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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-05-07

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, May 6, 1998


  • [01] Russia to raise Cyprus issue at Security Council
  • [02] Clerides defends Greece after Kyprianou claims
  • [03] British MPs slam Denktash
  • [04] Builders to consider ministry plan
  • [05] Outside appointment takes police by surprise
  • [06] Port workers call off strike after meeting promised
  • [07] Post office to strike today
  • [08] Cymode moves to Salonica
  • [09] Market rallies from Tuesday's drop
  • [10] Police prepare to swoop on illegal crammers

  • [01] Russia to raise Cyprus issue at Security Council

    RUSSIA will bring back to the Security Council its proposal to discuss ways of supporting the Secretary-general's good offices mission in Cyprus.

    "The US had requested we cancel the debate (at the Security Council) until after a visit here by Richard Holbrooke, and we had agreed," Russian ambassador Georgi Muratov said in Nicosia yesterday.

    Holbrooke, the US presidential emissary for Cyprus, left the island on Monday after failing to negotiate the resumption of direct talks in the face of what he termed the "unrealistic" demands of the Turkish side.

    Speaking after calling on President Clerides yesterday, Muratov said that following Holbrooke's visit, Moscow would return its proposal to the Security Council to force a debate on Cyprus.

    Muratov said the Russian proposal aimed at backing the Secretary-general's good offices mission, the intercommunal dialogue between the two sides and supporting the UN Secretary-general's special adviser for Cyprus, Diego Cordovez.

    Muratov said Cordovez, who chaired two rounds of direct dialogue between the two leaders, was expected to visit the island soon.

    "We are prepared to co-operate with all Security Council permanent member states to solve the Cyprus question and facts have proven that joint efforts could be productive instead of isolated efforts by any country," Muratov said.

    Asked to comment on the Turkish side's two preconditions for the resumption of talks -- withdrawal of Cyprus' EU application and the recognition of the 'TRNC' -- Muratov said Russian supported the continuation of the dialogue.

    "Russia recognises only one government of the Cyprus Republic with President Clerides as its leader," he said.

    Muratov also said there was no possibility of any incidents when the Russian S-300 missiles were deployed on the island this summer.

    He said there was no question of the government's missile purchase being to blame for the current impasse.

    "The S-300 and technical military co-operation between Cyprus and Russia and other countries is not the obstacle," he said.

    "If demilitarisation were agreed or the Cyprus problem solved then there would be no need for such modern weapons."

    It was also announced yesterday that Turkish army chief of staff Ismail Hakki Karadayi would probably travel to Russia in mid-May.

    A Turkish foreign ministry spokesman said the missile deal would be among the subjects discussed.

    "Our views on this subject will once more be conveyed during our chief of staff's contacts in Moscow," the spokesman said.

    Stock Exchange

    [02] Clerides defends Greece after Kyprianou claims

    PRESIDENT Clerides yesterday hit back at criticism of Cyprus-Greece co- operation by House President Spyros Kyprianou.

    In a written statement, Clerides said the co-operation between the two countries was "perfect".

    Clerides also thanked Greece for its unwavering support in Cyprus's efforts to find a peaceful settlement to the Cyprus question.

    On Tuesday, Kyprianou had blamed the latest failure to resume talks on Athens because of its "step by step" approach towards normalising relations with Turkey.

    He claimed the Cyprus problem had been shunted aside by Greece so that it could improve Greco-Turkish relations. As a result, he said, Cyprus was now staring partition in the face.

    Bur Clerides said: "The government has no reason to question either the intentions or the moves the Greek government makes in connection with the Cyprus problem."

    "The Cyprus government is fully briefed about these moves, which are within the framework of a common strategy," Clerides' statement said.

    Kyprianou also came in for criticism from within his own party Diko. In a statement issued yesterday evening, Kypros Chrysostomides, who is challenging Kyprianou for the party leadership, said the criticism of Greece was unacceptable.

    He said Diko members disagreed with Kyprianou's views on the issue in the run-up to the party's national conference which will decide its future path.

    Stock Exchange

    [03] British MPs slam Denktash

    THE DENKTASH regime is illegal and will not be officially recognised by anyone, two British MPs said on London Greek Radio yesterday.

    Labour MP Tom Cox and Conservative Sir Sydney Chapman also insisted that Cyprus' EU accession course would continue.

    Commenting on recent statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash regarding his regime's official recognition and Cyprus' EU bid, the two said all member states had fully supported the accession bid; as such, "it will not be halted but it is going to be pursued".

    Chapman added he did not believe the Europeans would accept any attempts by the US to delay negotiations.

    Referring to President Glafcos Clerides' offer to the Turkish Cypriots to join the accession delegation, he said that Denktash's refusal to accept the offer reflected on him rather than on the Cyprus government.

    Referring to the Turkish Cypriot leader's bid for recognition, Cox said he had no doubt that the vast majority of Labour MPs would "reject totally" the demands, pointing to the "clear evidence of abuse of human rights in the occupied areas."

    He concluded by saying he wondered "who Mr Denktash really speaks for, the Turkish Cypriots or the settlers that he has brought into the occupied areas from mainland Turkey".

    Stock Exchange

    [04] Builders to consider ministry plan

    UNIONS representing building workers yesterday provisionally accepted a mediation proposal by the Labour Ministry for the renewal of collective agreements.

    An announcement said the unions would take the proposal back to their members and put it to a nationwide vote. Answers will be given in a matter of days.

    Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas yesterday handed his proposal to unions at a midday meeting. It provides for small pay increases for 1998/99 and an improvement in medical benefits.

    The 70,000 or so workers in the building sector were due to strike yesterday over the failure of negotiations to renew their agreements after employers insisted on a wage-freeze.

    The planned strike was called off late on Tuesday to give the Ministry a last chance to salvage the negotiations, following indications from the employers' side that it might be willing to shift from its position.

    The government fears a builders' strike could have a knock-on effect on other sectors of the economy currently seeking to renew collective agreements.

    Stock Exchange

    [05] Outside appointment takes police by surprise

    By Charlie Charalambous

    IN A surprise move yesterday, President Clerides appointed a civilian as the next chief of police.

    This is the first time a person from outside the force has been chosen to head the police.

    Senior Counsel for the Republic Andreas Angelides, 55, was named as the man to take over from incumbent Panicos Hadjiloizou.

    Hadjiloizou is expected to retire from his position at the end of June and hand over the reigns to lawyer Angelides.

    Justice Minister Nicos Koshis made the announcement after yesterday's meeting of the Council of Ministers.

    "The decision has been taken and it is the sole right of the president to make such appointments," said Koshis, whose enthusiasm over the appointment appeared rather muted.

    Asked to comment on the reasoning behind the choice of a civilian, Koshis avoided expressing his personal opinion.

    "It's an issue for the president and it's not my position to analyse why."

    When contacted by the Cyprus Mail, the police press office was also reluctant to comment on the appointment, which has raised more than a few eye-brows among the rank-the-file.

    Seasoned observers are also baffled by the move. Some believe it marks a clear message from Clerides that he wants to shake up the force and change its tarnished image.

    Others see it as a political appointment, with Clerides repaying an old friend -- Angelides is a Disy stalwart -- by giving him a top job.

    Assistant police chief Andreas Christofides was promoted to act as Angelides' deputy.

    Stock Exchange

    [06] Port workers call off strike after meeting promised

    By Andrea Sophocleous

    LARNACA port workers yesterday called off their planned 24-hour strike after the Minister of Communications and Works, Leontios Ieorodiaconou, agreed to meet with representatives of the three unions involved.

    One of the unions' demands had been to put pressure on the minister to arrange a meeting to discuss future plans for Larnaca port.

    The decision to call off the strike was taken at a general union assembly, which was addressed by representatives of the Sek, Peo and Deok unions. The unions argued that going ahead with the strike would not have been favourable for tomorrow's meeting with the minister.

    The minister has agreed to a meeting tomorrow at 11am. He has also promised to put a complete proposal on the port's future before the Council of Ministers next week.

    The port workers are protesting at government inaction in the face of Larnaca port's dwindling business.

    Peo union representative Costas Christodoulou said yesterday the main issue of the current wave of protests was to secure Larnaca dockers' jobs and the port's development.

    After lively debate, port workers accepted the unions' position and decided to postpone further action until next Monday, when another general assembly will discuss the results of tomorrow's meeting. A decision regarding any further strike action will then be taken.

    After yesterday morning's union assembly, port workers returned to the loading of potatoes onto ships, their only current source of employment at the port.

    Stock Exchange

    [07] Post office to strike today

    THE POSTAL service will be severely disrupted today as workers stage a 24- hour strike over pay and conditions.

    Postal workers say they have been forced to take strike action because management has failed to discuss their demands and has proceeded to take decisions without consultation.

    Parallel to the strike, postal unions will continue an ongoing overtime ban.

    Unions say the action will continue until the government responds to demands concerning the implementation of a five-day week and the way post is handled and distributed.

    Stock Exchange

    [08] Cymode moves to Salonica

    By Andrew Adamides

    CYMODE, the Cyprus fashion fair, will from now on take place in Greece as part of the Euromode Textilia show, Sotiris Kallis, the President of the Cyprus Clothing Industries Association said yesterday.

    The decision, which was officially announced at a press conference given by the association, has been taken to take the event closer to Europe and woo more buyers, the show's Salonica location making it more accessible for buyers from both Western Europe and the Balkans. The slogan for the first combined event, the 48th Euromode Textilia, is 'Fashion Power from Greece and Cyprus'.

    The combined event is to be staged this month at the Salonica Helexpo fairgrounds. Cypriot-made clothes will be shown alongside those from other European countries from May 17 to 19.

    The Cyprus-made garments include mens and ladies wear, children's clothes, underwear, swimwear and sports outfits from a variety of manufacturers. The clothes are designed to combine style with affordability, and run the gamut from day-wear and casual outfits to evening clothes and classical style. Unusually, maternity clothes will also be on show.

    Many of the companies already sell a large amount of their produce for export.

    Buyers attending the show will come from Greece, Europe and the Balkans.

    Stock Exchange

    [09] Market rallies from Tuesday's drop

    By Hamza Hendawi

    SHARE prices made a partial recovery yesterday from the disastrous lows of Monday and Tuesday as investors returned to the market to mop up bargain buys.

    The official all-share index of the Cyprus Stock Exchange closed up 0.93 per cent at 90.03 points, with all seven sub-indices making gains on a decent volume of 2.51 million.

    The index closed 1.83 per cent lower on Monday, but the downward trend picked up pace the following day when shares plummeted by a painful 3.59 per cent in the biggest one-day drop since January 1997.

    "We are not out of the woods yet," said Yiannis Andronikou of Suphire Stockbrokers Ltd. "Anything can happen tomorrow," he told the Cyprus Mail.

    "But most traders, if not all, should be happy with today's performance."

    "There was a lot of bargain hunting today and it was a decent recovery," said Costas Hadjigavriel of the Nicosia-based brokerage of the same name.

    "Some of the big players who wanted to depress the market on Monday and Tuesday returned and purchased back what they had sold," he explained.

    "This is a brokers' game which excludes small players who are in the market for a year or two," he told the Mail. "It is part of the game and it is something that happens everywhere."

    Brokers and analysts, meanwhile, continued yesterday to try and explain Tuesday's dramatic drop in share prices. Most explanations centred on massive sales by at least one major brokerage that was followed by panic selling.

    "Panic selling seems to be the only plausible reason for what happened on Tuesday because the fundamentals that have been driving the market up since January are still there," said one broker, who did not wish to be named.

    Stock Exchange

    [10] Police prepare to swoop on illegal crammers

    POLICE have been ordered by Attorney-general Alecos Markides to check a blacklist of 30 alleged illegal cramming centres.

    The blacklist is part of a concerted effort by the government to stamp out the lucrative cramming circuit by moonlighting state teachers.

    Although the authorities suspect the illegal practice is widespread, the police concede that catching moonlighting teachers is no easy task.

    In an effort to keep one step ahead of the law, teachers are moving their private lessons from house to house, day to day, police say.

    They also claim that when they come knocking on the door with warrant in hand, students have been briefed to say the gathering is for coffee and not cramming.

    Another problem is that moonlighting teachers are apparently being tipped off in advance by insiders.

    CID officers are now collecting evidence and carrying out a surveillance operation on the blacklisted cramming centres.

    Charges are expected to be brought within the next few days.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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