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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 97-12-21
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From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>
Sunday, December 21, 1997
 Dreaming of a green ChristmasBy Martin Hellicar
AMONG the throng of Christmas shoppers in Nicosia's Eleftheria Square yesterday, a handful of environmentalists unfurled their banners to protest against development in the Akamas.
A massive hotel complex going up within the boundaries of the proposed Akamas national park was once again the focus for the greens' anger.
The cabinet approved planning relaxations to allow the complex - owned by the family firm of former Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides - to be built. The environmentalists, from the Friends of Akamas and Ecological Movement groups, were also demonstrating against the government's failure, as they put it, to stop illegal extensions to the hotel.
Earlier in the week, the Estate Agents' Association (Skek) gave its backing to those pushing for development of the Akamas peninsula.
Skek chairman Nicolas Lemonaris said landowners in the area had "suffered" ten years of uncertainty since the remote peninsula was earmarked for a national park and declared a no-development zone. He attacked environmentalists, saying they were behaving as "self-appointed sheriffs" for the Akamas.
"It is easy for some, who are in no danger of loosing anything and have the security of a fat wage packet, to make decisions about the lives and properties of others," he said.
He expressed support for a proposal put forward by the Bishop of Paphos: that the park be limited to state forest land and private individuals owning land within this area be compensated with other Akamas land - in the Lara area.
A government-commissioned World Bank plan for the Akamas proposes that development be kept within existing village boundaries with the rest of the area being preserved as wilderness.
 Supermarket theft suspect remandedA CHECK-OUT attendant at a Larnaca supermarket allegedly dipped her hand into the till up to three times a day over the past 10 months, taking a total of £12,000.
Twenty-one-year-old Maria Iliadou, who worked at the Orphanides supermarket, was yesterday brought up before the Larnaca District Court and remanded in custody for four days on suspicion of theft.
The court heard Iliadou, from Larnaca, had admitted to taking the money from her till to pay off a bank loan, finance a trip abroad, buy gifts for her friends, and pay her college fees.
She avoided detection for months by recording her 'takings' as moneys returned to customers for faulty goods, the court heard. She was arrested on Friday after being put under surveillance by supervisors who noticed unusually large amounts were being returned to customers from Iliadou's till, police told the court.
 Cyta signs deal with US internet expertsTHE CYPRUS Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) has signed a bi-lateral operating deal with US telecommunications provider IDT Corporation.
The operating agreement will establish a direct fibre-optic connection between the companies for international long distance phone calls. IDT's international switch in London will be linked with Cyta's switch, allowing IDT to provide better telephone access and lower rates to Middle Eastern and European countries. In return, Cyta will also be able to route its telephone traffic through IDT's network.
Although a Cyta spokesman described the deal as "routine",
IDT president Jim Courter presented the agreement as a major coup for the corporation.
"Partnering with Cyta is integral to our expansion plan throughout Europe and the Middle East," he said.
IDT has already bought more than 12,000 km of undersea cable connecting the US, Canada and the UK. This allows it to offer long distance services to more than 225 countries, with over 400,000 retail customers.
IDT is a US leader in Internet telephony - the routing of phone calls over the Internet at a substantially reduced rate.
With the popularity of the Internet gathering momentum in Cyprus, current legal restrictions on routing overseas calls through the net may yet be lifted. If this were to happen Cyta could potentially use IDT resources to offer its customers even faster and cheaper telephone services.
Cyta is currently the only telecommunications provider on the island, although Cyta Chairman Michalakis Zivanaris said this would change as Cyprus harmonises its legislation with the European Union.
With a pre-tax surplus of £26.2 million in 1996 - up 62.7 per cent from 1995 - Cyta is considered to be the most lucrative semi-government organisation in Cyprus.
 Health policy a priority, says CleridesPRESIDENT Clerides yesterday pledged continuing state support for a health policy offering "the highest level of medical treatment" based on a genuine "respect" for patients.
He was speaking at a ceremony to lay the foundation stone of a new hostel for children suffering from cancer and blood diseases.
It was organised by the charity Elpida, which supports children suffering from cancer and leukaemia and their families.
Clerides praised the charity's work, and said the government appreciated and encouraged the efforts of volunteers.
"Co-operation between the state and volunteer services is a prerequisite for achieving the goal of complete and effective care," he said.
He said the government's particular interest in children with cancer was illustrated by the funding of a special cancer wing at the Makarios hospital in 1993.
The Elpida Hostel will give families with children suffering from cancer a building for contact and recreation during their long-term treatment at the Makarios cancer wing.
 War with Turkey seen less likelyCYPRIOTS are feeling generally more upbeat about the future, according to a social attitudes study by the Cyprus College Centre of Applied Research.
The survey shows that fewer people feel war with Turkey, a major environmental disaster or trouble with the foreign workforce on the island are likely.
Just under half of the 600 people questioned between July and August this year said they thought war with the Turks was likely - compared to 59 per cent of those polled in a similar survey in 1995. Only 27 per cent, compared to 57 per cent in 1995, thought a major environmental disaster was on the horizon. And just under a third, compared to 59 per cent in 1995, considered clashes or trouble with foreign workers likely.
Most Cypriots are also confident they live in a safe society. As in previous years, only one in four felt at risk from burglars or other criminals.
But faith in the police force is dropping. In the 1995 survey, 61 per cent of those polled said the force was "good" or "very good", but this proportion fell to 51 per cent in the 1997 survey.
Of other public institutions, the Church proved the most popular - with 78 per cent saying it was "good" or "very good". The civil service was the least popular with a score of just 27 per cent.
 Retailers complain business is not boomingTHE MAIN shopping thoroughfares may have been packed with Christmas shoppers yesterday but high street stores are still complaining of very disappointing sales.
Trifonas Neocleous, of the small shopkeepers' union Povek, said sales over the Christmas period so far are "down 20 to 30 per cent compared to the same time last year".
"This is unacceptable for these Christmas days," he said. "People are being cautious and are already looking forward to the January sales. No-one seems to buy anything except in the sales these days," Neocleous said.
He also said high street shops were loosing custom to big supermarkets. "We cannot compete with the big television and newspaper advertising campaigns the hypermarkets have launched for the festive season," he said.
Neocleous said he hoped the combination of Sunday opening today and most people having been given their thirteenth salaries on Friday would lead to an upturn in sales over the next few days.
The story told by hypermarkets was far more upbeat. The response yesterday of the sales manager of one out-of-town superstore was typical: "It's mayhem in here!" she said.
 Man stabbed to death in LimassolA 23-year-old Greek Russian was stabbed to death in Limassol early yesterday morning.
Costas Aslanides, recently settled in the town, was attacked at about 2am after leaving a Yermasoyia night spot with an unidentified man.
He was found with serious injuries to his chest, right arm and left leg and was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead an hour later.
Limassol police are searching for a man believed to be about 24 and with mousy blond hair, of light build and about 1.80 metres tall. He may be of Georgian origin.
 Omonia keep up the pressureBy George Christou
OMONIA kept the pressure on the league leaders Anorthosis yesterday with a comfortable 2-0 home win over Paralimni which lifted them to second place, at least for a few hours.
Anorthosis were to play third-placed Apollonas last night in Limassol.
Apoel's disappointing season continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Anagennisis, only a fine save in the dying seconds by Petrides denying the Dherynia club of the three points.
Ael scored their second away victory of the season, beating Salamina 3-1 and rising to seventh place in the table, their highest position since returning to the first division.
A goal scored in the first half settled the Paphos derby, lifting Evagoras, who beat Apop 1-0, out of the relegation zone for the first time since their promotion in the summer.
In Nicosia, Paralimni slumped to their fifth consecutive defeat, a run which has seen them slide down the table. They are now just outside the relegation zone, on 10 points, level with another three teams. Yesterday's was their 10th defeat in 11 visits to Omonia.
Omonia had two goals disallowed, one for a foul and another for an offside, before taking the lead in the 33rd minute, through Ioachim who headed in a loose ball, after Rauffman's header had been beaten out.
Three minutes into the second half, Paralimni keeper Christinakis saved a penalty kick by the league's top scorer, Rauffman, but the German striker made amends towards the end. He slotted the ball under Christinakis's body for his 14th goal of the season, after some good wing play by Malekkos.
For Apoel things are not looking good, although yesterday's draw was an improvement on the result of last season's corresponding fixture, which they lost 1-0.
The visitors took the lead against the run of play - Anagennisis had spurned four good chances until then - when Fasouliotis' free-kick was flicked on by Ioannou and Croatian striker Kozniku was on hand to head the ball home for his 12th of the season.
Anagennisis drew level with a bizarre Nicolic free-kick, 25 minutes into the second half. The ball went under the defensive wall and also slipped under the body of keeper Petrides to finish in the net. Nicolic could have taken the glory in injury time when he burst through but saw his shot beaten away by Petrides.
Salamina looked completely in control against Ael at the interval. They dominated the game and led through a goal by youngster Louca. But five minutes into the second half Ael had drawn level when Neophytou fired home from inside the area.
A minute later, Agathocleous added a second for the visitors. Kovasevic had a chance to level just after the hour but he aimed his penalty-kick, awarded for a foul on Michic, at the legs of Ael keeper Christofi.
This miss was to prove costly. Two minutes later Neophytou scored his second of the afternoon to wrap up the three points that took Ael above Salamina in the table.
Evagoras' all-important winner was scored by Knezevic, his first of the season, after a solo effort. His shot took a deflection from Apop's Stephanou and ended in the net.
Today, Aek and Ethnikos, two sides with very impressive league records, meet in Larnaca. Fifth-placed Aek are unbeaten in their last 10 games, while fourth-placed Ethnikos are unbeaten in eight, seven of which they have won.
The two side have another thing in common - they are the only two sides that champions Anorthosis have failed to beat this season. Aek held them to a 1-1 draw in Larnaca, while Ethnikos defeated them 2-0 last Sunday.
In today's other game, Alki travel to Nicosia to play bottom club Ethnikos Ashias, looking for their fourth consecutive victory that will lift them out of the relegation zone.
© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1997
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