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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-05-19

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

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


Wednesday, May 19, 1999

CONTENTS

  • [01] Bomb left at embassy before Kyprianou visit
  • [02] Hotel alarm at fall in summer bookings
  • [03] Greenpeace threatens to step up the pressure on Akamas
  • [04] Shares smash their way to new record
  • [05] Government gives full backing to Vassiliou
  • [06] Aspide missiles ‘bought at huge discount’
  • [07] Fanieros acquitted on gun charges
  • [08] Vast majority want more desalination
  • [09] Greens slam license to kill crows
  • [10] Greens slam dolphin imports
  • [11] New remanded in Petrakides murder case
  • [12] Union concern at siesta threat
  • [13] Bases test disaster readiness
  • [14] Hornet kills British tourist
  • [15] Environmental award for Droushia Heights

  • [01] Bomb left at embassy before Kyprianou visit

    By Charlie Charalambous

    SECURITY around the Cyprus embassy in Teheran has been tightened after an attack on a guard and a bomb was left there on Sunday night. The incident took place only hours before the arrival of House President Spyros Kyprianou.

    The embassy guard was beaten up and needed hospital treatment after being attacked by a gang who tried to force their way into the adjacent ambassador's residence. Two suspects are being questioned by the Iranian authorities in connection with the incident.

    "When Ambassador (George) Virides went to meet Mr Kyprianou at the airport, his wife and son saw several people acting threateningly at the embassy and attack the guard.. The police were called," government spokesman Costas Serezis said yesterday.

    "The people who acted violently at the embassy threw a box containing explosives when they tried to escape," he said. The device failed to detonate.

    Yesterday the government asked the Iranian authorities for round-the-clock security for Ambassador Vyrides and his family. The request for extra security was conveyed by the Foreign Ministry when Iran's ambassador to Cyprus Bahman Agha-Razi was summoned for a full briefing.

    The government has received assurances from Iran that extra security measures are now in place.

    The government has denied reports that Kyprianou was the target of the bomb attack.

    "The reports are completely mistaken," Serezis said yesterday.

    Although the government dismissed Iranian reports that a bomb had exploded when Kyprianou's convey was approaching the Cyprus embassy, it did admit that an explosive device was removed from the compound just hours before the House President’s arrival.

    But the government is not linking the incident with the Kyprianou visit, believing it instead to be a clear case of extortion.

    Serezis said that closing down the embassy in Teheran was "not an issue". Nevertheless, Virides and his family have been advised by the Foreign Ministry to avoid "unnecessary journeys".

    Two non-Iranians have reportedly been arrested for attacking a guard at the embassy and placing an explosive device there.

    According to reports from Iran, one of the suspects arrested, a woman, has admitted to having links to Turkish intelligence, although this has not been confirmed.

    The incident on Sunday followed a letter sent to Virides on May 13 which demanded $300,000 or the embassy would be blown up, the Foreign Ministry said.

    "The letter said: ‘You will be bombed Sunday. You will be history’," Virides told CyBC yesterday.

    "Apart from the money there seems to be no other motive for the threats," said Serezis. Despite what happened in Teheran the parliamentary delegation headed by Kyprianou continued its engagements as normal.

    Sources close to Kyprianou have told the Cyprus Mailthe House President is "unhappy" because he was not informed about the threats against the embassy before his visit.

    "The normal thing to do would have been to inform Mr Kyprianou about what was going on, but he wasn't told," said a source.

    Not only was Kyprianou unaware about the threats, but he also wasn't immediately informed about the attack on the embassy just hours before he arrived.

    Wednesday, May 19, 1999

    [02] Hotel alarm at fall in summer bookings

    By Jean Christou

    HOTELIERS yesterday expressed alarm at the fall in summer bookings due to the ongoing war in Yugoslavia.

    A statement from the Hoteliers Association said an investigation into the situation had revealed that the crisis in Kosovo "has not left our tourism unaffected".

    "On the basis of today's evidence it seems there is a drop in bookings, which is not only continuing but getting worse while the crisis in Yugoslavia continues," the statement said.

    It added the situation was even more serious given the summer season was already here.

    The Association's concerns echoed last month's report in The Sunday Mailthat bookings had slowed down almost to a standstill, because Europeans were unwilling to book ahead in a period of such uncertainty.

    Hotel Association president Zacharias Ioannides said yesterday he had no specific figures available on the drop in bookings.

    "We are sending out a message of concern that we should all be alerted," he said.

    "There is a slowdown in the rate of bookings for all destinations," he added.

    With hotels some £600 million in debt and operating at an annual occupancy rate of only 56 per cent, hoteliers feel they have good reason to worry.

    Cyprus was expecting a 12 per cent increase in tourism this year and until the end of March had shown a healthy upturn of over 25 per cent.

    Many in the industry who believed Cyprus was far enough away from hostilities to suffer any side effects have had to change their minds as the Yugoslav crisis continued.

    However, Cyprus may not lose out to the same extent as countries closer to the Balkans such as Italy and Greece.

    Turkey is also falling out of favour - bookings are five per cent down - according to reports this week in the UK, which rated Cyprus as the seventh most popular destination this summer.

    The price of a holiday in Cyprus is 20 per cent higher than in the island's main competitors in the Mediterranean, and 40 per cent higher than in Turkey.

    And even though Turkey has been hard hit by Kurdish terrorist threats, it is still one place ahead of Cyprus in the popularly stakes, according to the Thomas Cook travel agency.

    Top destination for Britons this summer are the Balearic islands, followed by Greece, the Canary islands, mainland Spain and the USA. Italy is the tenth most popular.

    Around six million Britons have already booked their summer break. Cyprus usually gets between 750,000 and a million British tourists each year.

    Wednesday, May 19, 1999

    [03] Greenpeace threatens to step up the pressure on Akamas

    By Martin Hellicar

    GREENPEACE yesterday threatened to turn the screws on the government by internationalising its campaign to protect the Akamas peninsula.

    At the same time, the House Environment Committee was probing a government decision to grant a licence for another hotel in the pristine area.

    Greenpeace claimed the new hotel licence had been given to a relative of Justice Minister Nikos Koshis. The family firm of former Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides has already built a massive hotel complex in the area - after securing controversial planning relaxations from the cabinet.

    Ten years ago, in the face of strong pressure from local greens, the government declared its intention to turn the Akamas into a National Park. But it has been dragging its feet ever since, apparently wary of local residents' opposition to plans to ban tourism development.

    "The only thing the Cyprus government can do at this stage is basically to implement its promises and declare the Akamas protected," Mario Damato, director of Greenpeace Mediterranean, said at a news conference in Nicosia yesterday.

    He said the government was guilty of breaking its promises on the Akamas and added that Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous had refused to meet with him to discuss the issue.

    Earlier this year, after Greenpeace staged yet another "save the Akamas" protest in Nicosia, Themistocleous promised a ministerial committee would meet within weeks to consider a World Bank proposal for protecting the Akamas (supported by greens and unanimously approved by the House). The committee has yet to meet.

    Damato outlined how Greenpeace planned to go about forcing the government's hand.

    "We know that Cyprus is aiming to join the EU and I am certain European countries would not condone such behaviour (concerning the Akamas)."

    "So, we will concentrate on informing Europeans, mainly, about the Cyprus government's behaviour. We will inform tourists here of what is going on and also all our groups in Europe so that they inform European governments, " Damato said.

    "Cyprus can expect us to be more aggressive from here on in," the Greenpeace man warned.

    At the House Environment committee, the Town Planning department defended a decision to grant a licence for a 5-star, 264-bed, hotel on the Asprokremnos coast by saying they had had no option.

    Town Planning officials said that the area in question was designated for tourism development and the developers had amended their building plans to reduce environmental impact - so there was no reason not to give the licence.

    Committee chairman Demetris Iliades asked if an environmental impact study been carried out for the proposed hotel development.

    No, said the Town Planning officials, but the Environment service had not demanded one.

    Antonis Antoniou, of the Environment service, said what his service had actually recommended was that the Town Planning department should wait to see what the government would decide about the status of the peninsula before deciding whether to give the go-ahead for the new hotel or not.

    The Town Planning officials protested that they were obliged to reply to planing applications within a reasonable time.

    Antoniou acknowledged the department had a legal obligation to decide on the permit.

    The hotel development cannot actually go ahead till the Paphos District Office grants a building permit.

    Deputy Christos Mavrokordatos, of opposition party Akel, said the crux of the problem was the government's "reluctance" to make a final decision on the future of the Akamas.

    Katie Clerides, of governing Disy, retorted that making such a decision was no simple matter as there was no consensus on the issue and local residents' feelings had to be taken into account.

    Iliades noted that, in its unanimous resolution on the Akamas approved last Summer, the plenum had stated no development should be permitted that created a fait accompliin the area.

    Greens fear that the Michaelides hotel represents the thin end of a development wedge that could spell the end for the Akamas as a wilderness area.

    Wednesday, May 19, 1999

    [04] Shares smash their way to new record

    By Hamza Hendawi

    SHOWING remarkable strength and reflecting heavy demand, shares rose yesterday to a new record, their second all-time high in as many days, taking the official all-share index to 138.61.

    Bank titles again were in the lead of what is increasingly beginning to look like a daily assault on records in the Cyprus Stock Exchange.

    Yesterday's record was the fifth since the start of last week, pushing up shares' value by nearly eight per cent and taking gains since the start of 1999 to an astonishing 52.94 per cent.

    Volume yesterday stood at an impressive £12.87 million, up on Monday's £11.26 million when shares registered a 2.88 per cent increase.

    "Demand is such that it is overwhelming the supply of shares from the two main banks (Bank of Cyprus and Popular Bank)," said Yiannos Andronikou of Suphire Brokerage.

    Bank titles went up by 1.4 per cent yesterday with the Popular Bank's meteoric rise of late slowing down. The stock closed at £7.18, up only 1.5 cents on Monday's close. The Bank of Cyprus, whose centenary warrants are expected to make their market debut tomorrow, finished the day higher. They soared by 16 cents to close at £5.89.

    Popular Bank is scheduled to have its annual general meeting today, when shareholders are expected to approve a 1=2 share split. The bank, the island's second biggest, has been rumoured for weeks to be also planning a new rights issue and a bonus after holders of the bank's 1993-99 warrants exercise their right to convert them to shares in November.

    The Bank of Cyprus is also rumoured to be planning a share split, something that traders said the bank has been mulling over for months to match the Popular's own split.

    "There are quite a few developments still to come," said Andronikou when asked whether the market's current bullish run could be sustained.

    The titles of the two large banks account for about half of the market's capitalisation, about £1.7 billion by the end of March, and normally provide 40 to 50 per cent of daily trade.

    Hellenic Bank, meanwhile, finished seven cents down yesterday, to close at £3.69, while the small Universal Bank notched up four cents to close at £2.01.

    Wednesday, May 19, 1999

    [05] Government gives full backing to Vassiliou

    By Martin Hellicar

    THE GOVERNMENT yesterday dismissed speculation about the legality of United Democrats (UD) leader George Vassiliou's position as head of Cyprus's EU accession talks team.

    "Mr Vassiliou's appointment does not clash with any constitutional provisions," Government spokesman Costas Serezis stated.

    The issue hit the headlines after Sigma television revealed what it said was a ruling by Attorney-general Alecos Markides on Vassiliou's appointment. Markides reportedly stated the UD leader was not a government member and therefore did not have the authority to make the executive decisions required of a chief EU negotiator.

    Vassiliou rushed to defend his position, but Serezis appeared uncertain when asked about the matter on Monday, saying the issue was "delicate" and he had not had a chance to ask Markides about it, as the Attorney-general was abroad.

    But yesterday Serezis was categorical, saying Markides had confirmed to him by phone that Vassiliou's appointment was totally above board.

    Serezis told his daily press briefing that Markides had said the "ruling" leaked by Sigma was nothing more than a "working document" prepared for President Clerides's use when he was considering Vassiliou's appointment in February last year.

    The spokesman added that Vassiliou's position as accession talks leader did not involve him taking executive decisions.

    "Mr Vassiliou is carrying out negotiations and on the basis of these he submits his suggestions to the cabinet. It is then up to the cabinet and the President to make decisions."

    The UD leader and deputy had produced exactly the same argument in defending his position on Monday.

    Vassiliou's appointment as accession talks team head has often been challenged by the former President's political opponents.

    Diko deputy Marios Matsakis recently questioned the constitutional legitimacy of Vassiliou's dual role as EU negotiator and UD deputy. Markides' verdict on Matsakis' challenge is expected by the end of the week, and Vassiliou is confident of again being backed by the island's top legal authority.

    Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous, who is also UD general secretary, yesterday labelled the speculation over Vassiliou's position "a storm in a tea-cup".

    "In two days time no-one will be concerned with this issue because it is in fact a non-existent issue, both politically and legally," Themistocleous said.

    The minister suggested "some persons" were trying to score political points by encouraging the speculation.

    Wednesday, May 19, 1999

    [06] Aspide missiles ‘bought at huge discount’

    THE DEFENCE Ministry has reportedly brokered a deal which could see the Italian short-range Aspide missiles finally arrive on the island after a massive price cut.

    According to last night's Antenna TV news the Defence Ministry has agreed to buy the missiles after haggling a 40 per cent discount.

    The final price of the Italian anti-aircraft missiles has reportedly been set at a bargain £18 million instead of the initial £30 million asking price.

    Following the Antenna report the Defence Ministry told the Cyprus Mailit had a policy of "not discussing military issues".

    But an official source said last night that the "story had substance".

    Although President Clerides said last month that the government was seeking new alternatives to the Aspides, following Italy's reluctance to sell them during the S-300 crisis, it seems a saving of £12 million has initiated the u-turn.

    It is understood the Aspides got the nod over the second choice Russian- made TOR system because the National Guard already has a number of the Italian missile systems and therefore their officers do not need special training.

    The Defence Ministry hopes to have the Aspide missiles operational in Cyprus in time for the the Nikiforos war games later this year, according to Antenna's military sources.

    Antenna said the Council of Ministers is expected to ratify the deal before it is sent to the House to approve the necessary funds.

    Wednesday, May 19, 1999

    [07] Fanieros acquitted on gun charges

    By Athena Karsera

    THE CONFLICTING testimonies of five police officers were cited yesterday in the acquittal and release of Antonis Fanieros.

    Fanieros, 58, who survived a drive-by shooting outside his Larnaca gambling club in May 1997, had faced charges of possession, transport and use of a weapon on the night of September 3 to 4, 1997.

    The incident was alleged to have taken place at a Larnaca cabaret, where rival gang member Michalis Aeroporos and friends were being entertained.

    Michalis' three brothers were acquitted later that year of the attempted murder of Fanieros. Two of the three have themselves since been murdered.

    Sitting in Larnaca, the criminal court's verdict took one hour to read, as the various testimonies of five policemen present at the Crystal Cabaret during the incident were recalled in detail.

    Recalling the testimonies, the judge said that an allegedly gun-toting Fanieros and his son Loucas, 32, had supposedly barged into the cabaret shouting that Aeroporos and his men had no right to visit the place.

    The Crystal Cabaret is just 500 metres from Fanieros' apartment.

    The judge recalled that a shot had been fired into the cabaret's ceiling, with the prosecution alleging that Fanieros senior had pulled the trigger. The defence denied this, while Fanieros claimed the only gun he had held during the incident had been picked up off the cabaret floor.

    Experts later failed to find Fanieros' fingerprints on the weapon, adding further confusion to the case.

    Loucas Fanieros, meanwhile, admitted that he had been carrying a hunting gun at the time.

    Each of the five police testimonies conflicted with each other resulting in prosecution being unable to prove its case, although both prosecution and defence agreed that a gun was present at the scene. None of the testimonies, however, clearly said that Fanieros had been holding the gun.

    The court also wondered why Fanieros had not been arrested by the policemen at the scene but had later voluntarily turned himself in.

    The judge also wondered why Fanieros had informed the police that Aeroporos was at the cabaret, but then went there himself, even though he knew the police would show up.

    Loucas Fanieros will today be fined for illegal possession of the hunting rifle.

    Wednesday, May 19, 1999

    [08] Vast majority want more desalination

    By Anthony O. Miller

    OVER 90 per cent of Cypriots want more desalination plants built to end the island's dependence on increasingly unreliable winter rains to fill its reservoirs, a recent survey shows.

    Over 92 per cent of respondents in Nicosia and 94 per cent in Larnaca said they wanted more desalination plants to get the island through the current drought - now in its fourth straight years - and future dry spells, the survey showed.

    Preliminary data showed "at least 94 per cent" of respondents in Limassol, Paralimni and Ayia Napa also want more de-salting units built, according to Erineos Koutsakos, director of Hydro Med Consultant Services of Nicosia, which conducted the survey.

    The survey of over 1,000 households indicated 74 per cent of Larnaca households and 54 per cent in Nicosia were dissatisfied with the quantity of water sent them by the Water Development Department (WDD) through local water boards.

    To cope with continuing rationing, 64 per cent of Nicosia residents and 50 per cent in Larnaca said they have installed extra water storage tanks.

    Additionally, 74 per cent of Larnaca homes are not satisfied with the quality of government tap water and tend not to drink it, the survey showed. Of those, 54 per cent drink bottled water, 11.8 per cent drink water from tanker trucks, 11.7 per cent use private bore holes, and 24 per cent haul their own spring water.

    In Nicosia, 54 per cent do not like the taste of government tap water, and 92 per cent said they use other water for domestic needs. Of these, 34.6 per cent use bottled water, 17.3 per cent use water from tanker trucks, 7.6 per cent use private bore holes, and 32.9 per cent haul their own spring water.

    The survey showed 39.5 per cent of Larnaca homes and 26.1 per cent in Nicosia blamed the leaking water pipe system for the poor quality of government water.

    Cyprus has only one desalination plant, in Dhekelia. Its maximum daily output is 40 million litres of water.

    Environmental studies are under way for a second unit, with identical output, to be sited outside Larnaca. The WDD hopes to break ground next month and complete work by January 2001.

    The WDD is still trying to unsnag construction of two smaller de-salting plants near the villages of Ayios Theodoros and Zakaki. Each would have a maximum daily output of up to 20 million litres of water.

    Both were to have been 'mobile' units powered by diesel generators and used only to get the island through the drought the summer until the second desalination plant went on-line. Now the WDD plans permanently to hard-wire them to power lines.

    But public protests by Zakaki and Ayios Theodoros residents on environmental grounds have prompted the government to rethink its plans to locate two plants outside the villages.

    Acting WDD Director Christos Marcoullis has said one of the units will be sited in Zakaki, though its location may be moved slightly from the site first proposed. But he said the WDD was likely to site the second unit near Ayios Theodoros as originally proposed.

    Wednesday, May 19, 1999

    [09] Greens slam license to kill crows

    GREENS yesterday slammed the Game Fund for issuing licences to shoot crows, jackdaws and magpies, claiming there was no legitimate reason for "persecuting" the birds.

    Licences to shoot members of the crow family (corvids) are issued every year, with the stated aim of reducing the birds' predation of game species.

    But, in an announcement yesterday, the Ecological Movement group said there was no scientific basis for declaring the crow species vermin.

    "Game fund officials won't tell us how many corvids there are and how many they must be reduced to before they are no longer considered harmful," the green group stated.

    "There is, of course, no check on how many birds have been shot," the Ecological Movement complained.

    The real reason for issuing the licences to shoot corvids was to provide "practice" for hunters, the greens alleged.

    "It is evident that certain species of corvids on the island are being driven to extinction with the government's consent," the Ecological Movement charged.

    The Game Fund could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

    [10] Greens slam dolphin imports

    THE MOVEMENT of Ecologists and Environmentalists yesterday condemned the government for allowing what it said was the illegal importation of dolphins for recreational and entertainment purposes.

    Movement representative Xenios Orphanos yesterday told the Cyprus Mailthat dolphins were "extremely intelligent animals but are being doomed to early deaths in captivity," with their importers merely purchasing replacements.

    In an announcement issued yesterday, the Movement said that the Cabinet's recent decision to overturn a November 1997 decision to harmonise with EU regulations on importing the mammals "confirmed the government's irresponsibility and its provocative selective 'harmonisation' with European demands."

    The announcement said the Cabinet decision had been taken on the advice of the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Costas Themistocleous.

    They also said that specific importations had been reported to the authorities, "several weeks ago" but that no official action had been taken yet, "exposing Cyprus internationally."

    The ecologists warned they would take measures "to counter this anti- environmental government policy." Orphanos told the Cyprus Mailthese would include demonstrations, adding the movement had not ruled out the possibility of reporting the government to the Council of Europe.

    Wednesday, May 19, 1999

    [11] New remanded in Petrakides murder case

    A SUSPECTED accomplice in last month's brutal killing of a father-of-three from Engomi in Nicosia, was yesterday re-remanded in custody for three days by the Larnaca District court.

    Christos Tziakouris, from Yeri village outside Nicosia, is suspected of involvement in the murder of Fotis Petrakides, whose body was pulled out of Aradippou dam, outside Larnaca, on April 5. He had been shot five times.

    Tziakouris, 30, will re-appear before Larnaca District court on Friday, at the same time as chief murder suspect George Christodoulou Zarvantonas.

    Police say 22-year-old Zarvantonas, from Aradippou, has admitted to shooting Petrakides at Koshi village, about 5km from Aradippou, on April 2.

    The court heard yesterday that police had so far taken 232 statements in connection with the case and hoped to get a further 14 before Friday.

    Police hope to have the charge sheets for the two suspects prepared by Friday and the court is then expected to refer the case to the Assizes.

    Zarvantonas' fiancée and prospective in-laws are also being held in connection with the case - suspected of providing him with a false alibi for the time of the killing.

    Unconfirmed reports suggest Petrakides, a 55-year-old former special policeman, had, at the time of his murder, been working as an undercover police informant trying to bust a ring smuggling drugs and guns from the north.</o:p>

    Wednesday, May 19, 1999

    [12] Union concern at siesta threat

    SMALL business owners are "very angry" at even the prospect of restricting summer siesta hours to July and August this year, and will decide on an appropriately strong response unless the government reconsiders, their union warned yesterday.

    "We are not sure what the Labour Ministry (actually) said" about the proposed siesta restrictions, Povek General Secretary Melios Georgiou said yesterday, adding he knew only what he had read in the press about the proposed rest period's curtailment.

    "(But) we are very angry about the possibility of keeping only two months for the rest hours," declared Georgiou.

    "We sent a letter today" to Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas, requesting a meeting to clarify just what the government's siesta policy this summer is, Georgiou said.

    He said his union's 8,000 or so shopkeepers had not been consulted by anyone at the Labour Ministry about the reported changes.

    Politis reported yesterday that Moushiouttas had decided to limit the 1pm-4pm weekday closing of shops in the summer's heat to July and August, instead of the customary three-and-a-half months from June through to the second week in September.

    But the paper said its sources knew none of the policy's details. None of at least six Labour Ministry officials the Cyprus Mailcontacted yesterday knew anything about the policy, and one admitted the Ministry's left hand did not know what its right was doing regarding small business matters.

    Georgiou said the siesta's reported changes were an ominous sign, typical of the government's trend, under Moushiouttas' stewardship at Labour, towards liberalising business activities.

    "We know his opinion," Georgiou said. "I'm sure he wants to eliminate these rest hours completely next year."

    Georgiou declined to say what, if any, action his members might take if Moushiouttas has, in fact, curtailed the summer siesta-hour months, until after he had the actual details of such a government policy change.

    Politis said the Chamber of Commerce and Industry favoured the shortened siesta time, as do the Federation of Employers and Industrialists and the labour unions, and that their support for the change was voiced recently before the House Labour Committee.

    Georgiou said he planned to inform his membership of the outcome of his meeting with Moushiouttas, so they can decide on an appropriate response.

    Wednesday, May 19, 1999

    </o:p>

    [13] Bases test disaster readiness

    THE BRITISH bases yesterday kicked off a two-day exercise designed to test essential services in the sovereign bases area.

    Exercise Theseus is taking place alongside Exercise Thirsty Flamingo, designed to test emergency refuelling procedures.

    Squadron Leader Andy Kime, a logistics staff officer involved in the exercises, described Thirsty Flamingo as an important training exercise that had been in the planning stages for a year.

    He said the exercise, which would include trials of ship-to-shore pipeline systems, was "the kind of operation that we may well have to carry out for real if there was a disaster in Cyprus such as an earthquake, and therefore it ties in neatly with the overall theme of Exercise Theseus."

    Theseus is testing all other essential services in the case of similar disasters. The exercise was devised by a committee that has been looking into ways of preventing a repeat of disasters like last summer's devastating Episkopi fire, and of containing the damage if one does happen. It involves the simulation of an earthquake, severely affecting power lines and communication.

    Last year's fire tore through the Episkopi married quarters after starting in nearby scrub. It completely destroyed Air House, the official residence of Angus Ramsey, the Commander of British Forces in Cyprus.

    Wednesday, May 19, 1999

    [14] Hornet kills British tourist

    A BRITISH tourist died of a hornet sting while relaxing at a Pissouri hotel swimming pool, just hours after arriving with his wife for a Cyprus holiday.

    David Williams, 55, from Sommerset, was pronounced dead on arrival at Limassol General Hospital on Monday, police said yesterday.

    His autopsy, carried out by state pathologist Sophocles Sophocleous yesterday, confirmed that his death was due the hornet's venom. Hospital officials were unable to say if Williams had a known allergy to bee, wasp or hornet stings.

    First Choice, the tour operator that brought Williams to Cyprus, are arranging to fly his body back to Britain for burial, and said his son was coming over to help with arrangements.

    Wednesday, May 19, 1999

    [15] Environmental award for Droushia Heights

    THE DROUSHIA Heights Hotel near Paphos has been presented with an international award for its contribution to the environment in 1998 and 1999.

    The hotel in Droushia village on the fringes of the Akamas was awarded the 'Green Globe' for "Continued environmental good practice, thereby contributing to sustainable development of the Travel and Tourism Industry, " a press release said yesterday.

    The Green Globe award is presented by the International Travel and Tourism Council based in the United Kingdom.

    The Droushia Heights was one of more than 350 organisations from 74 countries taking part in this year's Green Globe programme.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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