were not suitable for consumption.

The fish were confiscated and destroyed.

The man in question was charged for illegally transporting animal products from the occupied areas without having approval by the Veterinary Services, and released.


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