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December 11, 2009

Corpse of former President of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos stolen

Corpse of former President of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos stolen

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Papadopoulos’s body was stolen overnight

The corpse of former Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has been stolen by grave robbers. Officials report that his body was taken overnight from the Deftera Cemetery in Nicosia. The theft was reported one day before the anniversary of his death. Police reported that fresh mounds of dirt were piled up beside the grave. The motive is still unclear.

The leader of the Diko party, Papadopoulos’s former alliance, released a statement. Marios Garoyan called the act a “heinous and terrible crime”.

A heavy smoker, Papadopoulos died on the 12th of December, 2008 after a battle with lung cancer. He was the President of Cyprus from the 23rd of February, 2003 until 23 February 2008.



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February 17, 2008

Greek-Cypriots vote for President

Greek-Cypriots vote for President – Wikinews, the free news source

Greek-Cypriots vote for President

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

File:Güney Kıbrıs Rum Kesimi haritası.png

Map of divided Cyprus. With green colour, the Republic of Cyprus.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Polls have already closed on the Republic of Cyprus in a quite important closely fought presidential election. Official results are expected in a few hours, and two exit polls suggest the three leading candidates, current President Tassos Papadopoulos, Dimitris Christofias, Ioannis Kasoulides are neck-and-neck. An exit poll on state television (RIK) gave each candidate around a third of the vote, with left-wing’s AKEL party leader Dimitris Christofias, marginally ahead. However, another exit poll for the TV channel Mega suggested that president Papadopoulos is ahead of the other two candidates.

Mr.Papadopoulos, a lawyer and convervative politician, became President of the Greek-controlled Republic of Cyprus in 2003. He had expressed his strong opposition to the 2004 UN plan for re-unification of the island and urged Greek Cypriots to vote against the plan in a referendum which took place on March 2004. Cypriot voters are calculated to around 570,000 across the south of the island, most of them voting in four major cities, Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos.

Cyprus is a divided island since 1974, after the Turkish military invasion in the north. Since then, the island remains divided in two parts, the Greek south Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish north (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus). The Greek-controlled Republic of Cyprus is a member of the European Union since 2004 and a member of the euro zone since January 1, 2008.



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Papadopoulos eliminated in Cypriot election

Papadopoulos eliminated in Cypriot election

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

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According to exit-polls Cyprus president Tassos Papadopoulos has been defeated in the Cypriot presidential elections. In the closest election in Cyprus ever, Papadopoulos finished third, after right-winger Ioannis Kassoulides and communist Demetris Christofias.

Kasoulides won 33.51% of votes, compared to 33.29% for Christofias and 31.79% for Papadopoulos. The two remaining candidates will compete again in a run-off vote next Sunday. The current election is regarded as extremely important in reuniting the Turkish-controlled northern part of the island with Greece-oriented southern part, after having been divided for decades.

Papadopoulos, member of the Cypriot Democratic Party, has been in office since 2003.



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January 1, 2008

Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro

Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro – Wikinews, the free news source

Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Map showing the Eurozone

Today at midnight, the Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of Malta, both small island states in the Mediterranean and former British colonies, adopted the euro as their official currency; less than four years after their accession to the European Union. Because Cyprus and Malta are in different time zones, Cyprus adopted the euro one hour before Malta did the same. In both countries the euro was welcomed with outdoor celebrations, including a fireworks display in Malta’s capital Valletta. According to the BBC Cypriot Finance Minister Michalis Sarris has said the euro “will benefit consumers and businesses alike because of the eurozone’s low inflation, low interest rates and large market.”

The BBC reports that Cypriot and Maltese leaders “made symbolic withdrawals of euros from cash machines just minutes into the New Year.” TIME reports that Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi had to wait a little while before getting his hands on the new currency because “an automated teller machine did not work when Gonzi tried to withdraw euros, and he was obliged to use a different ATM.”

The Cypriot pound (CYP) and the Maltese lira (MTL) will remain in use during a dual circulation period that will last until the end of this month, at which point they will cease to be legal tender. However, it will still be possible to exchange them for Euro free of charge after the end of this period. Commercial banks in Cyprus will exchange Cypriot pounds for Euro until 30 June, but only for amounts up to CYP 1000 per customer and per transaction in banknotes and up to CYP 5O in coins. The Central Bank of Cyprus will exchange coins until the end of 2009 and banknotes until the end of 2017. Maltese commercial banks will exchange Maltese lira for Euro until the end of March, with a limit for non-customers of MTL 250, whereas the Central Bank of Malta will exchange coins until 1 February 2010 and banknotes until 1 February 2018.

Cquote1.svg We’re sorry to say goodbye to our pound but happy to welcome the euro. Cquote2.svg

—Tassos Papadopoulos, President of the Republic of Cyprus.

The single currency has replaced the Cypriot pound and the Maltese lira at a rate of one euro to 0.585274 Cypriot pound and 0.4293 to the Maltese lira, or 1.71 euro per Cypriot pound and 2.33 per Maltese lira. This conversion rate had been fixed on 10 July 2007 by Ecofin, the council comprising the finance ministers of the EU Member States.

Cquote1.svg Today with the adoption of the Euro, Cyprus and Malta have become even more integrated in the heart of the European Union, less than four years after they joined the EU. Cquote2.svg

—Joaquín Almunia, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Cyprus and Malta are the 14th and the 15th country to join the Eurozone, which already includes Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Slovenia. All EU Member States are required to join the Eurozone once certain conditions are fulfilled, except Denmark and the United Kingdom which have negotiated a so-called opt-out that allows them not to adopt the single currency.

File:1 Euro coin Cy.gif

Cypriot €1 coin
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the de facto independent Turkish-controlled area in the north of Cyprus, will not join the Eurozone. Northern Cyprus is not part of the European Union and is recognised only by Turkey. As a result, the Turkish lira will remain the official currency in the north of the island; however, TIME reports that “many Turkish Cypriot merchants will also accept euros along with Turkish lira.” Cypriot Euro coins are inscribed in both Greek and Turkish.

The euro will also be legal tender in the Sovereign Base Areas, British military bases in Cyprus.

The national sides of the Cypriot Euro coins feature three separate designs for the three series of coins. The 1, 2 and 5-cent coins feature the mouflon, or wild sheep, the 10, 20 and 50-cent coins feature the Kyrenia ship, the wreck of a 4th century BC Greek merchant ship discovered in 1967 and salvaged closed to Kyrenia, and the €1 and €2 coins feature the Idol of Pomos, a prehistoric sculpture from the village of Pomos, three national symbols of Cyprus. The designs were jointly created by Tatiana Soteropoulos and Erik Maell.

File:1 Euro coin Mt.gif

Maltese €1 coin
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

The Maltese euro coins’ national sides will also feature national motifs. The 1, 2 and 5-cent coins will feature the altar of the Mnajdra temple grouping, a complex of three Neolithic temples on the southern coast of Malta and one of the oldest free-standing temple groupings in the world, the 10, 20 and 50-cent coins will feature the Coat of Arms of Malta, and the €1 and €2 coins will bear the Maltese cross, a symbol associated with an order of Christian warriors known as the Knights Hospitaller or Knights of Malta, which was based on Malta for more than 250 years after they had been given the islands by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The designs of Maltese engraver Noel Galea Bason were selected after two rounds of public consultations in which people were invited to vote via SMS.

Both Cyprus and Malta have taken a number of steps to address fears of undue price rises. 7,130 Cypriot companies have subscribed to a Fair Pricing Code launched by the authorities and the Cypriot government urged companies to round their prices down. In Malta, the FAIR initiative, a fair pricing scheme, was put in place in January 2007. This scheme, which provides for administrative fines for those failing to respect their commitment, now involves 80% of all retail outlets. Malta, according to the BBC, has also signed 12 price stabilisation agreements with importers, which will last until March 2008.

In both countries, the authorities will monitor retailers to ensure they do not exploit the changeover for unfair gain by rounding up their prices, contributing to inflation.

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March 9, 2007

Wall dividing island of Cyprus torn down but divisions still stand

Wall dividing island of Cyprus torn down but divisions still stand

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Friday, March 9, 2007

Map of divided Cyprus.

This street is cut by the Green Line in Nicosia. From the platform, tourists overlook the no man’s land and the Turkish part of the island.

On Thursday March 8, 2007 the government of the Southern Greek part of Cyprus used heavy machinery to allow its military to tear down the five-meter high concrete wall on the Green Line that divides the island.

The wall has stood in the Cyprus capital of Nicosia for more than 40 years. It has been a constant reminder of the political situation of the Mediterranean island (given independence from Britain in 1960) that has suffered divisions since communal violence in 1963 that was only prevented by establishing a United Nations Peacekeeping Force there in 1964. These divisions only deepened when Cyprus was invaded by Turkey’s military in mid-July 1974 after right-wing Greek Cypriots (backed by the military junta ruling Greece at the time) attempted a coup with the intent of joining the island to Greece. The result was a split between the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government in the south and the Turkish Cypriot north (only recognized by Turkey). The division at Nicosia has become a curiosity to tourists who look over it to see the buffer zone between the two factions (a no man’s land with abandoned homes and businesses where no civilians are allowed). The destruction of the wall also brought out curious Cypriots.

Much international pressure had been brought to bear on both sides, and thawing of the relationship between the opposing Cypriots began in 2003 when the Turkish side eased restrictions on travel. Still in 2004 before joining the E.U., Greek Cypriots rejected the UN reunification plan that called for a federation of two states. Then in December 2005 when the Turkish Cypriots created a footbridge for Turkey’s soldiers on the other side, the action drew protests from the Greek Cypriots voicing their security concerns. In January 2007 the Turkish Cypriots began dismantling the footbridge as a gesture of good faith.

At first both Cypriot governments expressed hope of reunification when asked about the demolition. Tassos Papadopoulos, the president in the Greek south stated “Tonight we have demolished the checkpoint on our side.” He went on to call for the Turkish Cypriots to act, saying civilians will not be able to cross “if the troops are not withdrawn”. Rasit Pertev, chief adviser to Mehmet Ali Talat, the leader of Turkish Cyprus said: “This is extremely symbolic… The dynamism created by this move will lead to the opening of the crossing.” Still when the government of Turkey dismissed the move as merely a result of international pressure that did not signify anything, and refused to dismiss its troops in the area (it maintains 40,000 soldiers on the island), sheets of aluminum were put up as a barricade on the Greek Cypriot side early on the morning of March 9, 2007.

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