Statement by Minister of Finance, Mr Constantinos Petrides, at the signing of the Protocol for the Avoidance of Double Taxation between Cyprus and the Swiss Confederation
It is with great pleasure that I stand here today to officially countersign the Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with respect to taxes on income and on capital, between the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and the Government of the Swiss Confederation.
The signing of this Protocol emphasises the very good relations in the economic and political sphere between the two jurisdictions.
The Protocol is going to amend the existing Convention that was signed back in 2014. The signed Protocol introduces, among others, the minimum standards of the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) actions of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, related to bilateral agreements and other amendments that have been bilaterally agreed upon.
I look forward for further advancing and strengthening a mutual beneficial relationship between Cyprus and Switzerland.
The Republic of Cyprus is confident that an environment that provides certainty also in tax matters is conducive for the promotion of investments and growth and job creation.
Now, I must start by apologising to you, my readers, along with my fellow co-editor Janice, and our other contributors, for the fact I have not been able to write an article for a month. This has not been due to any lack of interest or motivation, but sadly, has been due to my time being almost entirely taken up by my involvement in litigation against my \"landlord\" of a number of years, who believes that it is right and proper behaviour to evict a tenant when a court has expressly told your lawyer that the order of eviction was given due to a court administrative error, and where the dispute surrounds \"unpaid rent\" for a property where two separate fire inspections have found the property to be unsafe (by virtue of an unsafe and unlicensed 2,000 litre fuel storage tank, along with a oil powered heating boiler having been installed at the bottom of the fire stairs, both serious fire and safety risks, not only to me and my family, but also being a risk to all those living anywhere near the property). All this is ongoing, (to the surprise of those who doubt the ability of the Cyprus justice system to move matters forward, I can inform you that the matter will be going to a full hearing in early September).
So, our life has been rather up and down from that date in early March when the police arrived and told us we had to leave, now, and somehow expected us to move a three bedroom house for a family with no notice from them. For those who don\'t know how this kind of thing goes down, they showed up at some time in the morning, just after a bank holiday when the courts had been closed, at the door of said 3 bedroom apartment, and quite insistently told both me and my partner that we had to be out of the house immediately, and then said that if I was still in the property when they came back in an hour or so (giving no actual indication as to whether they were going for a coffee, or to actually do some useful Police business. They simply presented us a court order which the Judge who had issued it had previously informed both me and the lawyer for the other side at a previous court hearing (one which occurred less than two hours after the Judge had issued the eviction order in the first place) that the order had been issued \"due to a court administrative error\" (court staff had in writing advised me the hearing when he made the order started 1 hour 45 minutes after it did) and that the only reason he had made the order was that I was not \"in court\" at the time the court sitting had actually begun, and said \"get out now, or I will arrest you now\".
So with the above said, as reader I am happy to inform you that you can expect that I will be publishing a series of articles in the near future based on our recent experiences, ranging from discussing my experiences with the legal system here in Cyprus, the similarities and differences in the rental and property market (both highlighting aspects legal and societal), and honest and unbiased reviews of the products and suppliers who I deal with,
And now, let\'s talk about the BBC...
The Prince Andrew, Epstein story, as a journalist is fascinating. The arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, for a collection of somewhat indirect alleged offences noted in a Grand Jury indictment https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/press-release/file/1291491/download are clearly primarily selected to \"get around\" the immunity clause which was previously agreed with the US Federal Department of Justice.
But my purpose today is not to go into a case surrounding the alleged criminal behaviour of Ghislaine Maxwell, but rather to look at the way this has been covered by the BBC.
The BBC Newsnight Video of 6 Jul 2020, with 597,626 views as of time of publishing
The video, from the title and the description, clearly states \"Sir Keir Starmer says Prince Andrew must cooperate with the FBI over his links to Jeffrey Epstein.\"
The source of this, is an LBC report, which can be found 2 minutes 28 seconds into the video.
LBCInterviewer - Does Prince Andrew need to cooperate with the US to put this to bed
Starmer - Well of course he should cooperate with the US
LBC Interviewer - are you disappointed he hasn\'t, Sir Kier?
Starmer - Well he will have to justify his own actions, but it doesn\'t matter who you are, you cooperate with the law enforcement authorities when they require you to do so.
The rest of the BBC\'s video then goes on to state Prince Andrew\'s claim that he has offered to cooperate 3 times, and to postulate that the type of cooperation he has offered may not be the type of cooperation the US authorities consider meets their needs, as prosecutors.
But here is the key, \"of course he should cooperate\", and \"it doesn\'t matter who you are, you cooperate with the law enforcement authorities when they require you to do so\" are materially different to \"Prince Andrew must cooperate\".
Sir Kier Starmer\'s actual statements in effect claim that there is a moral and social obligation, to cooperating with the Police, they do not, however, suggest a legal requirement to do so.
The BBC should not make up quotes (even Boris Johnson knows that making things up in journalism isn\'t a good thing to do, but mind you, he did become PM...).
They ought report the facts to the public accurately, correctly quoting the individuals concerned, if they want to remain a trusted news source.
The headline for the video piece, and the description the BBC have used for the video, are both misleading, and simply put, false.
And now the real problem
If the press can\'t accurately report a radio interview, with a senior political figure, and feel it necessary to embellish the account, surely that same press deserves not to be trusted when presenting any other \"facts\" to the public regarding the matter.
This may seem pedantic, but in matters of law, especially when serious allegations of criminal behaviour have been alleged, accurately reporting the statements made of those who are claimed to be witnesses, is critical, to ensure justice is served.
In the light of the very good epidemiological indicators being recorded in Cyprus during the passed few weeks and taking into consideration the assessments on the development of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in our country, it has been decided that the following shall come into effect as of 12 July 2020:
1. Maximum number of persons at social gatherings at home and/or in public spaces:
The maximum number of persons allowed to attend social gatherings at home and/or in public places (physical presence in the same premises/installation regardless of indoor and outdoor areas), is increased from 150 to 250 persons for outdoor spaces and from 75 to 100 persons in indoor spaces.
It is clarified that the simultaneous mass gathering in both indoor and outdoor spaces is not allowed.
In the cases where the social gatherings take place in houses, the permanent residents thereof shall be included in the maximum number.
Provided the health protocols are upheld in each case.
2. Maximum number served in catering establishments
The maximum number of persons allowed to be served in catering establishments is increased to 250 in outdoor spaces. As regards indoor spaces, the maximum number remains unchanged at 100 persons.
In each case the social distancing measure of 3 sq. m. for indoor spaces and 2 sq. m. for outdoor spaces per person continues in force, regardless of the area of each establishment. For instance, if an outlet has an outdoor area of 600 sq. m. and based on maintaining a distance of 2 sq. m. per person up to 300 persons could be served, under the new decision the number of customers cannot exceed 250. If an outlet has an indoor area of 450sq. m. and on the basis of maintaining a distance of 3 sq. m. it could serve up to 150 persons, the number of persons who can gather cannot exceed 100.
The above arrangement is valid only for the following categories of catering premises, provided for in the Decree of the Minister of Health dated 5 June 2020:
Hotels and tourist accommodation
Pubs, snack-bars and bars
Canteens or/and refectories of schools, sports clubs, cultural clubs, associations, societies, etc.
The public shall be served exclusively at table arrangements. If bars are functioning in the above enterprises, the direct service of members of the public at such bars is prohibited, these being used only for the preparation of food and drinks by the personnel of the establishment.
3. Organizing weddings and christenings:
On the basis of the positive epidemiological data prevailing in Cyprus, the following have been decided in order to enable those concerned to plan ahead:
From 22 August until 15 September, the maximum number of persons (physical presence at dinner) who may attend weddings or christenings has been set at 350 persons.
It is clarified that more details on how the well-wishing ceremonies are to be carried out and details on the measures to be observed will be specified in the relevant Protocol that will be issued in due course.
4. Organizing music concerts, festivals, fairs:
In accordance with the recommendations issued by the World Health Organization and the ECDC, events such as music concerts, festivals, fairs, etc. carry an increased risk for the spread of the virus and therefore great care must be taken in making any decision on lifting restrictions in this field, in order to avoid deterioration.
It is clarified that, although it has been announced that the holding of concerts, festivals, fairs, etc. would be considered after September 1st, no definite decision has been made as to when such events will be allowed to take place. In this context, the professionals who are active in the field of organizing concerts/festivals/fairs are urged not to plan any events after September 1st, in anticipation of the final decision which will be taken by the Government, on the basis of guidelines sought from the World Health Organization and ECDC.
It should be remembered that at this stage, the organizing and holding of concerts is allowed ONLY in open-air ampitheatres and not in any other open space (e.g. stadiums), provided that the instructions provided in the Protocol for the functioning of open-air amphitheatres are strictly adhered to.
In conclusion, all of the above modifications are a follow-up to the good epidemiological picture prevailing in our country. However, due to the volatile situation prevailing worldwide and given the assessments by the scientific community for a possible surge of the pandemic, we are all obliged to remain alert and maintain thoroughly the measures of personal hygiene and social distancing.
The data are under constant examination and subject to readjustments if the need arises.
Cyprus consumers July-August electricity bills will be 23% less as a result of cheaper fuel, a lower emissions levy and the Electricity Authority s decision to extend the 10% cut in prices for two more months.
The Electricity Authority said it was extending for another two months its 10% cut in electricity prices to help consumers deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.
Meanwhile, the cost of fuel purchased by the EAC for electricity production for July is 18.3% lower than last month and 39.5% lower than March.
The emissions levy is also down 46% compared to the previous two months, which the paper said is attributed to lower emissions in Europe.
Based on this, and taking into consideration levies that are not affected, a household that consumes 1000 kilowatts in the two months will receive a bill for 165.42 cent. The same consumption in the corresponding two months last year would have cost 214.54. The actual reduction compared to last year s two summer months is 23%. For commercial and industrial users, the reduction is marginally higher.
Meanwhile, despite the scorching heat, electricity consumption has not exceeded 1000 megawatt as significant consumers such as hotels and other sectors of the economy remain closed.
Sergis Hadjiadamos was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1975, after his parents fled from Cyprus in 1974 because of the Turkish invasion. His father Andy Hadjiadamos (1936-1990), a Greek-Cypriot sculptor, painter and writer and his mother Jennifer Lynne Thompson, a South African radiographer and Sergis siblings spent their early years in South Africa. When things began to settle in Cyprus the family moved back to Paphos, in 1980 and has lived there ever since. Sergis has inherited his father s creative spirit, his mother s resilient nature and is deeply influenced by growing up in two very different lands and cultural settings.
He took his first steps in Art at the age of 15 after his father passed away. He participated in workshops and classes with various local artists where he learnt to experiment with merging and mixing different materials and approaches.
Sergis moved to Athens in 1994 to study Art where he attended an Interior Design foundation at AKTO college for one year. He then proceeded to complete a two-year Fine Arts course at Nicolas Stefos studios in Athens, Greece. Then in 1997, he enrolled in the Graphic Design department of Campus Arts and Sciences in Athens where he was awarded a BA Degree in 2001.
After collecting several experiences and qualifications he returned to Cyprus, in 2003, to hold his first solo exhibition at Gloria Gallery, Nicosia titled Victoria - Kifisia. The same exhibition was also presented in Paphos the following year at the Azia Hotel. In both cases, this made Sergis the first artist to present the use of modern technology in art by exposing his audience to digital mixed media art in Cyprus.
In 2004, he relocated to Athens where he worked as a Graphic Designer for three years developing his information architecture skills where he worked as a packaging designer at Nereus Frozen Fish a leading company in its field. He managed the design process of the company from conceptualisation, to design and contributed to the company s corporate identity for products that the company offered to businesses in broader Greek and Eastern Mediterranean market.
In 2007, he returned to Cyprus and launched his Graphic Design studio, Instant Ad, which he still runs today. That same year, Sergis began publishingBeach News,a free press newspaper presenting entertaining articles, local stories and tips about the local market. It was well received and distributed to all beaches along the coast of the Paphos district contributing to the development of media and communication of the local tourism sector.
In 2009, Sergis continues to challenge his artistic trajectory in acrylic painting on canvas and presented his work by taking part in Memories of the Past, a group exhibitionthat took place at the Old Paphos Electricity House.
In 2010, Sergis produced and curated the retrospective exhibition of his father s work, Andy Hadjiadamos (1936-1990) and publishedAndy Adamos (1936-1990), a book depicting and discussing Hadjiadamos artwork written and translated in both Greek and English.
In 2011, he creates Man and Bird, an acrylic painting on canvas and he participated with that work in a group exhibition of E.KA.TE (Cyprus Artists Board). Sergis begins to work collaboratively and undertakes the design and orchestration of the exhibition catalogue booklet for that group exhibition Eikastiki Paphos.
In 2012, he fortuitously found an old photograph at Michalakis Haritou s house in Athens, a well-known photographer from Cyprus. It depicted a soldier in action at the Medieval Castle of Paphos, his local town. This was strange since he practically grew up in proximity to this castle and never heard of this. Sergis was surprised and he became curious about the hidden local stories and unrecorded oral history events that are also not included in the structural education system on the island. He then curated the documentation of a forbidden story that was kept a secret in his local town and published a book titled Paphos Harbour 1974including the one of a kind photographs taken by Michalakis Haritou. The book was translated it in three languages and is a valuable contribution to the rich intangible cultural heritage of Cyprus.
In 2014, Sergis was busy with creatively interfering with the gentrification issues of the town he grew up and lived in. He curated Window Art, a project that featured artwork from local independent artists and took place in abandoned shops in the old town of Paphos in order to re-animate public engagement in a derelict local area and invite people to take a closer look at artwork and art residencies.
In 2017, Sergis was involved in the European Capital of Culture programme for Paphos where he curated the art exhibition Risky Travels for PAFOS2017, European Capital of Culture 2017. Risky Travels was a combined exhibition presenting the work of two sculptors that were born on the same island, never met, and were separated by war. The one, Andy Hadjiadamos (1936-1990), abandoned his studio and fled as a refugee, and the other one, Baki Bogac discovered the refugee s studio and managed through a lot of sacrifices and taking many risks, due to the demilitarised zone on the island, to send to him his art pieces and all the other findings from his studio. In May 2017 Sergis manifests Riksy Travels an exhibition which becomes a paradoxical place where these two artists life paths finally crossed since they never met in real life. Their artworks were curated in a long-awaited dialogue, in the Old Powerhouse in Paphos, after over four decades of risky travels and find their place in history through in this exhibition. In addition Sergis historicised this exhibition through and published Artist s book featuring artworks and descriptions from both artists and including their detailed biographies in three languages (Greek, Turkish and English).
In 2017, Sergis makes an acrylic painting called Love in Space, which he presented in a group exhibition at Gloria Gallery, Nicosia, for the 44th Anniversary of the same gallery. In 2018, he presented his painting Structural Inequality an original artwork in Gicl e print version and an art poster titled Green Line 1974 in the context of Recalling, a biennial group exhibition that takes place at the Almyra Hotel, Paphos and includes artists from all over Cyprus.
In 2018, he was awarded the Honour of Excellence at the Larnaca Biennale 2018 with his work Paphos Souls, a triptych of three individual pictures that originally depicted portraits of people and families that share the same specifications. These pictures were found amongst thousands of others in an old photographer s storeroom. The photographs were decayed by humidity and time leaving the images wedged together in masses. Sergis transports the artwork into a new light by transforming the archival debris into novel mixed media artefacts by enlarging them through digital tools and artistry, and then creating superimposed duets of images and figures.
In 2019, Sergis presented his third solo exhibition Metamorphosis at the Annabelle Hotel, Paphos, Cyprus. Metamorphosis is a mixed media project using photography and acrylic paint practices depicting both decay and revival as artwork. In this work, Sergis revives old historical decomposed photographs through which he embodies a unique approach to curating memory and history through a new lens.
In 2019 Sergis collaborates with artists Michalis Charalambides and Emilio Koutsoftides in a group exhibition called New Synapses that took place at Mespilea Art Gallery in Paphos. All three artists are descendants of renowned Cypriot artists and in this exhibition present their inherited artistic expressions from their family lineages.
Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, Sergis had to cancel his planned exhibition of Metamorphosis in Athens.
However, he is preparing two acrylic paintings and plans to take part in a group exhibition in Athens, on the 24th of July under the curation of Art. Number 23, a London based mobile gallery.
Sergis artwork and curatorial approaches carry with them an amalgamation of overarching themes of cultural duality, autoethnography and cultural heritage digitisation through continuously merging narratives and artefacts. His concepts echo the tension of political power imbalances and highlight social justice issues through an experimental sense of art activism, mixed media and grassroots curatorial collaborations.
\"Welcome to my art word. I use different media in order to express my thoughts such as digital, hand-drawn, acrylic on canvas, photography, and mixed media. I am a full-time artist and exhibit occasional.\"
Epidemiological risk assessment of countries in respect of the COVID-19 disease, dated 03/7/2020
The epidemiological image of various countries with regard to the COVID-19 disease has been reevaluated by the Epidemiological Monitoring and Control of Infectious Diseases Unit of the Medical Services and the Public Health Services. The evaluation was based on the epidemiological indicators of the countries, such as: the effective reproduction number R(t) for SARS-CoV, the number of new diagnoses, the number of laboratory tests, the mortality rate per 100.000 inhabitants, the estimated prevalence and the impact and classification by the World Health Organization (WHO), as these indicators appear on valid data bases.
The following categorization of countries, based on the epidemiological risk assessment, is extremely dynamic and may be modified at any moment, as the pandemic evolves and the epidemiological data change. For this reason, new data would be announced and the list of countries updated frequently.
It should be noted that in categorizing countries the recommendation of the European Council, dated 30 June, on the gradual and coordinated lifting of travel restrictions to the European Union has been taken into consideration.
Category A Low risk countries at the present stage
European Union Member States: 1) Austria, 2) Germany, 3) Denmark, 4) Greece, 5) Estonia, 6) Ireland, 7) Latvia, 8) Lithuania, 9) Malta, 10) Hungary, 11) Poland, 12) Slovakia, 13) Slovenia, 14) Finland
Third Countries: 1) Australia, 2) Japan, 3) Canada, 4) New Zealand, 5) South Korea
Included in this category are countries with an effective reproduction (Rt) number lower than 1 or/and small number of new diagnoses (<1/100.000 inhabitants per day) or/and small or very small COVID-19 mortality (<5-10/100.000 inhabitants) or/and classification of sporadic cases or clusters of cases according to the WHO or/and at least satisfactory laboratory testing (>3000 tests/100.000 inhabitants).
It should be noted that passengers coming from Category A countries do not have to present a laboratory COVID-19 certificate.
Category B - Countries with possibly low risk but greater uncertainty compared to Category A
European Union Member States: 1) Belgium, 2) Bulgaria, 3) France, 4) Spain, 5) Italy, 6) Croatia, 7) Luxembourg, 8) Netherlands, 9) Romania, 10) Czech Republic
Small States: 1) Andorra, 2) Monaco, 3) Vatican City, 4) San Marino
Third Countries: 1) Georgia, 2) Uruguay, 3) Serbia
Included in this category are countries with an effective reproduction (Rt) number greater than 1 or/and number of new diagnoses <1/100.000 inhabitants per day or/and increased COVID-19 mortality (>10/100.000 inhabitants) or/and limited laboratory testing (<2000 tests/100.000 inhabitants) or lack of WHO classification.
Passengers coming from Category B countries will be required to have undertaken a laboratory test by a recognized laboratory at least 72 hours prior to departure and to possess a Certificate showing negative PCR of COVID-19.
All passengers regardless of country category shall be obliged to file an application for the CyprusFlightPass (https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/) within 24 hours prior to their flight departure. Moreover, in order to insure public health and the monitoring of the epidemiological picture, a sample laboratory testing of passengers on selected arriving flights would be taking place.
It has been decided that, provided the gradual improvement shown in the epidemiological situation of the United Kingdom continues, this country will be included in Category B as of August 1st.
It should be noted that the above categorisation of countries shall take effect on 6 July.
A decision to include the United Kingdom in the list of countries from which travel to Cyprus is allowed, is likely to be taken in August, one of the experts advising the government on the coronavirus outbreak told CNA on Wednesday.
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine & Infection Prevention and Control at the European University Constantinos Tsioutis said it was very likely that the United Kingdom will be included in one of the groups of countries from which visitors are allowed to come to Cyprus, in August.
It is my personal estimation that right now if (the UK) could not be included in a group, whether A or B, and if it is decided to include it in a group it will B and it would have to be done towards the end of this month, possibly in August, provided that the epidemiological picture is that there is a reduction (in cases), the expert said.
Should it be decided to include the UK in one of the groups in order to support the tourist industry, then additional measures or monitoring may possibly have to be taken, he added.
Asked whether he is worried about the fact that most new coronavirus cases reported in Cyprus are imported, Tsioutis said that this was expected. But he said good safeguards are in place, both to monitor and classify countries and also as regards the steps to be taken should people test positive through tracing of their contacts.
It is expected and it is something which ought to make us alert which means that the measures already in place will continue, he said, explaining that he was referring to laboratory testing, random testing and the classification of countries in A and B groups, a classification which is updated.
This is why we have a specific team, which monitors this picture on a daily basis and recommends to the Ministry to change the category a country is included in when necessary, he noted.
Asked whether it is expected that new COVID-19 cases will increase further, Tsioutis explained that as the number of people arriving from abroad increases, the number of new cases will also increase, adding that right now one cannot predict how big the increase will be. The goal is for the numbers to remain at a manageable level, he said.
Group A is made up of low risk countries Australia, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Japan, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia and South Korea.
Group B concerns countries with increased risk compared to Group A. It currently lists Bulgaria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Jordan, Holland, Spain, Poland, Romania, Serbia and United Arab Emirates.
Passengers arriving from Category A countries are not obliged to present a coronavirus-free certificate. Passengers arriving from Category B countries, must have been tested by a recognised laboratory within the last 72 hours prior to their departure and have a negative PCR certificate for COVID-19.
All passengers, irrespective which country they are arriving from, must submit an application at CyprusFlightPass (https://cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/) within 24 hours prior to their flight s departure.
In the light of the very good epidemiological picture prevailing in Cyprus lately, the Ministry of Health has updated the Protocol with regard to catering outlets, which comes into effect on 1st July 2020. More specifically, the following are modified in the updated Protocol concerning the maximum number of persons that can be served in catering establishments:- Notwithstanding the fact that the measure of 3 sq. m. social distancing is still in force for indoor spaces and 2 sq. m. for outdoor spaces, the maximum number of persons that can be served may not exceed 100 persons indoors and 200 outdoors, regardless of the square metre area of each outlet. For example, if a venue has an outdoor area of 600 sq. m. and on the basis of maintaining 2 sq.m. social distancing per person, it could serve up to 300 persons, under the new decision the number of customers cannot exceed 200. If a venue has an indoor area of 450 sq. m. and on the basis of the social distancing measure of 3 sq. m. per person, it could serve up to 150 persons, under the new decision the number of persons cannot exceed 100.- The public must be served exclusively at table arrangements. If bars are functioning in the above enterprises, it is prohibited to serve the citizens directly at such bars; the bars can only be used for the preparation of food and drinks by the staff of the premises.- The above arrangement applies only to the following categories of catering premises, as provided for in the Decree of the Health Minister, dated 5 June 2020: Restaurants Hotels and tourist accommodation Taverns Cafeterias Pizzerias Pubs, snack-bars and bars Coffee shops Refectories or/and canteens of schools, sports clubs, cultural associations, clubs and societies.It is stressed that the above arrangements apply only to the catering premises as described above. In regard to mass gatherings in public places, such as amongst other, weddings, christenings, festivals and any other form of mass gathering, the limit of 75 persons for indoor spaces or 150 persons for outdoor spaces is still in force.Moreover, it should be remembered that the organizing and holding of music concerts is ONLY allowed in open-air amphitheatres and not in any other open-air space (e.g. stadiums) and provided the instructions stipulated in the Protocol for the use of open-air amphitheatres are strictly adhered to.It is clarified that the above arrangement would be updated, on the basis of the epidemiological indicators as they will be modified at each given moment.