Cyprus Latest News feb09

Catch up with the headlines on the Cyprus latest news February 09

The HOTTEST Cyprus latest news Feb09

Weather forecasters predictions come true!

Last month I reported good rainfall in January and predictions of lots more rain to come.

And the predictions have come true! The rain has been literally torrenting down over the past few weeks with yesterday especially heavy causing chaos - flooding, tracks ripped apart with the force of the water and DIY stores doing a roaring trade as home owners attempt to shore up defences.

If you think that sounds dramatic, then look out for some of the flood pictures which I'll be adding to the site soon. The difference it has made to the reservoirs in just a few day has been startling. February's rainfall has already surpassed the WHOLE of last year's rainfall by 40%!

As of February 27th, the small local reservoirs at Argaka and Pomos are 100% full having been almost empty only a month ago. Dams across the island now have 55 million cubic metres of water. This is still very low as we need around 80 million cubic metres per annum but water will continue to flow down from the mountains as snow melts and if March is also wet we may see the dams looking quite healthy by the end of April.

If you are interested in keeping an eye on the water levels, click on this website link from the water department.

New Paphos-Polis Highway causes controversy

Much ado about the "new motorway" has been made over the last 5 years with nothing much happening. Last year, it was announced that the new Paphos-Polis highway would be built using a mix of private and public money, tenders went out and a contractor was appointed.

Two weeks ago, there was uproar when the exact cost of the project was announced. The new road will cost a staggering €1 billion Euros and will cut a maximum of 12 minutes off the journey time from Polis to Paphos - the true estimate is more like 8 minutes (12 is probably for taxi drivers!).

The project will destroy a large part of the beautiful countryside between Stroumpi and Polis and the cost is enormous as it involves more than 7 tunnels, several viaducts and other major construction work. To put it into context, the Limassol-Nicosia highway which is much longer cost only € 30 million Euros in today's money.

Environmentalists and the public are rightly questioning why the government is prepared to waste such a hugh amount of money when it would be far simpler and cheaper to just improve the existing B9 road and/or use the money for other much needed infrastructure work.

One of the reasons is very simple. The Polis end of the road will finish close to the new Limni mines golf course, owned by one of the richest men on the island and an influential figure in terms of party donations. The fact that visitors will only get there slightly quicker seems to have been ignored.

When the going gets tough put prices up!

As of January 1st 2009, shops and restaurants no longer have to display prices in both CYP and Euros. In practice many retailers are still displaying both but we have noticed some establishments starting to increase prices.

This has been especially true in some of the restaurants where, with fewer local customers and tourists due to the strength of the Euro versus Sterling, owners have decided to get a little more out of the few customers they do have.

A strange way of trying to drive extra business? Yes! You can still get a good deal at a taverna for group bookings if you ask first and there are still some sensible store/taverna owners who realise that prices need to be competitive, but we are tending to vote with our feet right now and only use places where prices are still reasonable.

We advise you to do the same on your next visit.

That's all from our Cyprus Latest News Feb09.

See you next month.



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