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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 97-10-26

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, October 26, 1997


  • [01] Businessmen adopt rapprochement plan
  • [02] Cool response to 'third man' hints
  • [03] Clerides meets Blair on CHOGM sidelines
  • [04] Body found off Dhekelia
  • [05] Long-lost friends meet up again
  • [06] Beauty spot 'threatened by development'
  • [07] Green Code drawn up for tourism industry
  • [08] Legal experts reject Turkish EU claims
  • [09] Water wasters squander tons daily
  • [10] Anti-drugs message for schools
  • [11] Salamina end Apollonas' unbeaten run

  • [01] Businessmen adopt rapprochement plan

    By Jean Christou

    PROMINENT Greek and Turkish Cypriot businessmen have unanimously adopted a 20-point plan to kick-start rapprochement between the two communities.

    The proposals, drawn up by Greek Cypriot businessman Constantinos Lordos, were presented at a meeting between 20 industrialists from both sides in Athens on Friday.

    They will now be presented at a high-profile business seminar in Brussels early next month, being organised by US Presidential emissary for Cyprus Richard Holbrooke.

    Speaking from Athens yesterday Lordos said Friday's session of the three- day Greco-Turkish symposium was devoted to Cyprus.

    The proposals are designed to address both the general need for understanding and confidence between the two sides and are in line with 1979 high-level agreements on the Cyprus problem, he said.

    They aim for free and unhindered communication leading to a climate of elementary trust, which would in turn be followed by a series of joint activities and programmes.

    But unless the first aim of freedom of communications is achieved the rest will never materialise, Lordos said.

    His suggestions to break down the barriers include a joint GSM mobile telephone service to allow free voice and fax communications.

    This would be in addition to E-mail and the current telephone access to the occupied areas via the UN exchange. Lordos also suggests a courier service to deliver documents to both sides.

    He also recommends simple identification processes like a pass or an ID card to use when crossing to either side to overcome the 'non-recognition' problems.

    To establish further trust Lordos appeals to the political arena to deal sincerely with the issues of missing persons from both sides and a reduction in tensions along the buffer zone.

    The concrete proposals, which would follow the creation of a climate of trust, include setting up a joint chamber of commerce and a business council, property evaluation board, business fund, cultural society, language school, bi-communal newspaper, radio and TV station.

    Reactivating the business community of the Green Line should also be a priority, Lordos said, as well as creating joint consultative bodies for drugs, disease control, environment, fishing, water, electricity and town planning.

    The Turkish Cypriots had agreed to the 20 goodwill proposals. "This speaks volumes," he said.

    "It was agreed there would be further meetings to examine each and every proposal in my submission," Lordos said.

    "But there must be, as early as possible, complete freedom of communications."

    He said a steering committee and working groups would be established to examine whether any of the proposals can be made a reality.

    But both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot businessmen agreed progress on these issues should be parallel with progress on the Cyprus problem.

    The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet yesterday said there had been a row between the two Cypriot delegations in Athens over Cyprus' application to join the EU. The row was defused by Turkish businessman Rahmi Koc, the paper said.

    Lordos confirmed there had been a disagreement over the meeting's agenda. "There was a little tiff," he said, but added it was sorted out with the help of Greek and Turkish businessmen.

    The next Greco-Turkish businessmen's meeting which will include Cypriots will be in Istanbul next June, Lordos said. No meeting on the island between the Cypriot delegations has yet been fixed, he added.

    [02] Cool response to 'third man' hints

    By Martin Hellicar

    THE possibility of Attorney-general Alecos Markides running for president in 1998 drew a cool response from all major parties yesterday.

    Speculation that Markides might be considering throwing his hat into the ring was fuelled on Friday by his refusal to rule out the possibility.

    Governing Disy, for whom Markides was a deputy before taking the country's highest legal post in 1995, reiterated its determination to back Glafcos Clerides for re-election.

    "Disy will only look at other candidacies if Clerides says he won't run," party vice-chairman Ouranios Ioannides said.

    Clerides is expected to announce his long-awaited decision concerning the 1998 presidential poll by the end of this month.

    Ioannides did say the "interest" in Markides as a possible candidate was a "positive" development for Disy. It showed, he claimed, that all parties were seeking a Disy candidate in the eventuality of Clerides not running.

    On Friday, Markides said he had been urged to run by people from all parties.

    Diko, Disy's reluctant coalition partners, responded cautiously to the Markides possibility.

    Diko deputy Nicos Cleanthousd stooped short of actually precluding support for Markides, but said it was up to Disy to show "flexibility". Cleanthous said talk of Markides as a candidate was part of the "new dynamic" created by Diko serving notice on their coalition with Disy, and was "not irrelevant" to these developments.

    Speculation has been rife that Markides could be the compromise 'third candidate' to keep the Disy-Diko pact alive for 1998, providing a mutually acceptable alternative to Clerides and Diko leader Spyros Kyprianou, who has announced his own candidacy.

    However, Cleanthous said Diko had not been among those urging Markides to stand.

    He said he hoped the Diko central committee would go ahead and finalise the dissolution of the coalition which secured office for Clerides in 1993.

    Akel spokesman Andreas Christou was dismissive of Markides as a possible candidate. He said there was no chance of the electorate being united behind Markides or any other single candidate.

    Christou described Markides' comments on the issue as "very general" and warned against jumping to any conclusions. He reiterated Akel's support for independent candidate George Iacovou.

    Edek Vice-chairman Yiannakis Omirou declined to make any comment on the Markides question, stressing that he was an "independent state official".

    Omirou added that Edek had not changed its mind about backing veteran party leader Vassos Lyssarides for 1998.

    Other candidates announced for the presidential election so far are United Democrats leader George Vassiliou and Liberal leader Nicos Rolandis.

    [03] Clerides meets Blair on CHOGM sidelines

    Staff Reporter

    PRESIDENT Clerides met British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Edinburgh yesterday on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

    During their 15-minute meeting the two men discussed recent developments in the Cyprus problem and the island's accession course towards the EU.

    Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides said the meeting took place following a request from the British premier.

    "Tony Blair's government displays a special interest in efforts for a Cyprus settlement, as Britain will take over the rotating EU Presidency on January 1," Cassoulides said.

    Just hours after his meeting with Blair, Clerides was due to address the CHOGM.

    Cassoulides said that in his short address, Clerides planned to refer to Turkish intransigence during the two rounds of direct talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash during the summer in the US and Switzerland.

    He was also expected to refer to the US-brokered agreement for the two leaders to discuss security issues and the UN-sponsored direct talks on humanitarian issues.

    The one and only meeting on security which took place last month ended in deadlock, but during two humanitarian meetings Clerides and Denktash managed to reach an agreement on the exchange of information on missing persons.

    The exchange, which was originally due to take place by the end of September, is now expected to happen early next month.

    Clerides will return to the island on Thursday.

    [04] Body found off Dhekelia

    POLICE are checking whether an unidentified body found in the sea off Dhekelia yesterday is that of missing fisherman Christakis Xenophontos.

    The body was found around 10am near the rocks and hauled from the sea by police.

    It was then taken to the Dhekelia medical centre and examined by state pathologist Panicos Stavrianos.

    Stavrianos said the body was in a state of decomposition but not unrecognisably so. However he would still run DNA tests on Monday he said.

    Xenophontos, 35, from Dromolaxia has been missing since last Saturday when his empty fishing boat was found off the coast of Meneou.

    [05] Long-lost friends meet up again

    HALLOWEEN games, music and dance helped attract the crowds from both sides of the divide yesterday for a UN Open Day at the bullet-scarred Ledra Palace Hotel in Nicosia.

    Hundreds of Greek and Turkish Cypriots converged on the UN-controlled hotel for an afternoon event to mark the 52nd anniversary of the UN.

    There was free food and drink prepared by the various UN contingents and opportunities to sit in a UN helicopter, fire-engines and armoured vehicles.

    But for most it was the chance to meet up with long-lost friends from the other side that mattered most.

    "I haven't seen Mustafa since before the invasion, he looks older but I still knew him at once," one overjoyed middle-aged Greek Cypriot said, hugging his old friend.

    Most of the crowd seemed to be Turkish Cypriots.

    Deputy Marios Matsakis, a veteran of the Ledra Palace protest to dissuade tourists from crossing to the north, expressed his support for the event.

    He said such bi-communal get-togethers were a step in the right direction and helped efforts for a settlement.

    Unficyp said the idea behind this and other bi-communal events was to give "people of all ages a chance to meet and reach out to the other community in a true spirit of the UN".

    In a message to UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan marking UN day, President Clerides restated his government's commitment to working with the organisation in a "constructive spirit" towards a "just solution".

    "May I take this opportunity to reiterate our deep appreciation for your untiring efforts aiming at achieving a just, viable and lasting solution to this issue that would restore unity in our country and put an end to the tragedy of our people," Clerides said in his message.

    [06] Beauty spot 'threatened by development'

    By Martin Hellicar

    A PAPHOS beauty spot is threatened by a housing development, environmentalists warned yesterday.

    Aristo Developers are marking out plots immediately above the Thalassines Spilies (Sea Caves), a stretch of impressive sea-cut caverns on the western coast near Coral Bay.

    The company said the area concerned was zoned for residential development, but a local environmentalist said the government should take action to preserve a "natural monument".

    "Until five years ago the area was a (no-development) white zone, but this status was never extended by local authorities - despite promises," the environmentalist said. "This week long poles were put up all over the place right above the cliffs, to mark out where the development will take place," he said.

    "Developers cannot by law touch anything within 100 metres of the coast, but it seems they are counting the vertical height of the cliffs in this 100 metres and planning to build right over the cliffs," he added.

    The area demarcated for development is about the size of two football fields, and Aristo is offering to build luxury homes to customer's specifications, including swimming pools.

    No-one was available for comment from the Paphos District office, but a representative for Aristo Developers said there was "no problem with the law" concerning the development.

    "The area may not be officially protected but the government should show flexibility and bend the rules in favour of conservation for once," the environmentalist said.

    [07] Green Code drawn up for tourism industry

    By Martin Hellicar

    A CODE of environmental practice for the tourism industry has been drawn up by a joint technical committee.

    The code, which sets out general principles for environmental protection, was presented by the director-general of the Hoteliers' Association (Pasyxe), Zacharias Ioannides, at a Friends of the Earth seminar yesterday.

    The Nicosia seminar focused on sustainable tourism and education in Cyprus, and Ioannides cited the code as an example of the efforts the industry was making to ensure environmental awareness.

    The code was drawn up by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, the Environment Service of the Ministry of Agriculture, Pasyxe, and the Travel Agents' Association.

    It states three principles for sound environmental practice:

    1. Respect for natural resources, ecological principals, environmental and cultural heritage;

    2. Full harmonisation of tourism development with environmental protection;

    3. Sustainable use of natural resources.

    Ioannides said the local tourism industry possessed all the necessary ingredients for environmentally sound tourism. He listed these as a rich archaeological and architectural heritage, an excellent climate, undeveloped areas, and blue and clear seas.

    However, he also slammed what he called the "poor state" of archaeological sites, "haphazard development", "foreign neon signs", fast-food joints and "countless" kiosks as examples of where the industry was going wrong.

    He said bold action was needed to right these wrongs.

    Ioannides said that environmental education, at school, college and professional training levels, could play a vital role in promoting eco- friendly tourism.

    [08] Legal experts reject Turkish EU claims

    THREE international jurists and professors have knocked down all Turkish claims that Cyprus is not eligible to join the EU.

    The 21-page joint legal opinion has been circulated as a UN Security Council document by the Cyprus permanent representative to the UN, Nicos Agathocleous.

    It was prepared by James Crawford, professor of International Law at Cambridge University, his colleague at Vienna University, Gerhard Hafner, and professor of International Law at Paris X-Nanterre University, Alain Pellet.

    The legal opinion by the three experts on international law rejects Turkey's stance that Cyprus is prevented from becoming a member of the EU under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.

    Turkey claims Cyprus cannot join unless it too becomes an EU member.

    However the three experts stress in their opinion that the government of Cyprus is regarded as the government of the republic with the normal capacity to enter into "international treaties, conventions and alliances".

    They also interpreted articles in the Treaty of Guarantee and in the Cyprus constitution and outlined the international community's attitude on Cyprus' application for membership.

    In concluding the opinion, referring to the Treaty of Guarantee, they said: "It is very doubtful whether Turkey could raise any objection because of its own breaches of the Treat of Guarantee."

    Turkey's aspirations to join the European Union must be addressed ahead of the December EU summit. Members are split on whether it should be invited to join a 'European Conference' of all aspiring EU member countries, effectively an applicants' 'waiting room', Reuters news agency reported yesterday.

    "The way ahead for Turkey is difficult because of their human rights problems, the Kurds, and relations with Greece and Cyprus," German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel told reporters in Luxembourg yesterday.

    He was speaking at the spa town of Mondorf-les-Bains, on the Luxembourg border with France, before EU foreign ministers met to try to thrash out which central and east European countries should be invited to join the 15- member bloc.

    "So all this makes it very difficult, but we will keep the Turkish train on the rails and we will find some framework," Kinkel added.

    [09] Water wasters squander tons daily

    By Jean Christou

    THE Nicosia Water Board prefers to issue warnings than fine people breaking the hosepipe ban, officials have admitted.

    So far this year only 70 on-the-spot 15 fines have been issued in the capital, compared to hundreds of warnings, a Water Board official told the Cyprus Mail.

    The revelation comes as moves are under way to increase on-the-spot fines to 30 in the hopes of saving more water.

    The heaviest penalty under the law - a 300 fine or two years' imprisonment - has never been implemented.

    The official said practical implementation of the 1991 hosepipe ban is nearly impossible.

    Tons of water are wasted daily by people breaking the hosepipe ban, but they can only be punished if they are caught in the act.

    "We are not police," the official said. "Our aim is to save water so we prefer to issue warnings to those people who don't understand why it's wrong to water the pavement."

    Hundreds of warnings are issued each year, the official said. Only those who refuse to co-operate are fined.

    The official said the Water Board does not mount special patrols, but up to 60 employees of the Board are in various areas of the city at any given time.

    The Board also relies on calls from conscientious neighbours, but these are few and far between - especially in small villages where residents are loath to report each other.

    "Generally the Cypriots don't care about water problems," the official said. He added that in his personal opinion the only way to save water would be to raise the price.

    The restrictions themselves also waste an unspecified amount of water when homes are forced to run their taps for up to 20 minutes to clear sludge from the pipes.

    The Board official said there are no estimates as to how much water is lost in this way.

    "There is nothing we can do about this problem," the official said.

    [10] Anti-drugs message for schools

    TWO mobile anti-drug units were yesterday donated to the Education Ministry by the Round Table Ladies Circle.

    The units are mobile classrooms equipped with multimedia presentation aids, and are manned by trained educators.

    They will be visiting schools all over Cyprus educating children against drugs and other harmful substances.

    The units were handed over to Justice Minister Nicos Koshis on behalf of the Education Minister.

    The units are the result of four years' hard work by of the Ladies Circle, the 41 Club, and the Anti-drug Association in collaboration with the Education and Health Ministries with sponsorship from BP Cyprus, Cybarco and the Cyprus Offshore Enterprises Association.

    [11] Salamina end Apollonas' unbeaten run

    SALAMINA ended Apollonas' hundred per cent record yesterday with an impressive 2-0 victory at Amochostos stadium, on a day of upsets and narrow escapes.

    Apoel earned a point against in-form Apop thanks to a Kozniku goal, two minutes from time which gave the cup winners a 1-1 draw. Fourth-placed Aek also needed a last minute equaliser to earn a 2-2 draw against Evagoras in Paphos.

    Omonia, playing their best football so far this season, demolished Anagennisis in Dherynia 7-0, with six goals scored in the second half.

    Ael scored their first home win of the season, defeating Paralimni 3-1 in Limassol, but newly-promoted Ashia sank to their fifth successive loss, a 2- 1 home defeat by their namesakes from Achna.

    For Salamina it was sweet victory coming on the back of two successive defeats, which had fans calling for the sacking of Serbian coach Karalic. Despite having what looked like a perfectly good goal disallowed by the referee, Salamina went on to record a memorable victory.

    Kovasevic put them on the way to victory by converting a 60th minute penalty, while Kokos Elia, who moved from Apollonas to Salamina in the summer, settled the match when he headed in a cross by Michic.

    Apollonas, who had a disappointing afternoon remain in second place, level on points with Anorthosis who are away to Alki today.

    Apoel narrowly escaped defeat by Apop, who were deprived the three points of victory in the last minutes of the game for the second successive week. The game was played in Kyperounda because Apoel are serving a three-match home ban.

    Sasa Jovanovic broke free in the 85th minute to score his fourth goal of the season and put the Paphos side in front. With two minutes left, Croat striker Kozniku, headed in the equaliser to salvage some pride for Apoel who had dominated the game. It was his sixth goal of the season.

    Aek's Brazilians struck in the final minute of their clash in Paphos to earn their side a 2-2 draw. A minute from time, Edvaldo's pass found Paolinho unmarked inside the Evagoras area and the Brazilian striker made no mistake.

    Evagoras had twice taken the lead but were unable to hold on to it. Pachatlias scored in the 25th minute, but five minutes later, Stephani levelled for Aek. Knezevic put his side in front again early in the second half but Evagoras were unable to hold on for their first victory of the season.

    Omonia returned to winning in style in Dherynia, after some disappointing performances. Yet not even the most optimistic fan would have believed the match would have developed into a rout -Omonia led 1-0 in the first half thanks to a Kaiaphas goal.

    In the second half, the Anagennisis defence was ripped apart. Malekkos (two), Gitanov, Xiouroupas, Raufman and Kaiaphas, with a second got on the scoresheet.

    A disputed second-half penalty, converted by Mousic for his second goal of the match, gave Achna an undeserved 2-1 win over Ashia who are still without a point. Bata was Ashia's scorer.

    © Copyright 1997 Cyprus Mail

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