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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-06-28

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, June 28, 1998


  • [01] There can be no more concessions
  • [02] Demirel expected for invasion anniversary
  • [03] Akel fury at Shacolas outburst
  • [04] Bishop linked to 100 million loan guarantee
  • [05] Cyprus shaken by quake
  • [06] Cyprus ships braced for strict US controls
  • [07] Women 'held as sex slaves'
  • [08] Turkish Cypriots go to the polls

  • [01] There can be no more concessions

    By Martin Hellicar

    VISITING Greek President Constantinos Stephanopoulos yesterday stated that neither Greece nor Cyprus would be making any more concessions to help a Cyprus settlement.

    "Cyprus and Greece have made all the possible concessions so far to facilitate a Cyprus solution and it is about time to say once more there will be no more concessions, there is no room for that," Stephanopoulos said.

    Continuing the fighting talk, Stephanopoulos also attacked the international community for opposing the S-300 missile deal.

    Speaking after a visit to National Guard headquarters in Nicosia, Stephanopoulos said the need for Cyprus to arm itself was "clearly defensive".

    "Third parties posing obstacles to Cyprus' right to defend itself while continuously arming Turkey should realise this," he said. He said such "double standards" were "hypocritical behaviour".

    The US, the UN and the EU have all expressed objection to the government's purchase of the S-300 ground-to-air missiles from Russia. The missiles are due for delivery in the Autumn.

    "Neither Greece nor Cyprus have an aggressive disposition towards anyone," Stephanopoulos said.

    The Greek premier, the first to pay an official visit the Island, was received at the National Guard HQ by Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou and National Guard chief, Demetris Demou.

    Stephanopoulos yesterday also visited the camp that houses Greek forces serving in Cyprus (Eldik), and toured Paphos.

    Large crowds again turned out to cheer his every move.

    Today - the final day of a much-hyped four-day visit - he is scheduled to go to Paralimni and Dherynia before returning to Greece at 6pm.

    [02] Demirel expected for invasion anniversary

    By Jean Christou

    TURKISH President Suleyman Demirel is expected to arrive in the occupied areas around July 20, the anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    According to the Turkish Daily News (TDN) Demirel, who had been due to visit the island today, will arrive to mark the 24th anniversary of the invasion.

    TDN said that during his three-day visit, Demirel would inaugurate Turkey's project of supplying water to the occupied areas. The initial inauguration had been scheduled to take place on April 23, but shoreline construction delays by the Turkish Cypriots have led to a postponement.

    No reason was given for the change in Demirel's schedule. The earlier planned visit had been seen as a tit-for-tat move in response to the visit of Greek President Constantinos Stephanopoulos.

    The paper said that a Turkish delegation was next week expected to visit the north to take part in a meeting of a joint committee that aims to boost the economic ties between Turkey and the Denktash regime.

    The joint pact is part of a series of retaliatory measures taken to counter the opening of Cyprus accession talks with the EU.

    Tensions on the island mounted to new heights last week when four Greek fighter jet landed at the Paphos air base on the final day of the Cardiff EU summit, which had been trying hard to woo Turkey back into a conciliatory mood.

    In response to the Greek move, Ankara sent six F-16s of its own to an airport in the occupied north.

    The dangerous brinkmanship between the two Nato allies over the island sent jitters through the diplomatic community in Nicosia, which has recently been engaged in futile efforts to have the UN-led intercommunal talks resumed.

    Washington yesterday blamed the Turkish Cypriot side for the deadlock in the process.

    Spokesman James Rubin said the Turkish Cypriot side's demand for the recognition of the breakaway regime was unacceptable.

    "In the end of the talks, it became clear that the Turkish (Cypriot) side is not ready for serious talks," Rubin said. "They demanded recognition and in my opinion this condition is not among the cards and it is not a serious suggestion."

    [03] Akel fury at Shacolas outburst

    By Jean Christou

    COMMUNIST party Akel wants the House to answer a demand by business tycoon Nicos Shacolas that parliamentary immunity be lifted from one of its deputies.

    In an statement issued yesterday, Akel said Shacolas' outburst against Famagusta deputy Kikis Yiangou and his call for his parliamentary immunity to be lifted were unprecedented.

    Yiangou also hit back at Shacolas, saying he had been elected by the people and would be answerable only to them.

    Shacolas on Thursday challenged Yiangou to resign his seat as a deputy so that he could sue him for defamation over allegations relating to fraudulent building permits.

    Yiangou, at a House committee meeting, accused the Shacolas Group, which includes Woolworth, of obtaining illegal permits for a huge new commercial complex in the Nicosia suburb of Strovolos.

    The House committee heard that the Shacolas Group had allegedly forged documents and had had the building permit signed by a retired Town Planing official.

    On Thursday, Shacolas denied any wrongdoing on the part of his company and said all applications had been made through the correct channels.

    Yiangou also alleged that the government had intervened to relax Town Planning regulations by changing the relevant area from an industrial zone to a commercial zone, simply to satisfy the Shacolas Group.

    Akel said the House must not let the issue go. "Obviously, certain people consider themselves above the law," the Akel statement said.

    Yiangou said yesterday the arrival of a multinational company in Cyprus was not in the public interest and he also called into question the financing of the project.

    He said one of the Shacolas arguments in favour of his complex was that the deal would bring foreign capital into the country.

    "But I can reveal that the foreign capital which will be made available does not exceed half a million pounds," Yiangou said. "Most of the money is coming from a Cypriot citizen".

    Yiangou said an investigation by the Attorney-general's office would vindicate him.

    [04] Bishop linked to 100 million loan guarantee

    BISHOP Chrysanthos of Limassol yesterday faced fresh allegations of having used Church funds to guarantee loans for his business interests.

    Alithia carried a front-page story in which it claimed to have secured a copy of a letter sent by Chrysanthos to Merryl Lynch Co. in 1995, in which he offers to guarantee a $100 million loan to a foreign businessman.

    The letter, reproduced in full on the front page of Alithia, states the loan would be guaranteed through the Church's "co-operating banks abroad." These are listed in the letter as Swiss Bank Corporation, Credit Swiss, Dresdner, Deutsch, Natwest and Barclays.

    It has been an awkward month for the Bishop, with numerous claims of misuse of Church funds directed against him.

    Earlier this week, Chrysanthos defended himself against allegations that he had used Church funds to secure a $500 million loan for a business interest, by saying the whole business was above board and that the money was earmarked for philanthropic purposes.

    British police also want to question Chrysanthos 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.

    [05] Cyprus shaken by quake

    NICOSIA and parts of Limassol district were shaken by an earthquake just before 5pm yesterday. No injuries or damage were reported.

    The tremor measured 6.5 on the Richter scale at its epicentre off the eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey.

    At least 18 people were reported killed in Turkey as a result of the quake.

    In Cyprus, the tremor and an after-shock ten minutes later were felt mostly in high buildings.

    [06] Cyprus ships braced for strict US controls

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRIOT-FLAGGED ships are set to face even stricter scrutiny from July 1 as a new worldwide maritime safety code comes into effect.

    Cyprus has an open registry, giving it the world's fifth largest fleet, but as a "flag of convenience" it comes under extra-strict control at ports around the world and especially in the United States, where safety levels are very high.

    The US coast guard this week warned ship owners and operators that it would be enforcing the new international safety management code (ISM), and that it takes this responsibility seriously.

    "Safety is President Clinton's highest transportation priority and the international safety code will improve the safety of ships calling at US ports," a US transportation official said.

    The ISM standards apply to commercial vessels on international voyages, and includes all ships that carry more than 12 passengers, tankers, bulk freight vessels and high speed freight vessels of 500 gross tons or more.

    Under an interim rule that became effective on January 26 this year, these vessels must provide notification of their ISM Code before entering a US port.

    The US coast guard said it would share with other Port State Control Authorities any information on ships that have been barred from the US shores because they have failed to comply with the ISM code.

    The news rules will apply to 60 per cent of Cypriot vessels, according to senior Cyprus Merchant Shipping Department official, Captain Andreas Constantinou.

    He said that while the code was an international one, the US would be applying the code particularly strictly. "If a vessel has no documentation, it will not be allowed into the port," Constantinou said.

    "It's up the companies themselves," Constantinou said. "If their documentation is in order, they have nothing to worry about."

    [07] Women 'held as sex slaves'

    FIVE ROMANIAN and three Russian artistes were imprisoned in a room above a cabaret and forced to have sex with customers for money, Larnaca District Court heard yesterday.

    Three men - arrested following a raid on the Ideal club in Larnaca on June 22 - were remanded on suspicion of pimping and forcing the eight women into prostitution.

    Club owner Savvas Nicolaides, 38, and club manager Nicos Kleanthous, 45, both from Larnaca, and club bouncer Panayiotis Antoniou, 65, from Nicosia, were remanded for six days.

    The lawyer for the three men, Kypros Andreou, claimed in court that the complaint about being forced into prostitution had only been made after one of the Romanian artistes got a letter from the Immigration department informing her she was to be deported.

    Case investigator Andreas Ttofi admitted the filing of the complaint had indeed coincided with the receipt of the deportation notice, but said police had raided the club after receiving a tip-off that the Ideal was a front for a brothel.

    Ttofi also said police had a witness statement implicating the three in pimping between March and June this year.

    He said that when the Romanians had arrived on the island, Nicolaides had presented them with a contract, which stated they would be deported unless they had sex with Ideal customers for money.

    Antoniou was posted outside the artiste's chambers to make sure they did not get out, the court heard.

    [08] Turkish Cypriots go to the polls

    TURKISH Cypriots go to the polls today to cast their vote in municipal elections in the occupied areas.

    Almost 120,000 voters will cast their votes at 471 ballot boxes supervised by 1,443 officials.

    Some 28 'Mayors' and 199 village leaders and town councillor will be elected.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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