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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-11-10

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

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


Tuesday, November 10, 1998

CONTENTS

  • [01] Netanyahu vows to bring `spies' home - Cyprus vows: no cover-up
  • [02] EU blow as four countries insist on solution first
  • [03] Netanyahu pledge inflames situation
  • [04] Neighbours say Israelis behaved suspiciously
  • [05] Bourse suspends trade in Paneuropean
  • [06] Two Akrotiri migrants request deportation
  • [07] Girl in lucky escape from hunting accident
  • [08] New powers to probe civil service sleaze
  • [09] Brill urges both sides to take Hercus effort seriously
  • [10] Cabinet approves more special needs teachers
  • [11] September arrivals up
  • [12] Owner faces negligence charge after dog bites boy
  • [13] Police unable to prevent assault on Russian woman
  • [14] Two sides of Cyprus football on show

  • [01] Netanyahu vows to bring `spies' home - Cyprus vows: no cover-up

    By Charlie Charalambous

    SHAKY Cyprus-Israel relations have come under increased pressure following the detention at the weekend of two Israeli nationals on suspicion of spying.

    Israel upped the ante yesterday when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to bring the Israelis back home. In response, the Cyprus government reassured the public that there would be no cover-up.

    "No-one has said they should be released and nobody has come to the ministry to intervene on their behalf," said Justice Minister Nicos Koshis yesterday. He added: "There is justice in Cyprus, the law will take its course and nobody is above the law."

    Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Alecos Shambos suggested the Israelis were actively trying to get the two suspects released. "The two governments are in contact through diplomatic channels," said Shambos after meeting Clerides yesterday.

    "Every country shows an interest when one of their own (nationals) is arrested and every country is justified in requesting information."

    Although Cyprus has tried to play down the affair, saying on Sunday there was no evidence yet to suggest they were Mossad agents, the case is seen as major diplomatic incident.

    During a flurry of behind-the scenes activity yesterday, Israeli ambassador Shemi Tzur visited President Clerides in a fence-mending exercise. "We do hope that this cloud which appeared in this last weekend because of that incident will leave us and we will continue the good relations," said Tzur afterwards.

    To indicate the seriousness of the matter Israeli President Ezer Weizman sent his right-hand man, Arieh Shumer, to convey a message of "friendship" to Clerides but the contents of the communique were kept secret.

    Weizman is said to be outraged by the arrests because it came only three days after his visit to the island to reassure the government that Israel's military alliance with Turkey did not affect Cyprus.

    Commenting on the "spying" case yesterday, Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou admitted it had serious repercussions on ties with Israel. "Certainly it is something which worries us, especially in the context of the Israeli-Turkey military alliance which provides for the exchange of intelligence between the two countries."

    But Omirou was adamant there would be no cover-up, despite the loud noises from Israel demanding their release. "Under no circumstances will political motivations be taken into account," he said.

    Attorney-general Alecos Markides said the police investigation would continue uninterrupted so that he could evaluate the case file as soon as possible. He also dismissed any rumour that the authorities would run the investigation into the ground and allow the two Israelis to exit through the back door.

    "I think, in this case, the police have the power to release anybody or terminate the investigation without instructions by the proper authority which is the Attorney-general of the republic," said Markides.

    Israeli nationals Udi Argov, 37, and Ig'al Damari, 49, (who describe themselves as teachers) were detained in police custody for eight days last Saturday as spy suspects.

    Following a raid on their holiday flat in Zygi, police said they found high- tech equipment including scanners, a laptop computer, discs and tape recorders.

    Despite the government treading carefully on Israeli sensitivities, Tel Aviv has not denied that they are Mossad agents.

    According to security sources, the two men, who are being kept at separate police stations in Nicosia, have refused to answer any questions but deny the allegations. They have been visited at least twice by Israeli embassy officials.

    The security sources are reported as saying that there is evidence that the two were spying on National Guard movements and installations. The equipment found is described as being of the latest technology, of a type often used for espionage and surveillance.

    The Daily Telegraph's man in Jerusalem, Alan Philips, quoted Gad Shomron, a former Mossad agent who writes on intelligence matters as saying: "Cyprus has always been a very interesting theatre of operations for Israeli and other intelligence services.

    "It is an island not far from Syria, Beirut and Israel. It is a place that treats tourists very well and it is easy to work there. If they really are Mossad men, then it shows that the operational units seem not to take too seriously Rule No 1 - don't get caught."

    Other commentators suggested the arrest of the two men was aimed at sending a signal to Israel that it could no longer have a free hand in Cyprus which is so packed with spies that it is known as "the Berlin of the Middle East".

    Israeli newspapers said Mossad used Cyprus to keep an eye on Iranian subversion in the region. It is also said to use Cyprus as a testing ground for new agents.

    Edek leader Vassos Lyssarides was forthright yesterday in his comments on the "spying" row which he said was an "affront" to Cyprus.

    "I believe this is a spying case, what else could it be for heaven's sake? For whom these two Israeli agents were working is certainly Israel and as a consequence Turkey."

    Tuesday, November 10, 1998

    [02] EU blow as four countries insist on solution first

    By Andrew Adamides

    GERMANY, France, Italy and the Netherlands yesterday issued a joint communique stating that without a Cyprus solution severe problems will arise with the island's accession process, effectively preventing it from becoming an EU member.

    In the common motion tabled at the EU General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, the four countries said they were very aware of the "particular difficulties that the specific situation in Cyprus brings to the negotiations."

    "Continuation of the negotiations will raise a series of problems caused by the specific situation of Cyprus. The undersigned countries therefore emphasise the urgent need for a political solution, for this is the only path that will enable us to overcome these problems," the motion said. It added that admitting a divided Cyprus to the EU would pose "fundamental problems for the operation and the coherence of the Common Foreign and Security Policy"

    The four countries also noted that negotiations for a Cyprus settlement have made no progress so far.

    The motion was tabled on the eve of the substantive accession talks, which begin in Brussels today.

    Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides is not expected to comment on the communique until after his meetings there today.

    Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides last night declined to comment, while Minister of Commerce and Industry Nicos Rolandis said he was not well placed to comment on the situation.

    Greece, however, retaliated quickly to the statements. In a text submitted to the EU Council, Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou stated that the accession talks for all candidate countries should be carried out "according to equal criteria".

    Any actions or statements not consistent with the 1997 EU Luxembourg summit decisions, the statement added, "put at risk the whole enlargement process". The statement also accused Turkey of "seeking to take Cyprus' accession process hostage."

    Speaking in Warsaw, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis sought to calm fears that Athens would block accession of the other candidates if the Cyprus application did not proceed. He said that when it was decided to start membership negotiations with Cyprus in 1994, the island's political problem had been known for twenty years and there was no reason why it should present a problem now.

    Cyprus' Chief EU negotiator George Vassiliou left for Brussels yesterday, travelling via Athens where he was to meet Greek Defence Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    Meanwhile over the weekend, the Denktash regime attacked last week's EU report on Cyprus' progression towards EU membership, saying it represents only the views of the Greek Cypriot side.

    Speaking to reporters on Sunday, `Foreign Defence Minister' Tanner Etkin said the report was "not based on first-hand information" and instead used misleading information from the free areas.

    The EU, he said, would be responsible for making the division of Cyprus permanent by beginning full membership negotiations with the Greek side today. He also reiterated that the Turkish side had contributed by proposing a confederal solution and that this was their "final proposal."

    Asked about the measures the Turks were planning to take in the wake of the EU-Cyprus negotiations commencement, Etkin declined to be specific, saying: "We have completed our activities concerning the measures that will be taken, we will announce them later."

    Opposition party Akel yesterday also hit out at the EU report, saying the view that it was positive was incorrect since it placed equal responsibility for the problem on both sides. Akel also complained about insinuations in the report that the arrival of the S-300 missiles had been put off until next spring, and called for an inquiry into where this information came from.

    Tuesday, November 10, 1998

    [03] Netanyahu pledge inflames situation

    ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's vow to bring home the two men arrested in Zygi on suspicion of spying, even if they are Israeli government agents, has inflamed an already delicate situation.

    "Every Israeli citizen is important to us. We will look into this and will certainly bring them home," Netanyahu said in remarks broadcast on Israel's Army Radio yesterday.

    A press statement issued by Akel immediately slammed the comments as "provocative and unacceptable".

    "They are indicative of the mentality that characterises the Israeli government, the mentality of a conqueror and ruler," said a terse Akel announcement.

    Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou later called on Netanyahu to clarify his statements: "the least we expect from third parties is to respect international law," he said, adding that Cyprus had "its own courts and the authority to try these cases.

    Police say they found sophisticated listening equipment and radio scanners tuned in to police radio frequencies during their raid of the suspects' rented Zygi apartment in the early hours of Saturday.

    The suspects - Udi Argov and Ig'al Damari - have denied that the equipment belonged to them, police said.

    Cyprus is highly sensitive to any foreign interest in its military activities. Suspicions have recently been fuelled by the mystery surrounding the exact deployment date of the controversial S-300 air- defence system that Cyprus has ordered from Russia, with allegations that British officials based on the island have been involved in spying.

    Arch rival Turkey has pledged to take action to prevent the missiles' deployment.

    Israeli President Ezer Weizman was constantly quizzed on the issue of the Israeli-Turkey alliance during his groundbreaking visit to Cyprus last week. The alliance includes provisions for the exchange of military intelligence.

    And the focus of these exchanges could involve spying on sensitive military installations in Cyprus, such as the recently opened air base in Paphos and the planned site for a naval base in Zygi - where the suspects were caught.

    In an interview with a television chat show late on Sunday, Netanyahu did not deny that the two Israelis worked for the Mossad intelligence service.

    "We're looking into it at this point. I heard the things that the Cypriot government said about it. I think it's one of those things that the less one talks about, the better," he told Channel Two television.

    A former Mossad official said on Sunday that the two appeared to be freelances who might have been gathering information for Turkey, with which Israel has close military ties.

    "This is not the Mossad's modus operandi. It is a modus operandi that characterises private groups," said Rafi Eitan.

    "It looks like a private group that makes money from obtaining information on the Cypriot government," Eitan told Israel Radio.

    His view was echoed by local defence expert, Aristos Aristotelous, who told the Cyprus Mail yesterday: "If it was Mossad, they were acting in a very inexperienced manner; usually they use quite advanced intelligence methods."

    He believes the suspects could have been listening to army and shipping frequencies to obtain military secrets.

    "Listening to conversations is a form of spying and clues can be obtained about a ship's cargo or military activities," said Aristotelous.

    The analyst said the suspects' actions would only make sense if they were trying to track down the locations of army camps and possible weapons sites, such as those of the S-300s.

    Media reports have speculated that the two Israelis might have been trying to ascertain whether the National Guard had US-made weapons, as this could be used by Turkey to counter Cyprus government protests about American tanks and artillery organised in attack formation in the occupied areas.

    "If they were looking for US-made weapons it's not difficult to realise the government has no such weapons in Cyprus," Aristotelous said.

    In April 1991, four Mossad agents (including two women) were arrested in Nicosia trying to tap the phones of the Iranian embassy. They were later released with a fine on trespassing charges.

    It is also known that documents left behind at the US embassy in Iran after the 1979 Iranian revolution showed that Israeli agents fed intelligence to the Turks prior to the 1974 invasion of Cyprus.

    Tuesday, November 10, 1998

    [04] Neighbours say Israelis behaved suspiciously

    By Charlie Charalambous

    EYEWITNESSES have confirmed to the Cyprus Mail that the two Israelis suspected of spying on National Guard installations showed an unusual interest in military movements in the run-up to their arrest in the early hours of Saturday.

    Udi Argov and Ig'al Damari were seized in a night raid on their rented apartment. Police found communications equipment in the flat.

    Neighbours in the Zygi area said they saw the two Israelis moving around suspiciously and contacted the police.

    Local villagers also told the Cyprus Mail that the two Israelis hardly ever left their rented flat and had been sighted during the Nikiforos exercises in October, elements of which took place just 500 metres from the flat.

    It is also understood that a police informer saw the two suspects taking notes near a Cyprus army military camp and monitoring a convoy of army vehicles passing outside their apartment.

    Eyewitnesses told the Cyprus Mail that they saw the two, equipped with a lap-top computer and a mobile phone, watching military movements from their balcony and back porch, which faces the coast.

    They also said the suspects hardly spoke to anybody or ever left the apartment.

    And the nearby fish tavern owner, Panicos Christodoulides, said the two had never come to eat there, which was unusual for tourists staying at the complex.

    Christodoulides said that three unmarked police cars had waited outside the complex from 6.30pm on Friday evening, while one of the suspects went to make a call from a phone box.

    The arrests took place at 2am on Saturday morning and eyewitnesses said the suspects did not resist in any way.

    Police recognised the duo because they had already observed them acting suspiciously during the Cyprus-Greece joint military exercises Nikiforos- Toxotis last month.

    Locals confirmed that they had been spotted monitoring National Guard convoys during the exercises in October.

    On Sunday, National Guard commander Demetris Dimou said that days before the Israelis had been arrested, the army had carried out "significant activities" in the area.

    Ties between Cyprus and Israel have improved significantly in the last few years, but a recent military alliance between the Jewish state and Turkey has upset relations.

    Tuesday, November 10, 1998

    [05] Bourse suspends trade in Paneuropean

    By Hamza Hendawi

    IN A MOVE which pleased no one and angered many, the island's bourse yesterday indefinitely suspended trading in the titles of Paneuropean Insurance and its two daughter companies - targets of an intensely- publicised takeover bid.

    An official Cyprus Stock Exchange statement said the decision was aimed at protecting investors, but the suspension incensed the Shacolas Group, to which the three companies belong, and drew an angry response from some traders.

    Complaining that his group had not been consulted in advance about the decision, tycoon Nicos Shacolas described the suspension as "wrong" and warned that it could cause considerable damage and losses for shareholders.

    "We ask that you immediately review your decision," Shacolas said in a letter addressed to the bourse and made available to traders and the media.

    Earlier, the Cyprus Stock Exchange said in its brief statement that it was suspending trading in the shares of Paneuropean, Interamerican Insurance and Philiki Insurance in response to what it called the unclear situation surrounding developments over the three titles.

    The suspension, valid until "further notice", took effect before trading got under way and contributed to the market's third successive plunge in as many sessions. The all-share index fell 1.07 per cent to close at 88.97 with all seven sub-indices posting losses.

    Volume was an anaemic 1.13 million, almost half of which was taken up by the blue-chips of the banks sector.

    The insurance sector, a hub of hectic trading over the past two weeks because of the takeover report, had no more than 43,236 worth of trade yesterday, with its sub-index dipping by 0.65 per cent to close at 68.41.

    The Shacolas Group last week stood by an earlier statement on the takeover bid, saying only that negotiations had reached an advanced stage with unnamed interested parties over the purchase of a significant number of shares in Paneuropean and its daughter companies.

    Weekend media reports suggested that Greece's Demetris Kontominas, who sold Interamerican to the Shacolas Group in 1995, was close to clinching a deal for the purchase of Nicos Shacolas' stake in the three insurance companies.

    In his statement yesterday, Shacolas repeated that he could not provide an exact date for the conclusion of the negotiations. "We are making every effort to conclude the negotiations as soon as possible," he said.

    Expressing his surprise at yesterday's decision, he said similar situations involving other companies had arisen in the past and continued for months without the bourse's authority ever taking the step of suspending trade in the titles in question.

    yesterday's suspension could interfere with the takeover negotiations, said to be conducted by a three-man team led by Shacolas himself and excluding managers of the three companies.

    Market reports speak of an asking price ranging between 1.75 and 2.00 for every Paneuropean share, which is 55 cents to 80 cents above Friday's closing price. Such reports lured hundreds of investors into the three titles in the hope of cashing in if a deal materialised.

    Underlining the importance of the deal to the Shacolas Group, John Pitsillos of Share Link Securities said the conglomerate needed the cash to consolidate its retail operations - Woolworth and Cyprus Trading Corporation - in the face of growing competition.

    "It is clear that the Shacolas Group did not do exceptionally well in the insurance industry and they need to concentrate on the defence of other areas," said Pitsillos.

    Traders, meanwhile, saw the stock exchange move as surprisingly late, given the fact that Paneuropean shares had risen by more than 50 per cent since the takeover reports and rumours surfaced.

    "It all depends on whether there will be an agreement or note," said Charis Savvides of Laiki Investments, the Cyprus Popular Bank's brokerage. He was referring to the predicament of small investors with positions in the three companies.

    "If there is going to be one, that'll be fine. If not, the price will fall and a lot of people will be hurt," he told the Cyprus Mail, expressing a view that was echoed yesterday by many traders.

    "This decision should have been taken at the beginning, or not at all," said Stavros Agrotis of CISCO, the Bank of Cyprus investment banking and brokerage arm. The Shacolas Group is under no obligation to give more details than it has already, he explained, which leaves them at no fault.

    Neophytos Neophytou of AAA United Stockbrokers, was visibly angered by the decision. "They (the market authority) say they are protecting the investors by this decision, while in fact they have hurt them by locking them in."

    Tuesday, November 10, 1998

    [06] Two Akrotiri migrants request deportation

    By Anthony O. Miller

    TWO OF the 75 boat people being kept at the British airbase at Akrotiri have asked to be sent home, and will soon be deported by the Republic, Bases Spokesman Rob Need said yesterday.

    One of the two men has asked to be returned to Syria, the other to Lebanon, Need said. None of the remaining 73 has asked either for asylum in Britain or to be sent home, he added.

    The 75 have been vague about their homelands, Need said, since coming ashore on October 8 within the Sovereign Bases Area (SBA) in a leaking fishing boat described as a "floating coffin". Most of the 41 men, 10 women, 19 children and five infants among them are believed to be Iraqis.

    Need said the deportation of the two men by the Republic followed precedent set by past cases in which the Bases and the Republic had to handle illegal immigrants entering SBA territory.

    This was confirmed by British High Commission spokesman Piers Cazalet, who added that both the British and the Cyprus governments were continuing to co-operate in trying to determine the fates of the remaining 73 immigrants.

    When the boat people first landed, Attorney-general Alecos Markides insisted they were the sole, sovereign responsibility of Britain under the 1960 Treaty of Establishment. The treaty ended Cyprus's status as a British colony and ceded the bases in perpetuity to Britain as sovereign territory.

    While British authorities in Cyprus initially disputed Markides' claim, the Bases have assumed the temporary food, shelter and medical care of the boat people, including ensuring the 19 school-age children among them get classroom instruction.

    Need said two of the boat people - an Algerian and an Ethiopian with teaching credentials - were instructing the school-age children in English and Arithmetic in morning sessions, and some of the adults during the afternoons.

    This contrasts with the failure of Cyprus authorities to provide the education and recreation required under international law to the five school-age children among the 48 boat people held under virtual house- arrest at the Pefkos Hotel in Limassol.

    The 48 Pefkos detainees were among 113 boat people rescued in June, sick and starving, from an overcrowded Syrian trawler off the Cyprus coast.

    Thirty-six of the 113 remain in Cyprus Police detention in the former Famagusta police holding facility at Larnaca, and another five are elsewhere in the town, a Larnaca Police source said yesterday.

    The Famagusta facility is where 48 of the boat people were brutally beaten earlier this month by rapid-reaction force (Mmad) police, who were called in to quell a riot that broke out when the immigrants learned that some of them were to be deported.

    Cazalet said Britain and Cyprus were co-operating in trying to get Lebanese authorities to accept some of the Akrotiri immigrants back, since they put to sea from Lebanon. They were also, he said, trying to get the Lebanese authorities to prevent more boat people from setting off for Europe, only to wind up in Cyprus.

    Thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa are said to be massing in Lebanon, awaiting illicit passage to Greece or Italy as gateways to Europe. Both groups of Cyprus boat people said they had paid for passage to the Europe Union, not Cyprus.

    Tuesday, November 10, 1998

    [07] Girl in lucky escape from hunting accident

    By Anthony O. Miller

    A "VERY lucky" nine-year-old Paphos girl narrowly escaped being accidentally blinded by a partridge hunter who allegedly shot her in the face and neck, her doctor said yesterday.

    Marina Ioannou was released yesterday from Paphos General Hospital, after being admitted overnight for treatment and observation, Dr Phylactis Constantinides said.

    Paphos Police said yesterday that Marina was with her father on the family's Tala Village plantation when she was hit at around 4.30pm by pellets fired from a hunting shotgun.

    Police said they believed Savvas Nicolaides, 40, a Cyta employee from Kissonerga Village outside Paphos, was to blame.

    "It was illegal for him to shoot in a plantation area" closer to the Ioannou family's land than allowed by law, a Paphos police spokesman said.

    Cyprus law forbids hunting closer than 150 metres from homes or plantation areas, Nick Kassinis, a wildlife biologist with the Games Service, said yesterday.

    Nicolaides was not charged, and the incident remained under investigation, police said, adding the shooting appeared to have been purely accidental.

    Marina's injuries were "superficial", Dr Phylactis Constantinides said, adding, however, that she was "very lucky" not to have been blinded or worse.

    Constantinides said it was "not unusual" for the hospital to treat scores of hunting accident victims, many of them much more severely injured, during the hare and partridge season.

    The season, which opened on November 1, allows the hunting of hares and partridges every Sunday and Wednesday until December 31, according to the Game Service.

    Constantinides said the government needed to pass "stricter laws about giving out hunting licenses" in order to reduce the seasonal carnage.

    He conceded it might be safer and cheaper for hunters simply to buy partridge and rabbit from butchers' shops or supermarkets than paying what it costs to buy the guns and paraphernalia needed to stalk and shoot one.

    "From what I hear, most of them don't eat what they shoot," he said, adding that when so many hunters were out in a place as small as Cyprus, "common sense is needed, but it's not very common."

    Kassinis said hunters bagged 400,000 to 500,000 partridges and 35,000 to 50, 000 hares each year. Some 30 per cent of the birds are raised on game farms, while the "vast majority" of the hares are wild, he said.

    More than 49,000 hunting licenses were issued during the 1997 season, Kassinis said. The 1998 total will not be known until the season ends.

    Tuesday, November 10, 1998

    [08] New powers to probe civil service sleaze

    IN A move apparently calculated to allay public concern following highly publicised allegations against top government officials, the cabinet has approved a new framework for investigating cases of suspected civil service corruption.

    Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides is currently under investigation by the Auditor-general's office for alleged unlawful enrichment. Earlier this year, a disciplinary investigation found the head of the Water Development Department, Christodoulos Christodoulou, guilty of using his subordinates as free labour to build his new luxury home.

    Both cases have grabbed media headlines.

    The new framework of regulations approved by the cabinet last week, and announced yesterday, provides for greater powers for investigators appointed to probe the assets of public servants.

    "The investigating officer will be able to ask any person to present documents and other evidence in his possession and call experts to advise on matters they specialise in," a government announcement stated.

    Any decision on whether to prosecute offenders will remain with the Attorney-general's, the announcement added.

    Tuesday, November 10, 1998

    [09] Brill urges both sides to take Hercus effort seriously

    US AMBASSADOR Kenneth Brill yesterday urged the two sides in Cyprus to take the UN-led shuttle talks seriously.

    Brill was responding to questions after a meeting with President Clerides yesterday on what the US had been doing to move the process forward.

    "We are supporting in every way we possibly can, on the island and off the island, the work of the UN and specifically, Dame Ann Hercus," Brill said.

    Dame Ann, the UN's new Chief of Mission, has been mandated by Secretary- general Kofi Annan to try and kick-start the stalled Cyprus talks by means of a new round of shuttle diplomacy.

    "We strongly support what she is trying to do. We think her effort is very serious. We think that all sides need to work with her and take her effort seriously as we do, and that's the message we give in public and in private, " Brill said.

    Commenting on a remark by reporters that the US appeared to have left everything to the UN, Brill said: "I think that is not a fair thing to say."

    "The US has always worked hand in glove with the UN," he said, adding that the shuttle talks were "a new chapter in that effort... and we believe it will help pave the way to important developments it he future, if all sides take it seriously and work hard on it."

    And Brill added that, as far as he could see, all sides were so far taking it seriously.

    But Brill admitted to finding its "frustrating" that after 24 years no solution had been found to the Cyprus problem.

    He also confirmed that US presidential emissary for Cyprus Richard Holbrooke would not be visiting Cyprus next month when he travels to Turkey to attend a meeting of business men from each side of the Green Line.

    Tuesday, November 10, 1998

    [10] Cabinet approves more special needs teachers

    THE GOVERNMENT yesterday announced the appointment of 10 temporary teachers for children with special needs.

    A Cabinet decision last week approved the appointment of three speech therapists, one teacher for the deaf and six teachers for children suffering from comprehension and emotional problems.

    An official statement said the arrangement had been prompted by recent requirements in the special education sector. This raises the number of teachers in the field to 190.

    The decision comes days after the Radiomarathon fund raising effort last week. The fund-drive for children with special needs raised over 1.1 million.

    Tuesday, November 10, 1998

    [11] September arrivals up

    TOURIST arrivals in September rose by 11 per cent over the same period last year, it was announced yesterday.

    Total tourist arrivals for the month rose to 270,283 compared to 242,625 in September last year, an increase of 11.4 per cent.

    The figures mean Cyprus remains on course for a record tourist year, coming on the back of bumper arrivals in the earlier summer months.

    The average age of tourists arriving in September was 39.6 years, and the majority were males.

    Over 77 per cent were residents of EU countries. Britons accounted for 51 per cent of tourist arrivals, Germans 7.2 per cent, Sweden 5,3 per cent, Russia 5,3 per cent and Switzerland 4.8 per cent.

    In addition to the increase in tourist arrivals, there was also an upsurge in the number of Cypriots returning from abroad.

    During the month, 42,563 Cypriots returned to the island, compared to 38, 976 in the same period last year.

    Around 35 per cent were returning from Greece, 15.9 per cent form the UK, 7, 9 per cent from Israel, 6.3 per cent from Lebanon, and three per cent from Russia. Almost 70 per cent had been abroad on holidays, 24,3 per cent on business and 3.7 per cent had been studying abroad.

    The average age of Cypriots who returned to the island in September was 38.5 years and the majority were in the 25 to 44 age group.

    Tuesday, November 10, 1998

    [12] Owner faces negligence charge after dog bites boy

    THE OWNER of a doberman was arrested on Sunday after his dog bit a 13-year- old boy.

    Police say George Zambas' dog was wandering unattended in a residential area of Limassol when it bit Marios Panayides on Saturday. Panayides' hand and shoulder were slightly injured. He was given first-aid at Limassol General Hospital and released.

    Zambas, 39, has been formally charged with negligence. Police said yesterday he would appear in court "in the next few days".

    It is common practice for dogs involved in such incidents to be put down, but police were yesterday unable to confirm the fate of Zambas' doberman.

    Tuesday, November 10, 1998

    [13] Police unable to prevent assault on Russian woman

    A RUSSIAN woman got police to accompany her to her enraged boyfriend's flat but the officers were powerless to stop the man assaulting and injuring her, police reported yesterday.

    The incident occurred in Limassol in the early hours yesterday.

    According to a police report, local man Haris Ioannou and Russian Natalia Miretskaia, both 40, were spotted arguing outside a discotheque in Yermasoyeia at around 2.30am yesterday. The squabbling couple were both taken down to Yermasoyeia police station where Miretskaia asked police if she could be escorted to Ioannou's flat so she could pick up her belongings, police said.

    Police obliged but, despite their presence, Ioannou still allegedly assaulted Miretskaia, scratching her on various parts of her body.

    Miretskaia was treated at Limassol hospital and released while Ioannou was arrested, charged with assault and causing actual bodily harm and later released.

    Tuesday, November 10, 1998

    [14] Two sides of Cyprus football on show

    By George Christou

    ALL THOSE fortunate enough to watch Apoel's thrilling 4-3 victory over champions Anorthosis on Saturday night will be talking about the match for some time to come. Few league games reach such heights of excitement.

    The following day at Ammochostos stadium, fans were shown the other side of Cyprus football. Sendings off, violence, injuries, and a pitch invasion marred Salamina's 2-2 draw against Apollonas.

    In Nicosia though the game featured all the positive qualities associated with the game. Passion, commitment, excitement and unpredictablity.

    Anorthosis went in at half-time leading 3-1, but 12 minutes after the interval were trailing 4-3, Apoel scoring three-times in 10-minute spell.

    Apoel's hero was Slovakian striker Robert Kochis who joined the club by accident in the summer. He had come as a replacement for Omonia's forward Rainer Rauffman, but when the German decided to stay in Cyprus he went to Apoel.

    Kochis scored twice in five minutes at the start of the second half to restore parity. His first came from a glancing header and the second from powerful shot inside the area.

    Another foreigner, Marcello scored Apoel's other two goals, both from the penalty spot. He put his side in front in the 12th minute and scored the winner in the 57th.

    Yiotis Engomitis opened the scoring for Anorthosis before former Apoel player Vesco Michailovic added another two. He converted a penalty and a minute before half-time scored from 45 yards out, after spotting Apoel keeper Petrides off his line lobbing the ball into the net.

    This was Anorthosis' first league defeat in 21 games, of which they had drawn only two. Apoel's new coach, Slobodan Vutsecovic has a good record against the champions. Last season, his side Ethnikos inflicted Anorthosis' first home defeat in four and a half years.

    Anorthosis remain top of the league table, ahead of Apoel on goal difference.

    Apollonas owed their point at Salamina to a controversial penalty, awarded in the third minute of injury time.

    The penalty, given when Romanian forward Kirstea ran into a Salamina defender inside the area, sparked the first pitch invasion, by substitutes and officials of the home side. Police intervened, Salamina's Panayiotou was sent off, and Nikki Papavassiliou score from the penalty to make the score 2-2.

    A minute later, Salamina's Kokos Elia said something to referee Karaiskakis and was shown the red card. He was restrained by team-mates from beating up the ref.

    The sending off sparked the second pitch invasion, this time by fans. Police could not get crowd off the pitch, while the referee fled to the dressing rooms. He returned 25 minutes later to restart the game and blow the final whistle, a few seconds later.

    Salamina coach Andreas Mouskallis was furious with the refereeing, saying he was considering resigning if the "refereeing fiasco continues".

    Third-placed Omonia were held to a 1-1 draw at Paralimni with the home side playing the entire second half with 10 men after the sending off of Loizou.

    They are equal on points with Ael who were held to a 2-2 draw by Alki in Limassol. Zamphir ensured a point for Alki with an injury time equaliser.

    Aris also had to play the last 25 minutes of their 4-2 defeat by Evagoras - their seventh of the season - with nine men after the sendings-off of Demosthenous and Hadjiantoniou. Stevo Dragisic scored a hat-trick for Evagoras.

    Aek's Xiourouppas hit four goals as his side crushed newly-promoted Doxa 7- 0, the biggest league victory in the Larnaca side's brief history.

    Finally in Nicosia, Olympiakos and Ethnikos drew 1-1.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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