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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-11-14

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, November 14, 1998


  • [01] Cyprus to call UN debate
  • [02] Applications start arriving for new pilgrimage
  • [03] Police prepare for UDI protests
  • [04] Israelis to go to court tomorrow
  • [05] Lellos warns of cash 'war'
  • [06] Kyprianou faces leadership challenge
  • [07] Harmonisation 'going well'
  • [08] Backstage problems blamed for Naomi's Sigma flop
  • [09] Limassol pleads for more police
  • [10] Car blown up outside cabaret

  • [01] Cyprus to call UN debate

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS will ask the United Nations for a new debate on the island's political problem in the spring, President Glafcos Clerides said yesterday.

    The decision was taken at the National Council, the government's top advisory body on the Cyprus problem.

    Centre-right Diko and right-wing New Horizons opposed the decision.

    After the two-hour meeting, Clerides said: "The National Council decided to request time for a debate on the Cyprus problem at the new session of the UN General Assembly, which begins in either April or May."

    Government spokesman Christos Stylianides said: "The decision to ask for time for a debate has been taken, but I believe we would all like to reconsider the matter if there are positive developments (on the Cyprus issue)."

    He did not elaborate, but said the debate would deal with all aspects relating to the Cyprus problem.

    Negotiations on the Cyprus problem have been deadlocked since the EU decided last December to go ahead with accession negotiation with Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot side pulled away from negotiations and only recently agreed to UN-led shuttle talks, which are currently under way on both sides.

    Diko leader Spyros Kyprianou said yesterday's decision on the request for a debate at the General Assembly was "untimely", while New Horizons leader Nicos Koutsou opposes the move entirely.

    "Diko disagrees with the decision and believes a lot can be achieved between now and the new Assembly session, including a recourse to the Security Council," Diko general secretary Stathis Kittis said.

    A recourse to the Security Council would mean a new UN resolution on Cyprus.

    "We believe it is not wise to announce a recourse today while later on different circumstances may lead us to revoke today's decision," Kittis said.

    New Horizons' leader Koutsou said what Cyprus needed now was not a new debate or a fresh recourse, but a new strategy.

    "We would be repeating ourselves if we were to have a new recourse with moves that have proved to be without a purpose and unproductive," he said.

    Politicians emerging from the National Council yesterday made it clear that the controversial S-300 missile issue, although originally on the agenda, had not been discussed.

    Saturday, November 14, 1998

    [02] Applications start arriving for new pilgrimage

    By Jean Christou

    OVER 400 people have already applied to make the pilgrimage to Apostolos Andreas on November 30, the Humanitarian Affairs office said yesterday.

    Commissioner Takis Christopoulos said places for 1,000 pilgrims would be made available. The deadline for applications has been set for November 19.

    Christopoulos said those who had gone on previous pilgrimages should not apply. Over 6,000 people applied for the 1,000 places on the last pilgrimage in August.

    The Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner dismissed criticism of the visit from the anti-occupation organisation Pak, saying he was "not interested" in what they had to say.

    During the last visit, Pak members staged a protest at the Ledra palace checkpoint where pilgrims were crossing.

    Pak representative Aris Hadjipanayiotou said yesterday that there would be no demonstration this time.

    He said Pak did not blame people for wanting to go, but

    felt it was wrong to give ammunition to the Turkish Cypriot regime, which he said would use the exercise to claim that Greek Cypriots recognised it as a separate state.

    "We are all Christian Orthodox and we want to go to our monastery, but people don't understand the problems simply because they believe in the Apostle Andreas," Hadjipanayiotou said.

    He blamed the government and Christopoulos' office for organising the trip in the first place.

    "It is not his (Christopoulos') job to be a tour operator, but he is doing this job now by obtaining a licence to take his customers, as I like to call them, over there."

    The majority of those who will make the trip on October 30, the Apostle's feast day, will - in line with the usual policy - be the old, the seriously ill and those who have come especially from abroad to make the visit.

    It will be the fourth such visit in the past 18 months, meaning that some 4, 000 Greek Cypriots have now crossed to the occupied monastery since 1974.

    Over 10,000 applications were received for 600 places on the November 30 trip last year and around 3,000 for the first trip on August 15 the same year.

    The trips are allowed by the Turkish Cypriot side in return for Turkish Cypriots being allowed to visit the Kokkina enclave and the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca, one of Islam's holiest shrines.

    Saturday, November 14, 1998

    [03] Police prepare for UDI protests

    By Jean Christou

    POLICE yesterday began setting up road blocks around the Ledra Palace in anticipation of anti-occupation demonstrations on Sunday when Turkish Cypriots will mark the 15th anniversary of the declaration of the breakaway state in the north.

    Protests against the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) on November 15 1983 began early in the week and are expected to culminate in several demonstration by various refugee and other groups at the weekend.

    Last night, refugees from occupied Kythrea staged an all-night vigil at the Ledra Palace checkpoint, while the regular anti-occupation protestors will take up their usual positions there today and tomorrow.

    "We will continue as usual," said Pak anti-occupation group representative Aris Hadjipanayiotou. "But we expect to have more people."

    Student demonstrations are also expected, but they are not due to take place until Monday, the day after the anniversary in the north.

    The Education Ministry said yesterday it had not sanctioned any demonstrations by secondary school pupils on Monday.

    A spokesman said that University students were organising a demonstration, which they had cleared with the ministry.

    "But we have not given permission for pupils to get out of classes," the ministry spokesman said. "Our instructions are to stay in school, and if they leave to take the consequences."

    But he admitted that those consequences would probably only amount to an absentee mark.

    The spokesman said it was important for the pupils to learn about and mark the events in the north, but that the Ministry preferred this to be done "in class and not outside of the school".

    Saturday, November 14, 1998

    [04] Israelis to go to court tomorrow

    By Charlie Charalambous

    POLICE said yesterday that two Israelis arrested last weekend on suspicion of spying would be back in court in Larnaca tomorrow morning for a re- remand order.

    Rumours that police would switch the location of the hearing to Nicosia and take the Israelis to court unannounced for security reasons were yesterday dismissed.

    "As far as I know, they will be brought before the court on Sunday at Larnaca which issued the first remand," police spokesman Glafcos Xenos told the Cyprus Mail.

    Xenos said that due to the slow progress of the inquiries, the two Israeli suspects would be taken for a re-remand rather than being officially charged with spying against the Cyprus Republic.

    "All indications of the investigation seem to point to a further detention order," Xenos said.

    This view was upheld by Attorney-general Alecos Markides, commenting yesterday on the expiry of the remand order on Sunday.

    "The police will have to ask for its renewal, as obviously investigations have not yet been concluded," Markides said.

    "Nothing can been done before the case file comes before the Attorney- general's office."

    Israelis Udi Argov, 37, and Ig'al Damari, 49, who were remanded for eight days last Saturday by a Larnaca district court on suspicion of spying, have declined to answer any questions during police interrogations.

    A raid on their Zygi apartment uncovered high-tech surveillance equipment that was tuned into police and army radio frequencies.

    Sources close to the investigation are reported as saying the Israelis are being kept at two separate police stations in Nicosia and are being treated with "kid gloves" because of the political aspects of the case and a close interest shown by the Israeli embassy in Nicosia.

    The same sources are also reported as saying the police cannot use interrogation "techniques" that are common practice in other countries in cases of espionage.

    Saturday, November 14, 1998

    [05] Lellos warns of cash 'war'

    By Martin Hellicar

    NICOSIA Mayor Lellos Demetriades yesterday threatened debt-ridden municipalities would declare "war" on the government if it failed to give them more cash.

    "The only way they will take any notice of us is for us to raise the flag of war and say: we are part of government in this place and you must respect us," Demetriades told a press conference in Nicosia yesterday morning.

    Demetriades, speaking in his capacity as chairman of the Union of Municipalities, said the union would be meeting on Tuesday to decide what action to take in an effort to change what he sees as central government's "bad attitude" to local government.

    The Nicosia Mayor has labelled the level of government subsidy for municipalities "comical".

    In response, the government has pleaded poverty, saying it cannot afford to allocate any more than 0.4 per cent of its budget to local government. Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou enraged Demetriades by stating municipalities would have to wait in line with everyone else seeking government subsidies. The Nicosia Mayor responded that municipalities in the EU enjoy subsidies of between 5 and 20 per cent of their government's budget.

    The Union of municipalities wants the government subsidy to be raised to one per cent and to be given time and assistance to pay off mounting debts.

    The union would consider an appeal to the European Union if the government continued to ignore its pleas, Demetriades said yesterday. He added that this would be a step taken reluctantly, "because we don't want to ruin Cyprus's reputation abroad."

    The only good news, Demetriades said, was that the union had managed, after months of trying, to secure an audience with President Clerides to explain its position. The meeting will take place on November 20.

    Saturday, November 14, 1998

    [06] Kyprianou faces leadership challenge

    SPYROS Kyprianou is set to face an official challenge to his position as leader of the Diko party for the first time in the party's 22-year history.

    Diko executive office member Michalakis Kyprianou (no relation) yesterday announced an "intent" to stand against Spyros Kyprianou - a former President and the current president of the House - in the forthcoming party leadership elections. The pretender said his standing for election would be about giving the party base a chance to vote for renewal if it so wished.

    "With the announcement of this intent (to stand) I simply want to send out the political message that the party base has the right to choose, especially when it comes to the position of party leader," Michalakis Kyprianou said.

    "From the day of the party's foundation, party leader Spyros Kyprianou has been re-elected unopposed. I think the party base has the right to exercise the holy right of choice."

    Michalakis Kyprianou stopped short of any actual criticism of the party leader, but said there were "very many" within the party who now "believe it is time for renewal".

    The centre-right party has been in turmoil ever since it backed a loser in last February's Presidential elections. The decision to abandon an alliance with President Clerides's Disy party and join left-wing Akel in backing George Iacovou led to many party stalwarts jumping ship.

    Party leadership elections are set for November 22.

    Saturday, November 14, 1998

    [07] Harmonisation 'going well'

    By Andrew Adamides

    CYPRUS' harmonisation process with the EU acquis communautaire is moving along in a "satisfying" way, according to visiting EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Anita Gradin.

    Speaking yesterday after a meeting with Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides, Gradin said: "Cyprus is fulfilling its duties. There are some technical questions, like with all countries, but I am sure they will be solved."

    Referring to the political situation on the island, which has raised concern among some member states, she said: "now we are negotiating for membership, and parallel to this you have the UN having an envoy here who is working hard, and I also know that different parties are engaged in trying to find a solution also to the political situation... So why shouldn't it be possible to solve the problem of Cyprus?"

    Asked whether the EU would put pressure on Turkey to pull out of Cyprus, she added that "we have a dialogue with all parties involved and are trying to get everybody to look into the situation. You have to get everybody on board so that we can talk and find solutions."

    As to the harmonisation process, Gradin said "Cyprus is moving, Cyprus is doing well, and we are also now improving our co-operation, particularly when it comes to sea borders."

    Earlier in the day Gradin also met with President Glafcos Clerides, in a meeting also attended by Cassoulides, Justice Minister Nicos Koshis, Undersecretary Pantelis Kouros and the Head of the European Union delegation in Cyprus, Donato Chiarini.

    She also met separately with Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides and Attorney-general Alecos Markides. She leaves tomorrow.

    Saturday, November 14, 1998

    [08] Backstage problems blamed for Naomi's Sigma flop

    By Andrew Adamides

    AFTER all the hype preceding Supermodel Naomi Campbell's Wednesday night Sigma appearance, the television channel yesterday blamed the flop event on backstage problems at the Metaxas jewellery show where she was appearing.

    Campbell was contracted to make four two-minute appearances on the station's popular and trendy magazine show Katerina, strutting her stuff in Metaxas' 35th anniversary creations. However, although she was due out at 7.30pm, she did not actually appear until 7.43, due to "backstage problems" about which Sigma director Elena Aloneftis said Metaxas did not want to elaborate.

    The show, which usually lasts for 35 minutes, was granted a five minute extension, but then had to make way for the popular locally-produced sitcom Sto Para Pende.

    As a result, Campbell was only shown for one of her two-minute appearances, and that was cut to 1 minute 40 seconds as Sigma's link up with the Forum Hotel, where the show was being staged, went down.

    Aloneftis told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that there would, however, be a full interview with the Streatham-born supermodel on next Wednesday's edition of Katerina. Following the jewellery show, presenter Katerina Vati did finally interview Campbell, whom Aloneftis described as being "demanding" about her lighting. The supermodel also refused to be shot in close-up, she added, but was "professional" in all respects.

    Campbell arrived in Cyprus on Wednesday and left yesterday. Metaxas paid her an undisclosed amount to model the jewels, alongside six Greek models and one Cypriot.

    During the Katerina show, Campbell was also shown at two other slots: in recorded footage of her arriving at Larnaca, and in her dressing room, when the on-location presenter opened the door and waved hello to her.

    Campbell, who was fishing in her bag at the time, turned to her personal assistant and apparently mouthed a phrase beginning with "I don't want..."

    Saturday, November 14, 1998

    [09] Limassol pleads for more police

    By Charlie Charalambous

    LIMASSOL residents yesterday demanded the deployment of more police on the beat to prevent the coastal town being overrun by gangsters and criminals.

    Justice Minister Nicos Koshis chaired a special meeting at Limassol town hall yesterday to discuss the situation with local police chiefs, councillors, residents and mayor Demetris Kontides.

    "The aim of my presence here is to talk with the mayor about better policing for Limassol," Koshis said yesterday.

    "We have a common aim, which is to make Limassol a jewel."

    Kontides raised concerns about the lack of policing in Limassol, which he said had expanded rapidly and was seeing an increasing number of tourists each year, warranting more men on patrol.

    The mayor argued that Limassol was a priority case because of its ongoing gangland war, the large number of cabarets, which are usually fronts for prostitution, increased incidents of illegal gun possession and vice- related cases.

    In response, Koshis said he would meet with the Interior and Labour ministers to try and get any new licenses for cabarets stopped and the number of foreign dancers employed there reduced.

    "I think seventy cabarets in Cyprus is enough," said Koshis.

    Recent interior ministry statistics say about 1,200 foreign artistes are employed at 69 cabarets.

    The recent round of bloodletting between rival underworld gangs is attributed to a turf war over the control of gambling, prostitution and drugs.

    Specific areas pinpointed for an increased police presence were Heroes Square (Limassol's infamous red light district), the old and new ports and the botanical gardens.

    And Kontides wants the number of police actually stationed in Limassol bolstered. Locals also want to see police visible on the street, apart from extra patrols around the town.

    Koshis agreed that more police needed to be deployed, and revealed there plans were afoot to station a mobile rapid reaction unit (MMAD) permanently in Limassol.

    Saturday, November 14, 1998

    [10] Car blown up outside cabaret

    A BOMB exploded under a car parked outside a the Atlantis cabaret on the Larnaca to Dhekelia road in the early hours yesterday.

    No one was injured by the blast, but the E-registration Honda CRX targeted was completely destroyed, police said.

    The owner of the vehicle, 28-year-old Larnaca businessman Dimitris Hadjiconstanti, known as Jimmy, was in the Atlantis when the bomb went off at about five minutes past midnight, police said.

    Police forensic experts later said the blast had been caused by a powerful home-made device.

    Jimmy's property has in the past been the target of arsonists, and police believe yesterday's bomb attack may have been motivated by business rivalries.

    "All possibilities are being investigated," Larnaca police chief Savvas Lardis said.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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