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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-01-27

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, January 27, 1999


  • [01] Strike misery looms for 1,500 CY passengers
  • [02] Cruise firm takes to the skies
  • [03] Smoke-free flights take to the skies
  • [04] Gangland wars claim new victim
  • [05] Father admits stabbing prospective son-in-law
  • [06] Espionage trial adjourned
  • [07] Cassoulides: Britain must restate its position
  • [08] Are hunters the real environmentalists?
  • [09] CyBC considers new showing of censored film
  • [10] Michaelides secures immigrant pledge from Lebanon
  • [11] Cross party talks under way for centrist movement
  • [12] Man held after police find stash of electrical goods
  • [13] Pensioner killed after moped crash

  • [01] Strike misery looms for 1,500 CY passengers

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS Airways (CY) yesterday issued a plea to staff not to go ahead with tomorrow's planned four-hour strike.

    In a statement to employees, management said it was not too late to reconsider the strike, which is scheduled to take place between 7am and 11am.

    The strike will hit 24 flights: 16 of them will be delayed, affecting some 1,500 passengers from the 2,500 expected to fly with CY tomorrow.

    "It's a four-hour work stoppage, but we have rescheduled our flights," said CY spokesman Tassos Angelis. "We'll have some delay for these flights. The delays will be from one hour, two hours, three hours..."

    The industrial action over pay will also cost the struggling airline hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    CY's biggest union, Cynika, which has some 1,200 members, is seeking a 4.5 per cent rise in wages and other benefits, in line with increases given to semi-government bodies.

    It says the union has not made any claims in the past two years because of the company's financial situation.

    Cynika repeated its stance yesterday at a press conference in Nicosia.

    But CY says it traded several financial concessions with the union in return for industrial peace in 1998 and claims the unions are now attempting to seek more than what they are entitled to.

    In its letter to staff yesterday, CY said it was "saddened" by the risk of a strike that would be "damaging" and "an unnecessary confrontation".

    "It's not too late to call it off," the letter said. "We did not decline to discuss issues of increases."

    Cynika president Costas Demetriou said yesterday there was nothing new to make the union reverse its decision to strike tomorrow.

    "Everything is still the same," he said.

    Demetriou said the union enjoyed unconditional support from the engineers' union and workers' union Peo, while the other two CY unions, the pilots and the smaller breakaway cabin crew's union have promised not to cross any picket lines.

    Pilots union Pasipy refused unconditional support for the strike, but feels the company has acted unfairly in not keeping its side of last year's deal with Cynika.

    "The Cyprus Airways practice of signing agreements which later it disputes or complains about or protests must end," a Pasipy announcement said. "Otherwise the lack of trust created between various sides will have disastrous consequences."

    Angelis said he did not believe the measures would escalate and expressed confidence in statements by Communications and Works Minister Leontios Ierodiaconou that the government would not tolerate the union's actions.

    "I don't think it's going to escalate," Angelis said. "We're very firm on that, and the government is very firm."

    But the union was angry at Ierodiaconou's stance: "We do not agree with the position expressed by the minister," said Cynika's Demetriou yesterday.

    He said the union will meet on Monday to decide whether further strike action would be necessary.

    Wednesday, January 27, 1999

    [02] Cruise firm takes to the skies

    By Jean Christou

    Cruise giants Louis will take to the skies at the beginning of next year with the launch of its charter airline, the company said yesterday.

    But the approval of the charter licence for Louis has caused some concern to Cyprus Airways and its charter arm Eurocypria, which feels unprepared for the competition.

    Louis marketing manager George Michaelides told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the new airline would be called 'Capital L Airlines', and would operate along the same lines as Eurocypria, bringing in tourists from aborad but not operating out of the island itself.

    Markets will include the UK and European countries. Louis already brings in some 600,000 tourists each year through its travel agencies in other countries, not including the thousands of people it takes on mini cruises each year from Cyprus.

    "We will not be taking Cypriots abroad," Michaelides said.

    The Louis manager said the firm wold be leasing three aircraft, each with seating for 160 to 170 passengers.

    He said it was still early for any decisions on whom Louis would lease from, but added it was unlikely to be Cyprus Airways. "We have just now received the permission. We will wait to see which tour operators will be interested in the idea," Michaelides said. "There are already 40 charter companies coming into Cyprus from many countries. Getting into this area is a new development for the company. We are covered in all other aspects and the one which was left was the airline business."

    Permanent Secretary of the Communications and Works Ministry Vassos Pyrgos said yesterday the Louis licence would be issued for a period of one year; if the Air Licensing Authority is satisfied with the company's performance, it will renew the licence every five years.

    But Cyprus Airways (CY), already facing strike action this week, expressed concern over the government's move to grant a licence to Louis.

    CY spokesman Tassos Angelis said yesterday the government was not giving the national carrier enough time to become competitive.

    "They (Louis) are going to be in competition with us, Eurocypria and Cyprus Airways on the IT (Inclusive tours) traffic," Angelis said. "Our position is that the government should not have gone further towards liberalisation."

    Cyprus will have fully to liberalise its air transport policy before EU membership, in line with other member states.

    Angelis said CY felt the government should have allowed the company more of a "breathing space" to reorganise and become more competitive in the face of liberalisation.

    "Things are moving very quickly and these new developments show how important it is for us to impalement our strategic plan to make the company more competitive and viable," Angelis said. "It shows how quickly liberalisation is taking place."

    Wednesday, January 27, 1999

    [03] Smoke-free flights take to the skies

    Anthony O. Miller

    EXPERIMENTAL smoke-free Cyprus Airways (CA) flights took to the skies with only a few complaints this week, as pilots puffed away in the cockpits and passengers and cabin crew abstained in the rear, CA spokesman Tassos Angelis said yesterday.

    Cabin crew co-operation in the trial non-smoking flights to London and Athens Heathrow followed initial protests - and threats of industrial action - over the CA ban on their lighting up, while letting pilots smoke in the cockpits.

    "I spoke with the cabin staff management, and they have some initial feedback. They didn't get all the reports, but the preliminary feedback is that we didn't have any particular problems" with the smoke-free flights, Angelis said.

    With only preliminary information, a fuller picture will emerge only later this week, after all cabin-crew reports are in management's hands, he said. Before then, "we cannot make any real comments," he said.

    "There were some complaints," Angelis admitted. "One passenger said that: 'I was not told at the check-in desk that it's a non-smoking flight.' That was a comment by one passenger, one of the few hundred that flew," in the smoke-free trials yesterday and on Monday. "But no serious objections, no serious problems," otherwise, he said.

    Angelis said one cabin report claimed "everyone was happy, even the heavy smokers. That's what the purser said. But in order to be correct, we'll have to wait a few days."

    "There was smoking in the cockpit, because the cockpit doesn't in any way affect the rest (of the plane) - I mean it's a natural place," Angelis said. "It's isolated (from the passenger compartment's ventilation system), he said, adding: "It's the captain's prerogative to allow or not to allow smoking there."

    The smoke-free flights resulted from a poll by the airline that showed 90 per cent of CA passengers preferred smoke-free flights - the kind more and more international carriers are introducing. British Airways bans all smoking on all its flights and even Olympic Airways bans smoking on domestic flights in Greece.

    Angelis disputed the suggestion that smoking, reducing as it does the amount of oxygen going to the brain, might constitute a hazard by affecting pilots' reactions.

    "You can hear the opposite argument from pilots. They say (that without their nicotine 'fix'), 'We cannot concentrate, we have this nervousness.' Withdrawal symptoms," Angelis said.

    US law bars all smoking in all parts of all planes in US airspace. But Angelis said many companies followed the same 'pilots only' policy that CY was testing: "There are companies that follow this policy (pilots only). There are companies that follow the other policy (total ban), and there are companies that have no policy at all."

    "Our objective is to have encouraging results out of this survey, and proceed with prohibiting smoking all over our network," he declared.

    The trial runs through to March 28.

    Wednesday, January 27, 1999

    [04] Gangland wars claim new victim

    By Charlie Charalambous

    A MAN was shot dead on the streets of Limassol yesterday morning, prompting Justice Minister Nicos Koshis to concede that police could do little to prevent a new wave of gangland killings.

    The minister's frankness about an unavoidable "gangland war" came in the wake of what police described as a "professional hit" on 33-year-old George Ioannou.

    Ioannou, alias Kotsoudkias, was shot over 20 times as he left a Limassol cabaret with a Ukrainian stripper at 5.15am yesterday, police said.

    "We had a murder this morning; as we said, it seems to be gangs settling their accounts and it looks set to continue," Koshis said after the shooting.

    "The murder is connected to a gangland war in Limassol to eliminate rivals... and we can't rule out the likelihood of more murders."

    Asked whether this latest outbreak of violence was a serious problem for the police, he conceded: "It's not easy for the police to keep track of everyone."

    Police believe yesterday's killer patiently waited for his victim, hiding in a nearby building before opening fire with an automatic weapon.

    "It was a well-planned professional shooting," said Limassol police chief Miltiades Neocleous.

    Although rushed to Limassol hospital for emergency surgery, Ioannou died from fatal wounds to the chest and stomach 20 minutes later.

    Police said the gunman "vanished" from the scene with the assistance of a getaway driver.

    The Ukrainian woman, who was unharmed in the shooting, was later questioned by police.

    Investigators said the only motive for the killing was the ongoing wave of mafia vendettas.

    Police spokesman Glafcos Xenos did little to raise morale when he confessed: "We are fumbling in the dark a bit."

    What investigators do know is that Ioannou was a close friend of Tassos Simellides. He left the island last December with a new identity after turning state's evidence against the Aeroporos brothers.

    Despite his testimony, Hambis, Andros and Panicos Aeroporos were acquitted in June last year over the attempted murder of Larnaca club owner Antonis Fanieros. A criminal court deemed Simellides as an unreliable witness.

    The acquittal triggered a string of underworld killings mainly targeting the Aeroporos clan and their associates.

    Weeks after walking free, Andros was shot dead outside a Limassol night club; his elder brother Hambis suffered the same fate last December.

    A Czech-made M58 uncovered at the scene of Hambis' assassination is believed to be the same used in the hit on Andros.

    Two policemen are among five suspects charged in connection with Hambis' murder.

    Yesterday's victim Ioannou and Simellides had previously been sentenced to 18 months jail on pimping charges.

    Ioannou, who ran a Limassol bar owned by Simellides, had also been known to police as a suspected drug pusher.

    Limassol CID said yesterday they wanted to question a 27-year-old man, recently released from prison, in connection with the murder.

    Wednesday, January 27, 1999

    [05] Father admits stabbing prospective son-in-law

    A FATHER of three yesterday pleaded guilty to a vicious knife attack that left his prospective son-in-law paralysed.

    Andreas Piskopou, 48, stabbed Sotiris Vassiliou, 26, three times on December 11 last year after an argument over Vassiliou's decision to wed Piskopou's daughter Ioanna, the Larnaca Assizes heard yesterday. Piskopou, from Leivadia outside Larnaca, objected to the marriage plans because Vassiliou is his daughter's second cousin, the court heard.

    The attack, which took place at Vassiliou's home in Dhekelia outside Larnaca, was witnessed by Ioanna. Piskopou drove Vassiliou to Ormidia police station after the attack and later gave himself up to police.

    Injuries suffered in the attack cost the victim the use of his arms and legs.

    Piskopou yesterday pleaded guilty to a charge of causing grievous bodily harm. He is to be sentenced today.

    The court heard that Piskopou had told police he carried out the attack "in a moment of anger."

    His lawyer, Marios Pavlides, pleaded for leniency from the court, saying his client had never planned the attack and had been under "severe emotional stress" at the time.

    Ioanna and Vassiliou, who has been in hospital ever since the attack, still plan to marry, the court heard.

    Wednesday, January 27, 1999

    [06] Espionage trial adjourned

    Prosecution calls for military witness to be heard in camera

    By Charlie Charalambous

    THE TRIAL of two Israelis suspected of spying was adjourned in Larnaca yesterday after the prosecution asked for the testimony of its first witness to be presented behind closed doors.

    Prosecution lawyer George Papaioannou told the Assize court that he wanted "sensitive evidence" to be given by National Guard officer Vassos Kountouris to be kept out of the public domain.

    "If this testimony is made public it could endanger the security of the state," Papaioannou told the court yesterday.

    It is understood that Kountouris, a member of the army General Command, will testify on the significance of the map markings found in the possession of the two Israelis.

    The prosecution has submitted as evidence eight maps of Cyprus. They are among 23 exhibits, which were discovered at the Zygi holiday flat where suspects Igal Damary, 49, and Udi Hargov, 37, were arrested last November 7.

    The prosecution will argue that the map markings made by the suspects related to secret military facilities, of which only the top echelons of the National Guard are aware.

    Defence lawyer Andis Triantafyllides said the prosecution's unusual request had caught him by surprise, and asked the court to give him more time to study the implications.

    "This is the first I've heard of it and it is an unprecedented step. There was no request at the start to proceed behind closed doors," Triantafyllides said.

    Papaioannou made it clear that he was not requesting that the entire proceedings be held in camera, but just the testimony of a few state witnesses.

    Another surprise at yesterday's hearing was the appearance of the two Israelis, who had undergone a complete image change.

    Gone were the scruffy beards, track suit tops, shabby clothes, worry beads and constant chewing of gum.

    They were replaced by crisp white shirts, bright ties, matching plaid jackets and shiny shoes, apparently all fresh out of the box.

    Damary and Hargov deny charges of spying against Cyprus, conspiracy to commit espionage and possessing illegal listening devices.

    Spying charges carry a maximum 10 year jail term.

    The hearing was adjourned until Friday morning.

    Wednesday, January 27, 1999

    [07] Cassoulides: Britain must restate its position

    By Jean Christou

    BRITAIN must restate its position on the Cyprus problem following last week's uproar over comments by British special envoy Sir David Hannay, Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides said yesterday.

    Speaking after a high-profile meeting at the Presidential Palace on the Russian S-300 missiles, Cassoulides said the government expected Britain to make the next move.

    "We would prefer a more clear stand on the part of Britain on two counts," Cassoulides said. "I think it needs to be repeated that the Cyprus problem must be solved on the basis of UN resolutions and the bicommunal bizonal federation."

    It must also be repeated, he said, that the parties in Cyprus were obliged to comply with the latest UN Security Council Resolutions concerning security and the reduction of tensions on the island.

    The resolutions were passed by the Security Council immediately before last December's cancellation of the missile deployment.

    President Clerides took exception to comments by Sir David on his arrival last, week believing the British envoy had implied the cancellation of the missiles was a bargaining manoeuvre on the part of the Greek Cypriot side. Clerides subsequently boycotted a dinner with Sir David.

    "The president acted wisely and his move was approved by the political leadership because what counts is the impressions that are created in public opinion, which must be taken into account," Cassoulides said.

    The Foreign Minster had been attending a meeting with the Ministers on Defence, Yiannakis Chrysostomis, and Finance, Christodoulos Christodoulou, and National Guard Commander Dimos Dimou. Later Russian ambassador Georgi Muratov met the Defence Minister at his office. The meetings were unannounced and no statements were made afterwards, apart from Muratov saying that discussions on technical aspects concerning the missiles were continuing. Cyprus and Greece now want the missiles deployed in Crete.

    A row also erupted yesterday between the Palace and state broadcaster CyBC over a report that Clerides would hold a referendum on any Cyprus solution and then resign.

    The report prompted an official denial yesterday from the President, which was read out by acting government spokesman Spyros Arotis.

    Arotis said that, like his predecessors, Clerides had pledged that a referendum would take place before any solution to the Cyprus problem was signed but denied any suggestion that the president was planning to step down. CyBC stuck by its report in a bulletin broadcast later in the day, saying its sources were reliable.

    Wednesday, January 27, 1999

    [08] Are hunters the real environmentalists?

    By Martin Hellicar

    A DEBATE on animal welfare turned into a heated argument over hunting rights and wrongs at the House environment committee yesterday morning.

    The committee also tackled the equally thorny issues of poison baiting, stray dogs and cruelty to pets.

    Representatives of environmental and animal protection groups exchanged barbs with their counterparts from hunting organisations and the Game service.

    Animal welfare groups charged that hunters were depriving people of the chance to enjoy the countryside and were wiping out wildlife. There was an urgent need further to restrict hunting areas and times and to tighten up licensing, the greens added.

    Kokos Solomonides, of the Hunters' Association, agreed there was a need for more rigorous testing for those seeking a hunting licence - his association has been pushing for this since 1973, he said. But he took exception to hunters being labelled, as he put it, "killers and black sheep."

    Solomonides claimed hunters were the true environmentalists on the island and, in an effort to prove his point, set out to recount the history of how the Hunters' Association had come to be.

    Committee chairman Demetris Eliades objected, urging Solomonides to get to the point. But the chairman eventually gave up in the face of Solomonides's protests that he be allowed to say his bit.

    "I'll let you talk as you'll obviously blow a fuse if I don't," Eliades joked.

    "In 1945, the British governor of Cyprus was Sir Andrew Wright..." Solomonides began.

    "What's that got to do with it?" Disy deputy Marios Matsakis piped up.

    "It is relevant!" Solomonides snapped back. "I listen to you for hours on the radio Mr Matsakis, so let me have my say."

    Governor Wright poured "tons" of DDT insecticide into swamps in an effort to wipe out malaria, Solomonides explained. "This would have wiped out all animal life on the island. It was five hunters who formed the Association in an effort to stop this - out of environmental consciousness," Solomonides said.

    "Today they say we are anti-environmentalists, but I've never seen greens fighting a fire or putting out a drop of water for game birds to drink," he said.

    No other country had more game reserve areas (240) than Cyprus, Solomonides claimed.

    Maroulla Hadjichristoforou, of the Agriculture Ministry's Environment Service, replied that environmentalists were not against hunting per se, but wanted the sport to be restricted "to species whose populations can stand it."

    She said a package of environmental law being drawn up by her service would ensure hunting was allowed "on the basis of a plan."

    "We need population management for game species," Hadjichristoforou insisted.

    It was the Game Service's turn to claim affront.

    Hunting was already conducted on the basis of scientific studies of prey populations, their representative insisted.

    "Everything is under control, if this was not so we would have no game. Nothing is in danger. It is not hunting but other environmental problems that are hitting game numbers," the Game Service stated.

    Matsakis was highly sceptical of the service's version of realities, and added that some game wardens were also hunters.

    "Have you never thought that the two might not be compatible?" he asked the service's representative.

    "No, I don't see why there would be (a problem)," came the reply. But the chorus of disapproval from deputies and greens forced him to concede that the service should "look into this".

    Turning to the illegal practice of poison baiting for foxes and other "vermin", the committee was shocked to hear from the Veterinary Association that the Game Service had recently issued a statement warning that such bait had been placed in a particular area.

    "How can the Game Service be announcing the placement of bait when it is illegal?" Eliades protested.

    "It was only a scare tactic, we didn't actually put out any poison, we don't do that any more," the Game Service representative replied. Hunters had been allowing their dogs to harry game birds in release pens in the area and the announcement was designed to discourage this, he maintained.

    "This is ridiculous!" Eliades responded.

    Pavlos Economides, head of the Veterinary service, asked for a copy of the Game Service announcement so he could investigate with a view to prosecuting those responsible.

    "The Game Service put out bait all over the place even though is illegal," Toulla Poyiadji, of the Cyprus Society for the Protection of Animals (CSPCA), charged.

    The one thing everyone agreed on was the need to do something about the stray dog problem.

    There are over 120,000 dogs on the island but only 5,000 of these are registered, the CSPCA told the committee.

    The Veterinary Association warned that the situation was dangerous because the deadly echinococcus disease - transmitted by dogs to man - had re- surfaced in some areas.

    The Cyprus Kennel Club said legislation forcing all owners to label their dogs existed but was not being implemented.

    Solomonides backed the call for dog tagging, admitting many hunters were guilty of abandoning dogs in the wild.

    Poyiadji said local authorities were not doing enough to control strays. Local government representatives begged to differ.

    Poyiadji also took the government to task over cruelty to pets, saying it lacked the will to implement both animal welfare and environmental legislation.

    "Environmental and animal protection laws exist, but they are not implemented by the relevant authorities. The whole situation concerning environmental and animal protection is confused, out of control and desperate," she said.

    Ioannis Diaouris, representing the police, admitted there was some confusion about who was responsible for what when it came to animal welfare.

    Economides said securing convictions for animal cruelty was not easy. "We have big problems in prosecuting because many complain but few take on the responsibility of testifying," he said.

    There had been four convictions for animal cruelty last year, with fines of between 50 and 150 imposed, he said.

    "It needs to be a collective effort. In other countries animal protection is done by private organisations. In Cyprus the government is more involved than anywhere else," Economides said.

    Poyiadji disagreed: "Animal welfare groups have no obligation to take on the job of the government."

    Eliades concluded that non-governmental organisations were doing their best to protect animals but the same could not be said of the government. "There appears to be confusion, lack of political will, lack of opinions even, on the part of the government," the chairman stated.

    The debate is set to continue at a future date.

    Wednesday, January 27, 1999

    [09] CyBC considers new showing of censored film

    By Andrew Adamides

    THOSE desperate to know what happened at the end of Body Language, the sexy TV movie cut short by CyBC last Friday night, may now get a chance to see the outcome, as the state broadcaster is considering reshowing the film in its entirety.

    In a statement issued yesterday, CyBC apologised to its viewers, saying it had received many complaints both about the film's content and about its truncated ending.

    It also confirmed a report in yesterday's Cyprus Mail saying an inquiry had been ordered into the matter.

    Body Language stars Tom Berenger as a lawyer obsessed with stripper Heidi Seinz. The film includes scenes of them having sex in a packed department store, her stripping, and Berenger's screen wife Nancy Travis topless in her kitchen.

    A CyBC previewer passed the film as acceptable for the 9pm slot in which it was shown, without warnings.

    But so great was the number of complaints that the Presentation Officer on duty decided to cut the film after just one hour, replacing it with an old Greek comedy scheduled for CyBC2 that evening but shunted aside by the live budget debate at the House of Representatives.

    Body Language is a made-for-cable film and hence is more explicit than the average TV film. It had never been shown in Cyprus before.

    If CyBC does decide to show it again, it will probably be in a later slot, with warnings about the film's nature.

    Wednesday, January 27, 1999

    [10] Michaelides secures immigrant pledge from Lebanon

    LEBANON agreed yesterday to try to stop illegal immigrants setting off from its shores bound for Cyprus, an issue that has recently strained ties between the two countries.

    "We had an agreement. I am sure we will not have this problem repeated again," visiting Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides told the Reuters news agency in Beirut after meeting Prime Minister Selim al-Hoss and Interior Minister Michel al-Murr.

    "It is important for us to maintain good ties with Lebanon. Illegal immigration could harm or even destroy relations between the two countries, " he added.

    Murr said both sides had agreed on a "working agenda" to solve the problem, but gave no details.

    Cyprus tried earlier this month to send back to 28 illegal immigrants who were dumped from a fishing boat near Cape Greco.

    The government says the boat sailed from the Lebanese port of Tripoli, but Lebanon refused to take them back, arguing there was no proof they had come from there.

    Lebanon eventually agreed to readmit six of the immigrants who carried Egyptian passports with valid Lebanese entry permits. Cyprus jailed the remaining 23, mainly from Iraq. Others were from the Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Burundi.

    The immigrants said they paid up to $2,000 each to go to Greece but ended up in Cyprus.

    Wednesday, January 27, 1999

    [11] Cross party talks under way for centrist movement

    By Athena Karsera

    DIKO representatives yesterday met with officials from the United Democrats and New Horizons in the first stage of discussions aimed at the formation of a new centrist party.

    Diko's parliamentary team and executive office then met late into the night to decide whether discussions in this direction should continue.

    After a 9am meeting with the United Democrats (UD), Diko's acting-president, Nicos Cleanthous, said that this initial stage was the most difficult.

    "This hard work must be carried out with sincerity to reach the desired result as much as is possible," he said.

    Cleanthous said what Diko felt was most important was both parties' willingness for honest dialogue: "Neither we nor the UD want to create a political element, without being properly prepared, only to have it destroyed by the first gust of wind."

    Asked about the diametrical differences in the two parties' approach to the Cyprus Problem, UD vice-president Michalis Papapetrou stressed that, although differences were significant, the goal was to find things in common.

    Diko backs a hard line on the national issue, while the UD of former president George Vassiliou, is far more flexible.

    Asked whether it was appropriate for a party in government to hold negotiations with the opposition, Papapetrou said everyone in involved in current negotiations had at some stage worked with President Glafcos Clerides' government in the last couple of years. Socialist party Edek is also involved in the consultations.

    "This is not about our differences with Clerides," he added. "This is about our own differences and how we can begin to speak the same language."

    New Horizons acting-president Christos Clerides was more scathing about the Clerides government after his party's one and a half hour meeting with Diko.

    "A government that has become bankrupt and has shown the magnitude of its inefficiency" had opened a vacuum on the political scene, Clerides said.

    He said he hoped a new movement might fill this gap, "a new power which will include all the young people with new ideas for a Cyprus of 2000 that wants to be in the EU."

    He continued that this "new power" should also show a willingness to fight, "something that has decreased in the last years."

    Diko's Cleanthous meanwhile said the new party would be "neither left nor right, but would look forward."

    He said the party would support a federal solution to the Cyprus Problem, along with the fulfilling of all human rights.

    Right wing New Horizons currently supports the establishment of a non- federal unitary state by political means and Cyprus' entry to the EU. It is opposed to the presence of the British Bases.

    Wednesday, January 27, 1999

    [12] Man held after police find stash of electrical goods

    A MAN was yesterday remanded for eight days by the Nicosia court after thousands of pounds worth of stolen electrical appliances were found in his flat.

    Nicos Sarides and his wife Marika, both Bulgarian Greeks resident in Cyprus, were arrested on Monday morning after police carried out a surprise raid on their Parissinos home following a tip-off.

    Marika Sarides was yesterday released without charge, but Nicosia police issued a warrant for the arrest of their 20 year-old son Apostolos, who is believed to be overseas.

    A search of the couple's flat on Monday yielded a treasure trove of apparently plundered appliances.

    According to police, the loot, thought to be the fruit of recent Nicosia burglaries, includes televisions, VCRs, cassette players, CD players, computers and mobile phones.

    A police report said their total value was calculated at more than 10,000. A police spokesman added yesterday that the bulk of goods was so large it had to be transported to Nicosia police headquarters by truck.

    Police are calling on the owners of any such stolen goods to come forward to identify their possessions.

    Wednesday, January 27, 1999

    [13] Pensioner killed after moped crash

    A PENSIONER died yesterday after knocking down a pedestrian on his moped.

    At around 5.40 am, Charalambous Nicolaou, 65, was riding down Constantinopolis Street in the Kaimakli area of Nicosia, when he knocked down Constantinos Paschalis, 70. Nicolaou was fatally injured as he fell from his scooter. Both he and Paschalis were taken to Nicosia General Hospital, where Nicolaou was pronounced dead.

    Paschalis was slightly injured.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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