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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-08-26

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, August 26, 1998


  • [01] Turks fire on fishing boats
  • [02] Stylianides quashes speculation of rift
  • [03] Market in bullish mood again
  • [04] Markides has report on alleged scam
  • [05] Russians to build planes in Cyprus?
  • [06] Revamp for CY logo
  • [07] Temperature easing back up again
  • [08] Ministers to attend Sarajevo conference
  • [09] Larnaca hosts Euro Left
  • [10] Back to school with the right image
  • [11] Omonia knocked out of UEFA Cup

  • [01] Turks fire on fishing boats

    By Jean Christou

    TURKISH soldiers fired at least 10 shots at three Greek Cypriot fishing boats off the island's east coast early yesterday, the UN said.

    None of the fishermen from Paralimni was injured in the dawn attack by the Turkish naval vessel, according to Unficyp spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski.

    State radio reported that there had been four Greek Cypriots in the three boats, but Paralimni police said only three of the fishermen - the boat owners - had filed reports to them.

    The Turkish side claims five Greek Cypriot boats were involved.

    Rokoszewski said the UN had strongly protested about the shooting to the Turkish military over what he termed the "excessive use of force".

    "We again protested this behaviour because it might have led to a tragedy," he said.

    "There is no need for the abuse of force, and this kind of behaviour is unacceptable."

    The trawlers had gone to the fishing area in the early hours to retrieve their nets and had reportedly completed the job before the attack.

    Rokoszewski said the shooting began when the boats crossed the Maritime Security Line (MSL), the seaward extension of the island's Green Line.

    He said the fishing vessels had gone around 900 metres north of the line into the Turkish-controlled area some two kilometres off the coast.

    But in an interview with state radio one of the fishermen, Antonis Damenos, 50, whose boat came under the heaviest fire, denied they had crossed the MSL.

    "We knew it would be a mistake to cross it," said Damenos on whose vessel eight of the 10 bullets fired were found.

    He said the Turkish boat with three soldiers on board had circled his vessel twice and at one point was only ten metres away.

    "When they started shooting I took cover on the bottom of the boat and when they saw me lying there they went away," he said.

    Rokoszewski said such incidents happen quite often in the summer time and not only involve fishermen but also tourist boats.

    "Travel agents are encouraging tourists not familiar with the situation to see Varosha (Famagusta) from the sea. Both fishermen and tour operators are well aware of the MSL," he said.

    "We have brought this to the attention of the local authorities as well as the government, but I'm afraid no action has been taken."

    He added it takes the UN a lot of time and energy to recover property confiscated by both sides during such incidents.

    In the past few days, he said, a boat was recovered from the Turkish Cypriots and a car from the Greek Cypriot side. "It took us eight months to get the boat back and six months to get the car back, and there are still properties on the wrong sides," he said.

    Wednesday, August 26, 1998

    [02] Stylianides quashes speculation of rift

    By Martin Hellicar

    THE GOVERNMENT yesterday rushed to put a lid on speculation that Greece was getting cold feet over the joint defence pact with Cyprus.

    On Monday, Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said the S-300 missiles were an issue which concerned Nicosia alone. Greece offered only advice on the controversial missile order, Pangalos said, inviting a flurry of media speculation that Athens was abandoning Nicosia to deal alone with international pressure to cancel the deal.

    Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides was adamant yesterday that Pangalos' statements were nothing to worry about.

    "There has been no overturning, at any point, of the essence of the common strategic course of Greece and Cyprus," he said.

    Stylianides said the Greek Foreign Minister's remarks were intended as a show of support for Nicosia's right to buy the missiles. "It was a message to all that they must respect the statehood and sovereign rights of Cyprus."

    "Mr Pangalos was again specific and clear concerning Greek support for the choices made by the Cyprus government," Stylianides said.

    "For certain peripheral technical issues, joint decision making is not valid because every government is independent," he told his daily press briefing.

    "Are the S-300 missiles a peripheral issue, then?" a journalist countered.

    "On issues of essence there is joint decision-making," Stylianides replied.

    Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou also sought to dismiss suggestions that Athens was distancing itself from Nicosia. The Common Defence Dogma military pact was alive and kicking, he said.

    But opposition party leaders did not see it that way.

    "I only hope Mr Pangalos' statements have been reported inaccurately," Diko leader and House President Spyros Kyprianou told a news conference.

    He said the Greek Foreign Minister's statements proved that Nicosia and Athens did not quite see eye to eye on foreign policy issues.

    The Greek government should clarify its position on this issue, because contradictory statements from Athens and Nicosia gave the "wrong messages" to the watching world, Kyprianou said.

    Akel spokesman Andreas Christou agreed that the Greek position could do with some clarification.

    "It would appear there are varying opinions within the Greek government and Pangalos saying the missiles have nothing to do with the dogma is indicative of this," he said.

    There were too many "grey areas" in the defence pact agreement, he added.

    In Athens later in the day, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Repas said decisions concerning Cyprus were always taken jointly by the two governments. The Dogma still stands, he added.

    The deal to buy S-300s from Russia is expected to be top of the agenda when President Clerides meets Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis in Athens tomorrow.

    Turkey has threatened to destroy the missiles if they are deployed. The US and EU have repeatedly called for the deal to be shelved. The government remains adamant that the ground-to-air missiles will arrive, but has put back delivery until October-November.

    Wednesday, August 26, 1998

    [03] Market in bullish mood again

    By Hamza Hendawi

    EMBOLDENED by growing signs of further postponement of the deployment of the S-300 missiles and a tourism season which appears heading for a record year, share prices yesterday romped ahead in the largest one-day increase for more than five months.

    Yesterday's 1.55 per cent rise in the official all-share index was the second successive leap by more than 1 per cent - it rose on Monday by 1.12 per cent - and the biggest since March 17 when the index shot up 1.77 per cent.

    So far this holiday month, traditionally one of snore trading by understaffed brokerages, the index has risen by a decent 5.15 per cent, of which 4.45 per cent has been recorded since August 17.

    "Many stocks are undervalued and have been so for sometime," said Panicos Kaiserlides of Benchmark Securities Ltd, in the way of explaining the bourse's unusual August rally. "The market seems to have reacted well to the fact that the tourism season is on course and has not been hit by the S- 300 propaganda," he told the Cyprus Mail.

    The mood in the island's infant market has often reflected the highs and lows of the crisis over the anti-aircraft, Russian-made missiles since the deal to buy them was announced by the government in January 1997. Turkey has repeatedly threatened to stop their deployment, by military means if necessary.

    President Glafcos Clerides's government insists that the missiles will be deployed despite Ankara's threats and the displeasure of the United States and Britain. The government is, however, widely expected to back down if a way out is found amid persistent reports that Greece has no wish to be cornered into a military confrontation with arch-rival Turkey.

    "We are very keen to see an efficient air-defence system in our possession, but we cannot sacrifice the achievements we have made all these years," said Neophytos Neophytou of AAA United Stockbrokers, referring to a possible outbreak of hostilities on the island.

    "The market thinks that the political situation is better now than it was a few weeks ago," said Neophytou. "It is acting on the assumption that the missiles (delivery) will be further postponed. In a way, we are sending a signal to our politicians about the missiles."

    Volume yesterday was 1.34 million and all seven sub-indices rose.

    Leading the pack were shares of trading companies, whose index rose by 4.39 per cent, followed by manufacturing companies with 2.44 per cent.

    The Bank of Cyprus, the island's largest financial institution, was a major beneficiary of yesterday's rally, its shares rising by six cents to close at 3.78 apiece - only six cents below that of its main rival Cyprus Popular bank, which closed at 3.84. Hellenic bank was another blue-chip to fare well in yesterday's trade, raking in 6.5 cents to close at 2.87.

    The biggest price hike, however, was by The Cyprus Tourism Development company, which owns the Hilton hotel in Nicosia. It rose by 20 cents to close at 5.65. Unconfirmed press reports have in recent days spoken of government plans to sell its entire 81 per cent stake at the troubled hotel.

    A Cabinet decision on the sell-off could be made early next month, according to the reports.

    Wednesday, August 26, 1998

    [04] Markides has report on alleged scam

    By Elias Hazou

    THE CONTROVERSY over the bishop of Limassol's business dealings now looks set to come to a head, with police finalising the results of one investigation.

    Police spokesman Stelios Neophytou yesterday confirmed to the Cyprus Mail that a report involving one case - that of a $3.7 million scam originating in Britain - had been completed and submitted to Attorney-general Alecos Markides late on Monday.

    Markides met police investigators yesterday afternoon to discuss the findings of the report. Speaking to reporters afterwards, he said he would study the report to ascertain whether any court action was necessary.

    Markides confirmed that the police report contained recommendations on how to take the investigation further, but avoided indicating what that direction might be.

    Asked what charges, if any, could be made against Bishop Chrysanthos, Neophytou said that the case might involve charges of conspiracy to defraud. The final decision rested with the Attorney-general, he added.

    Neophytou confirmed that investigations into other cases allegedly involving the bishop were continuing.

    Chrysanthos is currently under investigation in two other cases, one involving a group of Portuguese businessmen who accuse the bishop of swindling them out of $1.5 million, and the other concerning reports that millions of Iraqi dinars were transferred to the Limassol bishopric shortly before the 1991 Gulf War.

    Meanwhile Simerini reported yesterday that Auditor-general Spyros Christou has said the Church owes the state some seven million pounds in taxes on profits from capital investment. Christou told the paper that the Inland Revenue Department was considering taking legal action against the Church if the money is not paid.

    Wednesday, August 26, 1998

    [05] Russians to build planes in Cyprus?

    HUNDREDS of jobs could be created if the government grants a licence to a Russian company to set up a plant to manufacture light civil aircraft.

    The final decision will be taken by the Council of Ministers on whether to allow Nicni Novkarat to build a factory in a multi-million pound investment that would provide work for more than 300 people.

    Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou said yesterday that he did not foresee any local opposition to the project, since there are no Cypriot competitors in this field.

    Wednesday, August 26, 1998

    [06] Revamp for CY logo

    A NEW look for Cyprus Airways - that was the goal decided upon during last week by the airline's board of directors.

    The airline announced that it is accepting proposals from advertising agencies nationwide to change the logo's appearance on its aircraft.

    Original plans to do away with the flying moufflon symbol were scrapped when CY decided that the likable mammal simply needed a revamp. The colours on the aircraft fins are to be rearranged but will remain the same, and changes to the logo's graphic design will also be considered.

    The deadline for submission of proposals is 10am on September 10.

    Wednesday, August 26, 1998

    [07] Temperature easing back up again

    TEMPERATURES over the next few days may rise slightly, but will not even approach the conditions of the recent heatwave.

    Meteorological department head Cleanthis Philaniotis told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the changes would not be "significant", rising by no more than a couple of degrees. He did add that temperatures were still several degrees above normal for the time of year, however.

    Philaniotis also said that for the forecastable future, no extreme high temperatures were expected.

    More than 50 people died as a result of the heatwave earlier this month. Almost all of the victims were old age pensioners.

    Scores of others were also hospitalised for heat-related illnesses. At one point not only was there difficulty in finding room for patients in hospitals, but the morgues were also full.

    Wednesday, August 26, 1998

    [08] Ministers to attend Sarajevo conference

    CYPRIOT politicians will be among those convening in Sarajevo tomorrow to discuss ideas on the ending of conflicts.

    Government spokesman Christos Stylianides told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the Cypriot delegation would consist of himself, Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides, Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou and Presidential Secretary Pantelis Kouros.

    Also among the leaders attending from the world's political hot spots are Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, Northern Ireland First Minister David Trimble, and the Northern Ireland Assembly Moderator, Lord John Alderdice.

    Others taking part are former Canadian Foreign Minister Flora McDonald, South African Justice Minister A.M. Omar, and the former commander of the Nato-led peace force in Bosnia, William Nash.

    The one-day panel discussion is organised by Hunt Alternatives and the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict.

    The Sarajevo daily Oslobodjenje has described it as part of an attempt to overcome the differences in Bosnia and to underscore Bosnia's historical role as an intersection of different cultures.

    Bosnian Muslim President Alija Izetbegovic will open the panel and the country's top international official, Carlos Westendorp, will give the closing speech.

    Wednesday, August 26, 1998

    [09] Larnaca hosts Euro Left

    LARNACA is hosting a five-day conference of the Unified European Left (UEL) of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.

    At today's first session Akel officials will brief some 30 UEL members on the Cyprus problem, rapprochement between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, and the Cyprus economy and the European Union.

    The proceedings will conclude on August 30.

    Wednesday, August 26, 1998

    [10] Back to school with the right image

    By Athena Karsera

    SHOPS island-wide are bustling with schoolchildren and their parents preparing for the new academic year.

    Stationery and school bags must be carefully selected as, according to a young source, one wrong purchase could seriously affect someone's popularity.

    Not just any old school bag will do. Younger pupils go for their favourite cartoon heroes, classic Barbie, and the super trendy Spice Girls. High school pupils go for designer labels in an attempt to be as 'in' as their classmates.

    Stationery must match, causing 'same-name' pencils to cost three times as much as a plain old HB.

    Mavros stores spokesman, Dinos Kyriakides, noted than although it is still too soon to calculate a fluctuation in sales compared to last year, he has noticed that a larger number of shops now stock 'back to school' goods.

    The continuing mania for prestigious trainers also adds to making going back to school an expensive business for parents.

    Government elementary schools will begin normal classes on September 14, while high school students have registration for the new academic year on September 10.

    Wednesday, August 26, 1998

    [11] Omonia knocked out of UEFA Cup

    By George Christou

    OMONIA suffered the disappointment of being knocked out of the UEFA Cup on the away goals rule last night, after losing 2-0 to Rapid Vienna.

    It was a bitter blow for the Cyprus club who had won the first leg in Nicosia 3-1 and had entertained hopes of qualifying for the first round of the competition.

    However a goal in each half by a far from convincing Rapid side was enough to wrap up the tie. Andreas Heraf gave the home side the start they wanted by putting them in front after just nine minutes.

    Omonia settled down after the initial shock of an early goal and contained the Austrian side until the interval. But they were unable to hold on until the end.

    Twenty-five minutes into the second half, Rene Wagner got Rapid's all- important second goal giving the 14.500 crowd something to cheer about.

    League champions Anorthosis will go all out for victory tonight when they face Greece's champions Olympiakos Piraeus at Antonis Papadopoulos stadium, in a European Cup qualifier.

    A 1-0 victory will be enough to see Anorthosis, trailing 2-1 from the first leg, through on away goals, to the lucrative group stages of the European Champions League.

    However the Cyprus champions will be without the pillar of their defence Demetris Ioannou, who is suspended. Paris Elia is also doubtful because of injury.

    Olympiakos are at full strength and optimistic that they will do enough to secure qualification.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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