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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-09-02

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


Wednesday, September 02, 1998

CONTENTS

  • [01] International backing for 'no' to Denktash
  • [02] Crewmen rescued in joint helicopter operation
  • [03] V-mail hits Cyprus
  • [04] Markides asks Britain for testimony implicating bishop
  • [05] Too many parents pulling kids out of school
  • [06] University refuses comment on 'incriminating sex tape'
  • [07] New Oncology Centre opens its doors
  • [08] Strike blocks student registration
  • [09] A medical school for Pedhoulas?
  • [10] EasyJet wins court battle with Greek travel agents
  • [11] Jurassic Park in Kaimakli
  • [12] One group's solution to the Cyprus problem
  • [13] EU momentum is 'unstoppable'
  • [14] Greens slam new golf course plan
  • [15] Police probe maid's rape claim

  • [01] International backing for 'no' to Denktash

    By Jean Christou

    THE INTERNATIONAL community yesterday echoed the reaction of the Cyprus government by giving a resounding 'no' to the Turkish Cypriot side's proposal for a confederation.

    Three of the five UN Security Council Permanent members - Britain, France and China - rejected the notion outright, while the US and non-permanent member Austria, which currently holds the six-monthly rotating presidency of the Council, said they would study the proposal.

    In a written statement from South Africa on Monday, President Glafcos Clerides said that the proposal, presented by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, was unacceptable and could not form the basis for talks.

    His statement is to be circulated to the Security Council.

    Yesterday the Turkish Cypriot news agency TAK said Denktash had attacked the Greek Cypriot response.

    "Without even seeing our proposal, thinking 'Oh my lord, don't even consider it', they said no," he is quoted as saying.

    But the international community's response generally echoed that of the Cyprus government.

    "It appears that the game is being played on a tactical level rather than on a real one," one diplomatic source in Nicosia told the Cyprus Mail.

    "It aims more at gaining the sympathy of the international community rather than getting engaged in a real discussion on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation as agreed."

    The source said it was likely that Clerides would come up with "some bold statement" at the UN General Assembly in New York later in the month, which would "return the ball to Denktash's court".

    Reports from New York suggest the Americans are working on arranging a meeting between all parties involved on the sidelines of the annual UN meeting.

    The French Foreign Ministry yesterday rejected the proposal outright, saying it implied recognition of the 'TRNC', which Paris rejects under UN resolutions, a Quai d'Orsay spokesman said.

    The Chinese embassy in Nicosia told the Cyprus News Agency that UN resolutions on Cyprus should be implemented.

    In 1977 and 1979 Denktash signed two high-level agreements envisaging the establishment of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.

    Both the US and Austria said they would study Denktash's new proposal.

    "Our goal is to get a negotiation going and to get the Cyprus problem focused back on the political issues, the core issues and not on some of the issues that we think have been distracting things a good deal in recent times," US ambassador to Nicosia Kenneth Brill said yesterday.

    "So to the extent that anybody talks about negotiations, we think that that's better than not talking about negotiations."

    Brill added, however, that the US still supported the idea of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.

    Acting President Spyros Kyprianou yesterday suggested the United States had been aware of the proposals well in advance of their publication on Monday.

    Britain was more adamant in its position. High Commission spokesman Piers Cazalet told the Cyprus Mail that Britain supported a comprehensive settlement based on the 1977 and 1979 agreements.

    "The UK continues to believe that this approach offers the best way forward, " Cazalet said.

    "We and our EU partners have made it clear that the accession of Cyprus (to the EU) will benefit both communities by bringing about peace and reconciliation," he added.

    Denktash told Monday's joint news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem that confederation was the only way forward as far as the Turkish Cypriots were concerned, and that it was the last chance for a solution. Integration with Turkey was the only other option, he warned.

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [02] Crewmen rescued in joint helicopter operation

    CYPRUS police and Royal Air Force helicopters rescued ten crewmen from a ship in trouble off the coast of Akrotiri last night, spokesmen for the British Bases and the Cyprus authorities said.

    The Belize-registered Fyser 1 had left Limassol bound for Turkey to take on a cargo of copper when it started experiencing difficulties about 30 miles off the coast.

    The vessel was reported to have developed a dangerous list following engine failure.

    The crew - nine Syrians and an Egyptian - took to the lifeboats after putting out a distress call.

    A Cyprus police helicopter winched three of the men on board and an RAF Wessex from Akrotiri rescued the remaining seven. All ten were flown to Paphos General Hospital for a medical check-up before being discharged. They were reported to be spending last night in a hotel.

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [03] V-mail hits Cyprus

    By Charlie Charalambous

    SEXUALLY frustrated men who can't wait for Viagra to gain license approval in Cyprus are receiving the blue wonder pill through the post.

    Furthermore, the pill-popping postal trade is not in violation of any law.

    "It is legal for a person to receive Viagra from abroad if they have a doctor's prescription to do so," the government's chief pharmacist Vassilis Koupepides told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

    He explained that receiving the superdrug by v-mail was totally above board, as long as it was for personal use only, despite the fact that Viagra has not been registered in Cyprus.

    However, Koupepides dispelled any suggestion of a stampede of impotent men desperate to get Viagra through the post.

    "The quantity of Viagra in Cyprus brought by mail is very limited."

    The Drugs Council is due to examine a licence application for the potency pill next month, and, if approved, Viagra will be available on prescription in early 1999.

    An application to import Viagra has been submitted by Geo Pavlides and Araouzos, the licensed representatives of Pfizer, the American pharmaceutical firm that produces the drug.

    "Seeing as the European Evaluation Agency is ready to approve it and the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) has approved it, I think Cyprus will follow suit," said Koupepides.

    "It should be available early next year on prescription only," he added.

    Needless to say, improving one's sex-drive will not come cheap, as each tablet is expected to go on sale in Cyprus for at least 10, double what it costs in the United States.

    Despite the scare stories over Viagra's possible side-effects, the potency pill has been heralded a medical miracle securing global sales of $1 billion in its first year.

    Cyprus is now bracing itself for its very own blue wave of satisfied customers.

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [04] Markides asks Britain for testimony implicating bishop

    By Elias Hazou

    THE ATTORNEY-general has asked Scotland Yard to hand over key testimony in the fraud case allegedly implicating Bishop Chrysanthos of Limassol.

    Alecos Markides said yesterday that he had asked visiting British detectives for the testimony of a New Zealand businessman allegedly defrauded in a $3.7 million scam.

    Markides said on Monday that, though a suspect in the case, Chrysanthos could not be prosecuted until police obtained copies of the evidence provided to British police by businessman Gerald Chambers.

    Failing that, Chrysanthos can only be prosecuted in Britain. But Cyprus cannot extradite its own citizens, so the bishop would have to hand himself over voluntarily or be extradited from a third country if he went abroad.

    Markides also confirmed yesterday that police investigators would travel to Britain and Belgium to collect more evidence on the case.

    Chambers apparently claims he was persuaded to invest in a high-return investment scheme, with the money ending up in a Belgian-based commercial bank.

    Instead, the money was transferred to the Cyprus offshore branch of Yugoslav-based Karic Banka.

    Police have completed investigations into the Cyprus angle of the case, aided by the input of two Scotland Yard detectives, who arrived on the island in connection with the case in July.

    Four people have been arrested in Britain on suspicion of involvement in the fraud.

    Cyprus investigators are also expected to visit Portugal and the United States in pursuit of related cases, after claims by businessmen and a charitable foundation in Ecuador that they were swindled out of millions of dollars by the bishop's lawyer and by Chrysanthos himself.

    But in an interview to Antenna TV on Monday night, the controversial cleric repeated that he was "not worried" about the storm of allegations surrounding him, and said he was "convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt" that the affair was "part of an orchestrated attack on the Holy Church."

    Chrysanthos also referred to his mysterious business associate known as Nina Petros, apparently an American citizen, whose name has been mentioned frequently in connection with the web of allegations.

    He said the woman was the "key" to solving the cases, and hoped she would arrive on the island to "set matters straight".

    The bishop has categorically denied any wrongdoing, but has not denied knowledge of the business activities to which he has been linked.

    The Church has launched its own investigation into the bishop's financial affairs by appointing a fact-finding committee, made up exclusively of laymen, which is expected to submit its findings to the Holy Synod some time in the coming weeks.

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [05] Too many parents pulling kids out of school

    PARENTS are failing thousands of pupils by demanding that they opt out of school without a leaving certificate.

    Around 25 per cent of children do not complete their secondary school education, it was revealed during a meeting yesterday of the House Education Committee.

    The worrying figures were given by the Education Ministry's secondary education chief, George Poulis.

    He said the number of pupils leaving school empty-handed, although disturbing, was in line with global trends and not exclusive to Cyprus.

    The ministry cited various reasons for children dropping out of school, which included peer group pressure, parental intervention and unpopular teachers.

    Parents blame vindictive teachers from stopping their children from making the grade, the committee heard.

    Poulis said the situation was most acute in the Famagusta district, where many parents confronted teachers demanding that their children be allowed to leave school.

    And he pointed out that the rigours of academic discipline were having to compete in the district with the attraction of high wages to be earned in the potato fields and the pull of tourist cash.

    It is mandatory for children to attend school up to the age of 15, but the idea of reducing the age limit to 13 has been floated as a way of addressing the problem.

    Committee chairman Sophocles Hadjiyiannis said deputies would consider a proposal by parents to reduce the legal school leaving age.

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [06] University refuses comment on 'incriminating sex tape'

    By Charlie Charalambous

    THE CYPRUS University sex scandal has taken on Monica Lewinsky type proportions, if reports about an incriminating tape are to be believed.

    A three-man investigative committee headed by vice-rector Nicos Papamichael is investigating sexual harassment claims against a male lecturer.

    According to reports, the investigators have in their a possession a tape, which has been submitted as evidence in the case.

    However, Papamichael declined to deny or confirm the existence of such a tape to the Cyprus Mail.

    "The investigation continues and we are trying to do our job properly," said Papamichael.

    But it is understood that if such a tape does exist, it would not be admissible as evidence unless the recording was undertaken with the person's consent.

    The vice-rector did confirm that a number of students had given testimony during the investigation into a female student's claim that she was the subject of lewd and suggestive comments from a member of the teaching staff.

    One report claimed that seven students had made similar sexual harassment allegations to the enquiry team against the same lecturer.

    Although University rules do not cover the handling of sexual harassment cases, Papamichael said it did not stop the senate from taking direct action.

    "Draft regulations have not yet been approved, but the University senate still has the power to act decisively if need be," Papamichael said.

    No deadline has been set for when the investigation should be finalised, but Papamichael believes it is only a matter of weeks before a final report is put before the senate.

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [07] New Oncology Centre opens its doors

    THE BANK of Cyprus' new Oncology Centre opened its doors yesterday.

    "We are open and ready to examine patients with oncological problems," Centre representative Marco Wood announced.

    The Centre is currently prepared to apply chemotherapy and, by October, will be able to offer radiology treatment. Bone-marrow transplants are also expected to be carried out in the future.

    Wood noted that although no patients were actually treated on the Centre's first day, they had received numerous calls from people requesting further information.

    Patients would have to be referred by a private or government doctor to receive treatment at the clinic, where 10 doctors hired from the private sector currently offer their services. Fifteen nurses taken from both the private and the public sector are also employed at the clinic, while the employment of government doctors is still being discussed.

    Michalakis Triandafyllides, president of the Centre, said yesterday that government doctors resented what they felt was "the inequality in their salaries", compared to doctors brought in from the private sector. A special committee is to be created to solve this problem.

    Explaining the status of the Centre, Triandafyllides said that the Bank of Cyprus had provided the seven million pounds for the creation of the Centre and that the government would cater for the Centre's running costs.

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [08] Strike blocks student registration

    PROSPECTIVE third-year students at Cyprus University were yesterday unable to get through the first step in kicking off the school year - registration.

    The university's administrative staff yesterday held a one-day "warning strike" to protest their exclusion from the election process to nominate the university's deans. The elections, held every four years, are next scheduled for October.

    Unless their request is granted by the House, which controls Cyprus University administration and finances, administrative staff have warned of further measures.

    Fourth-year students were spared such problems when registering on Monday.

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [09] A medical school for Pedhoulas?

    THE GOVERNMENT is considering a multi-millionaire's proposal for the opening of a medical school in Cyprus.

    Loucas Hadjioannou is willing to donate several million pounds for the establishment of the medical school, on condition it is built in his native Pedhoulas area, in the Troodos mountains.

    In order to allow a rapid decision on the matter, the Ministry of Education has come into contact with the Finance and Health Ministries and the Cyprus University.

    Issues being discussed include the necessity of a Medical School in Cyprus, what its relationship to the Cyprus University would be and the costs of establishing and running such an establishment.

    According to the Education Ministry, another matter being discussed is the possibility of students completing two or three of their six-year medical training at Pedhoulas, and the remainder in a larger town. An alternative possibility would be for Pedhoulas hospital to be turned into a university clinic and for the full six years to be completed there.

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [10] EasyJet wins court battle with Greek travel agents

    STELIOS Hadji-Ioannou, innovative Cypriot owner of the no-frills EasyJet airline, has won an Athens court case against him filed by Greek travel agents.

    Travel agents took court action after EasyJet employed the slogan "Forget your travel agent" in advertising the airline's policy of dispensing with the services of middlemen to book seats on its flights. The airline was also sued for allegedly failing to meet safety requirements.

    The Athens court dismissed the safety charges, but ruled that the company's slogan should either be dropped or modified to be "commonly acceptable."

    In July, EasyJet began flying to Athens for a mere 69 sterling one way. The airline uses as its hub Luton airport, where fees are relatively low compared to other airports. It has also cut down significantly on commissions by eliminating travel agents acting as middlemen.

    Hadji-Ioannou won another legal battle in the UK this year, after challenging British Airways' support for its own subsidiary low-cost airline, Go.

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [11] Jurassic Park in Kaimakli

    By Andrew Adamides

    ACCORDING to The Lost World, the sequel to Jurassic Park, on Dinosaur Island "Something has Survived". Well driving down a quiet residential street in Kaimakli, you could be forgiven for thinking that something had survived there too, given that in between the houses, there's a Thalassomedon waiting to pounce...

    But luckily for passers-by, this 12 metre-long dinosaur isn't about to devour anyone. That's because he(?)'s made of steel, wire mesh, concrete and the odd bit of clay and glass.

    The Thalassomedon is one of the amazingly lifelike creations of Yiorgos Florides, who's been putting together his own prehistoric beasts for over 10 years.

    By profession, Florides is a mechanical engineering instructor at the Higher Technical Institute, but his first love has always been palaeontology, so he decided "to find a way to express my interest".

    Thinking big, Florides put his engineering knowledge to good use by designing and building welded steel skeletons for his life-size dinosaurs, which he then covers with wire mesh, before sculpting the final shapes out of concrete. The models are then painted using a special type of paint formulated to work with concrete. According to Florides, the main difficulty with this lies in using the concrete, as you only have a limited time to mould it into the correct shape before it dries, and it requires working on just one small area at a time.

    Prior to the actual sculpting, though, Florides spends months poring over details, checking pictures and corresponding with dinosaur experts worldwide to ensure that his creations are correct in every detail; though, as he points out, with previously-unknown facts about dinosaurs emerging all the time, this can get a little tricky.

    The models are, however, considered to be of such a fine standard that the seven-ton Thalassomedon has been lauded by the Denver Museum of Natural History as the finest ever made. It is also the first model of the dinosaur, the remains of which were discovered in California.

    Florides' dinosaurs are all models of his favourites, including the Diplodocus (although as the full size-creature was 27 feet long, he's contented himself with modelling only the head, which is no bigger than that of a horse) and the Ceratosaurus, a predator related to the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex.

    Four of the models are currently on display at the Carlsberg natural history museum in Nicosia.

    The models are designed to be static sculptures, and Florides says he looks on them as "restorations" rather than recreations. As such, he says, he isn't interesting in theme park models with actual movement built in, as these are "toys" rather than models.

    But he does admit that the Thalassomedon has a mechanism allowing it to blow smoke out through its nostrils...

    As well as his dinosaurs, Florides also models characters from Greek mythology: where most people would be content with a garden gnome, he has a full-scale Minotaur in his garden, and he's currently working on a model of Delphini, the half-woman, half-snake. When he finishes her off, he says, he'll start thinking about his next dinosaur.

    Anyone interested in taking a closer look at Florides' dinosaurs can do so on the internet, by visiting the website of the Dinosaur Society, of which Florides is a member, at www.dinosociety.org , where photos of his work can be found in the Dinosaur Artists section.

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [12] One group's solution to the Cyprus problem

    By Jean Christou

    A GROUP of Greek and Turkish Cypriots have designed a blueprint for a new solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The solution, details of which were published on Monday, provides that a Turkish Cypriot be the first president of Cyprus, that the Turkish army be allowed to remain on the island for five years and that a Ministry of Turkish Cypriot Affairs be created.

    It also suggests that all government industries be privatised and that a new city be built in the north, by and for Turkish Cypriots.

    The proposal was the brainchild of Greek Cypriot Savvas Savvides who lives and works in the US. He told the Cyprus Mail yesterday around 100 people - mostly college students - were involved in the idea, though he himself was the driving force behind it. A lot of the work had been done via the Internet in connection with the project over the past three years.

    Savvides said he had already presented his blueprint to the Foreign Minister last year, but had been told that any solution must be based on UN resolutions.

    He also sent it to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and to American negotiator Richard Holbrooke.

    "Most Greeks are expecting a solution based on what they are going to get," Savvides said. "They have to get out of that box and put themselves in the shoes of the other community."

    Savvides said a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation would involve too many governments.

    "Everyone will be a government employee," he said.

    Savvides does not believe his idea for a separate Turkish Cypriot city in any way suggests a form of division. "The Turkish Cypriots never had a major city in Cyprus," he said. "It would not be like a ghetto in any way."

    Savvides said he decided to publish the proposal in the press as his contribution to Cyprus.

    "Greek Cypriot politicians are fighting yesterday's wars. Today's battles are financial. They should focus on the real enemies, which are other countries selling you their products."

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [13] EU momentum is 'unstoppable'

    THE MOMENTUM of Cyprus' EU accession is unstoppable, according to Irish Labour Party leader Ruairi Quinn. Speaking at a press conference marking the end of his two-day visit to the island, Quinn said nobody would be able to stop Cyprus' EU accession, and that the Turkish Cypriot proposal for a confederation on the island had nothing to do with the island's EU accession.

    Quinn also said that "once the Cyprus problem is resolved, EU rules are such that the status of the entire island will be seen as a single political unit."

    He also pointed out that, although Cyprus would almost certainly qualify for EU membership at a much earlier stage than the other applicant countries, the EU would probably prefer to take all six together. "A lot depends on the international situation," he said, noting that "2003 is the date we should work for."

    Speaking earlier after a meeting with Acting Foreign Minister, Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou, Quinn said that if Cyprus did achieve early membership of the EU, it would enhance security in the entire region.

    Among the issues discussed by Quinn and Christodoulou were the similarities of the Cypriot and Irish economies.

    Quinn was visiting Cyprus at the invitation of socialist party leader Vassos Lyssarides.

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [14] Greens slam new golf course plan

    THE GREEN Party has protested government plans to construct a new golf course with huge water needs at a time when the island is going through one of the worst water shortages in its history.

    According to an announcement released yesterday, the golf course, to be built at Petra tou Romiou on the coast between Limassol and Paphos, has been granted 1,400,000 tonnes of water a year.

    The water sale price has been subsidised at 14 cents per tonne, the announcement went on, while the cost of desalination to the average citizen is 70 cents a tonne.

    The environmental movement questioned the logic behind such government plans, pointing to the damage to the environment the golf course would entail.

    And the Greens concluded by accusing the government of favouring "big business" at the expense of the general population.

    The government backs the creation of new golf courses as a way of improving the island's tourist product.

    Wednesday, September 02, 1998

    [15] Police probe maid's rape claim

    A 24-YEAR-OLD housemaid from Sri Lanka yesterday reported to police that she had been raped twice by her Cypriot employee in the mountain village of Pedhoulas.

    The suspect has been arrested by police and remanded in custody.

    The plaintiff claimed she was raped on August 11 and 31.

    Morphou CID are investigating the case.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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