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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-07-18

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

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


July 18, 1999

<h1 style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso-hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: - .15pt">Minister denies arms firm hospitality was a bribe<o:p></o:p> _ <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">By Charlie Charalambous<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">BESIEGED Defence Minister Yiannakis Chrysostomis said yesterday there was “nothing unethical” about being wined and dined by an arms manufacturer at last month's Paris Air show.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">Chrysostomis stepped into another damaging scandal when Politis newspaper reported that the minister had spent a week in Paris running up a £10,000 bill at somebody else's expense.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">It was joint manufacturer of the Aspide anti- aircraft missile system Oerlikon which picked up the tab for the minister and his eight-strong delegation.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">Although Chrysostomis did not deny the report, he said the offer came after he had struck a deal with Oerlikon to purchase Italian-made Aspide missiles at discount prices.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">"The offer came after the contract was signed and there was no suspicion of bribery or any underhand motive," Chrysostomis told Politis.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">Apparently, Oerlikon offered to foot the bill for the entire delegation when the minister balked at the high prices of a week in Paris for nine.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">"The sales director of the company found us a hotel after the embassy could not manage to do so... we told him our concerns over the high cost and the company offered to cover the whole cost of the mission," said Chrysostomis.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">Questions are now being asked about why so many people went to Paris for so long.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">Among the eight-member team which didn't have to pay a cent for hotel accommodation was the National Guard commander's wife, according to Politis.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">Greek Defence Minister Akis Tzohatzopoulos also visited the arms fair at Le Bourget airport and reportedly stayed in Paris for 48-hours, not a week.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">The Paris Air Show opened on June 12 and by its close was expected to have generated more than $13 billion in arms deals. <o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">On CyBC radio yesterday Chrysostomis argued that Cyprus had benefited from his dealings with the arms company because the National Guard will now receive the Aspides at £4 million below the going rate.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">"Under different circumstances the government would have paid the expenses for the trip," Chrysostomis told CyBC.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">He also cited the fact that he once gave back an expensive Mont Blanc pen to an arms company official lest it be construed as a bribe. <o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">In his short tenure as Defence Minister Chrysostomis has so far managed to upset the Greek general staff over his gaffe about the S-300 missiles remaining in boxes on Crete, muddied the waters during the T-80 tank fuel fiasco, and been slammed for allowing the National Guard ammunition supplies to run low.<o:p> </o:p> <span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-fareast- font-family: "Times New Roman";letter-spacing:-.15pt;mso-ansi-language:EN- US;mso-fareast-language: EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">He has been dubbed by one opposition Akel deputy as <span style="font-size:12.0pt;font- family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">the "clueless minister".<span style="font-size:12.0pt; letter-spacing:-.15pt"><o:p> </o:p>

July 18, 1999

<h1 style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso-hyphenate: none">_ <h1 style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso-hyphenate: none">Police in DC search for evidence against Chrysanthos<o:p> </o:p> _ <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">By Charlie Charalambous<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">A POLICE investigator was due to leave for the US yesterday to collect evidence against disgraced former Limassol Bishop Chrysanthos in the case of a missing $1.5 million of Portuguese investors’ money.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">The investigation will mainly focus on Washington where the two investors said the investment deal was brokered.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Attorney-general Alecos Markides is hoping that crucial evidence will be gathered in the US, with the help of the local authorities, which would warrant legal proceedings against Chrysanthos.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Chrysanthos has already been charged with attempting to defraud a London-based investor of $3.7 million.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Although the ex-bishop faces a maximum three-year jail term under the charges, Markides has said the Portuguese case is a more serious one.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Investigators will be looking for proof that the Portuguese businessmen were victims of a scam and were not paid on their investment or had their initial sum returned.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Scotland Yard has issued an arrest warrant for Chrysanthos in connection with an attempt to defraud the London-based investor.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Under the island's constitution a Cypriot citizen cannot be extradited, but if Chrysanthos left Cyprus the British warrant would be enforced by Interpol.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">However, he is is blacklisted from leaving the island in view of pending legal proceedings.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Last month, the New York-based Securities and Exchange Commission filed fraud and broker-dealer registration violation charges against the ex-bishop's US lawyer, Lewis Rivlin.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">The SEC's legal action, filed through the Washington DC District Court, claims that Rivlin defrauded investors of $6.2 million in a bank scam between December 1997 and June 1998.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">As a relief defendant Chrysanthos is named in the court papers as having illegally received $4.2 million of that money.<o:p> </o:p> <span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Courier New";mso-fareast-font- family: "Times New Roman";letter-spacing:-.1pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso- fareast-language: EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">Chrysanthos resigned last November and was suspended from any religious duties for two years by the Holy Synod, after the church accused him of greed and profiteering through currency speculation, among other things.<o:p> </o:p>

July 18, 1999

<h1 style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso-hyphenate: none">Police apologise for wrongful arrest of Saudi manager <o:p> <span style="font-size: 12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing:-.15pt"> </o:p> _ <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">By Anthony O. Miller<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">FOR THE ‘crime’ of making a phone call in Arabic, an offshore company's Saudi Arabia manager was arrested by Immigration Police and -- despite being cleared -- kept in custody until he could be filmed for commercial television.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">Khaled El-Khatib, 28, was in Cyprus on business. He had just used a call box to phone Adel Beyhum, his operations manager at Storck Middle East, a confectionery supplier. It was about 8.30pm last Sunday, and El-Khatib was heading for dinner at a Makarios Avenue café.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">"Suddenly a guy was walking beside me and he's looking at my (shirt) pocket. I thought he wanted my pen or something. I stopped at a shop to look inside. He stopped also."<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">Asked what he wanted, the man replied: "Where's your passport?” El-Khatib told him it was at the Hilton Hotel. "Immediately he put his hands on me and said: 'I'm the police.'"<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">El-Khatib admits he did not ask to see the man's identification card, nor did he resist arrest. He merely accompanied the plainclothes Immigration Police officer to a site in Nicosia's Old City where other suspected illegal aliens had been rounded up.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">"They handcuffed me to an Indian person, and we waited around half an hour until the trucks came," El-Khatib said."They put around 30 persons in each, and then we went to the Immigration Office.”<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">"I showed them my (Hilton room) key, and told them my passport was in the hotel. So they called the hotel, and the reservation desk told them I was in room 368," he said.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">Then another immigration officer verified his passport number "and said everything was OK: I had a visa. They uncuffed me and I thought: 'OK, I'm leaving,'" El-Khatib said. He was wrong.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">Instead he was told: 'You are not allowed to leave now -- wait in the next room for 10 minutes.'" He did, and the 10 minutes became 60. "They kept saying, 'two minutes; two minutes only.'"<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">"Every five minutes, I told him: 'Please, I want to make a call. Everything is OK. I have to be at dinner.' He kept saying: 'Two minutes, two minutes only'. So we sat in this room until the TV camera came."<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">"Each time I told the officer in charge: 'I'm a manager. I am going to the Hilton Hotel. Everything is OK,' he started laughing: 'You are a manager. OK. Stay two minutes, two minutes.'"<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">When the TV camera arrived, El-Khatib said he and the other prisoners were led from the detention room to a hallway, where the cameraman filmed them as they passed.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">"I told them: 'It's not good to show me; I'm a manager. I'm at the Hilton Hotel.'"<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">El-Khatib is, in fact, Saudi Arabia country manager for Storck Middle East. He is a young, new manager and had been with Storck only 45 days when he was arrested. He was worried his wrongful arrest and any TV broadcast of it might imperil his new job.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">Beyhum told The Sunday Mail the footage from the immigration office was shown on Antenna, Sigma, CyBC and Logos. “But he (El-Khatib) was not shown," Beyhum said. Neither man could explain why not.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">"When they stopped him," said Beyhum, "had they checked all his credentials, checked with the Hilton to see that he's legally in the country ... he should have been set free."<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">On learning of El-Khatib's arrest, Andreas Aristidou, chief of the Immigration Police, agreed with Beyhum: "I believe that we made a mistake," he said, "because from the time that the officer in charge understood that he was OK, he should have released him at once."<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">"They insulted me," said El-Khatib. "They saw me, I had brown skin, and so...," he said, adding that he wants ab apology from the Immigration Department.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">"When I called Adel Beyhum from a pay phone, maybe the plain-clothes officer was listening to me talking in Arabic, and he followed me," said Khaled. "So, maybe we should not talk Arabic in Cyprus -- it is not allowed."<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt">"I'm very sorry about this," Aristidou said. "I will explain to him, perhaps personally, and I will send the officer in charge to see him. I will have the officer who was in charge that night speak with him and tell him we are sorry."<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";letter-spacing: -.15pt"><o:p> </o:p>

July 18, 1999

<h1 style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso-hyphenate: none">Logos to become part of Mega TV<o:p> </o:p> _ <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">A PRELIMINARY agreement has been reached which will see Church-owned station Logos TV become part of Greece's Mega Channel.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Archbishop Chrysostomos is ready to rent out the state-of- the-art equipped Logos to the Greek station with only the contracts left to be signed, according to reports.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">The initial agreement provides for the light-entertainment channel to pay £450,000 a year in rent to the Church.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Representatives of Mega are expected on the island next week to sign the agreement which will see Logos handed over to the Greek company on a long-term lease.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Once the paperwork is complete, Logos will officially become Mega Cyprus -- like its more popular counterpart Antenna -- on September 1.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">It is understood that under the agreement three hours of religious programmes will be transmitted in the early morning or afternoon but after the 5pm watershed there will be no church censorship or controls on programming schedules.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">However, Mega is said to have promised to tone down its more risqué programmes and stick to its formula diet of soaps, melodramas and glitzy game shows.<o:p> </o:p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Logos has struggled for some time to get a foothold in the ratings, and as a result suffered huge operational losses for a number of years. But with the Mega deal, local jobs are now said to be secure.<o:p> </o:p>

July 18, 1999

CONTENTS

  • [01] <span style="letter-spacing:-.1pt">Hunger strike begins a week ofprotests<o:p></o:p></span><span style="letter-spacing:-.1pt">ANTI- OCCUPATION, refugee and student organisations are gearing up for a series of events this week to mark the 25th anniversary of the Turkish invasion.<o:p></o:p></span><span style="letter-spacing:-.1pt">Yesterday the mothers of missing persons began their annual 24-hour hunger strike at the Ledra Palace checkpoint and were due to be joined by students last night for an all-night vigil.<o:p></o:p></span><span style="letter-spacing:- .1pt">Tonight the anti-occupation group Pak is organising a huge demonstration at the checkpoint which will be addressed by Archbishop Chrysostomos.<o:p></o:p></span><span style="letter-spacing:-.1pt">In the afternoon members of the Cyprus Motorcyclists’ Association will drive to Paralimni cemetery and light torches at the graves of Greek Cypriot protestors Tassos Issac and Solomos Solomou.<o:p></o:p></span><span style="letter-spacing:-.1pt">The two demonstrators were killed during separate anti-occupation protests on August 11 and 14 in 1996 at Dherynia.<o:p></o:p></span><span style="letter-spacing:-.1pt">The bikers will then ride from Paralimni to Nicosia with the lighted torches, and are due to arrive at the Ledra Palace at around 7pm.<o:p></o:p></span><span style="letter-spacing:-.1pt">Other groups will also light torches at the graves of victims of the coup and invasion at Makedonitissa cemetery and carry them to the checkpoint.<o:p></o:p></span><span style="letter-spacing:- .1pt">Following the Archbishop's speech a resolution will be passed with a message to the political parties, the government and the UN.<o:p></o:p></span><span style="letter-spacing:-.1pt">Anniversary events will also be held abroad during the week. In London demonstrations will take place outside the Turkish embassy and there will also be a march through the centre of the city.<o:p></o:p></span><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Courier New";mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman";letter-spacing:-.1pt;mso- ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language: EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">On Tuesday Greek Americans are organising a rally in Washington which will be followed by a vigil outsid</span>

  • [01] Hunger strike begins a week ofprotests<o:p></o:p>ANTI-OCCUPATION, refugee and student organisations are gearing up for a series of events this week to mark the 25th anniversary of the Turkish invasion.<o:p></o:p>Yesterday the mothers of missing persons began their annual 24-hour hunger strike at the Ledra Palace checkpoint and were due to be joined by students last night for an all-night vigil.<o:p></o:p>Tonight the anti-occupation group Pak is organising a huge demonstration at the checkpoint which will be addressed by Archbishop Chrysostomos.<o:p></o:p>In the afternoon members of the Cyprus Motorcyclists’ Association will drive to Paralimni cemetery and light torches at the graves of Greek Cypriot protestors Tassos Issac and Solomos Solomou.<o:p></o:p>The two demonstrators were killed during separate anti-occupation protests on August 11 and 14 in 1996 at Dherynia.<o:p></o:p>The bikers will then ride from Paralimni to Nicosia with the lighted torches, and are due to arrive at the Ledra Palace at around 7pm.<o:p></o:p>Other groups will also light torches at the graves of victims of the coup and invasion at Makedonitissa cemetery and carry them to the checkpoint.<o:p></o:p>Following the Archbishop's speech a resolution will be passed with a message to the political parties, the government and the UN.<o:p></o:p>Anniversary events will also be held abroad during the week. In London demonstrations will take place outside the Turkish embassy and there will also be a march through the centre of the city.<o:p></o:p>On Tuesday Greek Americans are organising a rally in Washington which will be followed by a vigil outsid

    July 18, 1999

    <h1 style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso-hyphenate: none">Pilgrims flock to buffer zone church<o:p> </o:p> _

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">PILGRIMS yesterday flocked to the tiny buffer zone church of Ayia Marina to commemorate the saint's feast day.<o:p> </o:p>

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Residents of Dherynia village and the surrounding area made the annual pilgrimage to the 12th century church accompanied by Unficyp soldiers who have been organising the visit for the past seven years.<o:p> </o:p>

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Because the church is so tiny the pilgrims were transported inside the buffer zone in small groups for a series of 10- minute services over a period of several hours.<o:p> </o:p>

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">The church was burned down during the invasion but later restored by the Antiquities Department. <o:p> </o:p>

    July 18, 1999

    <h1 style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso-hyphenate: none">Lordos welcomes decision to call off

    strike<o:p> </o:p> _

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">By Jean Christou<o:p> </o:p>

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">LORDOS Hotels (Holdings) yesterday welcomed a union decision to call off the strike at the company's Larnaca hotels.<o:p> </o:p>

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">In a written announcement the company said it would help in every possible way to soften the consequences of the 168-day strike, "which was called unilaterally".<o:p> </o:p>

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">The company made it clear that it had not committed itself to the interim suggestion which prompted the unions to call off their measures on Friday.<o:p> </o:p>

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">"What exists is a proposal for the hiring of a number of people which the employers will respond to if the Labour Ministry takes a stance on the issue of compensation for the workers considered to be surplus" the Lordos statement said.<o:p> </o:p>

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Unions say a number of people made redundant by the hotel in January were in fact dismissed, not made redundant, when management decided to subcontract part of the hotel operation.<o:p> </o:p>

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">Some 54 workers were affected by the move, prompting the union to initiate strike action.<o:p> </o:p>

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">A further 60 plus workers then came out on strike in support of their colleagues in what has become one of the longest industrial disputes the island has ever seen.<o:p> </o:p>

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">According to reports from Larnaca yesterday, union representatives went to the Golden Bay and Lordos Beach hotels where they handed in an official letter saying they had ended their strike and requested to report for work on Monday.<o:p> </o:p>

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">But the dispute is not completely resolved, say unions, who are awaiting the conclusions of a special committee set up by the government to help resolve the issues.<o:p> </o:p>

    <span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Courier New";mso-fareast-font- family: "Times New Roman";letter-spacing:-.1pt;mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso- fareast-language: EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA">The unions say they will accept whatever the committee decides.<o:p> </o:p>

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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