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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-07-25

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, July 25, 1998


  • [01] Miller fails to break deadlock
  • [02] Jilted husband 'wanted to expose couple to the cameras'
  • [03] Government urges reaction to economic integration
  • [04] Tsohatzopoulos: anti-missile talk could trigger Turkey into action
  • [05] US must adopt a balanced stance
  • [06] Bishop will be back 'any day now'
  • [07] Tourist killed in high-speed bike crash
  • [08] Police to clamp down on HGVs
  • [09] Minister prepares the new school year
  • [10] Optimism over Cyprus Airways talks
  • [11] British youths plead guilty to Larnaca stabbing
  • [12] Vine-growers call off protest

  • [01] Miller fails to break deadlock

    UNITED States envoy Thomas Miller left Cyprus yesterday with no apparent breakthrough after a day of shuttle diplomacy between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides.

    "(There were) good discussions. Time will tell if there was anything more than that," Miller told reporters.

    "Since I won't get into the content of my discussions I sure can't tell you what the result of my discussions are," the American diplomat added.

    Miller, Cyprus co-ordinator in the US State Department, had two meetings with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash before leaving the island yesterday evening.

    He is the latest in a long list of mediators to visit Cyprus in an attempt to get Greek and Turkish Cypriots talking again on the prospect of reuniting the island in a federation.

    Sources close to the talks said Miller submitted "some ideas" on ways to resume stalled settlement negotiations and proposals to improve the security climate between the two sides.

    "The ideas are not all that clear," a Cypriot source said. "He didn't sound too enthusiastic after returning from the north either," the source said.

    Earlier, Miller later met Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in occupied Nicosia.

    He said he had no breakthrough to announce. "We are trying in a very very difficult environment to be helpful to the process," he said.

    Denktash said he would not participate in new talks with the government while it went ahead with plans to deploy anti-aircraft missiles and strengthen military ties with Greece.

    "We are not the ones implementing a plan to turn the whole of Cyprus into a Greek republic... The Greek Cypriots have done nothing to give us hope or to allow us to say 'these people want an agreement'," he told reporters after the meeting.

    President Clerides later responded to Denktash's remarks: "If Turkey does not attack me, I will not be firing missiles in the air. They're expensive, they're not fireworks. So what is Turkey's worry?"

    Tension has been growing on the island in the past two years since a spate of violence on the Green Line which claimed five lives in 1996.

    The United States and its other Western allies are trying to prevent that tension spilling over when Cyprus takes delivery of Russian surface-to-air missiles in the autumn. Turkey has vowed to block their deployment.

    The last round of United Nations-sponsored peace talks between Clerides and Denktash ended in disarray last year.

    Miller said he was encouraged by moves to further contacts between a group of Greek and Turkish Cypriot businessmen. The businessmen have held a series of meetings in Oslo, designed to improve links between the two communities.

    The government took issue with comments by Miller that seemed to imply President Clerides favoured lifting the so-called 'embargo' on the occupied north. Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides explained Cyprus's position: "The government does not consider it is exercising an embargo. There is no embargo on our part. What we are doing is to abide by international law and order and comply with rules and regulations governing the international community".

    Stylianides added that the government backed all efforts to bring the two communities together but does not support moves leading to any kind of recognition of the Turkish Cypriot regime or its institutions.

    [02] Jilted husband 'wanted to expose couple to the cameras'

    By Charlie Charalambous

    AN INSURANCE salesman suspected of trying to kill his wife's lover wanted to expose the naked couple on national TV, not murder anybody, a Limassol court heard yesterday.

    Attempted murder suspect Andreas Michaelides, 45, was remanded for eight days yesterday by a Limassol district court in connection with a shooting on Thursday evening.

    Police believe that Michaelides sought revenge when he saw his wife Soulla, 43, and his childhood friend Stephanos Neocleous, 44, naked on the bed.

    Michaelides allegedly shot at his wife's married lover after climbing a ladder to the first-floor bedroom and catching them in flagrante.

    But defence lawyer Soteris Patsalides told the court that Michaelides's intention had only been to scare the couple and keep them captive in the nude until the police and camera crews turned up.

    Patsalides said his client had wanted publicly to humiliate the couple for cheating on him.

    Investigating officer Andreas Petris told the court that Neocleous, who was slightly injured in the attack, and Soulla had been seeing each other for the past six months.

    But police said the first-floor flat, rented by the lover, had only been used as a love nest for the last three months.

    Michaelides told police that he started to suspect his wife 10 days ago when he followed her to the flat where she met Neocleous, who was best man at their wedding.

    The final straw came on Thursday evening when Michaelides returned home at 4pm to find his wife absent again; he picked up his father's hunting rifle and a packet of 25 cartridges before going to the flat, police said.

    According to police, the jilted husband burst into the flat and started swearing at the startled couple and waving his gun around.

    The court heard that Neocleous tried to disarm the suspect and that in the struggle two shots went off, hitting the floor and the wall and ricocheting onto the victim.

    In the ensuing tussle, the wife managed to grab the gun and threw it out of the window, the investigating officer said.

    Michaelides and Neocleous were still tussling when neighbours alerted the police.

    A passer-by said on Thursday that he saw the suspect throwing clothes out of the window soon after the shots were fired.

    The husband is facing charges of attempted murder and carrying a gun with intent to cause injury.

    Earlier, Limassol CID said the suspect had admitted his guilt in a statement.

    Police also told the court they were investigating information that the suspect's life could be in danger.

    [03] Government urges reaction to economic integration

    Andy Georgiades

    THE GOVERNMENT of Cyprus has called upon the world to take steps against the economic integration of the occupied territories with mainland Turkey, government spokesman Christos Stylianides said yesterday.

    Stylianides was reacting to a statement made by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel that northern Cyprus would be regarded "economically" as a province of Turkey.

    "The international community must cease its caressing of Turkey and its toleration of Turkish actions against Cyprus," Stylianides said.

    Demirel will visit the north today to take part in celebrations marking the anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion, according to reports from the Turkish Press.

    "My going to Cyprus on July 25 means giving Turkish Cypriots guarantees for their security and prosperity," he said.

    The celebrations will include the inauguration of a project to bring water via giant balloons from the mainland.

    On his visit, Demirel will be accompanied by at least 150 people, one-third of whom will be members of the media, as he takes a seven-hour helicopter tour of the occupied areas.

    Construction of a water pipeline from the mainland, to be laid on the seabed, has already begun and is estimated to cost $160 million. The price does not include the cost of a dam in Turkey and the irrigation system in the north.

    The possibility of selling water to Greek Cypriots has not been ruled out.

    A further step to integrate the north with the mainland was taken with the signing of a telecommunications protocol on Thursday between Turkey and the occupied areas.

    Callers to Turkey from northern Cyprus will no longer be required to dial 00-90, which is the international telephone code for Turkey.

    [04] Tsohatzopoulos: anti-missile talk could trigger Turkey into action

    GREEK Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday warned that the pro- Turkish stance of some countries could trigger a military incident in Cyprus before the arrival of the controversial S-300 missile system.

    Tsohatzopoulos was referring to diplomatic efforts aimed at preventing the deployment of the Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles on the island, and said that such policies were far from promoting security in the region. Rather, he added, they encouraged unilateral Turkish intervention in Cyprus to preempt the arrival of the missiles.

    The defence minister went on to say that Greece would "guarantee Cyprus' security", and reminded Britain, another guarantor power, that it had the same responsibility. He added that the missiles' delayed arrival would give those countries opposing the Cyprus government's decision to acquire them more time to "get in line" with the realities of the situation.

    Government spokesman Christos Stylianides told reporters at his daily press briefing that Tsohatzopoulos' statements had clearly been directed at "certain quarters". Reiterating that the Cypriot and Greek governments were working closely together, he said that any evaluation of the Greek minister's comments was "redundant".

    [05] US must adopt a balanced stance

    THE CYPRUS problem will not be solved unless the United States adopts an impartial stance between the Greeks and Turks, the visiting Chairman of Oversees Hellenes, Andrew Athens, said in Nicosia yesterday.

    Also present was the Chairman of the public relations house responsible for the co-ordination of Greek-American organisations, Andrew Manatos.

    The Americans "must be pro-Greek and pro-Turkish if progress is to be made, " said Athens following a meeting with House President Spyros Kyprianou.

    He said the fact that "a solution has not yet been found for Cyprus" is a subject that disturbs all Hellenes.

    When questioned about White House spokesman Mike McCurry's comments regarding the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus as a "conflict," Athens said US officials sometimes made mistakes and used words which did not adequately describe America's policy towards Cyprus.

    He also said comments made by other officials did not represent the views of President Clinton or of special envoy Richard Holbrooke. He defended the president, saying that Clinton had made Cyprus one of his priorities.

    Kyprianou responded that something specific would have to happen for him to believe such comments were mistakes of phraseology.

    The House president regards the US as an integral part of "a proper solution to the Cyprus problem," but in light of "various recent negative statements and evaluations," he expressed his concern at Washington's stance.

    He added that, with regards to an agreement on a possible no-fly zone over Cyprus, guarantees would be needed from the United States.

    Asked about the deployment of the S-300 missiles, Kyprianou said that "Cyprus should have the right to defend itself," but that numerous proposals from the Greek government could provide a "breakthrough."

    Athens said the Greek lobby in America would continue to pressure the president to keep his pre-election promises on Cyprus.

    [06] Bishop will be back 'any day now'

    By Elias Hazou

    LIMASSOL Bishop Chrysanthos will back in Cyprus "any day now", according to officials at his bishopric.

    But the controversial bishop will return to face some tricky questions, not just from British and Cyprus police, but from his own Church hierarchy.

    Evidently displeased with the recent turn of events, Archbishop Chrysostomos has said that the bishop "needs to explain himself."

    An employee at the Limassol bishopric told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that Chrysanthos had contacted him to inquire about "administrative issues in the bishopric."

    Asked when Chrysanthos was expected to return, he replied: "any day now." But he refused to shed any light on the current whereabouts of the bishop.

    Detectives from Scotland Yard are in Cyprus to question the Bishop on his part in a $3.7 million fraud. Three people have been arrested in the UK in connection with the case, and are understood to have implicated the bishop in the alleged scam.

    Bishop Chrysanthos left Cyprus for Greece last week. His whereabouts have been unclear since.

    And Archbishop Chrysostomos has now broken his silence on the missing bishop.

    Speaking on a CyBC current affairs programme late on Thursday night, the Archbishop appeared clearly disturbed with the way things were going; but he reserved judgment on the allegations surrounding the bishop, saying he was trying to "figure out" exactly what was happening.

    He was, however, adamant in his criticism of the bishop's absence from the island, saying he felt Chrysanthos should return as soon as possible to put an end to the rumours. He added that should the bishop be found guilty of the charges, he would definitely be defrocked.

    The Archbishop also mentioned past conversations he had had with Chrysanthos, saying the bishop had informed him of strange donations to the Limassol bishopric.

    "He used to tell me things that did not make any sense whatsoever," the Archbishop said.

    Meanwhile the two Scotland Yard detectives who arrived on Tuesday, yesterday continued to collect evidence on the case, again meeting officials at the Nicosia offshore branch of the Belgrade-based Karic Banka, where the fraud money is alleged to have been deposited and visiting other banks in Limassol.

    Alithia yesterday reported it was an Australian businessman in Britain who had been swindled out of the $3.7 million at the centre of the case. The businessman had allegedly been convinced to deposit the amount with the promise of a 300 per cent profit. On deposit, the money was to be transferred to a high-profit investment plan. In exchange for guarantees on the money, the bishopric would allegedly have received a cut on profits over and above the 300 per cent owed to the businessman. Sources close to the bishop were quoted as claiming the money would have been used for charity purposes.

    But the deal apparently fell through when the money was transferred to Karic Banka in Cyprus instead of a bank in Belgium, as agreed to in the contract. At that point the Australian businessman decided to contact London's Metropolitan Police.

    On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police detectives arrived in Cyprus to collect information on the Cyprus angle of the case, wanting to question both the bishop and employees at Karic.

    But on Wednesday Justice Minister Nicos Koshis suggested the bishop might be waiting for the British detectives to depart before returning.

    According to police sources, the British detectives do not have the right to question the bishop, though they can advise Cyprus police on questioning procedures. Under the law, citizens of Cyprus who have not formally been charged are obliged to appear for questioning, but reserve the right to remain silent.

    As things stand, a police source told the Cyprus Mail yesterday, Chrysanthos falls under this category; he added that a warrant could not be issued for the bishop's arrest without formal charges having been made.

    Last Friday, Attorney-general Alecos Markides warned that an arrest warrant would be issued if Chrysanthos did not return to Cyprus for questioning. Markides was not available for comment on the issue yesterday.

    [07] Tourist killed in high-speed bike crash

    A NORWEGIAN tourist died instantly when his power bike hit a roadworks barrier on the Ayia Thekla to Ayia Napa road yesterday morning.

    Although Famagusta traffic police are still investigating the incident, it is thought that Norwegian Johnny Kongshavg, 25, hit a roadworks barrier at speed.

    Riding pillion on the superbike was fellow compatriot Kenneth Fredviksen, 28, who miraculously escaped with only minor cuts and bruises.

    The incident happened at 4am this morning as the two were riding back to their hotel in Ayia Napa.

    Fredviksen was treated at a private clinic in Ayia Napa.

    Police said the driver lost control due to excessive speed, and careered onto the wrong side of the road hitting a barrier which was protecting a sewage work construction.

    The victim and his passenger were not wearing crash helmets (as required by law), an omission which could have cost Kongshavg his life, Famagusta traffic police said.

    The two Norwegians arrived in Cyprus only four days ago and were due to leave on August 18.

    [08] Police to clamp down on HGVs

    POLICE are clamping down on long vehicles in an effort to improve safety on the roads.

    Starting on Monday, trucks and other heavy vehicles will be frequently checked for mechanical status and secure cargo transportation.

    According to a police announcement issued yesterday, long vehicles are potentially hazardous to other road users, particularly when speeding.

    Speeding truck drivers are a common sight on the highways, where no lane is reserved for long vehicles. A number of accidents result from such reckless driving, police said.

    The police announcement advises truck drivers to abide by the traffic code.

    [09] Minister prepares the new school year

    By Athena Karsera

    EDUCATION Minister Lycourgos Kappas yesterday announced a series of school reforms for the coming academic year.

    On primary education, the minister said the starting minimum age would be raised from 5 years and 6 months to 5 years and 8 months, and added the maximum number of pupils per class would be cut for the first and second classes. The government had also decided to operate nine experimental all- day primary schools, he added.

    As far as high school education was concerned, Kappas said the creation of the 'Eniaio' high school, which uses a system similar to that in Europe as opposed to the traditional Cypriot system of education, was well under way. The 'Eniaio' high school would combine general education with technical lessons.

    The Education Minister said that more high schools were being supplied with computers and being connected to the Internet. And he added that in an attempt better to prepare pupils for current professional demands, new classes, areas of speciality and educational branches would be introduced. He did not elaborate.

    Two more technical schools will be built to accommodate a 44.74 per cent rise in the number of Technical school pupils. The schools, in the Nicosia and Famagusta districts, will be completed by 2002.

    In reference to the critical Unesco study on Cyprus' education system, Kappas said that all those suggestions that could be implemented immediately, were being acted upon, and that others remained under serious consideration.

    The Unesco report was highly critical of the way teachers are appointed in Cyprus and said the system concentrated too much on learning by rote and passing exams.

    [10] Optimism over Cyprus Airways talks

    By Martin Hellicar

    CYPRUS Airways (CY) yesterday expressed optimism about prospects for an agreement with pilots after the first meeting between the two sides since pilots called off a strike last week.

    "There was a good climate during the talks," CY spokesman Tassos Angeli told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

    The meeting between CY bosses and pilots' union Pasipy took place on Thursday, with Communications Minister Leontios Ierodiakonou "refereeing" as the two sides discussed renewal of collective agreements.

    Angeli said no decisions had been taken during the meeting but there had been a "first exchange of views."

    "The Minister described the meeting as constructive and positive," Angeli added.

    The spokesman said a date for a second meeting had not yet been set but added that it would probably be "sometime next week."

    No one from the union was available for comment yesterday.

    The dispute between bosses and pilots centres on a Pasipy demand that CY co- pilots be allowed to jump the queue to get promotion as pilots with CY charter subsidiary Eurocypria.

    A breakdown in negotiations earlier this month prompted pilots to call a strike for July 23 to 26. The strike was called off last Friday after management vowed to bring in foreign charter firms to take over during the industrial action.

    Union representative George Charalambous said pilots had been persuaded to call off the strike after a behind-the-scenes intervention from acting President and House president Spyros Kyprianou and Communications Minister Leontios Ierodiakonou.

    The government promised to exert influence on resumed negotiations between the two sides to ensure things went smoothly.

    CY chairman Takis Kyriakides had warned pilots the government had agreed temporarily to liberalise the skies over Cyprus if the strike went ahead. This would allow the national carrier to charter foreign planes and pilots to transport some 25,000 passengers who had booked to fly with CY during the strike period, Kyriakides said.

    CY said the strike would have cost the carrier millions in lost revenue. The airline registered losses of 3.2 million last year and 4.7 million in 1996.

    [11] British youths plead guilty to Larnaca stabbing

    FIVE BRITISH youths and a local man yesterday pleaded guilty before a Larnaca court to injuring a 17-year-old Cypriot in a stabbing incident last month.

    The five youths who pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily are aged between 16 and 19. All are from London and were on holiday in Cyprus at the time of the June 26 Larnaca attack on Andreas Yiannakou.

    A sixth man also pleaded guilty to involvement in the stabbing; he is unemployed Cypriot Pavlos Anastasis, 32, from Larnaca.

    Yiannakou has since recovered from his injuries after undergoing surgery for a back wound.

    Larnaca district court will sentence the six next Tuesday.

    [12] Vine-growers call off protest

    VINE-GROWERS yesterday postponed their planned grape-dumping demonstration on the Limassol to Paphos road, but announced a plan to congregate at the Pissouri round-about this morning.

    The decision to postpone the action, due for yesterday morning, came as Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous promised to meet leaders of agricultural organisations representing the vine-growers on Monday.

    The vine-growers are angry at what they say is government indifference to their difficulties. They say the government-recommended price for table grapes is too low and are demanding higher subsidies.

    The government has proposed measures for next season to boost exports and introduce new grape varieties to make the market more attractive.

    On Tuesday, angry vine-growers blocked the Limassol to Paphos road at Pissouri by pouring truckloads of grapes onto the tarmac.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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