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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-05-14

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, May 14, 1998


  • [01] Aids waiter held for unprotected sex
  • [02] English school teachers to take action over head
  • [03] Angry exchanges mark title deed debate
  • [04] Government offers No.2 EU post to Turkish Cypriots
  • [05] Market sinks deeper
  • [07] Pilots threaten action over appointment
  • [08] Missing three confirmed as gypsies
  • [09] US must pressure Ankara, not Denktash
  • [10] Cancer is number two child killer
  • [11] 'Dana stole my song'
  • [12] Woman dies after falling form building
  • [13] Arsonists return to torch Russian's car
  • [14] Cash problem blamed for closure of TV mag

  • [01] Aids waiter held for unprotected sex

    By Charlie Charalambous

    A LARNACA waiter suspected of having unprotected sex with five women, knowing he was HIV-positive, was remanded for eight days yesterday.

    Twenty-eight-year-old Andreas Nicolaou Michael was detained in custody for eight days following a decision by a Larnaca district court.

    Police are extending their investigation to Sweden, where Michael spent six months, to ascertain whether he was involved in similar offences there.

    The waiter was arrested on Tuesday when a married woman came forward and told police that she had had unprotected sex with him last March.

    She said Michael failed to tell her he had Aids.

    The woman said she only discovered the waiter was HIV positive on Tuesday and went to the police the same day.

    Investigating officer Antonis Kakouris told the court the woman had since taken an Aids test and would have to spend an anxious 15 days waiting for the results.

    Kakouris said the suspect tested positive for Aids in October 1993 and lived in Sweden between December 1995 and June 1996.

    He also disclosed that the police had the names of four other women they believe the suspect had had unprotected sex with.

    Defence lawyer Marios Loukas suggested the prosecution was reluctant to reveal the "type" of women who allegedly had sex with Michael, because their moral standing would be questioned.

    Michael, who has yet to give a statement but denies the charges, is currently receiving treatment at the island's only specialised state Aids clinic at Larnaca general hospital.

    Before his appearance in court, Michael lashed out at a female photo- reporter who tried to take his picture.

    The reporter was taken to Larnaca hospital for tests immediately afterwards. Larnaca police are investigating the incident.

    Last month, an HIV-positive English Cypriot woman was jailed for seven months after pleading guilty to having unprotected sex with two men without telling them of her condition; Aids fisherman Pavlos Georgiou was jailed for 15 months on similar charges in 1997.

    Both had been prosecuted under a 45-year-old law aimed at stopping the spread of contagious diseases, such as cholera and tuberculosis.

    [02] English school teachers to take action over head

    By Jean Christou

    TEACHERS at the English School are to take industrial action to protest against what they see as inaction by the Board following a recent vote of no confidence in the headmaster.

    In a strongly-worded letter circulated to parents, the school's Staff Association warned that if the initial measures -- believed to involve a work to rule -- did not prompt any changes by the Board, further action would be taken.

    "We will take such measures because we believe they are essential for the future of the school," the letter said.

    Although the letter does not elaborate on its dispute with the head, it is known that the row at the prestigious Nicosia school revolves around allegations that the Headmaster, Thomas Thomas, "rigged" the promotion of a female staff member to a senior position.

    The specific allegation is understood to have come as the final straw, with growing unease among staff at the headmaster's perceived hostility towards them.

    The teachers now say they are speaking out in an effort to save the school's reputation and to ensure that pupils do not suffer academically. They say the school has lost its spirit of co-operation and trust since Thomas's appointment two years ago, culminating in the staff's "drastic step" of expressing no confidence in the headmaster.

    appointment to the post of Senior Teacher were not followed correctly," the letter said.

    The teachers go on to criticise the school's Board of Directors, which they claim has done nothing to respond to their complaints.

    "Obviously, if the Board continues to procrastinate, the Staff Association will be forced to take even stronger measures," the letter said. "To allow the situation to continue unchallenged would damage the school even more seriously..."

    However, to minimise the effects on pupils, the teachers say no action will be taken that could in any way affect exams, though the "rest of the school timetable" may suffer.

    "We cannot stand idly by and watch the school's spirit shattered," the letter said. "We must re-establish professional respect and confidence for the future of the school."

    The school's Board is expected to meet today, while a spokesman for the parents association said last night it had not yet discussed the teachers' circular. "We hope to discuss it soon," she said.

    Following publication of reports detailing the school's problems in March, former headmaster Albert Hudspeth told the Cyprus Mail in a letter that he had sacrificed his post two years ago in an attempt to "bring people to their senses".

    He said he had found it impossible to resolve the differences between "a politically partisan and motivated Board, whose appointment and promotion policy paid little attention to ability and a great deal to influence, and a Staff association which protected its rights and privileges in all ways possible."

    In a written response last week, the Secretary of the Board said the school's records showed no instance of disagreement between Hudspeth and the Board over appointments or promotions.

    [03] Angry exchanges mark title deed debate

    By Martin Hellicar

    TEMPERS flared in the House refugee committee yesterday morning as the government's controversial scheme to issue title deeds for refugee homes came under scrutiny.

    The issue has been grabbing front-page headlines after it was announced on Monday that President Clerides was shelving his legal challenge of a On Tuesday, the government made it clear Monday's decision was no U-turn and that it planned to sanction further deed issues by tabling relevant regulations for approval by the plenum.

    Yesterday's debate began quietly -- with a minute's silence in memory of former Akel deputy Dinos Constantinou who died on Tuesday -- but, the solemn tribute over, soon erupted with an ill-tempered spat between Disy deputy Lefteris Christoforou and committee chairman Aristofanis Georgiou, of Akel.

    Georgiou opened the discussion with a regurgitation of the opposition line that the scheme had been none other than a Clerides ploy to win refugee votes in the run-up to last February's presidential elections. Thousands of deeds were handed out before the election, and none afterwards, Georgiou stated by way of proof for his claims.

    Christoforou countered that opposition to the scheme was politically motivated. No refugee had expressed displeasure at receiving a deed for his property, he said. The House had, by blocking the scheme in mid-flow, created an "unjust" situation where some refugees had title deeds and others not.

    Georgiou took exception to this last assertion and intervened to stop for majority decisions of the House plenum."

    But Christoforou was not to be outdone. "I say the House has torpedoed government efforts to meet its pre-election promises," he stated, adding that the scheme was a promise Clerides had made as long ago as 1983.

    Diko deputy Marios Matsakis tried in vain to defuse the spat: "Can we avoid getting into a political debate?" he pleaded.

    Akel deputy Kikis Yiangou added his own two-pennies worth, charging the government with granting deeds only in order to avoid having to fork out for maintenance of refugee homes.

    Christos Artemiou, chairman of refugees association Pep, protested it was insulting for politicians to imply the refugee vote could be bought by either granting or opposing title deed issues.

    Charalambos Loizou, of the Nisou refugee housing estate committee, complained that the deeds were worthless anyway as banks and cooperatives would not accept them as collateral.

    The political kudos of the issue had prompted Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides to put in an appearance to bat for the government. Georgiou announced the debate would continue on Wednesday afternoon before giving the minister the floor to have the last word. He repeated the government position.

    "Government policy on the refugee title deed issue remains the same," Michaelides said. "I categorically reject statements that the deeds were given for pre-election reasons."

    He also dismissed suggestions the scheme played into the hands of the Turkish side by implying that the status quo imposed by the invasion had been accepted.

    "Why, when nine-and-a-half thousand people have received deeds till now has no refugee from any party come forward to say the scheme is unacceptable because it goes against national interests?" he asked.

    [04] Government offers No.2 EU post to Turkish Cypriots

    THE GOVERNMENT is offering the post of deputy chief negotiator in Cyprus's EU accession talks team to the Turkish Cypriot side, chief EU negotiator George Vassiliou has revealed.

    A statement issued by Vassiliou's United Democrat party yesterday said the post would be offered to a Turkish Cypriot representative, should the government's invitation for the Turkish Cypriot side to participate in EU entry talks be accepted.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has so far declined the government's invitation -- tabled earlier this year following a relevant request from the EU.

    Vassiliou repeated that the government's invitation to the Turkish Cypriots was an "honest" one, and added that the Turkish Cypriots had much to gain from joining the EU.

    Cyprus began entry talks with the EU on March 31, and Vassiliou said it would be a year before "serious" negotiations began.

    He said the current negotiations focused on assessing the level of Cyprus's harmonisation with the 80,000 pages of EU regulations.

    In Paris meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Hubert Védrine stated Turkish Cypriot participation in the accession talks was "desirable but not a pre- condition" for EU entry. Védrine was speaking after a meeting with his Cypriot counterpart Yiannakis Cassoulides.

    Védrine also reiterated France's support for a bizonal Cyprus settlement and called on the government to reconsider the planned deployment of S-300 missiles.

    Cassoulides left Paris for Argentina -- where he is to meet with Argentine President Carlos Menem and government officials -- yesterday afternoon.

    [05] Market sinks deeper

    By Hamza Hendawi

    PERSISTENT profit-taking kept the stock market deep in negative territory yesterday for the fourth successive trading session, adding to the confusion felt by many about the bourse's recent direction.

    The official all-share index yesterday closed at 87.37, down by 1.12 per cent, with all seven sub-indices retreating, except for that of investments companies which finished up by a slight 0.03 per cent.

    Yesterday's drop took to 4.16 per cent the index's fall since last Friday drops followed gains of nearly 20 per cent since the start of the year.

    "What is happening now is a continuation of what happened last week. A lot of people are seeing an exit point (from the market) at the moment," said Koullis Panayiotou of CLR Stockbrokers Ltd, one of the island's top brokerages.

    "I am not sure we have seen the end of it yet," he said.

    Panayiotou, like other traders, had no single definite explanation for the market's sudden shift from a four-month bull run to a downward spiral.

    Scenarios for this month's disastrous run paint a picture of continuing profit-taking, massive selling by big brokerages in the hope of returning failure of US diplomatic efforts to restart talks on reuniting the island.

    "The fundamentals of the market have not changed," said Panayiotou. "We are still expecting a record number of tourists this year and the banks continue to do well," he said. "There is no real cause to worry."

    Shares of the Bank of Cyprus and the Popular Bank, which between them account for more than half of the market's capitalisation, have taken a beating since share prices began to slip at the beginning of the month, shedding 25 and 31 cents respectively.

    The two stocks are widely seen as the engine of the market, a fact which

    FIVE soccer thugs are being held in custody for eight days in connection

    The five youths, aged between 18 and 23, were yesterday remanded for eight days by a Limassol court; they are suspected of being Apollonas supporters who trashed the Anorthosis club house on Tuesday night.

    Fears about violence at tomorrow's FA Cup final were heightened on Tuesday when over 100 Apollonas hooligans, mainly riding scooters, stormed the club house of their rivals.

    They surrounded the building and hurled a volley of bricks and bottles, smashing windows and causing panic among Anorthosis members trapped inside.

    Apollonas fans also chanted rude taunts at their FA Cup opponents, while a small group barged their way in, breaking tables and chairs. No injuries were reported.

    The incident happened only hours after police had announced tough security measures for the high-profile and potentially explosive fixture.

    Police intelligence believe there is a hard core of hooligans on both sides, intent on causing trouble before and after the final.

    Apollonas vice president Demetris Koulountis visited the riot scene yesterday and condemned those involved as "criminal" -- disassociating those involved from the club's good name.

    The club has urged all its "loyal" supporters to cold shoulder the hooligans to ensure they are not tarred with the same brush.

    [07] Pilots threaten action over appointment

    CYPRUS Airways (CY) pilots yesterday threatened measures over a promotion their union says was irregular.

    The Pasipy union accused the airline of nepotism in the wake of a competition to fill the post of Airbus A310 Fleet Manager.

    Pasipy said the company overlooked standard promotion procedures in the appointment.

    "By this action, the company is reinforcing nepotism and contravening procedures that for years have been part of the collective agreement," Pasipy said.

    The union claimed that, when choosing the manager, the company had included personnel assessment files in the candidates' envelopes -- something that is contrary to standard procedure.

    These were documents to which the pilots has no access, Pasipy complained, and the company's action thereby made the choice of candidate unacceptable.

    And Pasipy charged that the company ignored one of the candidates' complaints about the procedure to go ahead with the selection committee.

    "Pasipy believes management has contravened acceptable procedures and is pandering to others interests in the company," the union said. "Using secret assessment forms allows management to practice nepotism."

    The union said the appointment had forced it "to take all necessary measures to defend the rights of its members."

    It called on the company to implement the correct procedures, "otherwise the responsibility for the consequences will be on management."

    [08] Missing three confirmed as gypsies

    THREE men being held in the occupied areas have been identified by the Turkish Cypriot press as Greek gypsies from Limassol.

    The UN was yesterday still unable to confirm the identity of the three detainees, apprehended by Turkish forces in the Dhekelia area late on Monday.

    But Turkish Cypriot Bayrak radio named the three detainees as Costas Demetriou, 35, Georgios Charalambous, 35, and Georgos Alexiou, 26. The three, Greek gypsies resident in the Yermasoyia area, had been reported missing to Limassol police on Tuesday afternoon. Kibris reported yesterday that the three men had been remanded for three days by a 'court' in the north.

    UN spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski said he was not in a position to confirm these reports.

    The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported on Tuesday that a UN soldier had witnessed the apprehension of the three men in the Strovilia area, near the British Base of Dhekelia, at around 7.30 on Monday evening.

    The UN-controlled buffer-zone does not extend along the boundary of the Sovereign base area (SBA) with the occupied areas, but the UN maintains a lookout post in the Strovilia area.

    [09] US must pressure Ankara, not Denktash

    WASHINGTON should shift the focus of its policy on Cyprus from the Turkish

    question "lies not with Rauf Denktash and the Turkish Cypriots, but in Ankara".

    He said US fears that the EU's Luxembourg decision to open talks with line on Cyprus had been proved right.

    "I think that these developments coupled with administration's knowledge that Ankara is calling the shots for the Turkish Cypriots, necessitate a swift change in US diplomacy and policy," Pallone said.

    "While I would like to commend Ambassador Holbrooke for his public rebuke of the Turkish side's new conditions, I believe it is time to stop focusing public and private efforts on the Turkish Cypriots and intensify American efforts to move the peace process forward on Ankara and more importantly, on the Turkish military."

    During his recent visit, Holbrooke, the US presidential emissary for Cyprus, said the Turkish side's conditions for the resumption of direct talks between the two leaders were "unrealistic".

    Denktash has called for recognition of the breakaway regime in the north and the withdrawal of Cyprus' EU application.

    Pallone said the demand for recognition was "ridiculous and unacceptable", adding that the preconditions had scuttled any chance of producing a breakthrough.

    did not prevail upon the Turkish Cypriots to retract the two new conditions and allow the Cyprus peace talks to move forward.

    [10] Cancer is number two child killer

    CANCER is the second biggest killer of children and adolescents after accidents.

    According to Dr. Loizos Loizou, president of 'Elpida', the foundation for children with cancer and leukaemia, 35 new cases of childhood cancer are recorded each year at the Paediatric Oncology clinic of the Archbishop Makarios III hospital in Nicosia, and over 500 children are currently under observation at the clinic suffering cancer or leukaemia.

    Dr. Loizou was speaking at a press conference in Nicosia yesterday, announcing the foundation's international seminar on 'Cancer and leukaemia in children and adolescents'.

    He said that since 1990 there had been a marked decrease in the number of child cancer victims being sent overseas for treatment as facilities in Cyprus improved. He also pointed out that, whereas in 1960 all cases of childhood cancer ended fatally, two out of three children today survive cancer and leukaemia and go on to lead healthy lives. Elpida's hopes is for all cancer victims to survive.

    Elpida - the Greek word for hope - was founded seven years ago to provide moral and financial support to the families of children with cancer and other oncological and haematological diseases in Cyprus. The aims of Elpida include the prevention and early diagnosis of cancer in children; to ensure the provision of the best possible medical and psychological care for the sick child and its parents; to support and offer long-term help to children who have been cured of the diseases; and to organise seminars, lectures and meetings for those affected by childhood cancer.

    The seminar will be held at the Cyprus International Conference Centre in Nicosia this Saturday under the auspices of the Minister of Health, Christos Solomis.

    [11] 'Dana stole my song'

    ISRAELI transsexual Dana International has been branded a Eurovision cheat by a Greek musician based in Germany.

    In an interview with Bild newspaper, musician Costas Kardalis claims Dana's Eurovision winner Viva La Diva is a copy of his hit song Viva la Noche.

    "The song is mine. It's lifted from my big hit Viva la Noche. Without me, Dana would never have won first place in the Eurovision," Kardalis told German newspaper Bild.

    The Greek also claims that Dana's one-hit wonder is a poor copy of his own creation; hearing it makes "my blood boil", he says.

    Bild's taste for Eurovision mischief-making went even further with the suggestion that Spain had got its point scoring round the wrong way round.

    It alleges that the top score of 12 points was destined for Germany's outlandish Guildo Horn, and not for Dana's ditty, which squeezed through in a close run-in beating the UK and Malta by seven and eight point respectively.

    Although Cyprus came a disappointing 11th place, the island's score-ratio for the last five years means it qualifies automatically for next year's festivities in Tel Aviv.

    [12] Woman dies after falling form building

    A 35-YEAR-OLD woman died yesterday after falling off the second story of an apartment block on Nafplio street in the Kaimakli area of Nicosia.

    Hera Zamba was discovered in the courtyard of the apartment building at 2am yesterday, in a state of shock and having suffered multiple head injuries.

    She was transferred to Nicosia General Hospital, where she died at around 4am.

    The scene of the accident was examined by officers and CID Nicosia. The possibility of criminal activity was ruled out.

    [13] Arsonists return to torch Russian's car

    ARSONISTS set fire to a car owned by a Russian insurance worker yesterday after burning what police believe was "the wrong car" in the early hours of Monday.

    Sergei Vistnakov's car was set alight at 1.45am yesterday morning after a similar model was torched on Monday morning near his house. The first car belonged to Yiorgos Hatziandonis, whose house is just 100 metres away from Vistnakov's house on the Larnaca to Dhekelia road.

    Vistnakov was awakened by last night's fire and managed to put out the flames alone before the arrival of the fire brigade.

    Police are investigating the possibility that Hatziandonis' car had been mistaken for Vistnakov's and torched by mistake.

    [14] Cash problem blamed for closure of TV mag

    SERIOUS financial difficulties were behind the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation's decision to shut down its TV magazine.

    CyBC issued a press statement yesterday explaining the reasons behind the closing down of TV-Radioprogramma -- once the only TV guide in Cyprus. The state-owned broadcaster said all possible measures had been taken to ensure the survival of the magazine, but even a reduction in printing costs could not counter the significant fall in the magazine's circulation and financial problems.

    According to the press release, the end of the magazine will not affect the station's ability to communicate with its viewers because they can continue to be informed of programming through a televised programme as well the various other TV guides.

    CyBC is considering the launch of another TV guide to fill the gaps left by the closure of TV-Radioprogramma.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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