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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-01-11

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, January 11, 1998


  • [01] Diko ultimatum to rebels
  • [02] Two sides 'will meet on monthly basis'
  • [03] How to optimise water cuts
  • [04] US group threatens to sue local Greens
  • [05] Demirel's cryptic 'wait and see'
  • [06] Computer company to sue IBM
  • [07] Peyia police station will 'stem rising crime'

  • [01] Diko ultimatum to rebels

    By Martin Hellicar

    DIKO yesterday issued a final warning to "dissenting" members Alexis Galanos and Dinos Michaelides to tow the party line and support the candidacy of George Iacovou for the presidential elections.

    The party executive committee warned Galanos, Michaelides and "all party members persisting in actively opposing Iacovou's candidacy" that failure to comply would lead to their being ostracised.

    Michaelides, vice-chairman of the centre-right party and former Interior Minister, has made no secret of his disaffection with Diko's decision to join left-wing Akel in backing Iacovou. Diko deputy Galanos has gone further by submitting his own candidacy for next month's elections.

    Diko leader Spyros Kyprianou - his left arm in a plaster cast to set a fractured wrist he sustained by falling from a podium on Friday night - chaired a morning executive committee meeting to discuss the positions of Galanos and Michaelides.

    In an announcement after the meeting, the committee stated

    Michaelides' "public opposition" to the Iacovou candidacy "creates a serious discipline issue."

    "We call on Mr Michaelides to clearly align himself with the party decision and contribute to the success of his party's choice," the executive committee stated.

    The committee pulled no punches with Galanos. By submitting his own candidacy, it stated, Galanos had "in a political sense placed himself outside the party."

    "Mr Galanos still has the chance to think again... he can still return to the party ranks, provided he withdraws his candidacy," the committee stated.

    Galanos was defiant in response: "The party executive may decide what it wants. The final decision belongs to the electorate. It would be naive of the committee to believe I would change my stance concerning my candidacy."

    He said his conscience was clear about his candidacy. "It is not I who am deviating from Diko principles," he said, implying the party was compromising its ideals by supporting an Akel-backed candidate.

    Galanos again appealed for the votes of Diko followers and members who wanted a candidate from within the party. He said his candidacy "served the interests" of the "rank and file of Diko."

    There was no immediate response from Michaelides.

    Meanwhile, Edek leader Vassos Lyssarides slammed fellow election candidates Iacovou and President Clerides for their failure to appear on televised election debates. He said their refusal to join in the debates was "an insult to the intelligence of the populace and an affront to the democratic principles that ought to dictate behaviour in the pre-election period."

    Clerides, who enjoys the backing of right-wing Disy and is therefore, along with Iacovou, front-runner for the elections, stated on Friday he was prepared to come face-to-face with his opponents in a TV debate.

    The other names in the hat for the February 8 polls are George Vassiliou, leader of the United Democrats, Nicos Rolandis, leader of the Liberals, and Nicos Koutsou, leader of the New Horizons party.

    [02] Two sides 'will meet on monthly basis'

    MONTHLY meetings under United Nations auspices will be held between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides in the search for a Cyprus solution, President Glafcos Clerides has reportedly said.

    CyBC television news yesterday quoted Clerides as saying during a TV interview that after February's presidential elections the meetings will be held in Geneva.

    CyBC said the decision had been taken after a UN meeting on Cyprus held in New York last Tuesday.

    The station says its correspondent in New York confirmed the report with a UN source there.

    President Clerides in his campaign for re-election has laid heavy emphasis on a US initiative on Cyprus, and on high-level visits from abroad, should he win a second term.

    [03] How to optimise water cuts

    By Martin Hellicar

    DESPITE severe water shortages, the Nicosia Water Board is extending continuous water supply in the capital until tomorrow at least, saying it wants to study ways of optimising the system of water cuts.

    While reiterating that the island's water situation remained dire, Water Board director-general Charalambos Palantzis told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that three extra days without water cuts "did not make much difference" to reserves.

    Nicosians have been allowed unlimited water since Christmas Eve, in what the board termed its "Christmas present" to consumers, and cuts had been due to re-start on Thursday.

    But Palantzis yesterday said water cuts would not resume until tomorrow at the earliest. "We wanted to extend supply for three days to see how the system worked under 'normal' circumstances, when residents had returned from holidays," he said.

    He said the board wanted to re-assess the water-cuts system with the aim of minimising customer inconvenience while optimising water saving.

    "Cuts cause inconvenience to the public, can lead to water being coloured when the supply is turned back on and are bad for the pipes. The pipes are like human blood vessels, it's not good for them to turn supply on and off all the time," he said.

    "We want to know exactly what consumption will be under circumstances of full supply," he said.

    "If we find that we are cutting water just for the sake of saving a couple of hundred tons then it is not worth doing it so often," Palantzis said. He added, however, that abandoning the water cuts system altogether was an impossibility.

    "Cuts are unavoidable, we just want to make sure we are doing it properly," the board director-general said.

    Palantzis has previously denied suggestions the lifting of water cuts had anything to do with electioneering.

    [04] US group threatens to sue local Greens

    THE US-based Protect the Earth and Atmosphere Charitable Endowment (Peace) group are threatening to sue local greens for labelling them a "bogus" environmental group.

    Peace vice-chairman and Cyprus representative, Georgios Christodoulou, said in a statement earlier this week he had instructed his lawyers to take action against the "false, malicious and libelous" actions of local environmentalists.

    Peace hit the headlines last year when they presented a study recommending the Akamas area be "protected" through the creation of a vast tourism complex at the remote tip of the peninsula, with surfaced roads leading to it.

    The Peace study flew in the face of a government-commissioned World Bank report recommending the preservation of the Akamas as a wilderness area, with tourism development restricted to within existing village boundaries. The Peace proposal was welcomed by Akamas residents, but slammed by environmental groups like Friends of the Earth and Friends of the Akamas, who claimed the Salt Lake City-based group were a "front" for developers.

    "Environmentalists charge that Peace came here at the invitation of developers, as if developers were a curse," Christodoulou said. "Yes, I am a developer and I'm proud of it... and I invited Peace to Cyprus, not for my benefit - because I have not a jot of land in the Akamas - but for the salvation and development of the beautiful Akamas communities," the Peace representative stated.

    He said Peace were a charitable environmental group comprising "distinguished scientists of international renown." Local greens have claimed Peace scientists are guilty of producing custom-made reports to back-up developers' positions on specific environmental issues.

    "It would appear that certain astounding truths revealed in the Peace report were not liked because they uncovered the groundless dogmatic positions of the World Bank report which serve certain suspect aims," Christodoulou stated.

    The Peace report questioned whether protected sea-turtle species actually nested on Akamas beaches. The Fisheries Department, which has for years been monitoring turtle nesting on the Toxeftra and Lara beaches, has laughed off these

    [05] Demirel's cryptic 'wait and see'

    TURKEY will protect its own interests in the eastern Mediterranean, as well as those of the Turkish Cypriots, Turkish President Suleyman Demirel has reaffirmed.

    Speaking in Ankara on Friday, he said 1998 would be a "good year" for the Turkish Cypriots, then cryptically added: "Maybe it is time, Let's see what will happen in the coming days."

    Referring to the EU's decision to open accession talks with Cyprus, Demirel said he did not understand what the EU could gain from "taking on a major problem like Cyprus."

    Meanwhile in Athens, foreign minister Yiannakis Cassoulides met his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos to discuss the possibilities of Turkish Cypriot participation in the EU negotiations.

    In a statement issued after the meeting, Cassoulides said

    the two had discussed "parameters within which Turkish Cypriot participation in the talks could be achieved".

    Cassoulides went on to meet with representatives of Cypriot organisations in Greece yesterday.

    [06] Computer company to sue IBM

    A NICOSIA-based computer company is set to sue industry giant IBM and its local partner ITS for over 300,000.

    In a suit filed on December 15, GCC claimed IBM had illegally conspired to obtain details of GCC's offer for a CyTA tender just one day before its submission.

    GCC's General manager George Costantinou alleged yesterday that employees of IBM and ITS had approached a member of his staff and used "methods" to have GCC's offer delivered to them in an envelope.

    He claimed ITS then dropped their prices to 10 per cent below his and therefore received the contract.

    Constantinou added that he had also taken the case to the government department for the protection of competition, as well as its European Union equivalent.

    No official comment was available from IBM yesterday, though a source at the company dismissed the claims out of hand.

    IBM is the world's biggest computer manufacturer.

    [07] Peyia police station will 'stem rising crime'

    THE NEW police station at Peyia will help "maintain social calm" in an area of rapid development and expansion, Justice Minister Nicos Koshis said yesterday.

    Koshis was speaking after officially opening the new station near Paphos. Police there will be responsible for patrolling an area of 109 square kilometres, including Peyia itself and the villages of Akoursos, Kato Arodhes, Pano Arodhes, Kathikas and Kissonerga. The total population of the area is over 3,000.

    The area is also swollen during the tourist season by around 400,000 visitors to the seven hotels and 30 holiday apartment complexes in the area. In addition, there are around 100 secondary residences in the nearby Akamas area.

    The strengthening of the police presence in the area would, Koshis added, "prevent criminals, thieves, robbers and drug pushers from taking advantage of the fertile conditions created by such rapid growth."

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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