Michele's Feed
Jun 24, 2015

Debt relief key as Greek bailout talks near deadline

ATHENS (Reuters) – A deal between Greece and its international creditors is being held up by a standoff over the central issue of debt relief, Economy Minister George Stathakis said on Wednesday, ahead of meetings in Brussels aimed at clinching an accord.

With time running out before the June 30 deadline when Greece has to repay 1.6 billion euros ($1.79 billion) to the International Monetary Fund or face going into default, Stathakis said he was confident a deal would be reached by the time European Union leaders meet on Thursday.

Jun 23, 2015

Greek government confident despite backlash over debt deal

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s leftwing government expressed confidence on Tuesday that parliament would approve a debt deal with lenders, despite an angry reaction from some of its own lawmakers who accused it of caving in to pressure for more austerity.

Concessions offered by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, including hikes to tax and pension contributions, garnered a cautious welcome from euro zone leaders but triggered a furious reaction from some leftists in the ruling Syriza party.

Jun 21, 2015

Amid fears of Greek controls, Cyprus shows restrictions are bearable

NICOSIA, June 21 (Reuters) – As Cyprus’s financial system
imploded in the spring of 2013, the island’s leaders were given
an ultimatum: sign up to a bailout deal or watch your banking
system collapse.

The brief, painful drama that unfolded on the Mediterranean
island led to the first capital controls in the euro zone to
stem a bank run and stop money fleeing the country.

Jun 17, 2015

Shakespeare’s ‘Othello Tower,’ victim of Cyprus’s division, to reopen after facelift

FAMAGUSTA, Cyprus (Reuters) – The 14th-century Cypriot tower that is the fictional setting of Shakespeare’s play “Othello” reopens next month after undergoing renovation following decades of decay on the internationally isolated Turkish side of the ethnically divided island.

The “Othello Tower” was long a tourist magnet. But after Cyprus was partitioned by a 1974 Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup, hundreds of the island’s heritage sites fell foul of what became a frozen conflict.

Jun 5, 2015

Cyprus ammonia haul suspect detained longer, Hezbollah link probed

LARNACA, Cyprus (Reuters) – A Cypriot court extended the detention of a Lebanese-Canadian man on Friday over the discovery of five tonnes of chemical fertiliser in a case Israel says bears the hallmarks of the Hezbollah guerrilla group.

Authorities detained the 26-year-old man, holder of a Canadian passport, in late May after finding ammonium nitrate, a potential explosive, in the basement of a home in the coastal town of Larnaca where he had been staying.

May 28, 2015

Cyprus talks reap first major progress in more than a decade

NICOSIA, May 28 (Reuters) – Greek and Turkish Cypriot
leaders on Cyprus agreed on Thursday to open further crossing
points linking the two parts and to merge their electricity
networks, a UN envoy said.

It was seen as the most positive sign in more than a decade
that relations are thawing between the ethnically-divided sides.

May 23, 2015

As tensions ease, Cyprus leaders enjoy coffee and cake in capital

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Leaders of rival communities in ethnically-split Cyprus shared coffee and cake on Saturday in a symbolic gesture underscoring a thaw in relations over a conflict spanning decades.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, the Greek Cypriot leader, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci spent more than an hour strolling through medieval streets of Nicosia, a first in the history of the Cyprus dispute.

May 15, 2015

Cyprus peace talks resume with confidence-building measures

NICOSIA (Reuters) – UN-sponsored talks resumed on Friday after an eight-month stalemate with Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders agreeing to adopt confidence-building measures, in a new drive to settle the island’s decades-old conflict.

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and his newly-elected Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akinci agreed to the measures in parallel to meeting at least twice a month, U.N. mediator Espen Barth Eide said.

May 11, 2015

Cyprus talks resume, ‘unique opportunity’ seen: UN envoy

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Leaders of ethnically split Cyprus agreed on Monday to restart peace talks on May 15, a U.N. envoy said on Monday, offering fresh hope of healing one of Europe’s most enduring frozen conflicts.

Espen Barth Eide was speaking to media after a meeting between Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. It was their first encounter since Akinci, a moderate leftist, swept to victory in a Turkish Cypriot leadership election on April 26.

May 6, 2015

To protect carob groves, Cyprus recruits owls and snakes

ANOGYRA, Cyprus May 6 (Reuters) – Barn owls and black snakes
are being enlisted in Cyprus to protect carob trees, known on
the Mediterranean island since antiquity and once a flourishing
export but now threatened by urbanisation and rats.

Since April, conservationists at centuries-old groves near
the island’s southern coast have been laying barn-owl nests and
planning reptile nests, primarily for the non-poisonous black
snake. They want to swap poison for natural predators to keep
rat populations in check and prevent damage to the trees.