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Paphos is a wedding destination

Tourism officials of Pafos have co-operated together with the target of promoting the town as a wedding destination at the exclusive National Wedding Show in London, which took a place at Earls Court last weekend.

The manager of the regional board of tourism of Pafos, Mr Nassos Hadjigeorgiou said: “This is the first time that we will all be at the same dedicated stand and we are all hopeful for a very positive outcome.”

The representatives of Pafos tourism industry met with tourism officials from different countries which included Russia and Israel along with tour operators specialising in overseas weddings.

The National Wedding Show is the biggest and best wedding event in the UK and has fantastic reputation therefore it attracts thousands of visitors during three days of this event.  The show attracts over 1,100 exhibitors every year.

Mr Hadjigeorghiou added: “The district of Paphos is already established a popular wedding and honeymoon destination and with this united approach, we expect to generate even greater momentum in this area of tourism. This will improve the image of Paphos and aid the development of tourism which will have a positive outcome, not only the local but also the national economy.”

In accordance with the organisers of the show, most British people are ready to spend approximately £20,000 on their weddings that is nearly half the average annual salary in the UK.

By Irina Lelina for Areti Charidemou & Associates LLC

Russia and Switzerland agree to swap banking information

Τhe double taxation avoidance agreement concluded between Russia and Switzerland has  been updated between two countries. From now on, the Federal Tax Service of Russia will be able to request from its Swiss counterparts to share data on Russian citizens suspected of tax dodging, while Switzerland will be provided with some tax breaks.

The protocol was executed by Mr Alexei Kudrin, now the former finance minister of Russia, and Mrs Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, head of the Federal Department of Finance of Switzerland, in Washington on 25 September 2011.
The amendments to the 1995 agreement just only reiterate fragments recently included in new agreements on the avoidance of double taxation concluded with Cyprus and Luxembourg.

In the year 2009, Switzerland announced that it would ease the law on banking secrecy and bring it in line with the requirements of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Then Switzerland presented similar rules into its agreements with France, Britain, United States and, last week, with Germany.

In return for this data exchange, Russia has provided Switzerland with significant tax privileges. One is a zero rate on interest payments made by companies from Russia to the residents of Switzerland (the valid rate is 10% and 5%). For the purposes of stimulation of assets purchases in Russia the state and private-owned pension funds of Switzerland will also not pay tax in Russia on their Russian dividends.

 By Irina Lelina for Areti Charidemou & Associates LLC

Excellence award for Cyprus village

With the title of ‘2011 European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) in Tourism and Regeneration of Physical Sites’ there were awarded 21 tourist destinations from across Europe on 28 September 2011. One of the awarded places was Kalopanagiotis, Cyprus hill village in the mountains Trodos.


In accordance with the European Commission press release, village Kalopanagiotis, located by thermal springs visited by King Solomon in late Antiquity and the Byzantines, is a light-hearted hill village of Cyprus clinging to the massive hills of the range of the mountain Trodos. In this village there are some ancient chapels, monasteries and residential buildings have undergone careful renovation, and also the house of impressive collections of Byzantine art and museums of local history. Tourists come to enjoy a peaceful natural setting all year-round that surround Kalopanagiotis.

The other 20 European Destinations of Excellence 2011 are the city of Gmurd in Austria, Marche-en-Famenne in Belgium, Pustara Visnjica in Croatia, Slovacko in Czech Republic, Lahemaa National Park Manors in Estonia, Roubaix in France, Delphi in Greece, Mecsek in Hungary, Stykkisholmur in Iceland, the Great Western Greenway, Co Mayo in Ireland, Montevecchio in Italy, Ligatne in Latvia, Rokiskis in Lithuania, Gharb in Malta, Veenhuizen in the Netherlands, Zyrardow in Poland, Faial Nature Park in Portugal, Idrija in Slovenia, Trasmiera Ecopark in Spain, Hamamonu-Altinda in Ankara, Turkey.

By Irina Lelina for Areti Charidemou & Associates LLC

The head of UBS resigns

Mr Oswald Grübel, who was the head of the Swiss bank UBS AG, has resigned. He resigned after the beginning of the infamous scandal with the rogue trader Adoboli.

The press relations service of the bank underlined in their statement that Mr Oswald Grübel is leaving his post because he believes himself guilty in the scandal of unauthorized transactions. The bank believes that such step is a significant proof of the honest commitment of solid principles.

At the moment the powers of Mr. Grübel are being exercised by Mr.Sergio Ermotti. Previously he was head of the branch of the bank in Europe and Africa.

In September this year, a trader of UBS offices in London, Mr Kveku Adoboli was charged with fraud: as consequence of his actions the bank has lost more than $ 2.3 billion.

Mr Kvek Adoboli exceeded official powers, but also engaged in falsification of accounts. In court, his interests will be represented by lawyers from the company Kingsley Napley. The company has experience in such matters, as the company defended the honour and reputation of the trader Nick Leeson, who bankrupted British bank Barings in 1995, that the bank lost $ 1.4 billion.

Experts say the loss from crafty actions by traders is not uncommon in the financial world. A recent example is the bank Societe Generale, which lost 5 billion euros due to fault of trader Jerome Kerviel.

By Irina Lelina for Areti Charidemou & Associates LLC

Diamonds in Cyprus?

The billionaire from Israel Mr Lev Leviev is said to be seriously interested in opening the diamonds sale centre in Cyprus.

As suggested by the businessman, the membership of Cyprus in the European Union and the advantageous strategic location of the island, open fantastic opportunities for the business development. Flexi Consultants (Cyprus) Ltd., representing Mr Lev Leviev in Cyprus, has already applied with a specific proposal to the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Mrs. Praksulla Antoniadi,for a diamonds sale centre to be built in Larnaca at the place of Hotel Beau Rivage.

According to preliminary calculations, only the first year of the centre’s activity on the island can bring 24.5 million euros into the State treasury.

The Diamond billionaire also owns a company AFI Development, which was incorporated in 2001 and it is the Russian subsidiary of company Africa Israel of Investments, which is a holding company of Mr Leviev's AFI Group and manages real estate projects in Russia, the USA, Europe and Israel. Mr Leviev is a main shareholder of the company; he has increased his share in the company in early 2011 up to 64 percent by buying shares from Mr Alexander Khaldei (9.7 percent) for 129 million dollars. Regular turnover of API Group was approximately three billion dollars, of which about one billion dollars accounts for the diamond business.

By Irina Lelina for Areti Charidemou & Associates LLC

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