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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-08-03

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

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Tuesday, August 03, 1999


  • [01] Greenpeace takes Cyprus task over 'unacceptable' energy policy
  • [02] Local sources discount Cyprus Russian mafia link to Dando murder
  • [03] Jet-ski owners say they warned drowning beach was 'death trap'
  • [04] Market back on climb, to close next week
  • [05] Nine hurt in traffic light pile-up
  • [06] London DJs transforming Napa into clubbing paradise
  • [07] Clerides leaves for Greek island cruise

  • [01] Greenpeace takes Cyprus task over 'unacceptable' energy policy

    By Martin Hellicar

    CYPRUS is a major global warming "villain", producing almost twice as much carbon dioxide per capita as the US, Greenpeace revealed yesterday.

    Greenpeace is now putting pressure on the government to do something about this "unacceptable" contribution to global warming.

    For a start, the government should halt construction of the new Vasiliko power plant, which will otherwise add to the atmosphere's growing burden of heat-trapping carbon dioxide, Greenpeace demanded.

    The government should focus instead on developing renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, the international environmental pressure group suggested.

    At a press conference in Nicosia yesterday, Anne Pyrstojarvi, Greenpeace Mediterranean's energy expert, charged the Electricity Authority (EAC) with "deceiving" the public by claiming wind power was not a viable option for Cyprus. EAC spokesman Tassos Roussos, who attended the press conference, took exception to this and almost everything else Pyrstojarvi said.

    Greenpeace presented a damning report on the country's energy policy, the result of a three-month probe.

    The report notes that Cyprus relies on imported fossil fuels for 96 per cent of its energy needs, with the result that the average Cypriot is responsible for the emission of nine tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. Per capita carbon dioxide emissions are much lower in major developed countries -- 5.4 tonnes in the US, 2.9 tonnes in Germany and 1.7 tonnes in France, for example.

    Without a major energy policy re-think, Cyprus has no hope of meeting its commitments to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, Greenpeace stated.

    "It is unbelievable that the government can sign climate treaties and then do nothing except build Vasiliko, which will increase emissions for the next 20 years," said.

    Cyprus has ratified the UN Climate convention, accessed the UN Kyoto protocol and committed itself to substantial cuts in carbon dioxide emissions in order to join the EU.

    Cyprus was already suffering the negative effects of global warming and things could only get worse if there wasn't a shift to renewable, non- polluting, energy sources, the report states.

    "It is now a fact that the climate is changing, and we are seeing the destructive effects of this in Cyprus too," Irene Constantinou, of Greenpeace Cyprus, said.

    The Greenpeace report cites Meteorological service figures which show an 0.5 degree rise in average temperatures on the island over the last 100 years. There has also been a 12 per cent decrease in average rainfall over the same period.

    Pyrstojarvi warned of possible climate chaos. "Increased temperatures lead to climate chaos; all weather systems are connected to each other, so if you start playing with it at one end you will get effects at another end," the expert said.

    The Greenpeace scientist insisted there were viable, clean, alternatives to producing electricity by burning oil.

    She noted that 62 per cent of Cyprus's foreign exchange earnings went on fuel imports. "Cyprus is throwing away money when the country has ideal conditions for producing renewable energy," Pyrstojarvi said.

    Investment in wind and solar power and energy efficiency could produce and save enough energy to replace the generating power of the multi-million pound Vasiliko power station, she said.

    The problem as Greenpeace see it is that the government refuses to consider alternatives and the EAC has a vested interest in selling oil-generated electricity.

    The report notes that the EAC has overestimated future demand for electricity by 28 per cent for the last four years.

    Roussos tried to take the Greenpeace scientist to task, denying that the EAC was anti-wind power and saying the new Vasiliko power station was necessary to meet increasing demand.

    The EAC spokesman claimed Greenpeace was trying to "blame" Cyprus alone for the greenhouse effect.

    "Don't try to tell us two power stations in Cyprus will destroy the world," he protested.

    Pyrstojarvi's argument in reply was that nothing would get done about global warming if every country sought to blame others for the problem.

    "Cyprus is developing and needs energy," Roussos retorted.

    Pyrstojarvi said the completed phase 1 of Vasiliko could provide the energy supply "buffer" that could give the government the breathing space to develop renewable energy sources -- making completion of phases 2 and 3 of the power station unnecessary.

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    Tuesday, August 03, 1999

    [02] Local sources discount Cyprus Russian mafia link to Dando murder

    By Charlie Charalambous

    A RUSSIAN mafia boss said to have chatted up Jill Dando while she was in Cyprus is now being linked to the BBC presenter's mystery murder.

    The dramatic new twist comes days after British police revealed details of distinctive markings on the bullet that killed Dando in a single shot to the head outside her Fulham home in late April.

    However, local police told the Cyprus Mailyesterday they had not received any message from Scotland Yard asking for information about a Russian murder suspect.

    Reports in the UK claim British intelligence believe Dando was killed on her doorstep by a Russian hit man.

    Now the name of a Russian gangster who might have ordered the hit has apparently been given to the British government by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad.

    According to the Sunday People, Dando was murdered because she snubbed the advances of a besotted Russian mafia boss while she was filming her Holidayprogramme in Cyprus.

    The Israeli embassy in Nicosia has described the Sunday Peoplestory as "baseless", and the British High Commission said it had no knowledge of the matter.

    Dando is said to have spurned the Russian, who was apparently furious at the public rebuffal.

    The Sunday Peopleclaimed the Russian's infatuation quickly turned to hate, and on hearing that Dando had got engaged, he ordered a contract on her head.

    Mossad's second-in-command Major-general Amiram Levine passed on the mafia boss' identity to Britain's MI6 intelligence service 10 days ago, the paper alleged.

    Levine apparently told security agents that the unique marks on the killer bullet were typical of bullets used by Russian special forces, known as the Spetznatz.

    Mossad keeps close tabs on the Russian Mafia because of its links with Middle East terror groups. Many of the Mafia minders and hitmen are out-of- work special forces operatives made redundant since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    The high-ranking Mafia member is said to have begged Dando to spend the night with him and even followed her to Greece after she politely said no.

    Fed-up Dando was finally forced to deliver a humiliating brush-off in front of his gangland henchmen, which made him lose face and seek revenge, the Peopleclaimed.

    "This man has the power, the money and the connections to take out anybody who upsets him with one click of his finger," a senior security source told the paper.

    "When she made it clear she was not having any of it, he did not take it kindly," the source said.

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    Tuesday, August 03, 1999

    [03] Jet-ski owners say they warned drowning beach was 'death trap'

    By Anthony O. Miller

    ABOUT two-dozen jet-ski operators yesterday tossed flowers into the sea outside Larnaca in memory of the Norwegian tourist who drowned there on Saturday despite their warnings, Cyprus Water Sports Association President Demetris Hadjidemetriou said.

    "We put flowers into the sea" near the Lordos Beach Hotel at Pyla Beach in Dhekelia, "and we erected two signs saying: 'This (beach) is a death trap', " Hadjidemetriou told the Cyprus Mail.

    "It's a life-guarded beach," he said, "but unfortunately it was packed with swimmers that day. They had 10 people in trouble at the same time." The lifeguards and the jet-ski vendors "managed to take out everybody except this lady," he said.

    The drowned tourist, Anna Lisa Efstrathiou, 45, was in the water with her three children, he said. "The life-guards and the water-sports people managed to take out the three kids, but unfortunately the lady was dragged onto the rocks by the water."

    "There were heavy waves that day in that area, Pyla Beach," Hadjidemetriou said. "That area has a strong undertow, and people swimming there can easily be sucked under or dragged onto the rocks. They don't have any control."

    Hadjidemetriou said the drowning might have been avoided, had the authorities listened to warnings jet-ski vendors made on July 9 to Communications and Works Minister Leontios Ierodiaconou, and to warnings made earlier by the beach's lifeguards.

    "In our proposal that we made to the minister a few weeks ago, on July 9, we were very specific about the points at this area where the drowning took place -- that this place is a death-trap," he said.

    "We also made a little map at the end of our proposal, with an 'X' at the point that's really dangerous," he continued. "Unfortunately they didn't take any notice of that. They kept the place open for the swimmers."

    He said he also had "a letter written on May 29 by the lifeguards in that area to the district officer, saying specifically: 'This area is a death trap. We suggest you remove this section of the coast from the swimming area.'"

    Again, he said, "nobody listened. We took this letter to Ierodiaconou, but nobody gave it any attention."

    As to the jet-ski operators' own problems, Hadjidemetriou said the Marine Police were no longer threatening them with arrest, fines and confiscation of their equipment if they did not move their rental sites to new government-approved locations.

    Instead, he said, the police were enforcing the new law barring the operation of jet-skis and other motorised water craft during the summer siesta hours of 1pm to 4pm.

    "This is only for the professionals," he said. "The law was made just for us. No private jet-ski owners" are being ordered to stop using motor craft during the siesta hours, he said.

    "If the jet-skiers are private (parties), the police don't bother" to enforce the new law, he said.

    The siesta-hours ban on jet-ski use was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year. The jet-ski operators say the new law, plus Ierodiaconou's recent edict restricting jet-ski rental sites, is driving them out of business.

    Ierodiaconou's departmental order earlier this summer required water-sports vendors to move their rental sites and sea-access corridors from swimming areas to the margins of tourist beaches.

    The new water-sports regulations are the government's reaction to at least three ski-jet accidents last year, which killed one British tourist and seriously injured three others.

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    Tuesday, August 03, 1999

    [04] Market back on climb, to close next week

    By Hamza Hendawi

    SHARE PRICES yesterday snapped out of a two-session skid that interrupted a spectacular ascent as the Cyprus Stock Exchange grudgingly announced that the market would be closed for the whole of next week.

    The all-share index finished at 264.69, 1.80 per cent up on Friday, when prices fell sharply for a second consecutive day.

    The dips on Friday and Thursday, however, failed to trigger the panic selling everyone seems to dread these days. This, in turn, may be taken as fresh evidence that the market has developed higher levels of resistance, at least by stocks whose price roughly reflects their real value.

    Yesterday's volume was, by the standards of last week, a modest 28.97 million and four of the market's seven sub-indices finished the day in positive territory.

    Dinos Papadopoulos, Chairman of the Cyprus Stock Exchange, said the decision to close the market next week had been a difficult one to take. As a matter of principle, he said, the exchange did not agree with closures.

    The closure, decided in a meeting yesterday of the exchange's board, is designed to allow brokerages time to clear a mounting backlog of administrative work that resulted from a dramatic increase in volume.

    The market was shut on July 26 and 27 for the same purpose, but the two-day closure was not enough for brokerages and listed companies to clear the backlog.

    "The two-day closure was like a hole in the water," senior trader Stavros Agrotis of CISCO said late last week.

    Papadopoulos had warned that closing the market would undermine the reputation of the Cyprus Stock Exchange, but he appears to have reluctantly agreed under pressure from brokerages and listed companies, together with the prospect of total administrative chaos wiping out investors' confidence.

    Already, local investors are complaining that they have yet to receive contracts for share purchases or share certificates several weeks after buying stocks through brokerages.

    The administrative mayhem, according to some market sources, has allowed some unscrupulous investors to buy and sell stocks at a profit without any money changing hands simply because the administrative arms of some brokerages are so snowed under they are not chasing investors for money they owe.

    The same sources say even market giants Popular Bank and Bank of Cyprus are so far behind on their administrative work that some investors have been waiting for months for their share certificates.

    The largest slice of volume in yesterday's trade, 12.94 million, went to bank shares, whose sub-index shot up by 2.33 per cent to close at 354.63.

    The Bank of Cyprus shed nearly 1 to close at 10.33 on a volume worth 7.37 million, accounting for nearly 25 per cent of the day's entire trade. The bank's warrants were up 12.50 cents to close at 7.45 with nearly 3 million in trade.

    Shares in both the Popular Bank and Hellenic Bank also finished in positive territory, up by 16.50 cents and 24.50 cents to close at 6.46 and 7.92 respectively.

    The small Universal Savings Bank was barely changed at 3.66.

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    Tuesday, August 03, 1999

    [05] Nine hurt in traffic light pile-up

    NINE people were injured, one seriously, in a Sunday pile-up at the traffic lights marking the start of the motorway out of Larnaca.

    The accident happened at the Rizoelias traffic lights at approximately 4.20pm.

    Ioannis Theodosis Tsiolas, 45, was leaving Larnaca on his way to Nicosia with his daughter Koulla and his niece Niki when his vehicle collided with one driven by 34-year-old Eleni Koutoumbas. Koutoumbas was driving with her baby daughter Ourania, her two sons Demetris, 4, and Michaelis, 3, and her parents Demetris and Ioanna Biniaris, aged 66 and 60.

    Tsiolas' car overturned on impact, knocking down the traffic lights and colliding into another car that was waiting at the red light.

    The third car was driven by Ioannis Georgallas, who was not injured.

    The other victims were taken to Larnaca general hospital, with Demetris Biniaris seriously injured and kept in for observation along with his wife, grandson Demetris Koutoumbas and Koulla Tsiolas.

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    Tuesday, August 03, 1999

    [06] London DJs transforming Napa into clubbing paradise

    By Charlie Charalambous

    LONDON garage club promoters are focusing on Ayia Napa this year to establish a scene which will rival Ibiza's heyday.

    Yesterday's London Evening Standard reported how hard-nosed clubbers were flying in from the UK to hear top DJs host party nights at Ayia Napa clubs Twice As Nice, P'zazz and Pasha.

    The admission fee in Napa is less than a quarter of what it costs in Ibiza, drinks are cheaper and drugs are not so prevalent.

    Garage devotees can be spotted at local bars like Marinella and at the Pelican Bar on Nissi Beach, where clubbers hang out with the DJs.

    The scene has boomed so much that Channel 4 television has taken out a crew to follow a group of ravers in search of a good time in Cyprus.

    The first signs that Ayia Napa was moving away from the standard tourist fare of cheesy disco nights came when Pure Silk -- a popular Friday night session in London -- had a successful try out.

    "The Greek Cypriots love the garage sound," said Pure Silk business partner 'Kiri' told the Standard.

    "Ayia Napa is cheaper (than Ibiza) and has nicer beaches," said the London Cypriot.

    However, acquiring the Med's "best clubland" label does not come easy to the gaudy, sprawling strip of Ayia Napa.

    "It's horrible. Everything here is so sub-standard -- the drink, the food, the men. The minute you land, there are girls walking about with two bottles of lager, burping. I feel like I'm in a Vizcartoon," Dionne Maynes, 31, employed at Pasha as a meeter and greeter.

    The resort may not be sophisticated, but the marketing operation behind it is.

    Despite the success of Shank's and Bigfoot's chart-topping Sweet Like Chocolate, garage has still not crossed over into the mainstream. Its audience is largely black, urban and London-based.

    Shrewd operators like Steve Gordon, promoter of Twice As Nice, have looked at the Ibiza industry and spotted a brilliant opportunity in untapped Cyprus to reach a mixed, nationwide audience.

    By the time the tourists are back home watching their tans fade away, Twice As Nice In Ayia Napa should be doing big business in the shops.

    Nevertheless, one DJ puts a different spin on why Cyprus is becoming the new Ibiza.

    "It's hot and the girls are very randy."

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    Tuesday, August 03, 1999

    [07] Clerides leaves for Greek island cruise

    PRESIDENT Clerides arrived in the tiny island of Kastelorizo, east of Rhodes, yesterday morning as part of a week-long cruise to the Greek islands.

    The President had flown to Paphos on a police helicopter on Sunday evening to board his boat, the Kaiti II.

    He is expected to return to Cyprus on Sunday, August 8.

    Before his departure, Clerides commented on the recent resignation of UN resident representative Dame Ann Hercus, saying he did not think it would affect the expected autumn Cyprus peace push.

    "Somebody else will be appointed to replace her", he said.

    Dame Ann last week handed in her resignation for "family reasons", but agreed to stay on at her post until the end of September.

    With House President Spyros Kyprianou also out of the country, Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades takes over as acting President of the Republic, by virtue of his position as deputy House President.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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