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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-09-13

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

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


Sunday, September 13, 1998

CONTENTS

  • [01] Watchdog chairman investigating 'corrupt minister'
  • [02] Keep protesters away, Turks warn
  • [03] New allegation against Bishop Chrysanthos
  • [04] Hotel unions give bosses 24-hour deadline
  • [05] Looted icon to be returned
  • [06] Man killed in Paphos accident
  • [07] Theme parks plan aims to attract more tourists

  • [01] Watchdog chairman investigating 'corrupt minister'

    DISY deputy Christos Pourgourides, who is also chairman of the House of Representative's Watchdog Committee, yesterday said he has evidence implicating a government minister in corruption.

    Pourgourides told CyBC radio that he had begun investigating after a tip- off and that he has so far personally investigated eight charges against the unnamed minister.

    Pourgourides said he will soon travel abroad to investigate other allegations against the same minister.

    Once his investigations are complete, Pourgourides will present his findings to President Clerides and the general public, he said.

    Spyros Kyprianou, president of the House of Representatives, told a news conference yesterday he applauded investigations into how prominent politicians attained their wealth.

    An anti-corruption hearing will begin with a House Legal Committee meeting on October 2.

    Sunday, September 13, 1998

    [02] Keep protesters away, Turks warn

    By Jean Christou

    THE TURKISH side has warned Greek Cypriots not to cause trouble during today's pilgrimage to the occupied areas.

    Turkish Cypriot newspapers reported yesterday that the 'authorities' in the north had issued a warning to Greek Cypriot police through Unficyp to keep demonstrators in line and away from the buffer zone.

    Members of the anti-occupation group Pak plan to forcibly join the 1,100 pilgrims given permission to visit the Apostolos Andreas monastery in occupied Karpasia.

    Most of the pilgrims are old, sick or Greek Cypriots who have come from abroad especially for the pilgrimage.

    But Pak said yesterday that despite pleas from the government and political parties, they will not be deterred from attempting to make the same trip themselves.

    They argue that if the 1,100 pilgrims are allowed to cross freely, then there is no reason why others who wish to cross cannot do so as well.

    Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Takis Christopoulos said yesterday that pilgrims who are on the list should be at the Ledra Palace checkpoint at 6.30am with their special cards.

    He also issued a plea to Pak that if they are going to go ahead with an attempt to cross, that they not go there at the same time as the pilgrims.

    Police are taking stringent precautionary measures and roads to the Ledra Palace have already been blocked off. Only those on the list will be allowed through, they say.

    No Turkish Cypriot 'visa' charges will be imposed on those who cross, the authorities have been told, a factor which Pak said influenced their decision to try to cross as well.

    The government said on Thursday that it would not cancel the pilgrimage as it was a humanitarian issue.

    Political parties, while acknowledging the citizens' right to demonstrate, caution against creating incidents which they say could increase tension and influence the way forward on a political settlement.

    The way forward on Cyprus, they say, is the responsibility of the political leadership.

    Sunday, September 13, 1998

    [03] New allegation against Bishop Chrysanthos

    A NEWSPAPER has alleged that Bishop Chrysanthos of Limassol used money made in the recent land deal with the Cyprus Electricity Authority (EAC) to buy property.

    According to Machi, part of the money gained by the church was allegedly used by the Bishop to buy property in the name of a relative of Nina Petrou.

    Petrou's name has been linked to that of the Bishop who has in turn been named in connection with allegedly fraudulent financial deals. Currently rumoured to be in South Africa, Petrou is wanted by the Cyprus police for questioning involving accusations made against Bishop Chrysanthos.

    The land in Limassol bought by the Electricity Authority from the Limassol Bishopric was grossly overpriced. The EAC did not get its own valuation on the land's worth before agreeing to the church valuation of almost 1.5 million - twice its real value.

    The church has now returned all the money paid, either in cash or in property.

    Bishop Chrysanthos has been implicated in a series of alleged financial scams involving millions of pounds.

    Both the church and the government have launched investigations into the allegations.

    Archbishop Chrysostomos has said he is standing by Chrysanthos until the allegations have been proved.

    Intense media interest in the Bishop's business affairs has also raised the issue of how the Church uses its money.

    This has prompted Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou to seek a meeting with Archbishop Chrysostomos to discuss six million pounds in property deal taxes which the government estimates is owed by the church.

    But Chrysostomos has dismissed this claim, saying that the church cannot be taxed because it is a philanthropic institution.

    Sunday, September 13, 1998

    [04] Hotel unions give bosses 24-hour deadline

    By Athena Karsera

    HOTEL unions and the hoteliers' association Stek yesterday agreed on changes to their collective agreement. But negotiations with the other hoteliers' association, Pasyxe, remain deadlocked.

    The unions say they are giving Pasyxe 24 hours to change their position before they take strike action.

    Meetings went on until 3.30am, but none of the organisations involved, the unions Peo and Sek and Pasyxe, was willing to make the necessary compromise that would avert strike action.

    Meanwhile Stek's president, Marios Hamboullas, said that the agreement with the unions will be confirmed by vote at Stek's general assembly on Tuesday.

    Sek's acting secretary-general, Dimitris Kitenis, who was also speaking on behalf of Peo, said that although the agreement may seem to favour Stek that it will be beneficial to workers in the long term, as well as being good for tourism.

    The secretaries-general of Peo and Sek, Yiannakis Phillipou and Nicos Epistethiou, see the agreement as non-negotiable and want Pasyxe to accept it.

    The president of Pasyxe, Evgenios Nikitas, said he was disappointed by the unions' stance despite Pasyxe's "substantial concessions".

    A statement issued by Pasyxe yesterday said that those hotels affected by strike action are freed from their obligation to the association, thereby avoiding what it called "blackmail by the unions".

    The unions have said that strike action would involve all workers except the basic maintenance staff of several hotels in each town.

    Negotiations over the renewal of collective agreements between hotel workers and hoteliers have repeatedly reached dead ends, despite lengthy meetings with Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas and the employers' organisations Oev and Keve.

    The sticking points include higher salaries, control of the welfare fund and longer maternity leave.

    Sunday, September 13, 1998

    [05] Looted icon to be returned

    AN ICON stolen from a church in the Turkish-occupied areas will be returned to the Greek Orthodox Church during a special ceremony tomorrow.

    The icon, depicting the Virgin Mary, was looted from the 12th century Church of Antifonitis in Ayios Amvrosios, Kyrenia.

    Turks sold it on the black market where it was purchased by a Greek selector.

    The Greek Minister of Culture, Evangelos Venizelos, and Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis will fly to Cyprus tomorrow to present the icon to Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    Venizelos and Kranidiotis will also meet several government officials during their visit.

    Sunday, September 13, 1998

    [06] Man killed in Paphos accident

    A YOUNG English Cypriot was killed instantly in a car accident early yesterday morning.

    Nicholas Arthur Samson, 22, was driving along the Paphos to Anavargos road at around 4am when his car hit a wall. The accident occurred just before Paphos General Hospital.

    Police say that Samson was not wearing a safety belt at the time of the accident, and they are urging anyone who might have seen what happened to come forward.

    Sunday, September 13, 1998

    [07] Theme parks plan aims to attract more tourists

    By Jean Christou

    MORE WATER parks and theme parks, football pitches, casinos, marinas and golf courses are expected to attract three million tourists to the island by 2003.

    According to plans announced by the government there will soon be five water parks operating on the island. Already there are two.

    Five additional theme parks with historical and mythological topics will also be put into operation, a government announcement said yesterday.

    The government's aim is to gain a steady 6.5 per cent growth rate in tourism over the next four years to increase numbers from the current two million to three million, Commerce Minister Nicos Rolandis said.

    This would ensure that revenue from the tourism sector would increase from 843 million in 1997 to 1.4 billion by 2003.

    As well as theme parks the government has plans for seven football pitches in addition to the existing 29.

    Six marinas with a capacity of 4,000 vessels are also in the pipeline, as are a further four golf courses and up to six casinos.

    Cultural tourism and agro tourism will also be expanded. There are currently 294 agrotourism units on the island and the plan is to increase this number to 700 over the next five years.

    The government announcement said that in 1999 there are plans for between five and seven cultural events to attract tourists.

    Headway is also being made into the US and Japanese markets which now jointly attract some 30,000 tourists a year. It is hoped that this figure can be increased to 150,000 in the next five years.

    The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) has a short-term 12-point plan to improve the tourism product. A long-term plan until 2010 also exists.

    "Generally, despite the problems, the prognosis is good and if the political situation remains steady the role of tourism in the economy is expected to increase," Rolandis said.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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