Browse through our Interesting Nodes of Greek Sports & Clubs Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923) Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923)
HR-Net - Hellenic Resources Network Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Tuesday, 28 November 2023
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-09-11

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, September 11, 1998


  • [01] Miller meets Pangalos on Cyprus deadlock
  • [02] Rolandis says he will vet all semi-government spending
  • [03] Let's not have another Dherynia
  • [04] Government announces 1999 budget with £580.8 million deficit
  • [05] Reports of new missile delay denied
  • [06] Russians finally flown home, four days late
  • [07] Clerides seeks Israeli collaboration for regional health centre
  • [08] Unions give more time for hotel talks
  • [09] Back to school
  • [10] Taxi strike sparks airport chaos
  • [11] Actor dies of heart attack
  • [12] Consumer group warns against fruity erasers

  • [01] Miller meets Pangalos on Cyprus deadlock

    UNITED States special envoy for Cyprus Thomas Miller was in Athens yesterday to discuss the talks deadlock with Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.

    Although neither official made any statements after the meeting, Miller said shortly before his talks that they would focus on securing a bi-zonal federal state for the two separate communities.

    Miller has tried to rekindle a US-led initiative which fell apart last May when Turkish Cypriots rebuffed US presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke.

    They insisted on international recognition for their self-declared breakaway state and a cancellation of European Union's membership talks with Cyprus.

    The deadlock grew worse last month after Turkish Cypriots proposed that Cyprus become a confederation, which would necessitate recognition of the 'TRNC'.

    Only Turkey, which maintains 35,000 troops in the occupied north, recognises the 'TRNC'.

    The US is anxious to restart stalled UN-sponsored talks and to persuade Cyprus to cancel the planned deployment of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles later this year.

    Ankara has threatened to use force to prevent the deployment, a move which Athens says will lead to war between Greece and Turkey. (AP)

    Friday, September 11, 1998

    [02] Rolandis says he will vet all semi-government spending

    By Jean Christou

    COMMERCE Minister Rolandis has ordered a freeze of all non-productive investments in the 12 semi-government bodies under his jurisdiction.

    Rolandis said yesterday he had already sent letters to the organisations asking to see details of all such investments before they can go ahead.

    The move comes in the wake of an aborted land deal between the Limassol Bishopric and the Electricity Authority (EAC), which comes under Rolandis' jurisdiction.

    Rolandis said he took the decision after the fiasco with the EAC, which he said had not informed him of a controversial £1.4 million land purchase from the Bishopric.

    Surveys commissioned by Rolandis found the land was worth no more than £700, 000 to £800,000.

    Now, the budgets of all 12 semi government bodies under Rolandis will have to be vetted by him personally.

    These include the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), the State Fairs Authority and the Potato and Milk Boards.

    "If there is anything I don't agree with, then I will make my views known to the Council of Ministers," Rolandis said.

    The Minister expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the EAC saga, in which the Bishopric on Wednesday agreed to return the money after the intervention of the President with Church leader Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    Rolandis said the financial aspects of the compromise were expected to be finalised by Monday.

    EAC chairman Costas Constantinides yesterday insisted that the Board had acted correctly. The EAC has been accused of negligence in accepting at face the land evaluation of the Bishopric, without calling for a second opinion.

    "It is the opinion of others that we did not act correctly," he said yesterday.

    The board was expected to meet later yesterday to discuss the outcome of the affair.

    The Bishopric will return £1.1 million in cash and the remaining £300,000 in the form of land and property to be evaluated by the Ministry.

    Friday, September 11, 1998

    [03] Let's not have another Dherynia

    By Jean Christou

    HUMANITARIAN Affairs Commissioner Takis Christopoulos yesterday appealed to anti-occupation organisations not to cause trouble during Sunday's pilgrimage to Apostolos Andreas.

    Members of the anti-occupation group Pak have warned they will forcibly join over 1,000 pilgrims given permission to visit the Orthodox monastery in occupied Karpasia.

    "Everybody has the right to do what they consider best for themselves, but I urge them not to take any action which would force the pilgrimage to be called off," Christopoulos pleaded.

    He said the majority of the 1,100 who had been given permission for the pilgrimage were either old, seriously ill or those who had come especially from abroad to make the visit.

    "It would be a great injustice if these people could not take part because of these actions," he added.

    Pak said that since the 1,100 pilgrims would be allowed to cross freely, there was no reason why others who wished to cross could not do so as well.

    But Christopoulos said no matter what Pak says, Greek Cypriots could not just go to the occupied areas.

    "Whatever we say, we are going into an area which we do not control," he said.

    "And if they try to do this, I just hope we will not have the same as we had two years ago in Dherynia."

    In August 1996, two Greek Cypriots were killed during separate anti occupation demonstrations at Dherynia.

    Sunday's demonstration is expected to begin at 7am at Nicosia's Ochi square.

    Police are expected to be out in full force, as Pak has called on all Greek Cypriots to bring their own transport to cross to the north.

    The United Democrats yesterday called for sense to prevail, and warned any untoward action on Sunday would just harm Cyprus' efforts abroad to solve the island's political problem.

    The party urged the police and the government to implement all necessary security measures.

    If the pilgrimage goes ahead, it will be the third visit by Greek Cypriots to Apostolos Andreas in the past 18 months.

    Friday, September 11, 1998

    [04] Government announces 1999 budget with £580.8 million deficit

    By Hamza Hendawi

    THE GOVERNMENT yesterday announced a 1999 budget projecting increased revenues, more expenditure and a bigger deficit than this year's.

    The envisaged 1999 deficit - £580.8 million - is nearly five per cent, or £26.5 million, more than that of 1998. Expenditure is set at £1.68 billion and revenues are projected at £1.1 billion.

    The government, however, painted a mixed picture of the economy's expected performance next year and said it had nearly exhausted means of increasing revenues without hurting development and social welfare policies, suggesting that increased taxation was a compelling option to replenish its coffers.

    "In preparing the budgets, there was a strenuous effort to contain the rate of growth of public consumer expenditure, including the state payroll," Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou told reporters yesterday.

    "There is a need to boost public revenue, mainly through increasing Value Added Tax and other indirect taxes," he said after a Cabinet meeting, which approved the draft budget, which must also be adopted by the House.

    The public debt deficit, an official statement said, was set to join the fiscal shortfall next year in breaching the ceilings set by the Maastricht Treaty for economic and monetary union, but it revised projections for the 1998 public deficit down to 5.7 per cent of GDP.

    The public deficit, which stood at 5.3 per cent and 3.4 per cent of GDP in 1997 and 1996 respectively, had been projected to rise to 7.3 per cent this year, largely due to the loss of revenue (nearly £300 million) from custom tariffs abolished under the island's customs union agreement with the European Union.

    The statement said the smaller than expected public deficit in 1998 - 5.7 per cent of GDP - was due to the recent one-percentage-point increase in the defence levy and to reduced state subsidies.

    The deficit, however, will continue to increase in 1999, when it is expected to reach 6.3 per cent of GDP without increased tax revenues.

    The public debt was also expected to rise in 1999, reaching 61.7 per cent of GDP, the statement said.

    Under the Maastricht Treaty, the ceiling for the public deficit is three per cent, while that for the public debt is 60 per cent.

    "This will not be helpful in the accession negotiations with the European Union," said the statement. Cyprus and the EU began accession talks last March, but the island is not expected to join the 15-nation grouping before 2002 or 2003.

    Projections for other main economic indicators in 1999, however, were encouraging, according to Christodoulou.

    The economy would grow by four per cent next year, despite the negative developments in Russia and Asia, and unemployment would stay more or less unchanged at around three per cent, he said; inflation would ease down to between 2.5 per cent and three per cent.

    "The rate of growth is satisfactory and if there are no unexpected outside or domestic (negative) developments, the local economy in 1998 and 1999 will be very satisfactory," Christodoulou said.

    Last May, the House rejected a biting taxation-package proposed by Christodoulou, which would have brought the treasury nearly £150 million annually. That package included a four percentage point increase in VAT to 12 per cent.

    VAT increases must be introduced gradually, said the minister, alluding to an average of 15 per cent VAT in the EU.

    The island's economy is projected to grow by more than four per cent this year, a decent improvement on 1997's 2.5 per cent and the previous year's 1.9 per cent. Economists say the respectable GDP growth in 1998 is largely due to what is shaping up to be a record year for tourism, a vital sector of the economy that normally accounts for 20 per cent of GDP.

    The government is projecting a 10 per cent increase in tourist arrivals over last year's 2.06 million visitors, and contends that other sectors of the economy have also shown healthy signs of recovery this year, citing manufacturing, construction and agriculture, all badly hit in the last two to three years.

    Friday, September 11, 1998

    [05] Reports of new missile delay denied

    By Charlie Charalambous

    AMID mounting speculation that the government has already cut a deal to postpone deployment of the S-300s until December or to have them stored Russia to an even later date, Edek leader Vassos Lyssarides said yesterday there had been no change of policy.

    Lyssarides dismissed the speculation after a meeting with Greek prime Minister Costas Simitis in Athens yesterday.

    "All the decisions on the S-300s taken by the National Council still stand, " Lyssarides said after the meeting.

    "President Clerides made it clear to the National Council that the Council's earlier decision (to bring the missiles) remains unchanged."

    But according to the usually reliable Phileleftheros newspaper, Tuesday's National Council meeting gave its tacit consent for a postponement of the missiles until December.

    It says the missile deployment is being postponed due to technical, not political reasons, as the National Guard wants to bolster it anti-aircraft defences with medium range missiles before the longer-range S-300s are deployed.

    According to the newspaper, the amended contract with the Russian manufacturers - signed in August - has a provision for the missiles to arrive in November, but the government has until September 15 to tell Moscow whether or not to go ahead.

    However, the National Council did not take the decision to give Moscow the green light for a November delivery, the paper said, thereby effectively postponing delivery until the end of December, according to the terms of the new contract.

    Any further postponement beyond this date would result in Russia taking on the responsibility of having to store and maintain the surface-to-air missiles on its soil, which would cost the government an estimated £1 million a month, reports claim.

    Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou has dismissed the reports concerning the storage alternative, and said last month's joint Athens communiqué underlining there was no postponement still stood.

    President Clerides is reported to be seriously worried about leaks to the press concerning this week's two-day meeting of the National Council.

    The Presidential Palace is understood to be furious at the selected leaks, which it says are part of a campaign of misinformation by its opponents.

    Friday, September 11, 1998

    [06] Russians finally flown home, four days late

    By Charlie Charalambous

    TWENTY-THREE Russian tourists left stranded in Cyprus by their charter company since Monday finally got on a plane to Moscow yesterday.

    The 23 Russian holidaymakers had been due to leave Larnaca on Monday, but to their dismay the charter airline AJT decided it wasn't worth the effort.

    "What happened is that the charter company operated a number of flights to Cyprus during the Summer and decided not to come for the last flight to pick these passengers up," an industry source told the Cyprus Mail.

    As a result, the Russians were trapped at Larnaca airport for 24 hours.

    Plans were then made to ferry the tourists to Paphos airport to board a flight for Moscow with another company, but the airline eventually refused to take them.

    Realising their desperate situation, the Russian embassy in Nicosia stepped in to ensure that the tourists were put up in hotels until the matter was solved.

    And the Russian tour operator Megatel finally stumped up the extra cash - around £2,500 - to ensure that the tourists would finally make it back to Moscow on a Cyprus Airways flight.

    Four days behind schedule, the Russians boarded the Cyprus Airways flight to Moscow from Larnaca at 11.45 am yesterday.

    Industry sources told the Cyprus Mail that the highly unregulated world of Russian charter companies raised serious safety questions.

    "There are so many charter companies flying to Cyprus from Russia which are not subject to strict checks that tourists are liable to face the same problem in the future," the source said.

    Friday, September 11, 1998

    [07] Clerides seeks Israeli collaboration for regional health centre

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides yesterday proposed the establishment of a regional medical centre in Cyprus.

    Clerides made his suggestion during a meeting with visiting Israeli Health Minister Joshua Matza, who described it as a "very interesting" idea.

    Clerides' idea envisages a modern medical facility in Cyprus, with the support of the Israeli medical system and catering for people from all over the region.

    Matza said it was something to be discussed with his Cypriot counterpart, Christos Solomis, but noted that such a project was not something which could be decided upon quickly.

    During the meeting, the two also discussed the planned visit of Israeli President Ezer Weizman to Cyprus, a visit which Matza said would "strengthen relations between Cyprus and Israel."

    Later in the day, Matza met Solomis for more official talks following on from their Tuesday meeting, and to sign a co-operation plan on health and information.

    Matza also met with House President Spyros Kyprianou, who raised the contentious issue of Turkish-Israeli military agreements.

    "I did not fail to raise the issue of the agreements between Turkey and Israel, especially in the defence and military field," Kyprianou said.

    But he nevertheless conceded that defence matters were not within Matza's brief.

    Kyprianou also said efforts were under way for him to visit Israel, as an invitation had been issued, but that he had not yet confirmed whether he was going or not.

    Friday, September 11, 1998

    [08] Unions give more time for hotel talks

    HOTEL workers' unions yesterday gave employers another 24-hour extension before strike action begins.

    A final decision on strike action will be taken this afternoon after a crisis meeting bringing together Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas with employers organisations Oev and Keve, hoteliers' associations Pasyxe and Stek, and unions Sek and Peo.

    Speaking to national radio, Stek president Marios Hamboulas said that the main point of contention was now the Welfare Fund. The Fund is currently run by the hoteliers, but unions want to take control.

    There was some optimism yesterday after Pasyxe and Stek agreed to work on a joint proposal to be presented to the unions today.

    Other union demands include higher pay and longer maternity leave.

    Friday, September 11, 1998

    [09] Back to school

    THE SUMMER holidays are officially over, as school children returned to public high schools yesterday.

    Christos Giorgiades, an Education Ministry official in the Secondary Schools Department, told the Cyprus Mail that the first day had taken place "without any problem".

    Text books were handed out and pupils starting their first year at Gymnasiums, Lyceums and Technical schools were divided into classes.

    Giorgiades said "the necessary staff had been arranged in advance, and the books arrived on time".

    The official added that the only difficulties had arisen from some parents wanting to transfer their children to a different school than the one to which they had been assigned. Giorgiades was quick to state that "this is no reflection on the quality of these schools," and expressed his disagreement with such action.

    School children, he said, are assigned to the schools most accessible to the areas where they live, and their arbitrary transfer to another school is disruptive for the child involved.

    But challenging the message that all was well, the Technical Education Officials Organisation yesterday announced its dissatisfaction with the Education Ministry's failure to cater for increased registrations at most Technical Schools; this meant that many pupils had to join classes specialising in subjects different to those they were originally interested in.

    Giorgiades reported that 53,000 children were attending secondary schools this year, divided into 1,230 classes. This gives an average of 27.5 children per class.

    Three new secondary schools have been opened in Nicosia, Larnaca and Limassol respectively.

    Normal classes are set to begin on Monday.

    Meanwhile problems in primary education were reported yesterday, as several small communities demonstrated in disagreement over the closure of village schools.

    Friday, September 11, 1998

    [10] Taxi strike sparks airport chaos

    A THREE-HOUR strike by Larnaca airport taxi drivers left travellers stranded yesterday.

    The drivers were demonstrating over unlicensed taxis and other vehicles taking passengers to and from the airport, calling for control over all vehicles carrying paying passengers. Only 240 drivers hold the licence required to transport travellers to and from Larnaca airport.

    The 100 or so drivers on yesterday's shift blocked two lanes of the road to the airport, leaving just one lane free.

    The strike ended after the Licensing Authority promised to investigate the problem and said "piracy" would be a thing of the past in the near future.

    Friday, September 11, 1998

    [11] Actor dies of heart attack

    POPULAR local actor and director Takis Anastasiou died of a heart attack early yesterday morning.

    Anastasiou, 52, made many appearances on locally-produced series such as Aftos, Afti kai ta Mystiria and To Kafenio, as well as in sketches on variety shows like CyBC's Efcharisto Savatovrado.

    Anastasiou is survived by his wife and a 20-year-old son. He was buried yesterday afternoon at Saint Nicholas Church in Lakatamia.

    Friday, September 11, 1998

    [12] Consumer group warns against fruity erasers

    IN AN attempt to rub out the threat posed to children by realistic-looking fruit-shaped erasers, the Consumer Protection Agency has confiscated several boxes of the novelties and is threatening legal action against their suppliers.

    The fruity rubbers, which ape several varieties of berries and other fruit, look and smell like the real thing.

    And the Consumer Protection Agency has expressed concern that small children could mistake them for the real thing and try to eat them, which could result in poisoning or asphyxiation.

    Although no particular cases have been cited, the agency has appealed to parents to be on the lookout for the erasers. The novelties are made in the far east and sell for just a few cents each, which makes them popular additions to back-to-school pencil cases.

    The agency has also appealed to any retailers still selling the items to remove them from the shelves.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

    Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2023 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    cmnews2html v1.00 run on Friday, 11 September 1998 - 4:01:16 UTC