Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Cyprus finance minister economy will shrink by five percent

April 3, 2020

… there will be a recession and GDP could contract by about 5 per cent. — Cyprus Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides

Cyprus Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides has opened himself up to ridicule by claiming Cyprus economy will shrink by about five per cent.

If we look at European countries in lockdown, with most sectors shut down, economies will shrink by far more than five percent.

Only five percent with total collapse of Cyprus tourist industry?

Or is this a tacit admission that the only beneficiaries of the tourist sector were a handful of hoteliers and the foreign tour companies?

Before coronavirus crisis Cyprus tourist industry was close to collapse, all-inclusive hotels bringing in the dregs of the tourist industry, quality tourists driven away, with little money flowing into the local economy.

One only had to walk the streets and observe the empty bars and restaurants and coffee shops.

EasyJet has grounded its fleet. British Airways suspended its operation at Gatwick.

Tui was in debt to the tune of 2 billion euros before the coronavirus pandemic.

UK has said it will not bailout out the airline industry. A petition before UK Parliament is calling upon the government to not bailout the industry, instead transition to a Green New Deal.

Airlines and tour company tui are dragging their feet to pay compensation for cancelled flights and holidays. Trying to palm clients off with worthless vouchers.

Why have hotels on the front page of their websites no coronavirus information? Why are they taking bookings when not likely to be open, when Cyprus in lockdown, airports closed?

The rare exception Sunrise hotels:

Important Announcement for COVID-19
In accordance with the new measures taken by the Cyprus Government, all Sunrise Hotels will be closed until 30/04/2020.
For direct bookings we are offering the flexibility to amend the travel dates without any cancellation fee. For further information or assistance please contact us at: reservations@sunrise.com.cy.
For other bookings made through Tour Operators or Travel Agents, please contact them for alternative solutions.

When Thomas Cook collapsed, the opportunity was not taken to restructure the tourist industry. Far from grasping the opportunity the collapse of Thomas Cook offered, the worst of all possible worlds, tui was allowed to grab a greater share of the market, bad for hoteliers, bad for tourists.

The opportunity must not be lost this time around.

The focus must be on fewer tourists, quality tourists.

Improve quality everywhere, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, hotels.

Shut down the noisy bars that attract the dregs of the tourist industry.

Replace with traditional tavernas and coffee shops. It would be difficult to find good examples without visiting Plaka in Athens. Paul’s Coffee Roasters and Lazaris (though not for coffee) near St Lazarus Church in the back streets of Larnaca set high standards, take a pride in what they do, as does Nick’s Coffee Bike outside Larnaca Marina, but these are the rare exceptions, not the norm, oasis amidst the dross. Once the norm in Cyprus, until a race to the bottom to attract custom from all-inclusive hotels, a race no one can win.

Grecian Park and Crystal Springs set high standards, few hotels come anywhere near.

Outlaw all-inclusive hotels that are killing the local economy.

Restrict tour operator bookings to less than 20% of bookings, encourage direct bookings. Tour operators forced to settle their accounts at the end of every month.

Reliance on euro bonds is a non-starter as has already been vetoed by Germany and Holland. I would refer to critical comment by Yanis Varoufakis.

Recommendations for the short term.

Furlough staff as in UK with government covering 80% of wage, with a cap of 2,500 euros per month.

A similar scheme for the self employed, 80% of average earning over last three years.

Grants and soft loans to small businesses, but with strings attached, quality has to improve.

For hotels, only to groups of five hotels or less. No bailout of large chains.

No bailout for corporate chains.

In China, one man with covid-19 travelling on a bus, infected nine fellow passengers.

Now imagine on a plane with one person with covid-19, passing through a busy airport, then getting on public transport.

Ever travelled on the packed-in-like-sardines 101/102 local bus that runs Paralimni – Protaras – Ayia Napa? Now imagine one person on that bus with covid-19.

Until such time that Cyprus has temperature screening at airports, facilities to detain, test, quarantine, temperature screening of everyone every time they enter a hotel, cannot even contemplate opening Cyprus to tourists. And even then only for hotels, not apartments.

In absence of such measures why are hotels taking bookings for as early as Easter? And these bookings cannot be from within the country as Cyprus is in lockdown.

EU has closed its borders for the foreseeable future.

No Russians, no one from outside of EU.

Countries have also closed their borders.

Israel closed its borders weeks ago, Russia has closed its borders with strict self-isolating and heavy fines if venture out.

As always, Cyprus grasping at straws rather than doing what it takes, hard graft and addressing systemic problems within the tourist industry.

EU will come to the rescue, Brits will come to the rescue, Russians will come to the rescue.

Latest was, Chinese dirty money will come to the rescue.

With Chinese tourists it overlooks one very simple fact, Chinese tourists are cultural tourists, hence Athens, Oxford, Cambridge. Low life bars in Cyprus,  somehow I think not.

FCO advice, do not travel overseas. Lockdown in UK for six months.

Speaking on Channel 4 News, former WHO Director-General Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland has said that she expects coronavirus crisis to last at least 18 months, until such time as a vaccine is available.

Is Cyprus foolish enough to open its borders and risk many covid-19 deaths?

One advantage of being an island, easy to control entry to the country.

Europe the epicentre of coronavirus.

Spain and Italy the death toll exceeds that of China. UK, slow to act, daily mortality rate is fast approaching that of Spain, Russia not far behind.

Cyprus would have to be very slow to open its borders to visitors from Europe. Temperature screening at airports, with facilities to isolate, trace and quarantine. Only hotels open. Temperature screen of everyone each and every time they enter the hotel. Hotels restricted to maximum of half capacity, gyms, saunas, massage not open, social distancing, dining well spaced apart, same true of sunbeds. Moot point if pools open. If open, strict limit on numbers in the pool, strict enforcement of shower before and after use of the pool. Sunbeds thoroughly cleaned every evening. Hotels where clients packed in like sardines on sunbeds, not permitted to open.

Any hotel where cases of coronavirus, quarantined for a month.

Larnaca, minimum of 50% of the sunbeds removed from the beach.

Oh and not forgetting, oil and gas will come to the rescue, conveniently ignoring oil at $10 a barrel and Climate Emergency will destroy Cyprus tourist industry, too hot, rising sea levels and storms will wash away beaches and flood Larnaca.

Covid-19 is not the only crisis, the other is Climate Emergency.

We cannot return to businesses as usual.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day nine

April 1, 2020

Bus into town early. Rescheduled, arrives five minutes earlier. New bus, single-decker, stops frequently to keep in time with timetable. Driver fails to turn off engine. Actually even worse, new bus, automatically turns off engine when bus stops, driver turns on, then bus sits with engine running. Dumb passengers, clueless on social distancing, I have to move three times. Less frequent bus service, only once an hour, more passengers and single-decker bus.

Bus station deserted of buses let alone people.

Sincil Street deserted.

Only Pepperdine’s open. Curtis has closed, Central Market closed.

A few people in the High Street.

Common sense breaks out at M&S, front doors open. But only two tills manned. More people in the store than previous visits, failure to man tills, longer in the store.

Bus from bus station, same bus, different driver, only two passengers.

Wren Kitchens putting workers at risk

March 29, 2020

Wren Kitchens forcing workers into work, placing them, their families and anyone they encounter en-route at risk of coronavirus.

Advice to avoid coronavirus:

  • wash hands
  • social distancing
  • only go out if necessary
  • permitted outings – visit doctor, pick up medicine, shopping, exercise, essential work

Making kitchens is not essential work.

Wren Kitchens is forcing workers into work, where not only are the workers placed at risk, but also their families and anyone they encounter as they travel to and from work.

Wren Kitchens has closed its showrooms, fired the staff.

The government must act to close down all rogue employers, hit directors with a hefty fine, and make a criminal offence.

Police have powers to break up groups of more than two people, can stop and request where are going.

If Lincolnshire Police can harass a man in Boston sitting on a bench on his own doing a crossword, then must be granted powers to deal with rogue employers who are putting us all at risk.

Speaking with those in the trade Wren Kitchens has bad reputation for quality of its products and treatment of work force.

Bad employers like Wren Kitchens should not only should be closed down and directors fined, they should be put out of business.

Please sign the petition calling for action to be taken against Wren Kitchens.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day four

March 27, 2020

Who would have thought, unless live in a war zone, that venturing out would be such a dangerous activity? A silent deadly killer on the street, not an assassin or a serial killer, a deadly virus by the name of covid-19.

Bus empty. One passenger, then another. Clapped out double docker bus.

Running an empty bus, ahead of schedule, stops for minuses at bus stops, but no engine turned off.

I cannot see Stagecoach running empty buses. Revised timetable next week. Hopefully not Sunday timetable.

Bus station deserted. No hand sanitiser at entrance to Lincoln Central Bus Station, putting passengers and drivers at risk. Tuesday, a 20p charge to enter toilets to wash hands. Friday barriers open. Maybe due to cleaner. Signs demand 20p.

Few people on the streets, no queues anywhere.

Curtis Sincil Street restricting to two people in the store. Something Curtis Bailgate needs to observe. On Tuesday, four in the store which is two too many.

Central Market, butcher, fishmonger, fruit and vegetable store. Fishmonger will close as not possible to obtain fish.

Pepperdine’s in Sincil Street open.

Being forced to walk around the backside of M&S to buy food not acceptable. Tuesday was able to walk through the store.

A lady outside M&S in the High Street almost in tears as could not get into the store. A criminal offence to discriminate against disabled. I spoke to staff to see if she could be guided through the store. They looked, but she had already gone.

M&S need to rethink this. Surely they can create a corridor through the store?

Supermarkets stripped bare? M&S overstocked staff marking stock down to shift.

Baffled why Wilkinson’s open.

— to be continued —

Tim Martin tells J D Wetherspoon workers to get a job

March 24, 2020

First it was forcing staff in to work when they wished to self-isolate under the threat of no pay.

Next it was tell people go out to the pubs.

Latest scandal from Tim Martin, now that Weatherspoon has been forced to close, to tell workers go and find a job.

Wetherspoon is refusing to pay suppliers until reopens. It is one thing not to pay industrial brewers, property companies, it is quite another to refuse to pay small craft brewers.

Wetherspoon is by no means the only bad employer.

Pubcos are forcing tied pubs to pay rent even though the pubs are closed and have no income.

Making kitchen is an essential work, nevertheless Wren Kitchens forcing workers into work putting workers and their families at risk.

There should be no bail out of Weatherperson, industrial brewers, pubcos. Bail outs should be for people and local indie businesses.

Lincoln City Council coronavirus criminals

March 24, 2020

Alight from a bus or wish to catch a bus, it is important to be able to clean ones hands for the safety of fellow passengers and bus drivers.

There is no hand sanitiser at either entrance to Lincoln Central Bus Station.

To wash hands, a charge of 20p to enter the toilets.

Lincoln coronavirus lockdown day one

March 24, 2020

Bus into Lincoln empty. Lincoln Central Bus Station empty.

Borders on criminal negligence, no hand sanitiser at entrance, 20p to enter toilets to wash hands.

Toilet at Lincoln Central Station closed. Again putting travellers at risk.

Sincil Street empty.

Hopped on a bus to Bailgate, very little open.

I waited until one and only customer left Post Office, quie formed outside. Post Office thanked me.

Found credit card not functiioning conatctless. I learn later,can only use three times. Banks need to get their act togther.

Appalled four pople allowed into Curtis. THis si two too may. It shoudl be resticted to two, one custmer at each counter.

A man, sleved rolled uop, grasyarms leaning acroess the disoaly counter. Disgusting.

Contarst with fruit and veg shop around the back. Only one person allowed in, orderly que outside.

Walk down Steep Hill, The Strait and into High Street.

Streets desrted.

Bnaks closed.

M&S open, but few in store.

Fruit and vegatble stall open at the market.

A few ppole in the bus station.

Number of deatsh today 87, a sharp incraese.

But it is going to get far far worse. Idiots packed into pubs, this will feed through to a shartp incarese.

Priteering by Sporst Directs, hike in prices of equpment can be used at home. And why were their stores open across the kitcehen

Why are costruction sites open.

Why Wren Kitchens? Making kitcehns is not essential work.

— to b e continued —

UK ordered into partial lockdown

March 23, 2020

From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home. — Pepsi Trump

Not a full lockdown. Partial lockdwon for at least 21 days.

  • stay home
  • no visiting friends or family
  • non-essential shops closed
  • only allowed out to shop for food, essential work, medical needs
  • allowed out to go for a walk a run a cycle ride
  • no public gatherings greater than two people
  • social distancing at least two metres apart

China bought us time we squandered it.

Tuesday of last week UK was two weeks behind Italy, one week behind Spain. Big difference they already had measures in place.

Inaction will cost lives. Closure of mass gatherings and sporting events should have been banned weeks ago. Bars clubs pubs closed at least a week ago. London in lockdown last week.

Failure to act sooner apart from costing lives sent out the wrong message.

Last Friday the drunks packed into pubs. At the weekend, people were packed on the streets, pubs were open.

We cannot say we were not forewarned.

Why are airlines still flying, why are airports not closed?

Tour companies and airlines to renege on refunds for cancelled trips

March 23, 2020

Anyone who has booked holiday or flight claim your money back now.

Tour companies have to refund within two weeks, airlines within a week.

Do not accept vouchers.

Zombie company tui in debt to tune of 2 billion euros, and that was before coronavirus crises.

Do not accept vouchers, demand refund in cash or payment into card account.

Claim now, government is poised to suspend your rights to protect the industry.

No way should government or tourists bail out tour companies or airlines.

They trashed the planet then spread covid-19 around the world.

At the weekend, flights into UK from Iran, Rome and China.

Today passengers crammed into queues at Heathrow.

Unlike other countries, in UK borders are open, airports are open.

Airlines, airports and travel companies are operating in a parallel world. Social distancing, it does not apply to us Guv.

Money should bail out people and small indie businesses, then finance Green New Deal.

#airlines #tui #covid19 #aviation #ClimateEmergency #GreenNewDeal

Coronavirus tale of two coffee shops

March 22, 2020

Tuesday of last week UK two weeks behind Italy one week behind Spain.

Friday, pubs, clubs, bars, gyms, coffee shops, restaurants were ordered to close.

Bars, pubs, clubs should have been closed weeks ago.

Moot point should coffee shops and restaurants be closed.

The order should have been immediate. But not until midnight. The drunks piled into the pubs, bars and clubs placing many at risk.

Prior to the order to close indie coffee shops were taking precautions, yajeeay coffee cups, no reusable cups, hand santiser at entrance.

One day on from order, indie coffee shops closed. They care for the health and safety of staff and clientele.

Walking down Lincoln High Street Madame Waffle closed.

Further down, greedy grasping tax dodging Starbucks open

I also passed Caffè Nero open.