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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Researchers left on tenterhooks as money found for fancy cars ]

Researchers left on tenterhooks as money found for fancy cars

Nicholas Theodorou

The nature of our government and its ideological orientations has been profusely discussed since its inauguration in 2008.

Is it a democratic government or is it a communist one? How does its communist ideology survive in a cannibalistic global capitalism? Since we cannot deny the omnipresence of global capitalism and its penetration of Cypriot society, or the communist ideology of the ruling party, then the only way to answer these questions is to see what kind of communism our ruling party practices.

From its recent actions it seems that it is an authentic Soviet communism, since it maintains draconian security measures (see 194 security guards for ministers and other political personas that the tax payers are paying for), it ensures its own ostentatious extravagance (see the recent decision to replace the government limousine fleet with brand new cutting-edge limousines), while concurrently voting for the freezing of educational, economic, and cultural research grants.

While we, the tax payers, have to pay for bodyguards for such long-forgotten and utterly irrelevant personas such as the widows of the late presidents Papadopoulos and Kyprianou or the living yet still ancient and certainly extraneous Lyssarides (I would doubt it if most current presidents of other countries could boast 11 security guards); the same government applies the strictest measures possible to research grants (reducing them by half) that according to the call for proposals had as objectives improving public life, promoting development processes of various areas in society, and enhancing economic competitiveness. It is obvious that our government cares less about research and more about its own comforts and prestige. The situation with regards to the research grants warrants a little bit more discussion since it is indeed both significant and suspicious.

The call for the submission of research proposals (Desmi 2009-2010) was announced last June 1 by the Research Promotion Foundation (RPF) and had various deadlines for the submission of the proposals from June to August, depending on the research area. Despite the absence of a specific date to announce the results, it was presumed - based on the experiences of previous years - that the results would come out sometime in October or November 2009. However, the results are yet to come out.

Even worse, the RPF officers do not know even know when the results will be announced, blaming the government for not having approved the foundation’s final budget.

During all this time, from October to March, the RPF (our national institution for promoting research) has not notified in any way the applicants about the delay. Through personal calls, the applicants have been given at various times different deadlines, which were usually the end of the month they were calling. It seems that even the officers of the RPF are so tired of being exposed by the unreliability of their own foundation or of those who fund its budget (see Council of Ministers), that they are reluctant to give any deadlines any more.

What is frustrating for the applicants is that they no longer have any information regarding their applications. Evidently, the effects of this delay are not disastrous for large corporations that have submitted applications for various projects. However, the situation is far more severe for those individuals (such as PhD students or Post-Graduate researchers) who have worked for months on completing the applications and then have been waiting anxiously for a response from the RPF. Their hands have been literally tied since the RPF says strictly that in the event of success, participants do not have the right to work at the same time, which means that due to the repeated postponement of the announcement of the results the candidates can not commit themselves to any work lest they need to resign shortly after their recruitment, exposing thereby themselves as well as their potential employers.

Considering the utter lack of information regarding the announcement of the results and the ongoing inexcusable delay, candidates have raised concerns about the motives, since it could be related to the government’s wish to save even more money by avoiding sponsoring any new proposals for the current academic year - which is nearing its end - without divulging this to the public.

Evidently, the money for the bodyguards and the purchasing of new limos needs to be found somehow, and research - that unwanted parasite of all totalitarian regimes - seems to be one area the government is willing to sacrifice.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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