Blog

21 May 2017 What to expect from TC bank stress tests

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Last year the EU set aside €3 million to conduct a stress test on Turkish Cypriot banks. There are currently three stories doing the rounds as to why it has not happened yet. The Greek Cypriots seem to be blaming the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Akinci seems to be blaming the Turkish Cypriot coalition led by Huseyin Ozgrugun and Serdar Denktash (over which he has no control), while Denktash seems to be blaming the Greek Cypriots for dragging...

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13 May 2017 Famagusta ecocity: a showcase for the EBRD?

Posted by on May 13, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This week the Famagusta Ecocity team, of which I am a member, had the privilege of presenting the project at the annual meeting of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). ‘Targeting green and inclusive growth’ was the main subject for this year’s annual meeting and our presentation was part of the session on green cities. We started by underlining that the Famagusta Ecocity Project is emphatically not a masterplan. Instead, it is meant to inspire and engage everyone...

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07 May 2017 The EU is alienating its best supporters

Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Until the leak from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) early this week, I had thought that Brexit was going to bring the EU together. As outlined by the lawyer and Financial Times columnist, David Allen Green, it has prompted a big degree of unity among member states, which have worked for months on a joint policy document that will be very difficult to change. If you follow me on Twitter, you will know that, last year, I ‘campaigned’ (from...

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29 Apr 2017 The case for importing natural gas

Posted by on Apr 29, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This week the leader of the Democratic Party (Diko), Nicholas Papadopoulos, said on Twitter that the import of mazut instead of natural gas has cost the Cyprus economy €1 billion over four years. This was followed by news that the government was considering another tender for the import of natural gas. I believe that would make it the fourth attempt by the authorities to import gas to the island. There are several reasons why Papadopoulos is probably right. At...

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23 Apr 2017 Did UK income inequality caused Brexit?

Posted by on Apr 23, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

On March 31, the EU’s statistical agency, Eurostat, published statistics on incomes per capita for the 276 ‘NUTS 2’ regions of the EU. The statistics are reported on a ‘purchasing power standard’ (PPS) basis, meaning that they are adjusted for the cost of living. The UK stood out as having by far the biggest income gap among all EU28 countries. GDP per capita at PPS was calculated at an astonishing 580% of the EU average in the region of...

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16 Apr 2017 Why are SME bad loans rising?

Posted by on Apr 16, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Banks made good progress during 2016 in cutting bad loans. By the end of the year, the stricter category of non-performing exposures (NPEs) had fallen year on year by €3.1bn to €24.2bn, while non-performing loans (NPLs) on a more than 90 days past due (90+ DPD) basis had declined by an even larger €3.8bn. This produced an NPE ratio of 46.2% and an NPL ratio (90+ DPD) of 33.9%. Under rules set by the Central Bank of Cyprus, banks...

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31 Mar 2017 Turkey’s next moves over Cyprus and gas

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Last week, Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued another statement about offshore hydrocarbons exploration in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Turkey has been issuing statements since 2004, when the Republic of Cyprus (ROC) first delineated the EEZ. For reasons I shall explain below, the latest statement has been keeping me awake at night. Turkey sees part of the Cyprus EEZ in the south-west as its own continental shelf. Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots see the rest of the...

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26 Mar 2017 What’s behind the EU-Cyprus budget spat?

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

On Tuesday, Finance Minister, Harris Georgiades told state radio that the Eurogroup meeting for eurozone finance ministers had accepted his position on the government’s budgetary policy. While there was no specific reference to Cyprus in the official Eurogroup statement by the president, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, he did say that during the meeting they had “followed up on the implementation of the budgetary plans” (of all member states). Dijsselbloem added they would “take stock again on the implementation of the budgetary...

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12 Mar 2017 No solution – no UN and no gas?

Posted by on Mar 12, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Efforts to solve the Cyprus problem are dying fast. In an interview with Kibris on Monday, the UN Special Advisor, Espen Barth Eide said something that should wake everyone up on this island. Translated back from the Turkish, he said: “If the process fails, I have the feeling that it will not be possible to expect the UN to come again after a couple of years when things improve and give it another try. I don’t know. This is...

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04 Mar 2017 Updating Cyprus’money-laundering record

Posted by on Mar 4, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Just over two weeks ago, Transparency International published a report called “Top Secret Countries Keep Financial Crime Fighting Data to Themselves”. Transparency and good preventive practices are important because money-laundering cases are difficult to prove. The Magnitksy case, for example, has been open in several jurisdictions for years (although the UK never opened a case on the matter) and despite Cyprus and other jurisdictions co-operating together on it through Europol, to date no one has even been charged, let...

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