The Financial Mirror This Week: 20 Years Ago
Grumpy unions in the news, Russians being ripped-off
As this newspaper’s first year came to a close, some of the news headlines seem to be very similar to what goes on today, with newly established Russian entrepreneurs being ripped off by service providers, while trade unions remained adamant on their pay-hike demands, according to The Cyprus Financial Mirror, issue 40, December 29, 1993.
Russians scammed: The Financial Mirror commissioned a Russian businessman from Larnaca to check out allegations of local companies hiking their fees by as much as 50% when it came to dealing with clients from the CIS, reminiscent of the “golden days” of the 70s when thousands of Lebanese fleeing their country’s civil war were charged exorbitant prices for almost everything. Company registrations ranged from CYP 1,200 to 1,500 (normal rate 800), for brass-plate companies from CYP 500 (normal rate 200), while apartments were overcharged by CYP 15,000 and home purchases by CYP 32,000. Also, Russian was included on the back of almost 40% of business cards.
Unions war: The island’s main civil service trade union, Pasidy, rejected President Clerides’ back-dated pay rise of 5.25% for 1992 to 1994 and a wage freeze from 1995 to 1997, by staging a 24-hour strike that crippled all public services and grounded 70 flights at a time most crucial for the tourism industry trying to recover.
Bourse gets council: Finance Minister Phaedros Economic surprised stock brokers by excluding them from the new Stock Exchange Council, appointing instead Dinos Papadopoulos to head the new body, together with Loukas Louka, Petros Kareklas, Nontas Metaxas, George Korfiotis, Stavros Kremmos and Antonis Korfiotis.
Shipping costs down: A deal reached between the association of shipping agents and the unions will see port costs drop by 26% as of January 8, 1994, due mainly to the huge price disadvantage of both Limassol and Larnaca ports compared to other commercial ports in the region.
CAIR-Aeroflot: Cyprus Airways and Aeroflot are about to sign a cooperation agreement on the Larnaca-Moscow route for code-share flights to avoid the Turkish air corridors.
Stock Market: The Christmas holidays slowed down investor interest with total volumes for the past week dropping to just CYP 170,000, but the market still managed to pick up closing 0.9% higher than the previous week, led by a 4c recovery on Bank of Cyprus trading at 192.5c, Cyprus Popular at 210.5c and Hellenic Bank at 242c. Market cap: CYP 506.9 mln (+6.5 mln from week-earlier).
Property Guide: A 3-bed villa at Royal Mount Saittas was selling for CYP 92,150 by Maximos, Larnaca luxury apartments from CYP 23.250 to 34,700 from Chr Alexandrou & Associates and 3-bedr Commandaria Villas near Kalochorio of Limassol for CYP 50,000 by Kakomallis Estates.
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