Connect with us

World

Phuket Gazette World News: Cyprus bailout clinched; Israel opens fire on Syria; China’s Xi tells Russia no meddling

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Phuket Gazette World News: Cyprus bailout clinched; Israel opens fire on Syria; China’s Xi tells Russia no meddling | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Revamped Cyprus deal to close bank, force losses
Reuters /Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Cyprus clinched a last-ditch deal with international lenders today for a 10 billion euro bailout (379.8bn baht) that will shut down its second largest bank and inflict heavy losses on uninsured depositors, including wealthy Russians.

The agreement emerged after fraught negotiations between President Nicos Anastasiades and heads of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – hours before a deadline to avert a collapse of the banking system.

The plan, swiftly endorsed by euro zone finance ministers, will spare the east Mediterranean island a financial meltdown by winding down Popular Bank of Cyprus, also known as Laiki, and shifting deposits below 100,000 euros to the Bank of Cyprus to create a “good bank”.

Deposits above 100,000 euros, which under EU law are not guaranteed, will be frozen and used to resolve debts, and Laiki will effectively be shuttered, with thousands of job losses.

An EU spokesman said no levy would be imposed on any deposits in Cypriot banks. A first attempt at a deal last week collapsed when the Cypriot parliament rejected a proposed levy on all deposits.

A senior source involved in the talks said Anastasiades had threatened to resign at one stage if he was pushed too far.

EU diplomats said the president, flown to Brussels in a private jet chartered by the European Commission, had fought to preserve the country’s business model as an offshore financial centre drawing huge sums from wealthy Russians and Britons.

The key issues in dispute were how Cyprus would raise 5.8 billion euros from its banking sector towards its own financial rescue, and how to restructure and resolve the outsized banks.

The EU’s economic affairs chief Olli Rehn said there were no good options but “only hard choices left” for the latest casualty of the euro zone crisis.

With banks closed for the last week, the Central Bank of Cyprus imposed a 100-euros per day limit on withdrawals from cash machines at the two biggest banks to avert a run.

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici rejected charges that the EU had brought Cypriots to their knees, saying it was the island’s offshore business model that had failed.

“To all those who say that we are strangling an entire people … Cyprus is a casino economy that was on the brink of bankruptcy,” he told Canal Plus television.

The euro gained against the dollar on the news in early Asian trading.

Analysts had said failure to clinch a deal could cause a financial market selloff, but some said the island’s small size – it accounts for just 0.2 percent of the euro zone’s economic output – meant contagion would be limited.

The abandoned levy on bank deposits had unsettled investors since it represented an unprecedented step in Europe’s handling of a debt crisis that has spread from Greece, to Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

Anxious mood

In the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, on Sunday the mood was anxious.

“I haven’t felt so uncertain about the future since I was 13 and Cyprus was invaded,” said Dora Giorgali, 53, a nursery teacher who lost her job two years ago when the school she worked at closed down.

“I have two children studying abroad and I tell them not to return to Cyprus. Imagine a mother saying that,” she said in a central Nicosia square. “I think a solution will be found tonight but it won’t be in the best interests of our country.”

Cyprus’s banking sector, with assets eight times the size of its economy, has been crippled by exposure to Greece, where private bondholders suffered a 75 percent “haircut” last year.

Without a deal by the end of Monday, the ECB said it would cut off emergency funds to the banks, spelling certain collapse and potentially pushing the country out of the euro.

Conservative leader Anastasiades, barely a month in office and wrestling with Cyprus’ worst crisis since a 1974 invasion by Turkish forces split the island in two, was forced to back down on his efforts to shield big account holders.

Anticipating a run when banks reopen on Tuesday, parliament has given the government powers to impose capital controls.

Parliament

About 200 bank employees protested outside the presidential palace on Sunday chanting “troika out of Cyprus” and “Cyprus will not become a protectorate”.

In a stunning vote on Tuesday, the 56-seat parliament rejected a levy on depositors, big and small. Finance Minister Michael Sarris then spent three fruitless days in Moscow trying to win help from Russia, whose citizens and companies have billions of euros at stake in Cypriot banks.

On Friday, lawmakers voted to nationalize pension funds and split failing lenders into good and bad banks – the measure likely to be applied to Laiki. The plan to tap pension funds was shelved due to German opposition, a Cypriot official said.

The revised bailout plan many not require further parliamentary approval since the idea of a levy was dropped.

The tottering banks hold 68 billion euros in deposits, including 38 billion in accounts of more than 100,000 euros – enormous sums for an island of 1.1 million people which could never sustain such a big financial system on its own.

Israel fires into Syria after Golan attack on troops
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Israel said it fired into Syria yesterday and destroyed a machine gun position in the Golan Heights from which shots had been fired at Israeli soldiers in a further spillover of the Syrian civil war along a tense front.

It was not immediately clear whether Israel held Syrian troops or rebels responsible for what a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said had been a deliberate attack on Israeli patrols in the occupied territory.

Israeli forces “destroyed a Syrian machine gun nest that fired twice in the last 24 hours on Israeli patrols operating to safeguard the border,” the spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, said on his Twitter page.

Shells have fallen several times inside Israeli-controlled territory during Syria’s civil war. Some of the incidents have drawn Israeli return fire.

Syria’s southern provinces bordering Jordan and Israel have become an increasingly significant battleground as the capital Damascus – in Syria’s south – comes into play and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces fight hard to prevent rebel advances.

The Israeli military said one of its vehicles was hit late on Saturday by shooting from across the Israeli-Syrian ceasefire line on the Golan Heights, but no one was hurt.

Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner, said, “Our understanding is that it wasn’t stray fire.”

After a second incident on Sunday, Israeli soldiers “responded with accurate fire toward the Syrian post from which they were fired on”, the military said.

Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said in a statement that Israel viewed shooting from Syria “with severity” and would not allow “the Syrian army or any other element to violate Israeli sovereignty by firing at our territory”.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed the strategic plateau in 1981 in a move that has not won international recognition.

“Any … fire from the Syrian si

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.



Find more SE Asian News courtesy of The Thaiger.

Broke? Find employment in Southeast Asia with JobCute Thailand. Rich? Invest in real estate across Asia with FazWaz Property Group. Even book medical procedures worldwide with MyMediTravel, all powered by DB Ventures.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 travel pass to pilot on Etihad and Emirates Airways flights

Avatar

Published

on

Covid-19 travel pass to pilot on Etihad and Emirates Airways flights | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Travel Daily

A travel pass for passengers inoculated against Covid-19 or who have tested negative will be piloted on flights for Dubai’s Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways. With the travel pass issued by the International Air Transport Association, passengers can keep control of their data and share their test results with airlines and authorities for travel.

The travel pass will be offered on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter, and will expand the pass to other destinations of the trail is successful. Emirates is going to implement phase 1 of the travel pass in April for flights departing from Dubai.

Recently, the IATA travel pass programme has been also tested in International Airlines Group and Singapore Airlines.

SOURCE: Reuters

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

World

Australia might keep borders closed throughout 2021

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Australia might keep borders closed throughout 2021 | The Thaiger
Stock photo by Josh Withers for UnSplash

It might be a while until tourists can visit Australia. Borders might not be fully reopen until at least 2022. Australia is rolling out its immunisation program next month, but even if most of the population is vaccinated against Covid-19, the Australian government says it will probably wait to make sure the vaccine prevents the transmission of the virus before fully reopening borders.

Australia’s borders are only open for citizens, residents, those with family in Australia and travellers who have been in New Zealand for the previous 14 days. All incoming travellers must quarantine for 14 days unless they come from an area classified as a “green safe travel zone.”

There are currently 1,881 active Covid-19 cases in Australia, according to Worldometers. No local Covid-19 cases were reported today. Since the start of the pandemic, Australia has reported more than 22,000 local cases and 909 deaths related to Covid-19.

The state of New South Wales is a main focus for Covid-19 prevention measures at this stage and some neighbouring states have imposed travel restrictions on those from the state. NSW state Premier Gladys Berejiklian floated the idea about allowing venues in the area to ban entry to those who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Already airlines have indicated that if you’re not vaccinated you can’t travel overseas and I think that’ll be an incentive to a lot of people… We’ll also consider whether we allow venues … make up their own rules if they have a business or run a workplace about what they feel is Covid safe.”

SOURCE: Aljazeera

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Politics

Companies pull out from Trump brand after storming of Capitol incident

The Thaiger

Published

on

Companies pull out from Trump brand after storming of Capitol incident | The Thaiger

Corporate America is adding its weight in response to the insurgency at the Capitol building on January 6, and are pulling out from any association with the Trump brand after the storming of the capitol incidentwhich economists say will have a profound medium and long-term effect on his business interests. Recently, Signature Bank closed Trump’s personal accounts and the PGA of America stopped plans to hold its 2022 championship at Mr. Trump’s New Jersey golf course.

Such a parting of ways signals the business community’s weariness in being associated with a political figure that has attracted worldwide attention and is indicative of what may happen to the Trump brand. The president’s role in the incident, confirmed by his impeachment by the House this week, has gained criticism from the Business Roundtable to the AFL-CIO labour federation.

Michael D’Antonio, the author of a Trump biography, says the capitol incident has been a game-changer for the support of extreme politics.

“Trump’s name is really an albatross. He is the most disgraced president in history. This is a person who’s synonymous with a mob attacking the US Capitol. I just think this went a step too far.”

Other experts like Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, say Trump’s brand will inevitably suffer long-term.

“Before his term, Trump stood for wealth, success and over-the-top luxury. Now the brand has associations with anti-government views, racism and extremism. This makes the brand fairly toxic.”

Deutsche Bank, to which Trump reportedly owes around $400 million, is also planning to stop engaging in business with him. But the president dismissed any business challenges in an October 15 televised event by saying that the $400 million he owed was “a tiny percentage of my net worth.”

It appears true that some of Trump’s properties have benefitted from his presidency as taxpayer revenue has continuously flowed into his golf courses and clubs where he stays with his family, the secret service and the White House staff.

In fact, CREW estimates that Trump’s properties took in over $100 million from more than 500 visits by the president, according to a report in September 2020. But even that business transaction has received widespread criticism as many say Trump should not have mixed politics with his personal businesses.

D’Antonio predicts that Trump may sell current assets to pay off his Deutsche Bank debt, which means there could be fewer to none Trump hotels, golf courses or towers in the next 10 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand7 days ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | PM reverses lockdown, Southern P.D.A. crackdown, Covid update | Jan 5

Thailand News Today | Record daily infections, Covid restrictions, British arrivals ‘on hold’ | Jan 4 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Record daily infections, Covid restrictions, British arrivals ‘on hold’ | Jan 4

Thailand News Today | Pattaya restrictions, 2021’s extra holidays, Covid update | December 30 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Pattaya restrictions, 2021’s extra holidays, Covid update | December 30

Thailand News Today | Covid update, Bangkok restrictions, Gold rush | December 29 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Covid update, Bangkok restrictions, Gold rush | December 29

Thailand News Today | No national lockdown, Bangkok schools closed, Abortion Bill | Dec 24 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | No national lockdown, Bangkok schools closed, Abortion Bill | Dec 24

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending