According to the proposal, the state officials who are entitled to a luxury car are: the president of the Republic and the House president, the attorney general and the assistant attorney general, the chief negotiator for the Cyprus problem, ministers, ministry undersecretaries (if they are appointed), the auditor general, the accountant general, ministry permanent secretaries, supreme court judges, the house permanent secretary and all former Republic and House presidents.
I live in Cyprus for many years now. It is a beautiful little island in Mediterranean Sea. It features warm weather for most of the year, sea, very kind and hospital people, plenty of jobs in IT industry, good food and plenty of alcohol, stable currency, and more. It’s really a nice place to live if you can handle small towns and villages. It’s also a great place to raise the kids.
Not much happens here. It is a quiet and simple place. Yet, when something happens or when I write about it, I post it to Cyprus category.
By Leonid Mamchenkov
Mostly, I don’t really care what Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC)thinks. But sometimes, even I have to raise an eyebrow and say “Really?”. So happened once again today, when I read this bit in Cyprus Mail:
The Central Bank (CBC) has said use of virtual currency bitcoin is extremely dangerous, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) said on Tuesday.
“Using any virtual money is extremely dangerous because they are not monitored by any authority, thus operating without control,” CNA said, quoting the CBC.
I can understand the dangers coming from the digital nature of Bitcoin – hackers getting control of your money, or breaking into your servers for some extra mining power. But saying that it’s dangerous because it is not controlled by the government? That’s a bit too far. Especially considering this year’s banking crisis in Cyprus.
In fact, if you look around for a second opinion, the Bank of America recently said that Bitcoin will be a serious competitor to cash. The article on Inc.com lists possibility of government regulation as one of the disadvantages to the new currency:
The risk of government regulation.
Bank of America says it is unlikely that the government will promote a new currency, especially one as suspect as Bitcoin. As the U.S. government is trying to figure out where Bitcoin fits into its tax and payment system, regulation of any kind would increase its transaction costs–offsetting one of its major benefits.
By Leonid Mamchenkov
Today, Cyprus is mourning the death of Glafcos Clerides. I’m not much into politics in any country, but I did like him. He was the President back in 1996 when I came to Cyprus, and he remained so during my first few years here. As I said, I didn’t care much for politics, but I felt the good vibe. And even years after he left from major TV news, it was always pleasant to see him on an occasion – always respectful and positive, even in old age.
I’ve spoken to quite a few people about Clerides and I seem to get mixed feedback. Some people liked him, some didn’t. But the common theme seemed to be respect. You can agree or disagree with his political views and his involvement in different movements and initiatives, but, I think, nobody can say that he was a slacker or a silly guy. He believed in something and he was pushing it. He worked a lot, and he has achieved plenty.
Also, he did plenty before he became active in Cyprus politics. For example, during the World War II he was a pilot in Royal Air Force. In 1942 he was shot down over Germany and was captured, spending the rest of the war years a prisoner of war. His military activity has been noticed and he was mentioned in dispatches.
As I said, I don’t really care much for the political games. But I for one will miss this charming old guy. Rest in peace, Glafkos, and thank you so much for that you have done.
THE manager of the Cyprus national rugby side has been basking in yet another victory, after the Moufflons beat Slovenia 34-3 in Ljubljana which extended their world record streak to 20 straight wins.
By Leonid Mamchenkov
Just over a week ago, I spent a couple of days in Forest Park Hotel in Platres, as part of the Team work and communications workshop. The company I work for – Easy Forex – organized it for about 20 people. We had a good mix of people who work together on a daily basis, across several teams, from both Cyprus and Israel. There were a few issues to sort out, a few things to improve, a bit to learn, and also some fun to have.
I’ve been to a few similar events before, but none of them even comes close to how useful and interesting this one was. It wasn’t boring, it wasn’t “motivational” as in “look within to find yourself and your path to success”. It was practical, to the point, and as much individual as it was team-oriented. Two people who were hosting, organizing, and managing the event were Paris and Deano from Open Box Communication. And I have to say that they really know what they are doing. Most people went in skeptical, closed, and maybe even slightly aggressive. The change in attitudes was obvious even a couple of hours in. Two days later we left as rather different people altogether. At least, the way I saw it.
Here is a little YouTube video they composed with a few highlights. I know it’s probably irrelevant to most who weren’t there, but for me it will be a nice reminder to go back to once in a while.
If your team has any issues you should definitely consider these guys. If you think you don’t have any issues, I strongly recommend to consider them anyway, as they will bring out a lot of things that you’ve probably never thought about.
The idea of online supermarket is super old. I remember one of the companies I worked for back in 1999 was trying to pull this off. But for this or that reason, it never happened. I am glad that someone finally succeeded.
P.S.: Too bad they mostly cover Nicosia area currently, but hopefully that’s only an issue of time.
Anybody knows anything about this? Is it open? Is it real? Is it any good? Please let me know.
By Leonid Mamchenkov
Cyta – Cyprus Telecommunications Authority – has updated its website. First time in years you can visit it without having 20,000 animated banners thrown in your face from the front page. In fact, the new site looks pretty good. And it’s easy to navigate around as well, which is not so common for sites with a lot of information.
And these aren’t even all the news. They’ve also reduced the prices of the mobile internet. How often does that happen? Exactly, never!
Good job, guys.
By Leonid Mamchenkov
Disclaimer #1: For the last few years I’ve worked in the Forex industry. I worked for a number of companies – FxPro, Traders Trust, FXCC, and, currently, Easy Forex. I was also involved with a few others. But I’ve always worked in the IT and web development part of those companies – never in marketing, or “anti-marketing”, sales, or any other business unit.
Disclaimer #2: A few of my friends – close and otherwise – work for FXTM. Even though, FXTM is a new company, and it is a direct competitor of the company I work for, this rant is not so much against FXTM, who are simply looking for exposure anywhere they can find, but rather against Cyprus Mail, which is a well established mass media entity with a long history.
Disclaimer #3: Purely for legal reasons, pretty much everything in this post is my personal opinion, which might or might not coincide with my current employer.
Now, to the business. A couple of days ago, my eye caught this article in Cyprus Mail.
FXTM will be marking a strong presence at this year’s iFXEXPO, promoting their innovative partnership programs and in particular the FXTM Introducer Programme.
The FXTM team can be found at the expo’s Stand 16, eager to welcome visitors and explain the unique features of the company’s all-new partnership programmes.
That was my first “oh, really?”. If you are not living in Limassol, you might not be familiar with the fact, that it is somewhat of a “Forex capital”. There plenty of Forex companies based here. There are plenty of local offices for Forex companies based outside. Heck, there are even plenty of companies who are not directly Forex brokers, but who are based around Forex industry.
So, what’s the problem? – you ask. I’ll tell you. Pretty much every single one of those companies are taking part in the iFXEXPO. This year and years before. What is so special about FXTM taking part in it? Absolutely nothing. That’s just one of those companies participating in something that everybody else is participating. Hardly any news. But. For one reason or another, Cyprus Mail decides to cover just this company.
What’s that? An advertising? I don’t mind that too much. Try to stay away from them, or clearly mark one as such, and I don’t have any problem at all. After all, everybody needs to make a living.
My second “oh, really?” comes from a bit of censorship. Obviously, I wasn’t happy with such blatant advertising in a newspaper. So, I wrote a very polite (in my humble opinion) comment, pointing out the article being a blatant advertising. Expressed opinion, nothing more. Guess what happened to that comment? It got deleted. Oops.
I’ve been online for a few years now, and I completely understand that Cyprus Mail has the full right to control the content, including the comments, of their site. But, to me personally, it looked weird. After all, there was no hate or anything like that in the comment (again, IMHO). And, I’ve seen Cyprus Mail keeping criticizing comments before. It’s feedback, isn’t it? We all have opinions, we all make mistakes, and we all disagree with each other. The world would be a boring place if everybody agreed on every point. But, they chose to remove it.
Fine! I’m not gonna whine and complain more about it. It is their right to do so. But it is also, I believe so, my right to express my opinion. And, gladly, I have my own place where I can express it. So, even if it’s gone from the Cyprus Mail site and Facebook comments that they are currently using, it’s still gonna be here.
So, in summary, here it goes.
- I think publishing the FXTM article without clearly marking it as an ad was a mistake on behalf of Cyprus Mail.
- I think removing a criticizing comment without any sort of notification to the author was a mistake on behalf of Cyprus Mail.
- We all make mistakes (we are mere humans after all). But I believe that we are capable of learning from mistakes. So, even when one is done, or even if someone just thinks that ones is done, I think it is important to have this feedback, understand it, and figure out if the mistake was actually made or not, and, furthermore, figure out how to fix it.
Update (May 31, 2013): there appears to be a bit of confusion over the deleted comment. It might be a malfunction on the side of the Cyprus Mail’s website. Or it might be my own stupidity. If that’s the latter, I sincerely apologize to everyone. I can see two different URLs to the same story. One is on Cyprus Mail Beta site, which has my comment. And another one is on Cyprus Mail WWW site, which doesn’t. I have no clue why both of these exist and why they are different.