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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 97-11-09

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, November 9, 1997


  • [01] Diko men ignore order to quit immediately
  • [02] Bikers set off on protest ride
  • [03] Biker dies of injuries
  • [04] Holbrooke in Moscow ahead of Cyprus visit
  • [05] Denktash says Holbrooke visit not to debate Cyprus
  • [06] Students visit Kokkina
  • [07] Radio Marathon aims to be record fund-raiser
  • [08] Greenpeace hits back at 'slur campaign'
  • [09] Can anyone stop the champions?
  • [10] Paralimni win away again

  • [01] Diko men ignore order to quit immediately

    By Martin Hellicar

    DIKO Ministers yesterday flew in the face of party leader Spyros Kyprianou yesterday by deciding to heed a request from President Clerides for them to stay in their posts a while longer.

    The five ministers, who resigned on Wednesday after the collapse of the Disy-Diko government coalition, held an emergency meeting to consider Kyprianou's demand that they cease working with the Clerides government immediately.

    After the three-hour meeting, departing Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides said the five had decided to give Clerides some breathing space.

    "We were asked by President Clerides to remain in our posts until certain arrangements can be made concerning the conclusion of work before the cabinet, and also the need to appoint and swear in our replacements," Michaelides said. "We are responding fully to the president's request," he said.

    He said the Diko Ministers would be meeting Clerides to "finalise matters" tomorrow.

    On Thursday, the five Diko ministers had agreed to attend a cabinet meeting later this week to help finish off outstanding business. But on Friday night, Kyprianou, smarting after Clerides announced his decision to stand for re-election in February, demanded that they cut all links with the government as from yesterday.

    The ministers' decision to stay is likely to anger Kyprianou, whose response to Clerides' decision to stand - which dashed his hopes of securing Disy backing for his own candidacy - has been bitter. He has ruled out any co-operation with Disy to back Clerides, and has alleged that foreign countries are conspiring to get Clerides back in.

    The response from his ministers has, however, been far more measured. Dinos Michaelides did not preclude a resurrection of the alliance with Disy should this prove to be in Diko's interest. This softer stance would appear to have angered Kyprianou and sparked his demand for an immediate withdrawal by his ministers.

    President Clerides yesterday laughed off Kyprianou's allegations of a foreign plot to secure his re-election. "You had better ask Mr Kyprianou about it," he responded when asked to comment on the truth of the Diko leader's claims. He said he had no need for outside support: "Even at my age, I stand on my own two feet," he said.

    Meanwhile, Edek leader Vassos Lyssarides said yesterday he had had enough of trying to form a coalition against Clerides and was putting his faith in the only "steady" candidacy - his own.

    He said he was deeply disappointed by Akel's rejection of his proposal for an Edek-Akel-Diko pact and added that he could not "continue with the game of negotiations with no content".

    The veteran socialist leader also dismissed the possibility of an alliance with Diko to back a third candidate. Lyssarides said the way Diko had delayed in abandoning the government coalition and the behaviour of some Diko members precluded such a pact. He added that a Diko-Edek combination would, in any case, not secure enough of the vote to win the presidential poll.

    Akel leader Dimitris Christofias repeated that his party was backing former Foreign Minister George Iacovou for President.

    The other candidates in the race so far are United Democrats leader George Vassiliou and Liberal leader Nicos Rolandis.

    [02] Bikers set off on protest ride

    BIKERS from the Cyprus Motorcyclists' Federation (CMF) set off yesterday from Salonica in northern Greece on an 'anti-occupation ride' which will culminate in Nicosia.

    The event is taking place in collaboration with the Greek Motorcyclists' Federation which has assisted in organising the event.

    The last such CMF ride in August 1996 resulted in two Greek Cypriots being killed. Tassos Isaac, 24, was beaten to death during an aborted ride into the Dherynia buffer zone and Solomos Solomou, 26, was shot by Turks three days later in the same area during demonstrations after Isaac's funeral.

    CMF president George Hadjicostas has tried to quell fears of the latest protest ride turning violent, saying his members intend to avoid any signs of trouble.

    The motorcyclists will ride south through the Peloponnese and continue the Cypriot part of the journey from Dherynia to Nicosia, via Larnaca. The ride is planned to end in Eleftheria Square on the anniversary of 'TRNC independence'. Several other demonstrations, planned by students and refugee organisations, are also planned.

    [03] Biker dies of injuries

    A 22-year-old motorcyclist from Ayia Phyla died yesterday from severe head injuries suffered in a motorbike accident on Friday.

    Marios Pericleous was rushed to Limassol hospital after crashing near his Limassol home, but was then moved to Nicosia General because of the seriousness of his injuries.

    Meanwhile a five-year-old girl from Erimi is in Limassol Hospital with serious head injuries after an accident on Friday afternoon.

    Irini Papaphilipou was injured when the ballet school mini-bus she was in crashed while turning on to the Nikos and Andreas Onisiforos road. It hit an oncoming car driven by Stylianos Petrou from Episkopi, and then hit a stationary car.

    Four-year-old Marianna Sophocleous and 30-year-old Anna Georgiou from Episkopi, the driver of the mini-bus, were slightly injured in the collision.

    [04] Holbrooke in Moscow ahead of Cyprus visit

    By Martin Hellicar

    RICHARD Holbrooke, US special envoy for Cyprus, will be in Moscow to discuss the government's S-300 missile order before arriving in Cyprus tomorrow, Cyprus state radio reported yesterday.

    It also reported that Holbrooke would travel to Brussels to discuss the Cyprus problem with EU Commissioner Hans Van den Broek after his visit here.

    The government's decision to buy S-300s from Russia has heightened tensions between the two sides on the island, and prompted Turkey to threaten a military strike against the missiles if they are deployed.

    Holbrooke is expected to have separate meetings with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash tomorrow before bringing the two leaders to the same table on Tuesday. US Cyprus Co-ordinator Thomas Miller is expected on the island today to prepare the ground for Holbrooke's visit.

    The visit was top of the agenda for talks between Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides and his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos in Athens on Friday night. Cassoulides, who returned yesterday, said he and Pangalos had examined "current issues, Monday's visit to Cyprus by Holbrooke, and had a preliminary exchange of views".

    Cassoulides repeated that he was in the dark about what issues Holbrooke would raise during his Cyprus meetings.

    Clerides has described Holbrooke's surprise visit as the beginning of the US push on Cyprus.

    Meanwhile US President Bill Clinton said the appointment of Holbrooke "demonstrates our commitment to help promote a final political settlement for Cyprus".

    In his bimonthly report to Congress on Cyprus (covering June and July), released in Washington on Friday, Clinton describes Holbrooke as "one of our most capable negotiators".

    The report notes the start of UN-led direct settlement talks at Troutbeck near New York as the other major Cyprus development.

    Clinton commented that UN negotiator Diego Cordovez "noted that the cordial atmosphere between the parties at Troutbeck was a good beginning for subsequent negotiating sessions".

    The second round of direct talks in Switzerland in August, not covered in Clinton's report, collapsed when Denktash insisted he would talk no more unless the EU reversed its decision to start accession talks with Cyprus.

    Cordovez is expected on the island on November 18 for talks with Clerides and Denktash.

    [05] Denktash says Holbrooke visit not to debate Cyprus

    TURKISH Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said yesterday next week's visit by US envoy Richard Holbrooke will focus on bringing the two community leaders together and steer clear of debate over the island's division.

    Holbrooke, appointed US presidential emissary for Cyprus this summer, will be in Nicosia tomorrow and on Tuesday for talks.

    "He comes here with the formula of meeting and contact, not discussion," Denktash said in a written statement in answer to questions from Reuters news agency.

    Holbrooke's visit will include a joint meeting with Denktash and President Glafcos Clerides.

    Clerides has said the visit heralds an American initiative to push for a settlement to the dispute.

    Holbrooke's trip will be his first to Cyprus. He travelled to Turkey in September, but not Greece.

    "Holbrooke will not want to return (to the United States) empty-handed. But he knows well the two sides' policies," Denktash said yesterday, without elaborating.

    [06] Students visit Kokkina

    ABOUT 400 Turkish Cypriot students crossed the buffer zone yesterday to visit the Turkish-held enclave of Kokkina in the Paphos district.

    State radio reported that the young Turkish Cypriots were escorted through the free areas and the village of Kato Pyrgos to the occupied outpost by police and Unficyp vehicles.

    Nine buses carrying the visitors crossed at about 11am and returned late in the afternoon.

    [07] Radio Marathon aims to be record fund-raiser

    By Aline Davidian

    ORGANISERS of the seventh Radio Marathon in aid of children with special needs continued the build-up yesterday to the two-day fund-raising event with a cruise aboard President Clerides' yacht, the Kaiti II.

    The trip was for donors of 1,000 to the Radio Marathon fund. The president, a keen yachtsman, readily agreed to stage the one-day cruise. But because of poor weather conditions yesterday, the Kaiti II was forced to turn back shortly after leaving Larnaca marina. Guests on board included the chief of police and other businessmen.

    Despite the unscheduled change in the programme, Clerides told the Cyprus News Agency yesterday that he was optimistic about the coming Radio Marathon.

    "I hope this year we shall surpass last year's figures. The people of Cyprus are particularly sensitive about charity causes, and everybody gives generously whatever they can," he said.

    Sporting celebrities also set to participate in the event include the Greek Olympic Weightlifting team, who will give a demonstration of their sport at the Eleftheria pitch in Nicosia on Tuesday, attempting to best their past performances.

    Champion marathon runner Yiannis Kouros will also lend his support from Greece by running from ancient Olympia to Athens, and then completing a four-day run in Cyprus. He will aim to arrive in Nicosia's Eleftheria Square on Tuesday evening.

    A full cultural programme has also been planned in tandem with the sporting activities, and will include composer Yiannis Markopoulos, as well as popular singers Kaiti Gharbi, Alexia and Margarita Zorbala.

    This year's Radio Marathon is being sponsored by the Cyprus Popular bank and the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, and begins tomorrow. It is hoped the event will be a fund-raising record for a Radio Marathon; the previous six events has raised a total of more than five million pounds.

    [08] Greenpeace hits back at 'slur campaign'

    By Martin Hellicar

    ENVIRONMENT activists Greenpeace are claiming they are the victims of a media slur campaign orchestrated by developers with their eyes on the Akamas.

    Dr Mario Damato, director of the Greenpeace Mediterranean office, has hit back at the detractors, accusing them of twisting the truth and being "illogical". The local Greenpeace representative, Demos Protopapas, has claimed big developers are behind the attacks and criticised local papers for granting column inches to what he called "malicious slander".

    A number of letters and articles have appeared in the local Greek press over the past few weeks alleging the high-profile international organisation is pro-British, underhand, money-grabbing and unconcerned about the political situation in Cyprus.

    The director of the Ecological Institute for the Sustainable Development of Akamas, Savvas Hadjiminas, claimed the Greenpeace campaign to conserve the Akamas aimed only to "protect the interests" of the British, whose armed forces use the remote peninsula for exercises.

    "Every enemy of Greenpeace has always claimed that we were somehow connected to what most resembled the devil in their eyes," Damato retorted in a letter sent to the Cyprus Mail.

    "In Cyprus it looks like saying that we serve British interests would have the best effect," he added.

    Damato said Greenpeace had in fact staged protests against British war games in the Akamas.

    "We challenge anybody to prove that we are acting in the interests of anybody but the environment," he said, adding that Greenpeace was totally independent and never accepted donations from governments, political parties or organisations.

    Hadjiminas, whose organisation has been labelled a bogus green group by environmentalists, also accused Greenpeace of being obsessed with saving the Akamas "as if there were no other problem on the island", ignoring the Cyprus problem.

    "Greenpeace is an ecological organisation. Political issues, no matter how worthy, are not within our field of work. It is like asking a carpenter to heal a sick man," the Greenpeace director retorted.

    Hadjiminas and others have also claimed that former Greenpeace members "revealed" that only seven per cent of the funds the organisation collects from donors is actually spent on environmental campaigns.

    "Greenpeace has all its accounts audited by independent professional firms. These accounts are available to all and sundry. I therefore wonder how certain people in Cyprus consider themselves more competent in the matter and come up with estimates that claim to rubbish these accounts," Damato said.

    Greenpeace has also been accused of "misinforming the public" by using a solar energy campaign as a smoke screen for more action on the Akamas front during a visit in July.

    "We did actually launch our solar campaign in Cyprus, but also continued the Akamas campaign," Damato stated.

    In concluding, Damato said Greenpeace expected "all those who make these heavy, though unfounded, accusations against us to be as transparent as we are and state their true motivations and interests."

    [09] Can anyone stop the champions?

    APOEL will be looking to keep their title hopes alive tonight as they take on league leaders Anorthosis at Limassol's Tsirion stadium.

    Already five points behind the champions, Apoel cannot really afford to allow a widening of this gap. The game could not have come at a worse time for last season's cup winners.

    Unable to play the tie at the Makarios stadium in Nicosia because of a three-match home ban, Apoel will also be missing two of their most important players through suspension - Costa and Croatian striker Kozniku.

    Costa received his third yellow card, which leads to automatic suspension, against Paralimni last weekend and in the same game Kozniku was shown the red card, rather harshly. Going into such a big game without their top scorer -the Croat has scored seven times in six games - is bound to cause some problems.

    This was why the Apoel board issued an announcement slamming the referee of the Paralimni game, Kostas Kapitanis, whom it accused of blatant bias against the side. The sending off of Kozniku, admittedly, was rather harsh but owed more to the acting talents of the Paralimni player, who fell to the ground in alleged agony after, a gentle shove by the Croat.

    These things happen and no amount of protesting will change anything. Apoel will have to make the most of the resources available, and there is no shortage of players who can raise themselves for the big game.

    Anorthosis are the stronger side and have been in devastating form, sweeping aside all before them with an alarming degree of ease. A casual look at their league record so far is enough to intimidate the strongest opposition.

    They have played and won six, scoring 28 and conceding two goals. And they have no shortage of scoring options. Three of their players - Krismarevic, Michailovic and Okkas - have scored five goals each while Engomitis has scored four.

    It should be said that for the champions Apoel poses their first tough test of the season. The six sides they have annihilated so far are from the bottom half of the table, but still the ease with which they were torn apart could not be underestimated.

    Coach Dusan Mitosevic has built a very strong and skilful side and makes his players work very hard - they are committed in the tackle, run their socks off for 90 minutes and are tactically disciplined. Their attacking options are the envy of every club.

    Apoel could have had as strong a squad as Anorthosis today if the correct decisions had been taken after the 1995-96 season during which they had won the league and cup double without tasting defeat.

    Instead of building up their squad, they got rid of Bulgarian coach Hristo Bonev because they could not meet his wage demands and allowed complacency to creep in. No major signings were made, Hungarian striker Kiprich was absent for most of the season with injury and Apoel's fortunes took a dive.

    Contrast this with Anorthosis' actions after winning the championship last season. Mitosevic was given an improved contract and some of the best local players - Yiannakis Okkas, Yiotis Engomitis, Paris Elia - were signed for this season. Mitosevic also signed locally-based foreigners Krismarevic and Tomic who fitted into his system.

    The result is that the gap in quality between Anorthosis and the rest of the first division sides has grown so wide, that it looks like no-one can stop the Famagusta side.

    Apoel will doubtlessly do their best tonight but there is a sneaking suspicion that it will not be enough to break Anorthosis all-conquering momentum.

    [10] Paralimni win away again

    PARALIMNI made the comeback of the day in Paphos yesterday, scoring three times in the second half to secure a 3-2 win over Apop, who wasted a two- goal lead.

    Anagennisis, who were also trailing by two goals against Aek in Dherynia, scored twice in the last 10 minutes of the game to earn a 2-2 draw.

    In Nicosia Omonia struggled to subdue bottom club Ethnikos Ashias, winning by 1-0. In Limassol Ael and Ethnikos Achnas played a 1-1 draw, the game being decided by two second half penalties.

    Paralimni showed once again that they can only win points on their travels. Yesterday's win in Paphos, which lifts them to seventh place, was their third away from home where they have only managed to take one point.

    Arsene Michailovic put Apop in front in the 25th minute and Sasa Jovanovic added a second immediately after the restart, for his sixth goal of the season.

    Yiasemakis pulled one back midway through the second half to signal the start of the recovery. Economou levelled from a direct free kick in the 70th minute and Nigerian striker Lakky scored the winner three minutes from time.

    Aek, for the second consecutive week, squandered a two-goal lead and were forced to settle for a point. They looked to be coasting to victory after first half goals by Brazilians Toinze and Edvaldo.

    Two goals in the space of five minutes secured a point for Anagennisis. Petrossian hit the first in the 80th minute and Andreou headed in the equaliser in the 85th.

    The league's top scorer Mousic got his eighth goal of the season as he converted a 51st minute penalty for Achna at the Tsirion stadium. Twelve minutes later Agathocleous got Ael's equaliser also from the penalty spot.

    Finally at the Kykkos gymnasium stadium, a 35th minute goal by Malekkos was enough to give Omonia a scrappy 1-0 victory over bottom club Ethnikos Ashias who have gone seven games without a point.

    Alki were playing Apollonas last night while today, Salamina are at home to Evagoras.

    © Copyright 1997 Cyprus Mail

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