|Doha ´city centre´ part of history|
|THE high sales pitch of the
shop-owners and the flurry of
activity among shoppers, trying
to drive a smart bargain at
Musheireb (popularly called
National), Souq Ahmed bin
Abdullah and the markets in the
lanes and bylanes
of the area
seen over the last
one week or so are
like the flicker of a lamp´s flame
before it dies out in a storm.
The traders are resorting to
distress clearance of their
stocks as the deadline.
|Europe´s Real Problems|
|WHEN the history of the 21st
century is written people
will ask why it was that
Europe was found wanting
during its most intractable
economic crisis. They will ask why
Europe slept as an undercapitalised
banking system floundered, unemployment
remained unacceptably high, and
the Continent´s growth and competitiveness
Worse still, if a reconstruction plan
does not come soon, Europe´s leaders
will be charged with "the decline of...
|NO, WE CAN´T?
|IF you were shocked by Friday´s
job report, if you thought we
were doing well and were taken
aback by the bad news, you
haven´t been paying attention.
The fact is, the United States economy
has been stuck in a rut for a year
and a half.
Yet a destructive passivity has
overtaken our discourse. Turn on
your TV and you´ll see some self-satisfied
pundit declaring that nothing
much can be done about the economy´s
Cyprus anger mounts over munitions blast
MARI (CYPRUS) ANGER mounted in Cyprus on Tuesday over the deaths of 12 fire brigade and service personnel in a huge munitions blast that sparked severe power and water cuts.
Frustrated Cypriots were using social networking sites and mobile texting to organise protests against what they perceived as government negligence in not preventing the Mediterranean island’s worst peacetime military accident.
A large protest was being organised in the capital Nicosia on Tuesday evening.
Huge blasts in a seized Iranian arms cache at a Greek Cypriot naval base on the south coast killed 12 people and injured 62 on Monday, triggering power and water outages at the height of summer.
The commander of Cyprus’s navy, Andreas Ioannides, was among the dead, as was the commander of the Evangelos Florakis naval base, Lambros Lambrou.
Four other members of the armed services and six firefighters also died.
Cyprus entered its second day of national mourning with flags on public buildings at half mast and all government events cancelled.
But the media were in no doubt that the blast was avoidable and the government had a lot of unanswered questions to address.
Although Defence Minister Costas Papacostas and Greek Cypriot National Guard commander Petros Tsaliklides resigned shortly after the disaster, President Demetris Christofias also came under fire.
There were informal protests and candle-lit vigils late on Monday in which the government was called on to resign and Tuesday’s newspapers produced some chilling headlines.
“It’s a crime,” screamed the front-page headline in proopposition daily Alithia.
It said small explosions were recorded at the arms cache several days before the killer blast but pleas to navy commander Ioannides to remove the containers were ignored.
The English-language Cyprus Mail called it a “criminal error,” while squarely putting the blame on Christofias.
The paper said in an editorial that it was a “disaster that could have been avoided if our country was run by a less incompetent president”.
The independent Politis daily ran with the headline “Criminals: 12 dead and the economy in darkness because of criminal apathy.” A picture of buckled containers exposed to the sun only 300 metres (yards) from the island’s largest power plant was splashed over its front page.
Relatives of the victims have been asking why the explosives were piled high in the open air without any protection.
Top selling newspaper Phileleftheros summed it up with the words: ‘Crime and tragedy’.
The Vassiliko plant, which accounted for almost 60 percent of the island’s electricity supply, was devastated by the force of the blast and is expected to remain out of operation for months or even years.
The Electricity Authority of Cyprus announced on Tuesday that various areas across the island would receive two-hour power cuts “because of a lack of capacity”.
The authority’s chairman Charis Thrassou warned that it would take a long time to repair the power station with the cost likely to run to well over a billion euros.