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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-09-03

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, September 03, 1998


  • [01] Clerides to raise Denktash `last chance' proposals with Annan
  • [02] `Agent' says Limassol bishop is innocent
  • [03] Turkey urges Greek Cypriots to think again
  • [04] Denktash plan as bad as UDI, says Akel
  • [05] Apostolos Andreas applications top 6,000
  • [06] Cyprus must be more aware of racial discrimination
  • [07] UK report give quarantine hope for pets
  • [08] BBC drama comes to Paphos
  • [09] CY targets civil servants in cash-saving bid
  • [10] Stricken ship to be towed back to port
  • [11] British tourist claims rape by two youths
  • [12] Artists sue municipality for neglect of public exhibits
  • [13] Concern grows over EAC land sale
  • [14] Crisis talks to avert hotel strike
  • [15] Tsohatzopoulos to attend October 1 parade

  • [01] Clerides to raise Denktash `last chance' proposals with Annan

    By Jean Christou

    PRESIDENT Clerides is expected to meet UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Durban this afternoon on the sidelines of the ongoing summit of the Non- Aligned Movement.

    The meeting comes just days after the Turkish Cypriot side put forward its `last chance' proposal for a loose confederation as a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    According to reports from South Africa, Clerides wants to raise the latest developments with Annan. "This is just a good opportunity to talk" with Annan, a Greek Cypriot delegate told the Associated Press news agency.

    "I don't expect any new proposals to come out of it. They will just discuss the latest developments."

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has already passed on the proposal to the UN which has long been pushing the pre-agreed bi-zonal bi-communal federation as a workable solution to the island's 24-year division.

    Denktash's proposal has been rejected by the Cyprus government and by the majority of the international community, apart from the US which believes any negotiations between the two sides are better than none at all.

    The Turkish Cypriot proposal was made on Monday by Denktash and Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem during Cem's visit to the north.

    Acting President Spyros Kyprianou hinted on Tuesday that the US had already been aware of the proposal before it was announced. Yesterday he criticised the Americans for their failure to reject promptly the proposal - as Security Council `Big Five' members France, Britain, Russia and China had done.

    US ambassador to Cyprus Kenneth Brill said they would study the proposal and that their main aim was to get negotiations going between the two sides.

    "The United States is the only council (security) member that has failed to denounce the proposal," Kyprianou said.

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [02] `Agent' says Limassol bishop is innocent

    By Jean Christou

    A MAN describing himself an "agent for hire" last night claimed the Bishop of Limassol, who is facing a spate of serious allegations, is innocent.

    The claim was made to Sigma TV by a man called Andreas, aka `Keravnos'. who spoke to the channel by phone from London.

    He said he had been hired to help Bishop Chrysanthos "get some gold and money" out of the Philippines.

    Reports earlier in the month said the bishop, who has been named as a "suspect" in a $3.87 million scam in the UK, had brought documentation from the Philippines showing him to be the administrator of 25 tons of gold.

    The documents had allegedly been given to the bishop by a Roman Catholic priest in the Philippines during a recent trip, at the height of other allegations against Chrysanthos.

    `Keravnos' told Sigma he was promised that his travel expenses to the Philippines would be paid but that he had been cheated. However he told the station that the bishop is innocent and had "just got mixed up with the wrong company".

    Meanwhile CyBC reported that police will today question the bishop over other allegations related to claims by three Portuguese businessmen that they had been swindled out of $1.5 million.

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [03] Turkey urges Greek Cypriots to think again

    By Andrew Adamides

    THE SHOCKWAVES from Monday's proposal by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for a confederal Cyprus solution continued to spread yesterday, with Turkey bristling at the Greek Cypriot dismissal of the idea.

    According to Turkish Cypriot press reports, Denktash said his plan had been rejected "out of hand" by the Cyprus government, in order not to allow the Greek Cypriot people time to "ponder the proposals."

    "This is an opportunity we are proposing to the people who massacred us and deprived us of our rights to live together as human beings." he said.

    Turkey meanwhile, yesterday urged Cyprus to reconsider the proposal as a way to jump-start the stalled peace process.

    "Those who don't give the proposal the proper consideration it deserves will be sorry for losing such an opportunity," Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Necati Utkan said in Ankara.

    Utkan added that Turkey had received no formal rejection to the plan, and that Denktash planned to write to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan with a more detailed proposal.

    Cyprus' permanent mission to the UN, however, has already conveyed Clerides' response to the proposal to Annan. A letter sent on Monday, the day the proposal was made, described it as unacceptable and "an insult" to both the UN and the international community at large.

    But Turkish media yesterday quoted Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz as saying his government fully supported the proposals. Yilmaz was speaking before an Ankara Cabinet meeting on Tuesday to discuss the issue. After the meeting, Cabinet Spokesman Ahat Andican said the government had decided that Turkey's support for the occupied areas should continue.

    According to a report in the Turkish mainland paper, Cumhurriyet, the proposals had been discussed by high-level military officials and politicians in Ankara just three days before they were unveiled in Nicosia.

    The international reaction to the proposals was also given much space in the Turkish press, with France's objections described as "more Greek Cypriot than the Greek Cypriots". Reports also noted that the US has so far withheld comment, and that the British reaction has been "cautious".

    Reaction to the Denktash plan from two Turkish Cypriot opposition parties, the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and the New Cyprus Party was negative, with RTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat complaining that he had only been informed of the proposal at the last minute, and that his party had nothing to do with it. New Cyprus Party leader Alpay Durduran, meanwhile, described the suggested confederation as "unheard of" as a precondition for the resumption of negotiations.

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [04] Denktash plan as bad as UDI, says Akel

    THE AKEL central committee yesterday described Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's latest proposals for a confederation as "politically equivalent" to the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983.

    The communist party's central committee also criticised American Ambassador Kenneth Brill's "lukewarm" reaction to Denktash's proposals.

    Speaking to reporters after the session, Party leader Demetris Christofias said the proposals obviously emanated from Ankara, and he accused Turkey of deliberately attempting to derail intercommunal talks and return the focus on the government's controversial deployment of Russian-made S-300 missiles.

    Christofias said the government should report "Turkey's separatist policy" to the UN Security Council, the EU and other international organisations. He also said that diplomatic efforts should be intensified to bring a resumption of substantive bi-communal talks.

    The central committee said it would suggest the government undertake an information campaign abroad, and stressed the importance of preventing the Cyprus problem from turning into "a missile question."

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [05] Apostolos Andreas applications top 6,000

    OVER 6,000 applications to visit Apostolos Andreas have been submitted to the office of the Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner.

    Yesterday, staff were still sifting through the thousands of applications for the pilgrimage to the Apostolos Andreas Monastery in occupied Karpasia.

    Commissioner Takis Christopoulos said they hoped to draw up a final list by the end of the week.

    Only a thousand people will be able to make the trip to the Turkish- occupied areas for the pilgrimage to the remote monastery on September 13.

    It will be the third visit by Greek Cypriots to the Orthodox shrine since 1974.

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [06] Cyprus must be more aware of racial discrimination

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS must improve the awareness of racial discrimination among the public and the judiciary, a UN Committee has said.

    In it latest report on Cyprus, the UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination said it was concerned that members of the public may not be sufficiently aware of the relevant Convention on the issue.

    The committee reached its conclusion after noting that there were no reports of racial discrimination brought to the attention of the authorities apart for certain complaints made by foreign maids to the Ombudsman. Most of those complaints related to terms of employment, the report said.

    "The lack of information on complaints lodged by foreign housemaids as well as the absence of lawsuits in courts claiming racial discrimination and the absence of communications filed with the Committee, might indicate that awareness of the Convention was not high among judges and lawyers," the report said.

    It suggests Cyprus consider measures for improving awareness of the convention and associated legal and administrative remedies, and that lawyers and administrators be supplied with information on the Convention and on available remedies.

    The Committee also suggested that Cyprus "may wish to avail itself" of any advice and assistance which the UN could provide on the setting up of a national human rights institution.

    As one of 150 states party to the convention, Cyprus must provide periodic summaries to the 18-member committee on national efforts to implement the convention.

    A three-person delegation must also be on hand to answer questions raised by Committee experts.

    One of the Cypriot experts told the Committee that the courts had heard cases involving foreign maids and relating to citizenship, refusal of entry and expulsion.

    "However the government did not consider such cases to pertain to racial discrimination," the report said.

    But the Committee is still asking the government to report in the next period what steps will be taken to implement recommendations made to remedy the procedure for the employment of housemaids in Cyprus.

    The Committee also praised Cyprus for measures taken to stop trafficking in women, the new bill on political asylum and penalisation for the expression of racial ideas in the electronic media.

    One foreign expert on the Committee said that in the present world economic order and the process of globalisation it was "strange" to receive information that in the last two years, as a result of increased economic activity, labour shortages had been experienced in almost all economic sectors of Cyprus.

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [07] UK report give quarantine hope for pets

    By Andrew Adamides

    A REPORT commissioned by the British government recommending the abolition of the country's anti-rabies quarantine laws could see the end of the heartbreaking separation that owners and their pets have to suffer when moving from Cyprus back to the UK.

    At present, animals brought into the UK from abroad must spend a mandatory six month period in isolation at government kennels.

    However, the report recommends that vaccination and the microchip tagging of pets could effectively replace the quarantine.

    The report refers to animals imported from EU and some other countries, and Cyprus should stand a good chance of inclusion, as it is free of rabies.

    Cyprus does not have quarantine for imported animals. Pavlos Economides, head of the Veterinary Department, told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that animals were examined on arrival, and then kept under observation at the owner's home for a six-month period.

    This lessens the emotional impact on both the pet and the owner, he explained.

    Owners are, however, not allowed to bring the animal in contact with local animals, and must report any symptoms that their pet develops. Government inspectors make regular visits to ensure that the animals are healthy.

    Economides said that although the government did still maintain an official quarantine kennel, this was only used for animals which did develop symptoms during their first six months on the island. So far, he said, no cases of rabies had developed in imported animals.

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [08] BBC drama comes to Paphos

    SUNBURN, an exciting new BBC drama series begins filming in Paphos on September 20.

    The show centres around the lives of tour reps in the popular resort town and will star former EastEnder Michelle Collins in the lead role.

    Written by Mike Bullen, the show will also feature appearances by Rebecca Callard, who starred in the popular period drama The Grand, as well as veteran TV favourite George Layton of Doctor in the House fame, and Cypriot actor Peter Polycarpou, who played the lead in the original production of Stavros Sideras' musical Pygmalion, as well as appearing in the popular sitcom Birds of a Feather.

    Producer Kay Patrick yesterday told the Cyprus Mail that although the show was still very much under wraps, the team was "really looking forward to working in beautiful Cyprus", and that "the programme will reflect the warmth and colour that make Cyprus such a wonderful place to visit."

    Filming on the show will continue until December.

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [09] CY targets civil servants in cash-saving bid

    By Jean Christou

    THE GRAVY plane is about to end for civil servants receiving discounts on the cash-strapped national carrier.

    Some 2,000 civil servants use the privilege each year, at a cost of 40,000 to Cyprus Airways (CY), an airline spokesman said yesterday.

    But CY chairman Takis Kyriakides has now written to the Communications and Works Minister asking the government to abolish a 1963 directive giving civil servants a ten per cent discount of tickets.

    Such directives can only be revoked by a new directive issued by the government.

    The issue is expected to be discussed today at the Ministry.

    The provision initially applied in relation to flights from Cyprus to the UK, but was later extended to destinations in Europe.

    In his letter, dated July 3 this year, Kyriakides points out to the Minister that it hardly appears credible for the airline to plead poverty and promise cost cutting while maintaining such outdated provisions.

    He also said such privileges extended to a small group of people were out of line with EU policies.

    A spokesman for CY said the discount was not used to a large extent as it did not apply during periods where special offers made to the public, "which is most of the year," he said.

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [10] Stricken ship to be towed back to port

    THE OWNERS of the Fyser 1, the 2,000 ton cargo vessel which ran into trouble off the coast of Akrotiri on Tuesday night, were last night preparing to tow it back to port.

    A tug had been despatched to rescue the Belize-registered vessel from where it was drifting, 25 miles North-West of the Akamas peninsula.

    The ten crew members, who were airlifted to safety, had abandoned ship and were in lifeboats when they were picked up by British bases helicopters. All were taken to hospital in Paphos, where they were said to be in good health. They were then taken to a hotel.

    The crew told police that the vessel, which had left Limassol harbour bound for Turkey on Monday, had developed engine trouble and started to list 40 miles south of Akrotiri.

    There was no word on what cargo the ship was carrying.

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [11] British tourist claims rape by two youths

    A BRITISH tourist has claimed she was raped by two youths.

    Famagusta police said yesterday that 19-year-old Chantal Joseph made the charge on Tuesday.

    According to police, Joseph says she was dragged out of sight by three men and then raped by two of them, while in a public area of the Ayia Napa hotel she was staying at.

    On reporting the attack, Joseph was examined by the state forensic medical examiner, Panicos Stavrianos, and by a state gynaecologist.

    Stavrianos yesterday told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that, "many samples" had been taken on Tuesday and yesterday, and that DNA testing would be carried out to help establish the authenticity of Joseph's claim.

    Stavrianos also underlined the sensitivity of the situation, as with every case of this nature.

    Joseph was able to identify one of her assailants as 1,70 metres tall, approximately 23 to 25 years old, and with straight hair.

    The police are continuing their investigations.

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [12] Artists sue municipality for neglect of public exhibits

    THREE Nicosia artists are suing the municipality for what they say is its failure to preserve their art work, on public exhibit since 1984.

    Artists Nikos Kouroushis, Maria Loizidou and Theodoulos Gregoriou have filed suits against Nicosia Municipality for continually neglecting to preserve and/or repair natural or man-made damage caused to their work, which is on display at Famagusta Gate's public park.

    The artists argue that the negligence reflects negatively on their reputation as artists, and that as a consequence they have suffered both material and moral damages.

    The sculptures had been chosen to be displayed in the park following an art contest in 1984.

    Nicosia mayor Lellos Demetriades was not available for comment on the issue yesterday.

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [13] Concern grows over EAC land sale

    By Elias Hazou

    AGAINST the backdrop of allegations surrounding Limassol bishop Chrysanthos, a controversial land sale by his bishopric to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) has, for the moment, taken the front seat, with both legal and wider political implications.

    Police yesterday stepped up their investigations into the case amid allegations that the bishopric forged documents to facilitate the sale, while Commerce Minister Nicos Rolandis, whose department is responsible for the EAC, rebuked the authority for failing to hire independent surveyors to assess the value of the land.

    Members of the Mesa Yitonia church committee, which owned the land, are claiming that the bishopric sold the plot without their consent.

    And the committee's former chairman, Takis Demetriou, says the bishopric forged documents to make the deal possible.

    Reports yesterday moreover suggested that some 300,000 from the 1.4 million sale had not been deposited at Mesa Yitonia church committee's co- operative bank.

    The bishopric strongly denies all the allegations.

    But investigators of the Economic Crimes Division yesterday met with Maroulla Lazarou, ex-secretary of the church committee, to collect more evidence on the case.

    The government for its part is concerned at suggestions that the EAC paid above the odds for the land, handing the bishopric a tidy profit.

    The EAC did not hire its own valuers to provide estimates of the land value, relying instead solely on the estimate of a survey carried out on behalf of the bishopric.

    On Tuesday, Rolandis said that a 15 to 20 per cent rebate on the sale price should have been granted by the bishopric due to the size of the plot -- meaning some 250,000 to 300,000 less than was actually paid by the EAC.

    Rolandis also said he "had information from more than one source" that the provision for the rebate, included in the initial evaluation, had been omitted by the seller (the bishopric) in the final estimate sent to the EAC.

    "This is why the EAC should have hired its own surveyors, " he added.

    The EAC has defended its actions, saying the final offer was the least expensive of those it had sent out. It went on to say that "since the services of Rois Nicholaides &amp; Associates (the bishopric's surveyors) are sometimes employed by (the EAC), the EAC did not deem it necessary to obtain an estimate from another source."

    Rolandis said there would be an inquiry into the deal, and that he would ask the House to grant ministers tighter controls over the budgets of government and semi-public organisations.

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [14] Crisis talks to avert hotel strike

    LABOUR Minister Andreas Moushiouttas yesterday met representatives of the Pancyprian Hoteliers' Association (Pasyxe) to establish the terms of possible government mediation in deadlocked talks between hoteliers and employees.

    Hotel workers, represented by unions Sek and Peo, have threatened selective strike action if their demands for alterations to their collective agreements with hoteliers are not met by Sunday.

    Union demands include an extension of maternity leave from 12 to 16 weeks, pay rises and higher contributions to medical funds.

    But Sek's General Secretary, Nicos Epistethiou, said yesterday that Pasyxe had left "no margin" for negotiations.

    According to Moushiouttas, Pasyxe is arguing that "with the expiry of the previous collective agreement, there is no longer an agreement, and anything would have to start from the beginning."

    Moushiouttas admitted that, to his knowledge, this was the first time something like this has been suggested.

    Pasyxe chairman Zacharias Ioannides said before yesterday's meeting that his association had proposed pay rises on scale with productivity, and had "a proposal as regards to 90 per cent of the contributions" to the medical fund. He went on to say that Pasyxe had not received any union response to its proposals.

    Moushiouttas called for a compromise in the situation as "the threat (to the economy) is substantial".

    Thursday, September 03, 1998

    [15] Tsohatzopoulos to attend October 1 parade

    GREEK Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos will attend this year's October 1 Military parade at the invitation of his Cypriot counterpart Yiannakis Omirou, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported yesterday.

    As usual, President Glafcos Clerides is expected to take the salute at the parade, held to mark Cyprus' independence from Great Britain.

    CNA also said Greek military forces were expected to take part in the Nikiforos war games to be held in October. The news agency quoted sources as saying the matters had been discussed at an Athens meeting between National Guard Commander Demetris Demou and Greek Chief of Staff Athanasios Tzoganis on Tuesday.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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