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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 97-11-18

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


Tuesday, November 18, 1997

CONTENTS

  • [01] Direct telephone lines to the north just months away
  • [02] Cordovez to fly in to a 'bleak' situation
  • [03] Markides reveals little
  • [04] Ministry raps pupils for new demo
  • [05] Health Ministry under fire
  • [06] Bases hit back over Akamas exercises
  • [07] Government seeks to dampen Markides speculation
  • [08] Former bank employee to be sentenced
  • [09] EasyJet boss faces manslaughter charge for exploding ship
  • [10] Note of warning about government debts to social security
  • [11] Foreign workers a top priority for new minister
  • [12] Praise all round for former Labour Minister
  • [13] Husband held over shooting incident
  • [14] Onoufriou trial opens
  • [15] Cypriots let off with reprimand after Moscow arrest
  • [16] Government warns against levels of heart disease
  • [17] Christmas posting deadlines
  • [18] Championship becoming a one-horse race
  • [19] Apoel sack Jara

  • [01] Direct telephone lines to the north just months away

    By Jean Christou

    US PRESIDENTIAL envoy Richard Holbrooke has pushed open the door to direct telephone communications between ordinary Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    Within months, 20 direct lines will be set up across the island through the UN telephone system which will allow the two sides unprecedented access to each other.

    The 20 lines will be able to handle around a million calls a year between the two sides and can, if necessary, be expanded.

    The decision to open up the lines of communication was announced by Holbrooke at last week's Brussels seminar for Greek and Turkish Cypriot businessmen.

    The US envoy had secured agreement for the move from President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash during his surprise visit to the island last week.

    The proposal to open up the lines had initially been put forward by UN Permanent Representative Gustave Feissel.

    "The UN is currently working on enlarging the system and within the next couple of months we will be able to provide the people of Cyprus with 20 lines," Unficyp spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski said yesterday.

    He said the existing system, in which callers must contact an operator through one of three UN lines, was often overloaded with lines jammed.

    Rokoszewski said the existing UN switchboard system had been set up a long time ago to help those involved in bi-communal activities.

    However, the recent increase in such activities has made the system obsolete, even though it can handle up to 60,000 calls a year.

    Greek Cypriot businessman and former deputy Constantinos Lordos, who is at the forefront of efforts for entrepreneurs on both sides to establish ties, yesterday described the new move as a "quantum leap".

    Lordos, who had made it clear in his 20-point plan for rapprochement that free communication should be the first step, said the decision was probably "the most important outcome of the Brussels meeting".

    "This is a fantastic scheme, much better than mine," said Lordos referring to his idea to expand GSM mobile services to the occupied areas. "And it's available to everybody."

    Lordos believes that until the first aim of freedom of communication is achieved, other proposals cannot be realised.

    [02] Cordovez to fly in to a 'bleak' situation

    By Jean Christou

    UN SPECIAL envoy for Cyprus Diego Cordovez has described the current impasse in the Cyprus talks as "bleak".

    In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) on the eve of his visit to the island, Cordovez evaluated the situation as "bleak and marked by tension and distrust".

    Cordovez also expressed disappointment that neither the Greek nor Turkish Cypriot sides appeared ready to begin work on a federal constitution.

    "Neither side appears ready to submit legal instruments to facilitate the new constitutional structures of a federal Cyprus," Cordovez said.

    The UN envoy, who chaired two rounds of direct talks between the leaders of the two sides in the summer, said he regarded the Cyprus problem as a "unique situation which poses a double challenge", and admitted that neither side had yet convinced the other than they wanted a settlement, "even though they both feel something is pending."

    When genuine interest in a solution does exist, he said, "that is something the parties can see in each other, but we haven't reached that point."

    He said the degree of mistrust between the two sides was quite similar and very high - not a good starting point for negotiation.

    Cordovez is, however, convinced that both sides do want a settlement. He said he came away from the two rounds of talks with the "impression that this was the beginning of another new and real effort".

    The drafting of legal instruments by the two sides, Cordovez said, would provide a framework for the sustained process of negotiations that would follow, leading eventually to "new constitutional and institutional structures" that would enable the two communities to live together in peace.

    "That scenario is behind schedule," Cordovez said, adding that neither side had given any indication that it would submit the legal instruments.

    Cordovez arrives on the island late tonight for a round of talks with President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    He will also meet party leaders on both sides before leaving the island on Friday.

    [03] Markides reveals little

    ATTORNEY-general Alecos Markides yesterday said he would not enter a war of words over whether or not he would run in next year's presidential elections.

    At the same time Markides did not deny the persistent rumours that he would be a candidate.

    Responding to weeks of speculation, he said yesterday he had decided to speak out following statements by various other parties and groups of people concerning his possible candidacy.

    Markides said that since he doesn't have a spokesman or a "circle of friends" to speak for him he decided to speak out for himself. "I am bound only by what I say myself," he said.

    The Attorney-general repeated previous statements he made regarding people and parties who had contacted him and were still contacting him to convince him to think about running for president as a "unifying" candidate.

    "This is a fact that cannot be disputed," he said.

    "The decision on whether I will run and the time I take my decision is entirely up to me," Markides told reporters in Nicosia.

    He added that advice on this issue "either from friends or non-friends" was welcome but that any kind of pressure on him would have no effect

    "I have no intention of getting into the game of comments and counter comments," he said.

    [04] Ministry raps pupils for new demo

    By Aline Davidian

    THE Education Ministry has issued a stern rebuke to school children

    who joined university students in a march yesterday on the American embassy.

    "The government considers the national issue to be passing through a critical stage, and these types of action may even result in damaging the national cause," said senior Education Ministry Official Christos Georgiades yesterday.

    The march was to mark the 24th anniversary of the student uprising against the Junta in Greece and to link it to the continuing Cypriot struggle. The US Embassy was under constant surveillance during the march, with police lending their presence to swathes of barbed wire.

    Giorgiades said the Ministry had told school principals that the pattern established in previous years was to be followed. This involved "the dedication of up to two teaching periods to a ceremony at a school level". He further stated that "teaching time was singularly valuable" and that children taking part in the march were breaching "school discipline".

    Last week, the Education Ministry had encouraged pupils to take to the streets on the eve of the anniversary of the Turkish Cypriots' unilateral declaration of independence (UDI).

    Giorgiades did not detail what action would be taken by the Ministry after yesterday's march, but said this was a secondary matter.

    The Cyprus University also expressed its concern at the participation of its students in the march.

    University Dean Miltiades Chacholiades said the students had not requested a cessation of classes yesterday in order to take part in the march. Such a request had only been made with reference to the anti-UDI demonstrations last Friday. The governing body had initially objected to this, since "the anniversary fell on Saturday... when no lessons would be taking place".

    Chacholiades said the governing body had not been approached over yesterday's march, but added that its response was likely to have been negative. Student were free citizens and could choose whether to participate in such events, he said, but "the university too has to function".

    [05] Health Ministry under fire

    By Martin Hellicar

    A BRAND-new 80,000 hospital helicopter-pad is standing unused because access doors for ambulances were designed too low to let the vehicles in.

    Health Minister Christos Solomis admitted to the House finance committee that this design fault meant the pad would not be operational till January.

    "Some suggested the tops of ambulances be chopped off so they could get in and others said the tires should be reduced," Solomis said. "In the end the sensible thing will was done and the base of the entrance will be dug deeper to make it big enough for the vehicles," he said.

    Admissions about helicopter-pads apart, Solomis stoutly defended his ministry's spending record under a barrage of questions from deputies.

    Akel deputy Kikis Kazamias said the ministry seemed slow in realising infrastructural plans, but Solomis had an excuse for almost every delay.

    He said work had not yet begun on the long-awaited Famagusta hospital because of a report by "some expert" which suggested the hospital had been badly located.

    "Now someone has decided to say 'let's forget about this expert' and the hospital is to go ahead," Solomis said.

    Solomis also denied suggestions that the ministry was lax in checking food safety and was thus putting public health at risk. He did say there were some "co-ordination problems" between the various services inspecting foods, but added that inspections in Cyprus were more rigorous than in some EU countries.

    [06] Bases hit back over Akamas exercises

    By Charlie Charalambous

    TOURISM and hunting pose a greater danger to the Akamas than military exercises, the British bases argued yesterday at the start of their controversial war games in the area.

    Under pressure from protesters and the House of Representatives to abandon Akamas exercises, the British bases went on the offensive.

    Bases spokesman Mervyn Wynne Jones said the British army was not insensitive to the concerns voiced over using the Akamas, but added:

    "Military training can be an emotive issue. However, it is arguable that tourism, hunting and industry present a far greater threat to the environment than the limited and carefully regulated training taking place for just a few days each year."

    Around 90 Episkopi-based soldiers will carry out light training with infantry-type weapons until Friday and some of the exercises will include live ammunition.

    "Such weapons present almost no hazard to the environment. Strenuous efforts are, as always, being made to ensure no risk of fire. Stringent regulations will be enforced to preserve and protect landscape," said a bases press release.

    Two protesters did manage to evade security and enter the training area, but they were discovered by British soldiers, and Cyprus police were called in to eject them.

    One of the protesters was flown to Paphos hospital with a suspected broken leg.

    Unconfirmed reports that nine protesters were still at large - including deputy Marios Matsakis - were dismissed by the bases.

    "We are content no protesters are on the range after an extensive search involving vehicles, boats and a helicopter in conjunction with Cyprus police," spokesman Sean Tully told the Cyprus Mail.

    The House has called on the government to stop giving approval for such exercises and will make recourse on the issue to the European parliament.

    The bases, however, said yesterday they were in negotiation with the government regarding possible alternatives.

    "Bases authorities are hopeful that a suitable alternative can be found that meets their requirements. Another area would be carefully considered, but it must meet clear safety and training parameters," said the press release.

    The Treaty of Establishment provides for 70 days' training a year, but usually only half the allotted days are taken up, said Wynne Jones.

    Environmentalists and anti-bases activists are determined to stay in the area to try and disrupt the week-long exercises.

    They have also sent a letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair demanding an immediate end to the war games.

    [07] Government seeks to dampen Markides speculation

    THE GOVERNMENT yesterday tried to put a lid on speculation that Attorney- general Alecos Markides might be a presidential candidate by calling for respect for his independence.

    "The Attorney-general is the number one independent officer of the state and it is the wish (of the government) that this independence be respected by everyone," Government spokesman Manolis Christofides said.

    "The obligation for preserving the independence of the Attorney-general falls upon him, political paries and everyone else," he said.

    There has been widespread speculation in recent weeks that Markides might emerge as the "third candidate" to re-unite Disy and Diko for the elections. The right-wing coalition which got Clerides elected in 1993 has collapsed, with Disy backing Clerides's re-election bid and Diko leader Spyros Kyprianou announcing his own candidacy.

    Markides has consistently refrained from commenting on rumours he might stand, and Christofides said yesterday the government did not expect him to make any official statement on the matter. Diko deputy Alexis Galanos stirred the pot by suggesting both Clerides and Kyprianou withdraw from the fray to allow Disy and Diko to resume their alliance behind a third candidate. Galanos said he had put this idea to Clerides when he met him yesterday to discuss House matters.

    Edek leader Vassos Lyssarides and Liberals leader Nicos Rolandis, who had separate meetings with the President to discuss the Cyprus problem yesterday, both reconfirmed their own candidacies for 1998.

    Lyssarides said Edek was no longer interested in forming election pacts with other parties and was not talking to them.

    United Democrats' leader George Vassiliou, who is also a candidate for the presidentials, called a press conference during which he lambasted both President Clerides' record and the policies of independent candidate George Iacovou - who enjoys the support of main opposition party Akel.

    [08] Former bank employee to be sentenced

    A FORMER Popular Bank employee will be sentenced by the Limassol court next Monday for embezzling 520,000 which he gambled away.

    Costas Constantinides from Ayios Athanassios confessed that between April 1995 and June 1997 he embezzled the 520,000 by transferring money from other accounts to his own through the bank's computers.

    The money was gambled away on football pools and horse races the Limassol court heard yesterday.

    [09] EasyJet boss faces manslaughter charge for exploding ship

    UK-BASED EasyJet's Cypriot owner Stelios Haji-Ioannou will be told by an Italian court his week if he is to face a jail sentence on charges of manslaughter and intimidating and attempting to bribe witnesses.

    The case arises from a ship explosion in 1991 which killed five people and resulted in the Mediterranean's worst ecological disaster.

    According to the British newspaper The Observer, the climax of the case, which has dragged on for years through the Italian judicial system, comes at a time of expansion for Haji-Ioannou's low-cost airline business.

    The newspaper said that Haji-Ioannou had made no secret about the 1991 case when he was then executive of his father Loucas' shipping empire, and declares he expects to be acquitted on all charges.

    At the centre of the case is the allegation that he and his father kept one of their vessels, the Amoco-Haven, in such bad repair that it blew up.

    The blast, which ripped through the tanker docked in Genoa in Italy, killed five crew members and injured another five while spilling some 35,000 tons of crude oil into the sea.

    The charges have been strenuously denied by both father and son who say their case has been bolstered by an expert's report in a related civil case which lays blame at the feet of the ship's chief officer.

    In addition to the manslaughter charges, Haji-Ioannou has been accused of having ordered one of his executives, Christos Doules, to threaten two of the survivors of the disaster in an attempt to get them to change their evidence.

    Panayiotis Toumpaniaris, the Haven's first engineer, and Lolis Donatos provided the prosecution with key statements about the state of the vessel at the time of the accident.

    The charge sheet quotes Doules as having warned the witnesses that "the company is a giant that could crush you."

    Haji-Ioannou is also charged with offering Donatos 200,000 sterling to retract his testimony.

    "These are lies," said Haji-Ioannou last week, claiming that an expert's report in the civil case against the family shipping company had removed any credibility from the witnesses. If accepted by the judge, he added, the report would exonerate the owners from blame.

    Under Italian law, involuntary manslaughter carries a jail sentence of between six months and five years, although it is common practice for judges to suspend sentences of less than two years.

    [10] Note of warning about government debts to social security

    By Bouli Hadjioannou

    THE social security fund is financially sound with adequate money to see it through until the year 2020 without the need for higher contributions.

    Yet the state owes some 1.4 billion of the funds' reserves and will need to fork out ever greater sums to pay it back.

    This mixed picture was given to the House Finance Committee yesterday during its examination of the Labour Ministry's budget for 1998.

    The meeting, the first with new Labour Minister Stathis Papadakis, also focused on the redundancy fund - and the extent to which employers or employees were trying to abuse the system.

    And this in the face of revelations that, of 500 applications for redundancy examined in September, 170 had been rejected.

    On the social security fund, Papadakis said a key priority was to main its solvency. Studies by actuaries show that the social security scheme will be financially viable until 2020, without an increase in the contributions.

    "The picture is a positive one," he said.

    But Demetris Pelekanos, head of the department of social security, noted there was concern that the sums owed to the fund by the government were rising sharply. This year the government has to pay back 20 million. In the future, other governments would need to pay considerably larger sums and this was a cause for concern, he said.

    "Future government will have to see how they will find the money," he said.

    On the redundancy fund, Papadakis and Pelekanos said examination of applications took some 10 months and efforts were under way to slash the waiting period in half.

    But both men had words of warning about possible abuses. Pelekanos said all applications were examined thoroughly to weed out attempts to exploit the system - either by employers who basically wanted to get rid of expensive employees to take on cheaper hands and should instead face suits for unfair dismissal, or even in cases where employers and employees were acting in collusion.

    Pelekanos said that, of the 500 applications processed in September, 170 had been rejected. This he said was an indication that the state checked applications thoroughly.

    The minister had a note of caution of his own. He said that he recognised deputies' concern about the need to protect employees. But there was also a need to protect the fund itself from being used as a policy instrument.

    As an example, he cited recent discussions about the possibility of Cyprus Airways making some of its employees redundant. This could set the fund back by as much as 500,000, he said.

    [11] Foreign workers a top priority for new minister

    By Bouli Hadjioannou

    NEW LABOUR Minister Stathis Papadakis yesterday pledged to make foreign workers, legal and illegal, a priority of his department.

    He told the House Finance Committee that foreign workers was one of the first issues on which he had asked to be briefed on taking over the ministry.

    Figures on their numbers are unclear, although Labour Ministry officials estimate that legal foreign workers total some 20,000, compared to the figure of 26,000 given by the Interior Ministry. He said he agreed with estimates that there must be some 10,000 illegals on the island.

    Papadakis revealed that before being appointed minister, he had been in contact with Limassol mayor Demetris Kontides to create a centre with basic facilities where foreign workers could meet on their days off, and he pledged that these efforts would continue now he was minister.

    "In Limassol, we have the very sad picture of them milling around on the pier with nowhere to go," he said.

    Nicos Symeonides, director general of the ministry, said there was a problem with two ministries - Labour and the Interior - having a say over foreign workers.

    A new bill has been drafted to modernise existing antiquated legislation, but the issue was now in the hands of the two ministers who had to decide which ministry would do what, he said.

    Quizzed about unemployment, the minister said that estimates were that it would remain at some 3.4 per cent this year - up from 3 per cent last year - and range more or less on the same levels next year.

    He said encouraging signs included the pick up in tourism, and a drop in the rate of increase of unemployment.

    Symeonides had two encouraging signs of his own: he said that Cyprus, unlike Europe, did not have long term unemployed, and the percentage of unemployed university graduates was lower than that of the total unemployed.

    On the issue of strikes, Papadakis said that maintaining industrial peace was a key priority.

    "This year has been a year of industrial peace, with only 12 strikes and the loss of 4,200 man days. But 1998 is expected to be a more difficult year because there are 200 collective agreements up for renewal involving more than 100,00 employees," he said.

    Asked about wildcat strikes, chief ministry mediator Andreas Demetriades, said about 40 to 50 per cent of strikes in Cyprus were "unofficial" - that is not in line with the industrial code. This figure was lower than in Europe, and did not give cause for alarm, he said.

    Demetriades added that these wildcat strikes involved either strong groups within all-powerful confederations, or independent unions who, though small, exercised considerable power.

    "I think we should be optimistic, it is not a worrying phenomenon, especially as compared to Europe," he said.

    [12] Praise all round for former Labour Minister

    FORMER Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas was unable to attend last week's scheduled House Finance Committee examination of the Labour Ministry's 1998 budgets.

    He sent his apologies with his successor, Stathis Papadakis, to yesterday's meeting. And the response was praise all round.

    Papadakis said Moushiouttas had asked him to convey his apologies for not turning up to the November 10 meeting of the committee.

    "At 11.30 am when the meeting was scheduled he had effectively ceased to be minister and could not imagine how he could possibly attend," Papadakis said.

    And he said that although he had been minister for only three days he had not wanted to postpone the meeting with the committee yet again.

    For committee president Alexis Galanos, this was only proof that relations between the House committee and the Labour Ministry remained excellent.

    Disy's Prodromos Prodromou said his party wanted to express its appreciation for the work carried out by Moushiouttas.

    Akel's Kikis Kazamias said that, in contrast to other parties' reaction to George Iacovou, a former foreign minister in two governments and now independent presidential candidate, his party would give credit where it was due.

    "The work of the former minister must be appreciated. Our view is that Mr Moushiouttas overall did a good job," he said.

    Later it was the turn of Nico Moushiouttas - a deputy for Diko, and brother of the former minister.

    "There has been reference to the former minister. I know him well and I know he would be the first to say that this appreciation must be shared with his associates at the ministry," he said.

    This only had Papademas noting that at the Council of Ministers on Friday all Labour Ministry proposals had sailed through because of the "thorough preparation." Others did not have the same luck.

    [13] Husband held over shooting incident

    A LIMASSOL man was remanded for seven days yesterday on suspicion of attempting to murder his estranged wife.

    Antonis Kyriakides, 46, was arrested in the early hours yesterday after allegedly trying to shoot his estranged wife Athina Kyriakidou, 42.

    According to a police report, Kyriakides went to the family home around 1.40am and spoke with his son Loucas briefly before leaving.

    The report said he left the doors of the house unlocked, went to his car, took out a hunting rifle and went back inside the house.

    Kyriakides then allegedly went into the bedroom which his wife shared with the couple's daughter Christiana and aimed the gun at Athina.

    The two teenagers reportedly managed to disarm their father, but in the tussle the gun went off and a bullet hit the wall.

    Police arrived shortly after and Kyriakides was arrested.

    [14] Onoufriou trial opens

    THE TRIAL of a Limassol man charged with a bomb attack against a district judge and his six-year-old daughter began before the Limassol Assizes yesterday.

    The court was shown photographs of the scene of the blast outside judge Michalis Mavronicolas' Limassol home taken by a police photographer. Mavronicolas and his daughter Marina were both hurt when a bomb planted under the judge's parked car went off as they approached it on the morning of October 29, 1996.

    Andreas Manolis Onoufriou was later extradited from Britain to stand trial for the attack.

    The trial is set to continue on Thursday.

    [15] Cypriots let off with reprimand after Moscow arrest

    TEN CYPRIOT students arrested in Moscow on Saturday after demonstrating against the 14th anniversary of UDI had charges of illegal gathering against them dropped yesterday.

    A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the decision had been taken by the Moscow judicial committee reviewing their case after the intervention of the Cypriot ambassador to Moscow, Platon Kyriakides.

    The ten were let off with a reprimand for not securing the required authorisation to hold the demonstration. The charged they had faced carried a penalty of up to two months' imprisonment.

    The ten students were arrested after a Turkish military official present near the demonstration called on Russian police to intervene. The students were arrested when it transpired that they had no permit for the demonstration. They were held in custody for 10 hours before being released pending the decision of the judicial committee.

    [16] Government warns against levels of heart disease

    By Aline Davidian

    THE government yesterday sounded a warning about the rise in cases of heart disease on the island.

    "In Cyprus, unfortunately, the causal factors for heart disease are at very worrying levels," said Health Minister Christos Solomis, who was speaking to usher in 'Heart Week'.

    The Minister listed "smoking, wrong dietary habits" and "lack of physical exercise" as the main causes of heart disease on the island.

    A survey conducted by the Ministry in 1989/90 showed 10 per cent of the population had high blood pressure, 65 per cent suffered from high levels of cholesterol, 18 per cent were overweight and only one per cent exercised consistently. It was not surprising, said Solomis, that heart disease was the greatest cause of death, killing 56 per cent of the population.

    For this reason, he added "every Cypriot should be convinced today that he must adopt healthy practices which would keep heart disease... at bay".

    The Health Ministry for its part, together with the island's cardiological institutions, will heighten public awareness programmes on the prevention of heart disease. The Ministry also plans to carry out surveys on smoking and to launch a further campaign on the factors contributing to heart disease in December. This would provide the raw data for the awareness programmes.

    Cypriot smokers wishing to quit the habit for a trial period of a month will be given incentives by taking part in a Health Ministry "quit and win" competition in May. The winner will be determined by lottery, winning $10, 000.

    Solomis also said the Ministry was "starting a trial programme to determine cholesterol, triglyceride and arterial pressure levels in Cypriots between the ages of 35 and 65".

    Assisting the Health Ministry in its efforts against heart disease is the Cyprus Cardiological Society, which is organising a three-day seminar on the theme of 'Cardiology Today'. This starts on Friday and will include lectures and workshops given by internationally acclaimed experts and academics.

    [17] Christmas posting deadlines

    THE POSTAL Department yesterday announced posting dates for Christmas. Cards and parcels sent abroad by surface mail must be sent by December 1, airmail by December 10, and internal mail by December 17.

    [18] Championship becoming a one-horse race

    CHAMPIONS Anorthosis were in devastating form again on Sunday as they played a hapless Apop off the park on their way to 7-0 victory - their eighth in as many games.

    Their record in the championship is quite astonishing. So far they have scored 36 goals - an average of 4.5 per game - and conceded just two and are five points in front of second-placed Apollonas.

    Is there any club that could block Anorthosis' path towards another league title? After his side's battering, Apop coach Ivancevic was certain there was no other side to challenge Anorthosis's domination.

    Ivancevic said: "I expected us to lose, but not by so many goals. Anorthosis is undoubtedly the best side in Cyprus by a difference. They are very strong opponents not just for us, but for every Cypriot team."

    No-one can argue with this. Apop had quite a good start to the season and had not conceded more than three goals in any of their seven previous games. At Antonis Papadopoulos stadium, like every other team before them, they collapsed.

    Anorthosis have not scored fewer than five goals when playing at home, although it should be noted that they have yet to play any of the first division's stronger sides. It still appears that Antonis Papadopoulos stadium is fast becoming the ground at which all teams are afraid to play.

    It is not just the ground. Anorthosis have assembled what is arguably the best squad of players any club has ever managed to put together in Cyprus. And in Dusan Mitosevic, they have a coach who has developed a system that does not depend on individuals.

    The players have to fit into the system. Of course it helps when the squad boasts an abundance of good players who can play to the system Mitosevic tells them to.

    There is nothing fancy about Anorthosis' direct game. They are well- organised and disciplined, work very hard and play with a pace and commitment that is admirable. It is a power game that, invariably, unsettles opponents as Apop found out on Sunday.

    The Paphos side could not keep up. In the first forty minutes Anorthosis were 4-0 up with Vesco Michailovic hitting a hat-trick. He also set up the other goal for Krismarevic.

    Michailovic got his fourth goal from the penalty spot, seven minutes into the second half, to take his tally for the season to nine. He is now joint top scorer with Omonia's Raufman and Achna's Mousic. Louca and Stavrou also scored to complete the rout.

    In retrospect, the championship race would have been much more interesting had Apoel managed to beat Anorthosis nine days ago. Instead, the championship is fast becoming a one-horse race, which cannot be good for gate receipts.

    [19] Apoel sack Jara

    THE APOEL board yesterday sacked the club's Austrian coach Kurt Jara, after only eight league games in charge.

    He was replaced by Cypriot coach Andreas Mouskallis, who had previously been in charge of Anorthosis, Aek and Salamina. Former Apoel player, Takis Antoniou, who had a brief spell as coach of the club a few years ago, was appointed technical director.

    Jara, who was appointed in the summer, was made the scapegoat for Apoel's poor showing in the championship. They have lost three of their eight games and are languishing in sixth place in the table, 11 points off the lead.

    The final straw for the board came on Saturday when Apoel were defeated 2-0 by humble village club Ethnikos Achnas, who are above Apoel in the table. It was the second successive defeat for Apoel.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1997

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