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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-08-04

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

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


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Wednesday, August 04, 1999

CONTENTS

  • [01] Louis hits the market with a bang
  • [02] Canadian Greek 'tortured by Turks', brother claims
  • [03] Cyprus to resume imports of British beef
  • [04] Global warming could hit livestock exports
  • [05] 'Conservationist' hunters prepare for autumn season
  • [06] How was Kokkinotrimithia's water tainted then cleaned?
  • [07] Russian to be extradited for 'bribing minister'
  • [08] Russian bouncer jailed for beating up tourists
  • [09] Orthodox Church slams Miss Universe plans
  • [10] Nicosia walls could collapse if Turkish Cypriots withhold co-operation
  • [11] Cars attacked in Nicosia
  • [12] Tourist flees after assaulting chefBy Charlie CharalambousA BRITISH tourist was on the run yesterday after leaving a Cypriot chef for dead following an unprovoked disco bust-up.Police immediately launched a manhunt for the tourist they believe carried out the vicious 4am attack in an Ayia Napa disco.Roadblocks were set up in and around Ayia Napa after 27-year-old chef Loukas Ioannou, from Nicosia, was critically injured with a fractured skull."The victim is not out of danger and he could die. Even if he survives he could remain paralysed," a police source told the Cyprus Mail.Nicosia General Hospital described his condition as "critical" last night and said Ioannou was on a ventilator.In their attempt to find the suspect, police have ordered a search of all holiday apartments in the resorts of Ayia Napa and Protaras and are calling for witnesses to come forward.According to eye-witness reports, the chef was seen being pulled by the hair by his attacker and beaten severely around the head.Ioannou had his head slammed violently on the disco bar several times after asking a man if he would stand aside to let him pass, eye-witnesses are quoted as saying.An ambulance was called immediately after the victim collapsed amid shocked clubbers.The chef was first taken to Paralimni hospital but his injuries were considered so severe that he was ferried to Nicosia General hospital where he underwent hours of delicate surgery.The incident happened at the packed Black and White disco in Ayia Napa in the early hours of yesterday morning.Police believe the assailant was a British national and have sent out a photo-fit picture of a man seen leaving the club soon after the incident.His description was given to all taxi drivers in the vicinity who were assisting police in their desperate search to find the potential murderer.He is described as dark skinned, over six feet tall, well-built, aged between 25 and 30 and sporting a shaved head.No name has yet been released for the suspect.

  • [01] Louis hits the market with a bang

    By Hamza Hendawi

    LOUIS Cruise Lines made its debut in the market yesterday with the splash that everyone had expected from a share whose Initial Public Offering was oversubscribed 53 times, drawing 508 million.

    Trading in the share was heavy, with 3.7 million stocks changing hands. It closed at 3.03 after hitting an inter-day high of 3.80 and a low of 2.85. It opened trading at 3.50, nearly nine times the 40 cent price it was offered at in the IPO.

    The eagerly-awaited debut of Louis shares ignited the market's "other" companies sector, whose sub-index rose by 3.26 per cent to close at 251.60 with a volume of 13.30 million, of which 11.49 million went to Louis shares.

    Trading in the share accounted for nearly 33 per cent of the day's entire volume.

    The strong showing by the sector also helped the market as a whole to regain more of the territory it lost last week when prices plunged by a total of 11.98 per cent on Thursday and Friday.

    The all-share index rose by 4.62 per cent yesterday to close at 276.92 on a volume of 35.12 million. Share prices rose on Monday by 1.80 per cent.

    In yesterday's trade, only two of the market's seven sectors -- trade and tourism companies -- ended the day down. The banks sector was the biggest winner, with its sub-index shooting by 5.78 per cent to close at 375.14 and attracting 9.13 million in volume.

    Bank of Cyprus was up by nearly 1 to close at 11.23, while Popular Bank rose by 22.50 cents to finish the day at 6.68. Hellenic Bank was also up at 8.03.

    The three banks' warrants also had a field day. Bank of Cyprus 1999-2003 warrants were up 83 cents to close at 8.28, while those of the Popular Bank notched up 64.50 cents to close at 10.52. Hellenic Bank warrants moved up 35.50 cents to close at 5.80.

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    Wednesday, August 04, 1999

    [02] Canadian Greek 'tortured by Turks', brother claims

    A CANADIAN Greek Cypriot who strayed into the north on July 21 is being systematically tortured by his Turkish captors, his brother claimed yesterday.

    But the UN -- who yesterday visited 48-year-old Rogiros Georgiou with his brother Dafnis -- reported that the conditions of Rogiros's detention were acceptable.

    "We are happy and all is satisfactory," Unficyp spokeswoman Sarah Russell said.

    "He is not sleeping on the floor and his cell is not damp," Russell said, dismissing reports in the local press yesterday.

    But Dafnis told a different story to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA). "My brother was left without food, water or cigarettes on a number of occasions, " Dafnis said. He added that Rogiros was being tortured by the Turks who believed he was a spy for the Greek Cypriot side.

    Russell said there was no basis for the torture claims. "There is no evidence of his being tortured," the Unficyp spokeswoman said. "We took him cigarettes last week and he has food and water," she added.

    Dafnis claimed his brother had, just as Greek language papers claimed, been sleeping on the floor of a damp cell. But the Turks had moved him to another cell just before the UN visit, he said.

    Rogiros, who lives at Kalo Chorio in the Limassol area, was apprehended by the Turkish soldiers a fortnight ago after he lost his way on the old Nicosia to Larnaca road and ended up at occupied Pyroi.

    On Monday, he was again brought up before a 'court' in occupied Nicosia. He denied charges of entering a military area and is expected to reappear before the court on August 10, Russell said yesterday.

    The Canadian High Commission, based in Damascus, told CNA yesterday it was doing all in its power to secure the release of Rogiros, who holds Canadian citizenship.

    A total of nine Greek Cypriots and Greeks have strayed into the occupied areas this year, while 17 Turks and Turkish Cypriots have crossed the divide in the other direction.

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    Wednesday, August 04, 1999

    [03] Cyprus to resume imports of British beef

    Staff Reporter

    CYPRUS will import British beef now that the European Union has lifted the mad-cow disease ban on its export, George Neyphytou, senior veterinary officer at the Agriculture Ministry's Department of Veterinary Services, said yesterday.

    Neophytou said his department wrote a letter to Britain's Agriculture Ministry on June 29, indicating, "our department would look at this matter favourably," once the ban was lifted.

    He was unable to say when the first imports of beef from Britain would reach Cyprus, but said whenever that is, "it will be OK with our department."

    The EU prohibition against exporting British beef, which the EU imposed on March 25, 1996, formally expired on August 1.

    The Union imposed the ban when the scare about mad-cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), was at its height. BSE had been found in British cattle, and the British government admitted there was a link between eating beef infected with BSE and a new form of the fatal, brain- rotting Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (nvCJD).

    The ban devastated Britain's beef and dairy industries. Farmers were forced to slaughter millions of head of cattle, and beef exports worth more than 650 million sterling were wiped out overnight. Total British losses from the crisis are estimated as high as $3.3 billion, and could top $6 billion.

    Under EU conditions for lifting the ban, the beef must meet strict criteria: it must come from cattle aged six to 30 months and born after August 1, 1996; the animals it came from must have been subjected to strict procedures for tracing their lineage; and it must be deboned for export.

    "We look forward to lifting this ban," Dr Pavlos Economides, Director of the Department of Veterinary Services, told the Cyprus Mailon first learning that the ban was to be lifted.

    Over 30 people have already died from nvCJD, and no-one knows how many more victims there will be, given the long incubation period for the incurable illness. Some say Britain is a time-bomb for an eventual epidemic of nvCJD.

    More than 270,000 tonnes of British beef and veal were sold abroad in 1995, before the ban, with Cyprus among the buyers. Since the ban was imposed, Ireland has shipped the vast bulk of all the beef Cyprus has imported from 11 countries, government figures show.

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    Wednesday, August 04, 1999

    [04] Global warming could hit livestock exports

    By Martin Hellicar

    GLOBAL warming and the effect it is having on a member of the mosquito family could prove to be very bad news indeed for local shepherds.

    The problem is blue tongue disease, a potentially fatal viral infection which affects sheep and goats and is transmitted from animal to animal by the mosquito species.

    As Veterinary service director Pavlos Economides explained to the Cyprus Mailyesterday, rising global temperatures mean the mosquito has now spread its range northwards as far as Bulgaria from its strongholds Syria and Turkey.

    Cyprus sheep and goats have long developed immunity to the Blue Tongue virus (there hasn't been a local Blue Tongue fatality since 1970), but the same is not true of their European cousins.

    "The virus is considered exotic and highly contagious and pathogenic for other areas," Economides said.

    This means that, with the mosquito in situ and likely to spread as temperatures rise further, European countries are now vulnerable to Blue Tongue and do not want to import carrier animals.

    The net result is that Europe now does not want live sheep and goats from Blue Tongue effected areas, like Cyprus.

    Local producers wishing to sell animals abroad can do nothing but decry the polluting practices that fuel the greenhouse effect.

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    Wednesday, August 04, 1999

    [05] 'Conservationist' hunters prepare for autumn season

    By Martin Hellicar

    WITH THE autumn shooting season set to blast off on Sunday, the Hunters' Association yesterday sang the praises of hunters as conservationists.

    "The hunting association is genuinely interested in the preservation of wildlife as much as in hunting," association chairman Andreas Pantelas said.

    Shooting served to "manage" wildlife, he insisted. "We believe that the way hunting is carried out here is correct and preserves and develops wildlife - - and balances it."

    "There is no need for anyone to abolish hunting, it just needs to be properly managed," Pantelas added.

    Environmentalists say the 50,000-strong local hunting brigade threatens the stability of natural ecosystems by over-exploiting the populations of certain species.

    Independent studies have suggested local sportsmen are good at keeping to designated shooting areas but are also often guilty of indiscriminately targeting both legitimate game and protected bird species. An estimated 8 million mostly migrant birds are killed, by means both fair and foul, every year in Cyprus.

    The Hunters' Association yesterday met with Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou to discuss a number of issues ahead of Sunday's resumption of shooting.

    Christodoulou said he had discussed with hunters the need to bring certain, unspecified, practices within the sport into line with EU norms. He said the government was keen to have hunters "on side" in this harmonisation effort.

    Pantelas said the association was happy to work with the minister.

    Migrant turtle doves and resident wood pigeons will be the main quarry come Sunday, with quail, rock doves, sparrows, magpies, jackdaws, hooded crows and foxes also on the legitimate hit-list.

    Hunting is allowed on Sundays and Wednesdays till the end of September in some areas and daily from August 22 till the end of March in others.

    The Game service has already released some 100,000 captive-bred chukors -- local hunter's favourite quarry -- in preparation for the main, winter, shooting season beginning in October. Huge releases are deemed necessary to provide sufficient quarry for the shooters, with wild breeding populations of the partridge having been driven to the brink by persistent shooting.

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    Wednesday, August 04, 1999

    [06] How was Kokkinotrimithia's water tainted then cleaned?

    By Anthony O. Miller

    HEALTH Ministry officials yesterday queued up to pass the buck, as one after another either refused to say, was unavailable or otherwise avoided discussing how coli bacteria began polluting Kokkinotrimithia's drinking water at least as far back as February.

    A Water Development Department (WDD) source told the Cyprus Mailthat, some five months ago, sewage had seeped into the aquifer from which a private bore-hole pumped water, which in turn was connected to Kokkinotrimithia's water supply.

    One Public Health Service worker denied that sewage had contaminated the aquifer at all, but said instead that the village's water had merely been found to contain unsatisfactory levels of nitrates.

    He did not know the source of the alleged nitrate contamination, and was unable to say what danger to human health it posed. He also did not know whether the alleged nitrates had been cleaned from the water or what water source the village was now using.

    At least a dozen phone calls later -- to all the wrong Health Ministry referrals -- and Sophocles Anthousis, director of the Public Health Service, showed up to field questions about Kokkinotrimithia's water supply.

    It was not nitrates, he said, but coli bacteria -- and "not E-coli; that's more serious" -- that were found in the village's drinking water in February.

    Coliform bacteria, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, "are evidence of recent human faecal contamination of water supplies."

    Health Ministry Epidemiologist Dr Laura Papantoniou said coli bacteria in water was "an indicator" the water was somehow tainted, "but if it's increased, it can be serious."

    Dr Chrystala Hadjianastasiou, a Health Ministry Medical Officer, said one form of coli bacteria comes from plant decomposition, while most others occur in human and animal intestinal tracts. All are "pathogenic to human beings," she said.

    Faced with this, in mid-March, "we sent a letter to the (Nicosia) District Officer," Andreas Papapolidou, telling him "to instruct the village authorities to disconnect" the tainted bore-hole, Anthousis said.

    Months later, in May, tests of the village water supply -- not the bore hole -- showed it "satisfactory" for drinking, he said, adding that "maybe" increasing the water's chlorine level, or "maybe" unhooking the tainted bore-hole had done the trick.

    But Anthousis admitted he didn't know what had got rid of the coli bacteria: whether extra chlorine had, in fact, been added to the water, or whether the tainted bore-hole had even been disconnected from the town's water supply, as he had instructed Papapolidou to do in March.

    "I'm not responsible" for ensuring the bore-hole was disconnected, Anthousis said. "Our responsibility is to monitor the water and to instruct the authorities to act accordingly"; it does not include ensuring that "the authorities comply with our suggestions," he said.

    "It is the responsibility of the village authority," to comply with Health Ministry requests, he said. "I don't know whose responsibility" it is to ensure that they comply, he added.

    Nicosia District Officer Papapolidou had "just left" his office, his secretary said, when she told him the Cyprus Mailwas on the phone.

    He was thus unavailable to say whether he ever told Kokkinotrimithia village authorities to disconnect the offending bore-hole from the town's water supply -- as Anthousis' said his letter to Papapolidou directed -- or whether he had ever checked to ensure it had been done by the village authorities.

    Regardless, the villagers can now safely drink their local water, thanks to the intervention of someone doing something.

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    Wednesday, August 04, 1999

    [07] Russian to be extradited for 'bribing minister'

    A RUSSIAN man accused of bribing his country's Deputy Finance Minister is set for extradition after arriving in Cyprus for a holiday on Monday.

    Larnaca district court yesterday decided that proceedings for the extradition of Alexander Vladimir Suchkov, 46, would begin on September 2.

    Suchkov, a businessman, was arrested on his arrival at Larnaca airport just before midnight on Monday after police received a tipoff from Interpol.

    The Russian authorities say Suchkov has been charged with bribing Russia's deputy finance minister between December 1995 and January 1996.

    The Attorney-general's office requested Suchkov's hearing be postponed until September so the Justice Minister would have time to authorise the extradition and for the Russian authorities to send the necessary documents to Cyprus.

    The court decided to release Suchkov on 50,000 bail and confiscation of his travel documents. His name was put on the stop-list and he was ordered to present himself to the police three times a week.

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    Wednesday, August 04, 1999

    [08] Russian bouncer jailed for beating up tourists

    A RUSSIAN bouncer was yesterday sentenced to four months in prison after pleading guilty to the vicious beating of two British tourists at an Ayia Napa pub last month.

    Artemis Popov, 19, received the four month sentence from a Larnaca court after pleading guilty to assault and causing grievous bodily harm.

    Three other men are being held in connection with the brutal attack on James Bain and Thomas Cummings, both 29.

    The two Britons suffered concussion, cuts and bruises after they were picked on by a group of bouncers -- and the pub owner -- wielding batons, clubs and pepper spray.

    The court had heard that one of the two victims was punched in the face by Popov as he was leaving the Ayia Napa pub with a female companion at around 7am.

    He told his friends of the attack and they asked to see the bar manager. After getting no response, Bain and Cummings decided to go to the local police station to report the incident.

    But the two tourists were followed by several men from the bar and set upon.

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    Wednesday, August 04, 1999

    [09] Orthodox Church slams Miss Universe plans

    By Athena Karsera

    THE HOLY Synod of the Cyprus Church yesterday slammed planned millennium celebrations including the Miss Universe Pageant, saying events should be focused on the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Christ.

    "We are surprised and saddened to have been informed that during the celebrations of 2000 years since the birth of Christ, events have been organised that are not religious... showing the importance of Jesus Christ's birth."

    Without naming the Miss Universe pageant, the Synod then condemned "international beauty competitions that expose scandalised respectable members of our Church to female nudity."

    The statement said this and other "unsuitable" events would be taking place "at a time at which our people face the greatest danger in their long history from a national and religious standpoint."

    The Holy Synod then called for the organisers to call off the event and for Church members not to take any part in the competition.

    Commerce and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis last month announced that Cyprus would be the host of the 2000 Miss Universe Pageant.

    Rolandis said this "event of the millennium" would provide Cyprus with exposure in over 100 countries, expecting to attract approximately 2.4 billion television viewers.

    Rolandis had heavily promoted the idea of Cyprus as the birthplace of the ancient Greek goddess of beauty and love, Aphrodite.

    The contest is to be held at Nicosia's Eleftheria stadium in mid-May.

    [10] Nicosia walls could collapse if Turkish Cypriots withhold co-operation

    By Athena Karsera

    TURKISH Cypriot refusal to co-operate with the Antiquities Department could lead to the part of the Venetian wall around old Nicosia crumbling and endangering lives.

    Department head Sophoclis Hadjisavvas this week told reporters that a UN controlled portion of the wall at Paphos Gate had begun to fall apart.

    Hadjisavvas said the falling wall was a public hazard as a busy road passed by the section near the CyTA roundabout.

    The Turkish Cypriot side was unwilling to co-operate with the Department for reconstruction work on the wall, he said.

    According to Hadjisavvas, UN officials told the Department the Turkish Cypriot stance meant permission could not be given for the restoration work to be carried out.

    Hadjisavvas said the issue would be taken up with the new UN special representative once Dame Ann Hercus left the post at the end of September.

    He said the Department had tried to meet with Hercus on the issue several times without success.

    Hadjisavvas said that a French archaeologist and advisor to the United Nations Office for Project Services would shortly be submitting a report that would back up Greek Cypriot opinion that the wall required urgent attention.

    Unficyp spokeswoman Sarah Russel yesterday could not confirm Hadjisavvas' assessment, but did say the UN had last winter carried out work to preserve other parts of the Nicosia buffer zone.

    She said this project, involving both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, consisted of propping up ramshackle buildings that were in danger of collapse. Russel said full restoration process could only take place once a solution was found to the Cyprus problem.

    Most of the buildings involved were built using traditional methods of mud bricks covered with plaster: "It's been 25 years and the plaster has started coming off so the buildings are terribly exposed" and are damaged every time it rains, she said.

    The walls and bastions encircling Nicosia were built by Venetians in the 16th century. Their rehabilitation is part of the municipality's plans to revitalise the city.

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    Wednesday, August 04, 1999

    [11] Cars attacked in Nicosia

    CARS were the targets of two criminal attacks in Nicosia last night, one torn apart by an overnight bomb and the other damaged in an arson attack.

    At 5.30am a car bomb shook the suburb of Anglandja and completely destroyed a vehicle belonging to George Kampanelas, 41, a horse race betting shop employee.

    The car was parked in an open space in Larnaca Avenue at the time of the explosion.

    The head of Nicosia CID Athanasios Socratous yesterday told reporters that the explosive had been made with a small quantity of high-powered explosive.

    He said investigations wouldn't be restricted to Kampanelas' race course links. The victim himself told police he did not have differences with anyone.

    In a separate incident, police said yesterday that first indications showed a 2.45am car fire in Anthoupolis had been started deliberately.

    The car belonged to Theodoros Xenofontos, 27, and was parked outside his home in the refugee estate.

    Xenofontos, an insurance salesman, spotted the fire himself and put it out. Police said 500 worth of damage had been caused to the new vehicle.

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    Wednesday, August 04, 1999

    [12] Tourist flees after assaulting chefBy Charlie CharalambousA BRITISH tourist was on the run yesterday after leaving a Cypriot chef for dead following an unprovoked disco bust-up.Police immediately launched a manhunt for the tourist they believe carried out the vicious 4am attack in an Ayia Napa disco.Roadblocks were set up in and around Ayia Napa after 27-year-old chef Loukas Ioannou, from Nicosia, was critically injured with a fractured skull."The victim is not out of danger and he could die. Even if he survives he could remain paralysed," a police source told the Cyprus Mail.Nicosia General Hospital described his condition as "critical" last night and said Ioannou was on a ventilator.In their attempt to find the suspect, police have ordered a search of all holiday apartments in the resorts of Ayia Napa and Protaras and are calling for witnesses to come forward.According to eye-witness reports, the chef was seen being pulled by the hair by his attacker and beaten severely around the head.Ioannou had his head slammed violently on the disco bar several times after asking a man if he would stand aside to let him pass, eye-witnesses are quoted as saying.An ambulance was called immediately after the victim collapsed amid shocked clubbers.The chef was first taken to Paralimni hospital but his injuries were considered so severe that he was ferried to Nicosia General hospital where he underwent hours of delicate surgery.The incident happened at the packed Black and White disco in Ayia Napa in the early hours of yesterday morning.Police believe the assailant was a British national and have sent out a photo-fit picture of a man seen leaving the club soon after the incident.His description was given to all taxi drivers in the vicinity who were assisting police in their desperate search to find the potential murderer.He is described as dark skinned, over six feet tall, well-built, aged between 25 and 30 and sporting a shaved head.No name has yet been released for the suspect.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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