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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 97-10-29

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, October 29, 1997


  • [01] Denktash blasts EU
  • [02] Countdown to Toros '97
  • [03] Norway stops importing occupied potatoes
  • [04] Ochi Day Parade
  • [05] High-profile ports seminar likely to highlight problems
  • [06] High rate of US-detained ships fly Cyprus flag
  • [07] Body washed up in Dhekelia is missing fisherman
  • [08] Man killed in mountain crash
  • [09] Postal workers to strike
  • [10] Parliament archaeology site yields more remains

  • [01] Denktash blasts EU

    By Jean Christou

    TURKISH Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has blasted the EU in an official letter to UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.

    In the letter, Denktash - who is due to meet Annan during his current trip to New York - said that the European Union's "untimely interference" in the Cyprus problem had had the most profound effect on the UN-sponsored direct talks.

    Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kibris said Denktash has sent the letter in reply to President Clerides' recent speech at the UN General Assembly.

    Denktash said the current impasse in the inter-communal talks was not due to any precondition brought to the table by the Turkish Cypriot side.

    The last round of direct talks between Denktash and Clerides in Glion in Switzerland in August ended in deadlock after the Turkish side insisted Cyprus-EU negotiations be postponed pending a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    "The Turkish Cypriot side cannot be expected to watch helplessly while the EU takes concrete steps to convert Cyprus into a Greek state," Denktash said in his letter to Annan.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader pointed out that there were four conditions the Turkish Cypriot side would not relinquish: sovereignty, security and guarantees; political equality; the maintenance of the balance between Turkey and Greece established by the 1960 agreements; and bi-zonality reinforced by the exchange of properties.

    "As long as the Turkish Cypriots' equal status is not recognised, the Greek Cypriots will continue to undermine every initiative, he said."

    Several Turkish Cypriot papers also reported yesterday comments by Denktash and US Presidential Emissary Richard Holbrooke before a meeting between the two.

    Denktash repeated that "the Greek Cypriots' application for EU membership was a trick intended to take over the whole of the island."

    He also said "steps had been taken towards the worst crisis in Cyprus."

    Holbrooke reportedly said he was not carrying out shuttle diplomacy and that a "crisis point" had not been reached in Cyprus.

    On the issue of equality, Holbrooke said the members of the two communities were equal as far as their human rights were concerned, but he believed that the equality meant by Denktash had to be discussed at the negotiating table.

    [02] Countdown to Toros '97

    TURKISH Cypriot press reported yesterday that preparations for military manoeuvres in the occupied areas on November 3 are almost complete.

    Kibris says on its front page that "the countdown has begun" for the Toros '97 exercise, to be jointly carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces, the 'Turkish Peace Force' and the so-called Turkish Cypriot Security Forces.

    The exercise, to be held in the occupied areas on land, sea and air and with live ammunition, will take place from November 3 to 5.

    The Cyprus government is closely monitoring the recent movement of weapons to the occupied areas, it said this week.

    Reports have been rife that infantry and artillery divisions in the north have been boosted and that a Turkish navy ship unloaded 80 tanks and 30 personnel carriers over the past few days.

    [03] Norway stops importing occupied potatoes

    AFTER years of importing potatoes from the Turkish Cypriots, Norway has finally turned its back on produce from the occupied areas.

    According to reports in the Turkish Cypriot press, Norway has joined EU countries in imposing an embargo on goods from the 'TRNC'.

    This will cost the Denktash regime exports of some 5,000 to 6,000 tons of potatoes a year.

    The EU banned all imports from the north in June 1994.

    However, following the ruling, Norway continued the agreement it had with the Turkish Cypriots.

    As of this month, however, Norway cancelled the deal and is abiding by the EU embargo.

    Last year, the government lodged several strong protests with Norway over the import there of thousand of tons of potatoes from the north.

    In the north Soil Products Association manager Aysi Avci said that with Norway pulling out, the association was now seeking new markets.

    [04] Ochi Day Parade

    School children parade to mark Greece's historic `no' (Photo: Christos Theodorides) THE October 28 parade took place yesterday in the last of the autumn sunshine. Families trooped out to wave flags and watch the military band march past, followed by children representing different schools.President Clerides and ministers also turned out to observe the parade and deliver speeches marking the occasion. The celebration marks Greece's historic 'No' in 1940, refusing to surrender to Axis forces: this example continues to inspire the Cypriot people in their own struggle, Clerides said. He thanked the Greek nation for supporting a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem, the island's entry into Europe and for sealing a Defence pact between the two countries.

    [05] High-profile ports seminar likely to highlight problems

    By Jean Christou

    THE CRITICAL condition of the container shipping industry in the region will be the subject of a high-profile seminar in Nicosia in December.

    The two-day Container Shipping conference on December 8 and 9 is being organised by the Dubai Conference Division of the Institute for International research (IIR).

    It plans to examine the future of container shipping in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

    Speakers will comprise top-level decision-makers and leading container shipping industry consultants from the region.

    "The container shipping industry is in a critical condition," said James Kirsop, Director of NYK Lines (Europe), who will be addressing the conference.

    "Few of the major lines are earning sufficient amounts in operating profits to provide an adequate return on the large amounts of capital which they have invested and are investing in the business," Kirsop added.

    He cited the reduction in the real level of freight rates during the last decade as the major factor which had left the lines earning inadequate profits.

    "The consequence of declining profitability has been that the major lines have been pursuing the goal of reducing their operating costs and overheads by almost any means possible," Kirsop said.

    He also said the possibility existed that within the next few years further rationalisation would take place within the industry.

    Kirsop's comments have a direct significance on the state of the island's two ports in that further cost-cutting by container shippers could spell disaster for the already hard-hit transshipment industry.

    With companies looking for cost reductions and competition in the ports industry increasing in the region, Limassol will have to face drastic changes.

    Many of the problems, especially at Limassol, arise from the high cost of operations and its legal structure.

    Increased competition, particularly from Egypt where costs are lower and ports operate around the clock, with little industrial unrest has take its toll, with several of the world's biggest shippers pulling out of Cyprus over the past five years.

    A recent seminar for shipping agents concluded the ports industry in Cyprus was characterised by a climate of "insecurity and uncertainty".

    The main problem faced by the industry are lack of equipment and storage space for containers at the port in addition to the problems over high costs and short services.

    Limassol's services cease between 1.30am and 6am daily, while the cost of moving a container is around one third more expensive than nearest rival Port Said, which also has a 24-hour service.

    Also addressing the conference will be representatives from the Kanoo Shipping Agency of Saudi Arabia, the Hong Kong Port Development Board and the Yemen and Sri Lanka Ports authorities.

    [06] High rate of US-detained ships fly Cyprus flag

    TWENTY per cent of the 40 ships detained at US ports in December were Cypriot-flagged.

    Of the eight ships detained, six were built in the 1970s, one in the 'eighties and one only three years ago.

    The latter, the Thalassini Tyhi, had faulty lifeboat releasing gear, while on the 1988-built Super Aria, fire hoses were deteriorated.

    In two cases, the vessel's faults lay with the crew. On the Anniversary, the crew were unfamiliar with the basic 'abandon ship' procedures and on the Wave, crew were unable satisfactorily to complete a fire drill. The Wave was also not equipped with the proper number and type of life-rafts.

    [07] Body washed up in Dhekelia is missing fisherman

    A BODY washed up on the rocks near Dhekelia on Saturday has been positively identified as that of missing fisherman Christakis Xenofondos.

    Xenofondos, 35, was identified by his brother as having a broken tooth and a scar on his foot. Both distinguishing marks matched identical ones on the body which was found.

    The missing man's wife had gone to Dhekelia on Saturday, but was unable to identify the body as being that of her husband, although she did say the watch was the same as one her husband had worn.

    A post mortem was carried out by state pathologist Panicos Stavrianos who established Xenofondos had died from drowning.

    DNA tests are also being carried out on the body.

    Xenofondos, from Dromolaxia, went missing on October 18 after a fishing trip. His empty fishing boat was found of the coast of Meneou.

    [08] Man killed in mountain crash

    A 52-YEAR-old Kakopetria man died yesterday in an accident on the Limassol to Platres road.

    Christodoulos Christodoulou, recently returned from Australia, was killed instantly when his car left the road near the Lania Police Station and plunged down a 10-metre drop.

    Christodoulou was found under the wreckage by police.

    [09] Postal workers to strike

    POSTAL workers are on strike today to demand a five-day working week.

    Seventy-four hourly-paid postal employees are involved in the dispute, which does not, however, include 50 part-time civil servants.

    Despite government approval for a trial five-day week during July and August, this had not been implemented, said a spokesman for Sek, the Workers Union.

    This was despite assurance by the department of Postal Services and the Ministry of Labour that such a trial would not hinder the functioning of the department, he added.

    He also stated that should the matter not be resolved, postal employees would meet to decide whether the strike should be prolonged.

    The island's postal services are expected to be seriously disrupted.

    [10] Parliament archaeology site yields more remains

    THE MINISTRY of Communications and Works has announced the completion of the second season of excavations on the hill adjoining the old Pasydy building - the planned site for the new House of Representatives.

    Directed by Dr Despo Pilides, the dig lasted from September 1 to October 14.

    The site is on the spot where the new House is to be constructed, and the archaeological excavations have set back the building schedule since the ancient remains were discovered when work started on the site last year.

    This season's dig focused on the southern part of the hill where an extension of the building discovered there last season was found.

    To the north of this was a sandstone and cement building of several rectangular rooms, while more of the same, or another, building were found adjoining the area of the stone bothros, or pit, found last year.

    Floors were covered with gypsum slabs.

    Movable finds were scarce in this area, with only ceramic fragments and a coin being turned up. Similar finds were made in the area of the bothros, in the shape of animal bones and further ceramic fragments.

    South of the new car park, a yellowish compact floor was located and two pits were excavated. These were found to contain bones, cooking ware and pottery, as well as a fragment of female figurine and a spearhead.

    To the west of these was another floor, below which were more artifacts.

    The walls of the building extend further eastward and northward, and will be further investigated next season.

    © Copyright 1997 Cyprus Mail

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