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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-06-27

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, June 27, 1998


  • [01] Stephanopoulos puts stress on substance
  • [02] UN Cyprus envoy Gustave Feissel retires
  • [03] Squaddies charged after disco brawl
  • [04] British youths held for stabbing
  • [05] Police link murder to drugs vendetta
  • [06] Kyprianou backs down on House guards
  • [07] Official protest at massive air violations
  • [08] Duty free profits offset Cyprus Airways losses
  • [09] Summer and political uncertainty push share prices down
  • [10] Bishop hits back at allegations
  • [11] Cyprus signs up to environmental rights treaty
  • [12] Christofides buried

  • [01] Stephanopoulos puts stress on substance

    By Andrew Adamides

    THE INTERNATIONAL community needs to look at the substance of the Cyprus problem and abandon never-ending discussions on how to proceed with the situation, Greek President Constantinos Stephanopoulos said yesterday.

    Addressing a special session of the House of Representatives, Stephanopoulos also chided the United Nations for not showing the necessary political will and determination to make Turkey abide by its resolutions on Cyprus.

    He admitted, however, that "serious efforts had been made" by the UN to find a Cyprus solution.

    A "peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem" is "of primary importance to Greece", he said, adding that if Ankara were to abandon its intransigent stance and actively contribute to finding a solution, it would "be an important step for confidence-building between Greece and Turkey".

    Stephanopoulos made clear that he felt the Cyprus problem to be a deciding factor in the current rocky state of relations between Greece and Turkey, and stressed that Greece would never accept a settlement of the two countries' relations without a Cyprus solution.

    It was out of this situation, he added, that the need for the joint Cyprus- Greece defence pact had grown, and this pact was necessary in order to defend the island.

    "To the rationale of a peaceful dialogue, we offer the proposal for demilitarisation. To insanity and aggression, it is our duty to develop our defensive strength," he concluded.

    Referring to Cyprus's European Union entry bid, Stephanopoulos reiterated that accession would serve both sides, especially as it would create conditions in which mistrust between them could be overcome.

    But he warned that the Turkish position on the island's accession was unacceptable. Ankara must realise that "Europe will not be humiliated and succumb to blackmail, and a Cyprus solution is a condition not only for settling its (Turkey's) relations with Greece, but also for the future of its European prospects."

    The Greek president also made special reference to the exodus of Turkish Cypriots from the occupied north due to the harsh living conditions there, and the corresponding influx of Turkish settlers. He noted that there had also been a conscious effort by the occupation regime to destroy the island's cultural heritage in the occupied areas, in an attempt to obliterate its Greek and Byzantine history.

    Following his address, Stephanopoulos was presented with three framed pictures of Cyprus's mountain ranges by House President Spyros Kyprianou. He then left for further talks at the Greek embassy with President Glafcos Clerides.

    Earlier in the day, Stephanopoulos visited Kykkos Monastery, and paid his respects at the tomb of Archbishop Makarios.

    In a repeat of the enthusiastic scenes surrounding his arrival on Thursday, Cypriots again lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the president's car.

    Meanwhile, yesterday morning, EU Commissioner Christos Papoutsis, one of Stephanopoulos's 40-strong entourage, met President Clerides to discuss Cyprus's EU accession. Papoutsis said he believed Cyprus would be among the first countries to join the EU in the first wave of enlargement and that the island's accession course was "granted, steady and on track".

    [02] UN Cyprus envoy Gustave Feissel retires

    Gustave Feissel, outgoing Chief of the UN mission in Cyprus, inspects a guard of Unficyp troops at a ceremony yesterday evening to mark his retirement. At the ceremony, held at the Ledra Palace Hotel in Nicosia, Feissel described his five years as Chief of Mission as "a rare privilege". He was presented with an oil painting of a Cyprus landscape by a Turkish Cypriot artist and a photograph of the same scene taken by a Greek Cypriot. Feissel is retiring after a total of 35 years with the UN. He has been connected with Cyprus since 1984.

    Gustave Feissel, outgoing Chief of the UN mission in Cyprus, inspects a guard of Unficyp troops at a ceremony yesterday evening to mark his retirement. Photo by Christos Theodorides

    [03] Squaddies charged after disco brawl

    By Charlie Charalambous

    TWO BRITISH soldiers serving in Cyprus have been charged after a brawl in a Protaras disco yesterday morning during which a British tourist was injured.

    The assault occurred only a week after the British Forces in Cyprus lifted a curfew restricting the hours servicemen could enter the resort of Protaras.

    British national Daniel Fife-Fallaw, 20, received seven stitches to an eye- wound after what he said was a heated argument at the Colonial disco at around 2.45am.

    Police said yesterday that two British soldiers stationed at Dhekelia Garrison, Luke Metson, 21, and Binny Gunn, 22, were charged with assault and causing actual bodily harm after a British tourist was attacked.

    The two were released after making a statement. They will appear in court next week.

    Police said they were looking for a third soldier, named as Michael Wood, 20, who allegedly ran from the disco when the police arrived.

    "I can confirm that two soldiers from British Forces, Cyprus, have been charged with assault and ABH (actual bodily harm) by Cyprus police as a result of an alleged incident against a male tourist at about 2am this morning," Captain Jon Brown of the British bases told the Cyprus Mail.

    He confirmed that a third individual was wanted for questioning.

    It is understood the altercation took place following taunts by a group of Scottish and English tourists inside the disco.

    According to Cyprus Mail sources, one of the soldiers charged with assault has a suspected broken wrist and received three stitches to a head wound.

    The sources pointed the finger at the tourists for starting the fight.

    "The SBA military authorities are co-operating with Cyprus police in a case which will be thoroughly investigated," said Brown.

    Although the Cyprus police are not treating the incident as serious it is not being taken lightly by the bases as it adds to the shameful record of bad behaviour by squaddies in Cyprus.

    The bases declared the popular Ayia Napa and Protaras areas out of bounds to servicemen after British tourist Jeremy Caprio lost an eye when he was allegedly attacked by five UN British troops outside an Ayia Napa disco in April.

    "Protaras, Larnaca, and Limassol are no longer out of bounds since June 19, but Ayia Napa remains so for the foreseeable future," said Brown.

    But given yesterday morning's events, "the commander of British forces, Cyprus, will review once more the whole issue of out-of-bounds restrictions, " Brown said.

    A Cyprus police spokesman said: "The case file will be sent to the attorney- general's office to decide on the course of action against the British soldiers."

    [04] British youths held for stabbing

    By Charlie Charalambous

    FIVE BRITISH youths, all under the age of 18, were remanded in police custody yesterday after a 17-year-old Cypriot was stabbed in the back.

    The Cypriot youth underwent emergency surgery at Nicosia General hospital yesterday and his condition is described as serious but out of danger.

    The victim was transferred from Larnaca general hospital when he complained of numbness in his legs.

    Five British tourists, three of them aged 16, were remanded in custody by a Larnaca district court for five days suspected of taking part in the knife attack on the Cypriot.

    Police said that all five youths, most of whom are believed to be of Cypriot origin, were from London and arrived in Cyprus on June 11.

    The suspects cannot be named because they are all under 18.

    Cypriot Pavlos Anastasis, 32, from Larnaca, was also remanded as a suspect in the same case.

    CID officer Michalis Michael told the court that the 17-year-old had been the target of an unprovoked attack at 2am yesterday morning when he was punched and kicked in Larnaca town centre.

    The officer said police believed the five teenagers had singled out the Cypriot in a revenge attack, as they had previously complained to police of being jumped on themselves.

    A blood-stained knife and a pen-knife were discovered by police near the scene of the crime.

    Larnaca police are continuing their investigations.

    [05] Police link murder to drugs vendetta

    By Charlie Charalambous

    POLICE believe the Limassol beach murder was part of a drug related gangland vendetta.

    "There is enough evidence to suggest that the crime involved people from the underworld. I'm optimistic that the culprit's identity will be revealed, " Police chief Panicos Hadjiloizou said on visiting Limassol HQ yesterday.

    With the line of enquiry focusing on the narcotics angle, the drug squad have been called in to help solve the case.

    Builder Michalakis Evangelou, 22, was found at Lady's Mile stabbed to death in his fiancée's black Nissan car early on Thursday morning.

    Narcotics agents are now studying a list of names and phone numbers belonging to the victim, which are thought to be a catalogue of drug clients.

    "The police have enough evidence in their hands to solve this case within the next few days," said Hadjiloizou.

    Police believe there was a violent struggle between the victim and his attacker, in which Evangelou was stabbed six times in the stomach and side, before he managed to get in his car and drive 100 metres to the spot where he was eventually found.

    A man from Trachoni, who was known to have had row with Evangelou two weeks ago, has been questioned and released.

    But police said yesterday they were keen to speak to another man whom they did not name.

    A number of the victim's relatives and close friends have already been questioned in an effort to try and piece together where Evangelou's movements after he was last seen at around 4.15am on Thursday buying two cheese pies.

    "We really need to know where he was for two hours before the body was found at 6.30am," said a police source.

    It is also understood that police believe Evangelou was set up and had an arranged meeting before his brutal murder.

    [06] Kyprianou backs down on House guards

    By Andrea Sophocleous

    HOUSE guards were yesterday called back to security duties for a second time after House President Spyros Kyprianou sacked them a week and a half ago.

    This time the fiasco appears to be over after Kyprianou himself finally gave his stamp of approval to the guards' return.

    The breakthrough came at a morning meeting between party leaders and representatives, chaired by Kyprianou and attended by Minister of Justice and Public Order, Nicos Koshis.

    Kyprianou's 13 personal guards and the 10 guards in charge of security at the House will return to their duties; they had been dismissed by Kyprianou last Tuesday in a row with the government over the cutbacks on bodyguards.

    The government decided to reduce the numbers of police guards assigned to politicians last month after complaints that they were underemployed, being sent off on shopping errands or acting as chauffeurs.

    Kyprianou reacted angrily to the reduction of his personal guard from 35 to 13 and banned all police from entering the House, even when a ministerial committee on security decided earlier this week to back the cabinet's cutbacks until a permanent solution could be found.

    Police officers attempted to re-enter the building on Wednesday after they thought agreement had been reached at the committee meeting, but they were again ordered out by Kyprianou.

    Yesterday, the House President expressed his satisfaction with the settlement.

    "All views on the matter were examined at the meeting and agreement was unanimous" he stressed. "The various political leaders expressed their views and made suggestions, and now it is a matter for the Minister to act on."

    The Justice Minister admitted that the House was insufficiently guarded and did not rule out the possibility of reinforcing the guard.

    For its part, the House accepted that Nicosia police be assigned responsibility for the security of the parliamentary building.

    And Koshis said that the 13 police officers were returning to Kyprianou's guard on the basis of the cabinet's decision.

    "The matter is closed," he stated.

    He concluded optimistically that: "The House will be guarded and everything will flow smoothly."

    [07] Official protest at massive air violations

    IN AN official letter of protest, Cyprus' permanent representative to the United Nations, Sotos Zackheos, has informed the Secretary-general that over June 13, 14, 16, 18 and 19, 47 Turkish military aircraft illegally entered Cyprus' air space.

    The letter, dated June 23, states that of these, 16 military aircraft overflew on June 13, followed by two F-16s and two F-4s on June 14, and four F-16s and one military helicopter on June 16. A day later, 12 military planes entered Nicosia flight information region, followed by 10 F-16s on June 19.

    Zackheos said that, once again, this showed the Turks had "complete disregard" for both the UN Charter and the Security Council resolutions on Cyprus.

    In a separate letter, Zackheos also protested a letter sent by Turkey to the UN on June 18, saying it was obvious that with the letter Turkey aimed "to stir up and maintain a climate of artificial tension for their own reasons".

    In the letter, the Turkish UN representative claimed that military measures by the Cyprus government would cause an increase in tensions on the island and in the surrounding region.

    Zackheos hit back at this, saying the only cause of tension on the island was the Turkish occupation troops, "who are in an attack formation, and who have the capability to get early reinforcements from Turkey".

    He added that Turkey was "always ready to threaten to take military measures against Cyprus" and that it had not shown "the slightest effort" towards reducing tension in the region, resulting in "genuine concern" on the part of the Greek Cypriots.

    The diplomatic community, especially the United States and Britain, have shown great concern about tensions over the past weeks. The recent moreover coincides with the appointment of US Presidential emissary for Cyprus Richard Holbrooke as US Ambassador to the UN; Holbrooke looks likely to leave his Cyprus post as soon as he takes up his new duties.

    Speaking in Washington, State Department Spokesman James Rubin told journalists that "it is clear Holbrooke is not going to be able to perform the duties of special presidential envoy on Cyprus".

    Although a replacement for Holbrooke had not been named, Rubin gave assurances that Cyprus remained high on the list of US priorities.

    Indications are that Special Co-ordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller, will also give up his position to follow Holbrooke to the UN.

    [08] Duty free profits offset Cyprus Airways losses

    By Jean Christou

    A YEAR'S operation of duty free shops under the Cyprus Airways (CY) umbrella helped keep the troubled airline's losses down in 1997.

    CY's annual report shows overall pre-tax losses for the group in 1997 of £4 million. Of that, £3.1 million was recorded by the airline operation.

    But losses were somewhat offset by the profit made by Cyprus Airways (Duty Free Shops) Ltd, which recorded a profit to CY of £800,000, compared to £500,000 in 1996 when it operated for only eight months.

    The higher 1997 profits from the duty free shops can be attributed to the fact that they were operated by the airline for a full 12 months and that a new duty free arrivals shop was set up at Larnaca airport in May 1997.

    An six per cent increase in passengers, as well as a rise in passenger spending - from £8.06 per person in 1996 to £9.10 in 1997, a 12 per cent increase - also contributed to the profits.

    The net profit of the duty free company for 1997, before tax and after deduction of the licence fee of £7.4 million and other management costs, amounted to a total of £1.6 million.

    Under the agreement with the government, the profit is shared between CY and the state.

    The turnover of the duty free shops at Larnaca and Paphos in 1997 was £22.4 million, compared to £13.2 million in 1996.

    To help it run the duty free shops, the CY company signed an agreement with the Irish civil aviation authority Aer Rianta for the provision of advisory services.

    [09] Summer and political uncertainty push share prices down

    SHARE prices suffered more losses as a summer lull and continuing political uncertainty combined to push the bourse's all-share index down by 1.47 per cent week-on-week, traders said yesterday.

    The index closed down 0.37 per cent yesterday at 83.64 points, recording the fourth successive daily drop. It closed up 0.58 per cent on Monday.

    "It is what you might call a summer phenomenon coupled with the political uncertainty hanging over us," said Stavros Agrotis, a senior broker with CISCO, the securities arm of the Bank of Cyprus. "There is really no specific reason for the market to go up, but it is not crashing."

    After gains of 20 per cent in the first four months of the year, share prices have shed nearly 12 per cent since May 4, when US Presidential Envoy Richard Holbrooke announced in a Nicosia news conference that he had failed to persuade the island's estranged Turkish and Greek communities to resume talks to reunite the island.

    Market sentiment took a turn for the worse last week when tension rose over Cyprus between Greece and Turkey -- the mentors and main backers of the island's two communities -- causing share prices to plunge by more than two per cent.

    The Cyprus Stock Exchange deals in about 50 securities and was capitalised at £1.24 billion pounds at the end of last month.

    [10] Bishop hits back at allegations

    BISHOP Chrysanthos of Limassol yesterday hit back at allegations that he had used Church property to secure a $500 million loan for his business interests, saying the whole process was above board.

    Breaking his silence on the CyBC afternoon show Apo Mera se Mera, the Bishop said he had a letter confirming a deal for $500 million, but stressed the money had been legally obtained and was earmarked for philanthropic purposes to provide charity in Cyprus and abroad. Much of it, he added, was to buy food and medicine for Iraq.

    The Bishop said he had received a special permit from the United Nations to distribute aid to Iraq.

    The money, he said, had been offered by an unnamed individual living overseas. Chrysanthos added, however, that he had visited the generous donor and knew the person to be reliable.

    Meanwhile, Justice Minister Nicos Koshis said that members of the London Metropolitan police were due in Cyprus this week to investigate allegations made against the Bishop.

    British police want to question the bishop over accusations of money laundering and attempting to defraud to the tune of $3.7 million.

    They say they have three statements from suspects involved in the alleged frauds, all of whom claim they were working on behalf of Chrysanthos.

    [11] Cyprus signs up to environmental rights treaty

    CYPRUS signed a revolutionary "environmental rights" treaty on Thursday which gives the public a voice in green issues.

    The legally binding Aarhus Convention, signed by 35 states from across Europe, allows the public more say in decisions affecting their environment including the state of their water, air, soil and food. It arms them with the right to sue industries and authorities that violate environmental laws.

    Under the terms of the treaty, governments are required to provide the public with more information on the state of their surroundings. The idea behind this being that if citizens are better informed, they can become more involved in environmental protection.

    However, not all those attending the convention welcomed the treaty, with Germany, Russia, the US, Israel, Turkey and many ex-Soviet republics declining to sign, saying they needed to study the content of the treaty more carefully, given its provisions for opening up government business to the public.

    The treaty, does, however, provide for governments to withhold information on grounds of commercial confidentiality or national security. As yet, there are also no guidelines on how the rules of the treaty should be applied, something which the signing officials said should be tackled soon.

    [12] Christofides buried

    THE FUNERAL took place yesterday of Andreas Christofides, the late director of the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

    The service took place at St John's Cathedral in Nicosia, and was officiated by Archbishop Chrysostomos. Wreaths were laid on behalf of President Glafcos Clerides, and by House President Spyros Kyprianou as well as members of the cabinet, political party leaders and CNA staff.

    Also in attendance was visiting Greek Foreign Under-Secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, who laid wreaths on behalf of Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos as well as himself.

    Christofides died on Monday, aged 61. He had been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.

    Educated in Cyprus, Greece and America, Christofides started out as a teacher, before moving on to head CyBC and take political office. He then taught at university level in Greece before returning to the island, first to head Logos, and then to become Director of CNA, a post he took over in January 1996.

    Christofides is survived by a son, Haris, a daughter, Angela and four grandchildren.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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