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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-09-06

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, September 06, 1998


  • [01] Local fury as lifeguards axed
  • [02] Hotel strike to go ahead despite 11th hour mediation bid
  • [03] Overnight clifftop ordeal for mother and baby
  • [04] Clerides returns from Durban, boasting 'strong' NAM interest
  • [05] Night blasts rock Limassol
  • [06] Two held after spate of bag-snatchings
  • [07] Nurses call for criminal charges against doctor
  • [08] Immigrants remanded for eight days
  • [09] Top chef to grace Hilton kitchen

  • [01] Local fury as lifeguards axed

    By Andrew Adamides

    THE BLUE flag status of four of Larnaca's top beaches is in the balance after the finance ministry refused to release the 25,000 needed to extend lifeguard coverage into this month and October.

    Thirty-five life guards were laid off on Friday, but were yesterday taken back over the weekend, pending a municipality appeal against the decision tomorrow.

    Any decision to lay them off could endanger the lives of hundreds of tourists and locals still visiting the beaches due to this year's exceptionally warm weather. Usually, by this time of the year, lower temperatures mean fewer visitors to the beaches.

    The lifeguards' removal could also compromise the prestigious Blue Flag status of the four beaches in question: Mackenzie, Oroklini, Phinikoudes and the CTO Beach.

    All Blue Flag beaches are required to have lifeguards.

    Larnaca District Officer Kyprianos Matthaiou is expected to meet with Finance Ministry officials tomorrow to discuss the matter and plead the city's case.

    The lifeguards were given their marching orders on Friday after the decision not to extend the budget.

    There has been an outcry from the local tourist industry over the situation, with operators complaining that tourist brochures promote Larnaca as an all- year-round beach destination, as well as a safe one.

    Sunday, September 06, 1998

    [02] Hotel strike to go ahead despite 11th hour mediation bid

    A HOTEL strike looks set to go ahead tomorrow, after Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas said yesterday he had not had enough time to thrash out a full mediation package.

    Moushiouttas said he would call a meeting with the hotel workers' unions tomorrow to discuss the package offered late on Friday by hoteliers.

    Workers' unions, Sek and Peo called tomorrow's strike after the breakdown of talks to renew collective agreements.

    Moushiouttas yesterday pleaded with the unions to postpone their industrial action, saying the effect on both the economy and the sector would be catastrophic.

    Meanwhile, leaders of the two unions were holding a marathon meeting yesterday to discuss strike strategies. Sek General Secretary for Hotels Nicos Epistethiou vowed that the decision to strike was final, but said union representatives would talk to Moushiouttas if they were called upon.

    It is thought action would initially take the form of a selective strike at certain hotels, rather than a blanket strike across the sector.

    Unions are calling for pay rises, an extension of maternity leave from 12 to 16 weeks, and higher employer contributions to medical funds.

    Sunday, September 06, 1998

    [03] Overnight clifftop ordeal for mother and baby

    By Charlie Charalambous

    A MOTHER and her baby girl, missing since Friday, were yesterday found trapped in the wreckage of their car, teetering on the edge of a cliff.

    Fortunately, a successful police and fire service rescue operation managed to free the mother and child and ferry them safely to Limassol hospital.

    Twenty-year-old Anthoulla Yioupis and her 17-month-old daughter Nicoletta had spent a nightmare ordeal imprisoned in their pick-up truck overnight after crashing on an isolated mountain road.

    As temperatures dropped, Anthoulla tried to keep her daughter warm by turning on the car heater and managed to stay conscious after suffering multiple fractures in the crash.

    With their mangled truck perilously close to a deadly 30-metre drop the two miraculously avoided fatal injuries during their 12-hour ordeal.

    The baby girl escaped unharmed, while her mother suffered multiple fractures to the chest and pelvis.

    Alarm bells were raised when a worried husband Antonis reported his wife and child missing to police on Friday evening.

    A rescue operation, in which relatives and friends took part, did not locate the crumpled wreck until 7am yesterday morning on the Pelendri to Saitas road.

    Anthoulla had left Limassol at 8.30 am on Friday morning to visit relatives in Pelendri, and when she failed to return by midnight, fears for her and the child's safety grew.

    Limassol hospital yesterday described the two as being in a satisfactory condition.

    Saitas traffic police are investigating the cause of the accident.

    Sunday, September 06, 1998

    [04] Clerides returns from Durban, boasting 'strong' NAM interest

    By Andrew Adamides

    THE NON-ALIGNED Movement's (NAM) resolution on Cyprus is a strong one, and supports the Greek-Cypriot position, President Glafcos Clerides said yesterday.

    Speaking at Larnaca airport on his return from the South Africa summit, Clerides added that the contacts he had had in Durban had proved there was "strong interest" in Cyprus from the NAM, and strong support for its case.

    Replying to journalists' questions, Clerides also spoke of his meeting with United Nations Secretary-general Kofi Annan, saying Annan had confirmed that "certain ideas" for Cyprus were being discussed at UN headquarters in New York. Clerides said he would discuss these further when he goes to New York to address the UN general assembly meeting at the end of this month.

    Asked for details of his talks with Annan, Clerides said they had discussed, among other things, demilitarisation, the reduction of armaments in Cyprus and the substance of the Cyprus problem. Annan had, he added, also reiterated the UN's rejection of recent proposals by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for a confederal solution in Cyprus.

    Clerides concluded that the proposal had been dismissed as a basis for negotiation. There was, he said, a tendency for the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot positions to be military or tactical, and at this stage, they were both.

    Keeping his statements brief, Clerides excused himself after just a few minutes, saying he had been travelling for 14 hours and was exhausted.

    Meanwhile, Turkish press reports said Denktash was pressing ahead with his confederation ideas, and had received Egyptian, British and Canadian diplomats in occupied Nicosia on Friday to "enlighten" them about the proposal.

    Speaking after the meetings, Denktash was quoted as blaming the Greek side for abusing the inter-communal talks and destroying the parameters for negotiation.

    The papers quoted British High Commissioner David Madden as saying that while London still believed in a federal solution, Britain was interested in discussing the fifth point of Denktash's proposals, which dealt with the EU accession.

    Denktash's proposals were described by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit as a "final opportunity", in a statement given to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris before his arrival in the occupied areas for a one-day visit yesterday.

    Ecevit's statement added that all prospects for a federal solution had been dashed as Greece and Russia were now settling in Cyprus, as Russia was "deploying its own soldiers" in the free areas along with the S-300 missiles.

    Denktash's proposal, he added, also showed the way for the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' to join the EU.

    Ecevit was accompanied on his visit by Turkish Minister of State Hasan Gemici and Minister of State for Cyprus Affairs, Shukru Sina Gurel.

    Commenting on Ecevit's visit, Clerides said yesterday that the Turkish politician's statement that the Cyprus problem has been solved should be used by the Greek side.

    "Does he think it is possible that we will accept the fait accompli of the invasion?" he asked.

    Sunday, September 06, 1998

    [05] Night blasts rock Limassol

    LIMASSOL police are on full alert after four explosions rocked the gangster- ridden town on Friday night and Saturday morning.

    A series of explosions between 10pm on Friday and 4am yesterday had police out in force fearing another gangland hit.

    But a massive police operation failed to locate the source of three of the four blasts.

    The fourth explosion did turn out to be more than just a bang when a car bomb blew up in Kato Polemidia underneath a van belonging to 50-year-old Christakis Stylianou.

    The blast caused slight damage to Stylianou's delivery van, which was parked outside his house, as well as to a neighbouring car.

    Stylianou told police he had no idea why anyone might want to plant a bomb under his car.

    Police said the device was a homemade pipe-bomb, which had a small amount of explosives packed into it.

    Investigators believe the previous explosions could have been used as a diversion before the attack.

    Police are thought to be linking the blast with ongoing underworld rivalries.

    Limassol CID are investigating.

    Sunday, September 06, 1998

    [06] Two held after spate of bag-snatchings

    LARNACA district court yesterday remanded two youths in custody for eight days on charges of bag-snatching.

    The two, one of whom is 16 the other 21, were arrested on Friday. They are suspected of involvement in 18 incidents of bag-snatching, several of which involved tourists.

    Investigating CID Officer Michalakis Michail told the court that the thieves' modus operandi -- which took place between August 1 and September 4 -- was the same in each case. The perpetrators rode around on a motor scooter, chose a victim, then snatched her bag and raced off. The raids netted an estimated 5,000 in foreign and local currency.

    On Friday, after the last two snatches took place in Larnaca, eyewitnesses gave description matching those of the two suspects, who were later arrested and questioned.

    Police say they confessed to five of the robberies, which they said netted them 1,500. Police found 200 on them at the time of their arrest, along with other objects believed to have been stolen.

    Michail said police had taken four statements, and wanted to take 30 more, as well as holding an identity parade and testing the suspects' fingerprints.

    Sunday, September 06, 1998

    [07] Nurses call for criminal charges against doctor

    By Charlie Charalambous

    MAKARIOS hospital nurses are calling for criminal procedures against a doctor they claim carried out an operation on a young girl with a nursery school teacher as his assistant.

    And with relations between nursing staff and doctors at the children's hospital highly charged, Health Minister Christos Solomis has declined to comment on the issue.

    Relations between doctors and nurses at Nicosia's Makarios hospital hit rock bottom in July, when staff walked out of the operating theatre leaving several children in the lurch.

    A subsequent investigation concluded that the nurses had acted in breach of hospital guidelines, but also questioned the behaviour of top paediatrician Eleni Theocharous.

    No disciplinary action has been taken against either party in the wake of the Health Ministry probe.

    Nursing union leader George Flourenzou said the allegation concerning the use of non-qualified staff in the operating theatre was a criminal and disciplinary offence.

    According to the allegation, the offence took place last month during surgery on a seven-year-old girl.

    And the union boss said the ministry was aware of other allegations against the same doctor.

    The chairman of the House Health Committee, Andreas Parisinos, has said the allegation of a doctor using unauthorised personnel during surgery would be discussed by his committee.

    But the president of the newly formed breakaway state doctors union, Stavros Stavrou, believes the charge is part of a dirty campaign to besmirch those doctors who acrimoniously left civil service union Pasydy.

    The Medical Association has received a written complaint from the nurses and has asked the Health Minister to inform it of any findings of any investigation.

    Sunday, September 06, 1998

    [08] Immigrants remanded for eight days

    FAMAGUSTA District Court yesterday remanded the 15 suspected illegal immigrants arrested early on Friday for eight days each.

    The court heard that the first nine immigrants were arrested after they were spotted off the coast of Protaras. The nine then told police they had been accompanied by another six, who were arrested at around 6.30am on Friday near Cape Greco.

    The immigrants, eight Indians, one Pakistani, four Kurds and two Sri Lankans, claimed they each paid $3,000 for the 18-hour journey from the Lebanese port of Tripoli in the hope of finding work in Cyprus.

    However, police believe they may be lying about the true circumstances under which they arrived, and asked for the remand in order to question them further.

    Yesterday's remand hearing had been postponed from Friday, as suitable translators could not be found.

    Sunday, September 06, 1998

    [09] Top chef to grace Hilton kitchen

    THE NICOSIA Hilton will next month play host to top international chef Marcel D. Vanic.

    From October 2 to 9, Vanic will take command of the luxury hotel's kitchen, and will be delighting guests with his traditional and modern Viennese dishes. On October 3, he will prepare a dinner at the Presidential Palace, which will be hosted by President Glafcos Clerides and organised by the Friends of Kidney Patients Association.

    Vanic is visiting within the framework of this year's festival of Austrian cuisine. During the 'eighties, he delighted food critics the world over, winning gold and silver medals for his cooking. He is also included in the Gault et Milau guide, the Who's Who of top chefs, and is the official chef of the Austrian EU presidency.

    Hilton General Manager Gisela Muenchgesang, who has known the chef for some time, described him as "exceptional", and without doubt one of the top chefs in the world.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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