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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-11-05

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, November 5, 1998


  • [01] Weizman returns to Israel
  • [02] Vote of confidence for Hercus
  • [03] Yilmaz 'dynamiting regional security'
  • [04] Police probe report that doctor took drugs for son
  • [05] Police claim drugs success
  • [06] Parents fury as children detained by 'police'
  • [07] Market posts record volume as takeover sentiment holds sway
  • [08] Carers of the mentally ill seek more understanding
  • [09] James Bond and the Cyprus problem
  • [10] Vets join together to neuter cats
  • [11] Ex-rally driver dies in plunge into sea

  • [01] Weizman returns to Israel

    ISRAELI President Ezer Weizman left Cyprus yesterday after an official departure ceremony at Larnaca Airport at which no statements were made.

    Weizman left Nicosia by helicopter and arrived at the airport at around 10am. The departure ceremony was attended by President Glafcos Clerides, House President Spyros Kyprianou, members of the cabinet and party leaders.

    Members of the Israeli President's entourage travelling to the airport by taxi were involved in a traffic accident, but no one was hurt.

    Two Israeli policemen, a doctor and a photographer were in the car, but none required medical attention.

    The Cyprus government has described Weizman's visit as "very important" in efforts to develop further bi-lateral relations between the two countries.

    Judged on this basis, the visit is seen as a major success, but, on the political front, the Israeli President admitted on Tuesday that he had failed during his two days of talks, to assure Cyprus over his country's military links with Turkey.

    He said several times that the agreement concerned only Israel and Turkey and that no third party would be affected.

    The government has said it does not wish to meddle in another country's foreign policy, but stressed that concern remained high about the Israel- Turkey link.

    Turkey is important to Israel because it is the largest Islamic country which is secular.

    Weizman has ruled out the possibility of any military agreement between Cyprus and Israel and said the issue had not been raised in official talks with President Clerides on Monday.

    At a state banquet on Monday night, President Clerides said that he was only interpreting the feelings of the people of Cyprus when he said Israel's military co-operation with Turkey constituted "a source of anxiety and concern for our own security".

    Weizman's visit was the first ever to Cyprus by an Israeli head of state.

    Thursday, November 5, 1998

    [02] Vote of confidence for Hercus

    By Jean Christou

    FOREIGN Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides has said that he welcomes the UN's latest initiative aimed at restarting the stalled Cyprus negotiations.

    Speaking in London on Tuesday night, Cassoulides particularly welcomed Unficyp chief of Mission Dame Ann Hercus's efforts to renew the talks through her ongoing round of shuttle diplomacy.

    He said Dame Ann's initiative aimed at both the resumption of talks and the reduction of tension on the island.

    The minister's comments come just days after he was reported to have said that if Dame Ann failed to make progress by the end of the year then there would be no point in continuing.

    This report was followed by others which, quoting diplomatic sources, suggested that Dame Ann was not making the same kind of progress as her predecessor Gustave Feissel.

    Media speculation has been rife about the progress of the shuttle talks, fuelled by the fact that they are taking place in secrecy and that no public statements have been made.

    But diplomatic sources told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the reports claiming Dame Ann was going nowhere were unfounded and unfair.

    "Feissel had a good grip on the details because he spent a lot of years on the Cyprus problem," one diplomatic source said.

    "Hercus picked up the details very quickly, more quickly than others who have been in her position. She has mastered her brief extremely well and got to know how the minds work on both sides. She has impressed all the right people here and in New York."

    Cassoulides, speaking at the annual dinner organised by the Cypriot Brotherhood in the UK for Members of Parliament, said it was the firm position of the Cyprus government that, in order to reduce tensions, the question of reduction of foreign troops, armaments and defence spending had to be handled now.

    He added that the government was concerned over security, before during and after a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Press reports in the occupied areas yesterday quoted Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash as saying that the substance of the Cyprus problem was not on the agenda of the shuttle talks.

    Speaking on a private television channel, Denktash said the UN Secretary- general had not given Dame Ann the mandate to discuss the main elements of the Cyprus problem.

    He said only confidence-building measures were being discussed.

    Thursday, November 5, 1998

    [03] Yilmaz 'dynamiting regional security'

    THE GREEK government yesterday branded "illegal" Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz's Tuesday visit to the occupied areas, accusing him of undermining stability in the region.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas told reporters that with his presence and statements about the integration of northern Cyprus to Turkey, Yilmaz was "dynamiting security and stability in the region of the South East Mediterranean".

    Reppas said the integration threats could not be carried out against the wishes of the Turkish Cypriots, who he said opposed closer ties with the mainland, as they too were looking forward to Cyprus' EU accession.

    And the Greek spokesman was critical of continued Turkish threats against Cyprus' planned deployment of the S-300 missiles, saying that while denying "Cyprus the right to bolster its defence, Ankara is excessively arming the Turkish occupation force and jeopardising peace in the entire region."

    Turkey, he added, would have to pay the price for the normalisation of its relations with Greece, and accused it of adopting "the same policy of aggression" with respect to both the Cyprus problem and Greco-Turkish relations.

    "This," he said ominously, "determines its relations not only with Greece, but also with the EU."

    Yilmaz made his 24-hour visit to the occupied areas on Tuesday, and threatened that divisions on the island would "deepen" were Cyprus to join the EU.

    He said "measures" would be taken by Turkey, should the substantive EU talks begin on Tuesday as expected.

    The Turkish Prime Minister said it was "a dream" to expect the Turkish Cypriot people to abandon their "independent state" and be satisfied with an autonomous administration, and that Turkey would never allow a return to the pre-1974 days.

    Yilmaz added that the only option was for "the two states on the island to settle their problems between themselves and to establish the conditions for living together in peace".

    Thursday, November 5, 1998

    [04] Police probe report that doctor took drugs for son

    POLICE are investigating the disappearance of a quantity of pethidine drugs from the old Limassol hospital, the Health Ministry announced yesterday.

    Unconfirmed radio reports suggested that the pain-killers had been filched by a hospital doctor to administer to his drug-addict son. Pethidine is an addictive prescription analgesic, similar to morphine.

    The Health Ministry put out a statement in response to a Tuesday night report on ANT1 television news.

    The private channel's report suggested that a doctor at the Limassol general hospital was being investigated on suspicion of stealing 700 capsules of pethidine over the past two years and passing them on to drug addicts. The doctor had issued prescriptions for the drugs in the names of deceased former patients, ANT1 claimed.

    The ministry's version of events was different.

    "In reference to an item of news aired by a television station last night concerning the illegal supply of pethidine from the Limassol general hospital, the Health Ministry announces that it recently investigated a related complaint and found that 30 pethidine injections were missing from the outpatients clinic of the old Limassol hospital," the ministry statement read.

    "The case was forwarded to police for investigation," it added.

    Police said only that a statement concerning the case would be issued "soon".

    Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) radio reported that the doctor implicated in the missing pethidine case had taken the drugs to administer to his drug-addict son. The doctor's son had developed a dependence on heavy drugs while studying abroad and his father was trying to help him kick the habit using pethidine, CyBC reported, describing the whole affair as a "family tragedy".

    Thursday, November 5, 1998

    [05] Police claim drugs success

    POLICE believe they have cracked a serious drug trafficking ring after five people were arrested and remanded on suspicion of importing four kilograms of cannabis onto the island.

    The five suspects remanded for eight days by a Larnaca court were Panayiotis Solomou, 28, Lazos Lazarides, 24, George Georgiou, 28, Stavros Pavlou, 28, and Yiannis Aretzoglou, 36.

    Although four of the suspects face charges of possession and supply, Greek national Aretzoglou could be charged with the more serious offence of drug trafficking.

    Police said Solomou was arrested during a police drug swoop on Tuesday night after 1.2 kilos of cannabis was found in his possession.

    With him at the time were Georgiou and Pavlou, who were also arrested.

    Following a police statement by Solomou, Lazarides was also arrested; 80 grammes of cannabis was found in his possession.

    In turn Lazarides named the Greek as his alleged supplier, leading to the arrest of Aretzoglou - who had a small quantity of drugs in his possession - at a friend's house in Larnaca yesterday morning.

    Police believe the Greek brought in around four kilos of cannabis from Greece when he arrived in Cyprus last Sunday, and cut another deal in Limassol.

    Thursday, November 5, 1998

    [06] Parents fury as children detained by 'police'

    PARENTS in the occupied areas are up in arms after three minibus drivers they hired to ferry their children to school were arrested by 'police'.

    The drivers were hired after the death of a 15-year-old girl on an official schoolbus in occupied Nicosia last week. Tugba Oruc fell from the bus and was crushed to death under its wheels.

    Since then, the magnitude of the tragedy has been exacerbated by the unfeeling attitude of the authorities. First, the 'Education Ministry' refused the girl's friends time off school to attend her funeral. Then, when students protested about this and about the general condition of the busses on the day of the funeral, teachers condemned the protest as "illegal" and threw out floral tributes left on Oruc's classroom desk by her friends.

    The crowning moment, however, came on Tuesday when the minibus drivers, who had been hired by parents concerned about the unsafe busses after the 'Education Ministry' ignored their concerns, were arrested along with dozens of children they were driving to school. According to Turkish press reports, the arrests were made after the owners of the original transport company responsible for the girl's death complained that they were being by- passed by the private service.

    Outraged parents were forced to collect their children from the 'police' station.

    Thursday, November 5, 1998

    [07] Market posts record volume as takeover sentiment holds sway

    By Hamza Hendawi

    SHARE PRICES closed higher yesterday for the sixth successive session, thanks to continued interest in insurance stocks reportedly targeted by a major takeover bid, traders said.

    The all-share index closed up 0.31 per cent at 91.49, taking to 5.01 per cent total gains made since last Tuesday. At 3.67 million, volume was the biggest so far this year. Insurance stocks alone accounted for an unusually high 1.29 million, relegating the blue-chip banks sector to a rare second place.

    "People are taking positions according to how they feel," said senior broker Stavros Agrotis of CISCO, the Bank of Cyprus' investment banking arm. He was referring to yesterday's hectic trading in insurance shares.

    Shares of Paneuropean Insurance, the reported target of a takeover bid, continued to rise yesterday, adding four more cents to close at 1.25, a leap of more than 50 cents from its price in mid-October. More than 320,000 stocks in the company changed hands in yesterday's trade, accounting for 11.1 per cent of the bourse's entire volume.

    Stocks of Interamerican Insurance and Philiki Insurance, for which Paneuropean is the holding company, also continued to gain. Interamerican took on 4 cents to close at 1.12, while Philiki rose by three cents to close at 1.11. Trade in the two stocks represented 19 per cent of the market's volume, or just over 615,000.

    The keen interest in insurance stocks began last week when the Shacolas Group announced that it had been approached by parties it did not name to acquire its Paneuropean Insurance. Market speculations shortlisted the interested parties as Alpha Credit Bank of Greece, which recently acquired a majority stake in the island's now-defunct Lombard NatWest Bank, the National Bank of Greece (Cyprus) and Demetris Kontominas of Interamerican Hellas who sold Interamerican to the Shacolas group in 1995.

    The latest market report making the rounds yesterday, however, had Kontominas close to clinching a deal with Shacolas at as much as 1.55 per share, 0.30 above yesterday's closing price.

    The weekly newspaper Financial Mirror, however, said yesterday that Kontominas was offering 1.50. Tycoon Nicos Shacolas, who reportedly own at least 35 per cent of Paneuropean's market capital, insists on 2.00 apiece, the English-language newspaper said.

    An offer of 1.50 per share would translate into a windfall for Paneuropean's estimated 1,700 shareholders. But traders warn that the rapid rise in the stock value and the hurry with which players are taking positions in Paneuropean in the hope of a fast profit might leave latecomers exposed, particularly if the takeover bid founders and the price plunges as a result.

    Bank of Cyprus shares, meanwhile, ended lower yesterday for the first time since October 26. It closed at 3.78, while rival Cyprus Popular Bank gained two cents to close slightly ahead at 3.79.

    Trade in the two stocks, which between them represent nearly 60 per cent of the market's capitalisation, accounted for 20 per cent of yesterday's volume.

    Thursday, November 5, 1998

    [08] Carers of the mentally ill seek more understanding

    A LACK of government programmes and shortcomings in the family and society as a whole to respond to the rising number of problems faced by the mentally ill were among the issues discussed at a conference held recently in Larnaca.

    The conference was marked by first-hand testimonies from people looking after mentally ill relatives.

    One woman, identified as N.E., said: "When I was small, whenever I went past a Mental Clinic I was curious to find out about and understand what kind of illness those people had... I didn't know then what I would find out when I had my own family.

    "My colleagues ask when I am going on holiday. A holiday for me is the 'routine' life of other people."

    Another case was that of a 70-year-old woman caring for her 38-year-old mentally ill son, "24 hours a day, no days off, no holidays, 365 days a year." She recalled how he "sometimes wakes me up at 2.30 am saying 'I can't sleep, I feel stressed, make me something to eat.'"

    Organised by the Larnaca branch of the Mental Health For All Association, the convention took place within the framework of attempts to promote public understanding of mental health problems. The Association also wants more government help to relieve families of their constant burden, perhaps by arranging special carers to look after patients so their families can rest or take a holiday.

    Government and independent mental health experts took part in the meeting along with specialists from Greece.

    Achievements and goals were voiced, along with a sharing of experiences and advice, all of which sought to contribute to a greater understanding of the problems faced by the mentally ill and their families.

    Thursday, November 5, 1998

    [09] James Bond and the Cyprus problem

    SINCE the 'fifties, James Bond may have saved the world on an almost yearly basis, in print and on the screen, but it seems he's now been dragged into one of the messiest situations he's ever faced - the Cyprus problem.

    Local media reports have recently (incorrectly) insisted that the next Bond film is to be shot in Cyprus, and will feature Sharon Stone as the Bond Girl.

    However, according to this month's issue of the British film magazine Total Film, rumours on the internet have suggested that the film will actually be set in Turkey.

    It is not known where the information comes from, as rumours about films, particularly ones belonging to long-running series like the Bond films are rife on the internet. Part of the latest Bond novel, The Facts of Death, is set in Cyprus and the villain is a Cypriot, but there is no connection between the novels and the films.

    According to Total Film, rumour has it that 'Bond 19' will be entitled The World is Not Enough, and that the plot will pit Bond against a worthy enemy in his own illegitimate son, possibly played by Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor. Bond Jr. has been raised in Turkey by his villainous mother, Electra (Sharon Stone again), and is now a crack assassin out to get dad.

    Thursday, November 5, 1998

    [10] Vets join together to neuter cats

    FOLKLORE says the local snake population was brought under control when St.Helen brought a boatful of cats to Cyprus hundreds of years ago. Now, most people see the felines as the problem.

    In an effort to reduce the number of homeless cats, private sector vets yesterday offered free neutering and sterilisation services to cat shelters.

    A representative from the office of Dr Takis Koliandis, president of the Pancyprian Veterinary Association, told the Cyprus Mail that about 100 vets were taking part in the nationwide operation. Each vet has pledged to operate on at least five cats.

    The largely uncontrolled breeding of strays means that ever more are doomed to a life of scavenging.

    Thousands of homeless cats roam the streets, and are usually seen as a nuisance. Many are deliberately poisoned or run over. The luckier ones are taken in at animal shelters.

    Thursday, November 5, 1998

    [11] Ex-rally driver dies in plunge into sea

    RENOWNED former Cyprus rally driver Vahan Terzian, 42, of Nicosia, was killed yesterday when his car ran off the coast road between Limassol and Paphos and plunged 100 metres to the sea, Paphos police said.

    Terzian was alone in the Toyota Celica. Police said he was pronounced dead at the scene. The exact cause of the accident remained under investigation.

    Police said Terzian, who had quit racing some years ago, is married and his wife is expecting a child.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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