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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-08-05

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

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Thursday, August 05, 1999


  • [01] Briton arrested in connection with Ayia Napa assault
  • [02] Port disputes resolved
  • [03] Rolandis to the Synod: are the Taleban our role models?
  • [04] Minor offenders freed to relieve prison overcrowding
  • [05] Ministers seek clampdown on sex trade
  • [06] Skai asks for money back in new twist to Logos saga
  • [07] Government lashes out at jet-ski operators
  • [08] Photographer jailed for fraud
  • [09] A white goat in a scarlet coat

  • [01] Briton arrested in connection with Ayia Napa assault

    By Charlie Charalambous

    A BRITISH tourist was remanded in police custody yesterday, ending a 24- hour manhunt for the suspect who left a Cypriot chef struggling for life.

    Gavin Kirin Gallimore, from Southgate, north London, was remanded for eight days by a Larnaca court, on suspicion of assault and causing grievous bodily harm.

    The 30-year-old was arrested in Ayia Napa at around 5am yesterday morning, following the vicious attack on Cypriot chef Loucas Ioannou at the Black and White disco on Tuesday.

    Police found Gallimore at an Ayia Napa bar after questioning his brother who was with him at the time of the incident.

    When first questioned, Gavin Gallimore denied he had been at the disco at the time of the attack, investigating officer George Economou told the court.

    Later, Economou said, the suspect revised his initial claim and admitted to "punching the victim once, saying he had a good reason for doing so."

    However, Economou said such claims "contrasted with existing testimony".

    "The incident happened after Ioannou accidentally bumped into the suspect with his shoulder, and then the suspect punched the victim and he fell to the ground," said Economou.

    Gallimore's brother tried to give first aid to the unconscious chef, while the suspect left the disco punching the door on the way out, the court heard.

    With the Nicosia chef critically injured with a fractured skull, road blocks went up in and around Ayia Napa and apartments were searched, but Gallimore himself was just sleeping it off at his holiday flat.

    Following a search of the room, the suspect handed over the clothes he was wearing that night, which Economou said were marked with "what looked like blood stains".

    There was no change in Ioannou's condition yesterday, with Nicosia General hospital still describing his condition as "critical".

    He is still on a ventilator at the hospital and doctors are saying the next 48 hours will determine whether he pulls through or not.

    According to eye-witness reports, the chef was seen being pulled by the hair and beaten severely around the head by his attacker.

    A dapper-looking Gallimore, a quantity surveyor, was led out of court in handcuffs and did not speak during or after the proceedings.

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    Thursday, August 05, 1999

    [02] Port disputes resolved

    By Martin Hellicar

    IT WAS a good day for worker relations at the island's ports yesterday.

    At Limassol port, agreement was finally reached for renewal of employees' collective agreements and implementation of a shift system.

    At Larnaca, a £840,000 compensation package was ironed out for 54 workers to be laid off in a cost-cutting exercise.

    Unions, the Ports Authority and the government expressed hopes the agreements would bring both industrial peace and prosperity to the ailing ports.

    Over the last months, both ports have repeatedly been hit by strike action over the issues resolved yesterday.

    The ports have suffered from competition from other cheaper, more efficient, harbours in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    Communications Minister Leontios Ierodiaconou presided over final talks at Limassol port yesterday.

    "Today is a significant day for Limassol port," he said afterwards. "After three or four years of talks we have at last arrived at an agreement on collective agreements and on a text covering conditions and procedures for implementation of a shift system," Ierodiaconou added.

    He said the shift system would increase efficiency at the port, making it more competitive.

    The shift system agreement gives existing staff the option of joining it or not.

    Late last month, strike action over the shift system proposal prompted Ierodiaconou to hit out at port workers, saying they were "over-privileged" and objected to all change.

    Both the collective agreement and the shift system deal will be signed tomorrow.

    At a morning meeting between unions and the Ports Authority in Larnaca yesterday, a protracted disagreement about compensation for 54 workers facing redundancy was finally resolved.

    The axed workers are to receive a total of £840,000. Most of this -- £700, 000 -- will be paid by the state and the rest will come from a loan that unions will secure from the association of Shipping Agents with a government guarantee.

    Unions had originally balked at a state suggestion that the port workers not facing the chop pay part of the compensation costs for their sacked colleagues.

    The departing workers, who represent half of the port staff, will receive their pay-off in three months' time.

    Larnaca port has had virtually no traffic in the past year.

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    Thursday, August 05, 1999

    [03] Rolandis to the Synod: are the Taleban our role models?

    By Anthony O. Miller

    COMMERCE and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis reacted with chagrin and muted anger yesterday to Church criticism of the Miss Universe Pageant as a scandalous promotion of female nudity.

    Rolandis told the Cyprus Mailhe felt "a lot of surprise" at the Holy Synod's condemnation of the pageant, especially since Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the relevant tourism and hotel associations were nearly unanimous in backing it.

    In denouncing the pageant, the Holy Synod on Tuesday said it was "surprised and sad" that a beauty pageant, "promoting female nudity and scandalising the respected church flock" would mark 2000 years since the birth of Jesus Christ, "instead of any religious celebrations."

    "What is there to be scandalised about," Rolandis asked, noting "the swimming suits that these girls will wear were also worn by the mothers of our grandmothers."

    Each year in Cyprus, he added, "almost three million Cypriots and foreign tourists enjoy the sun and the sea, wearing swim suits which expose much more than the suits these girls wear will expose. Nobody will be scandalised."

    Pageants like Miss Universe, he noted, "have been taking place for decades... in all countries of the world, with the exception of two to three countries, like Afghanistan, which is ruled by the fundamentalist Taleban."

    "Are they (the Holy Synod) trying to bring fundamentalism into Cyprus? That is what the Taleban are doing. They do not allow women to move in the streets, they have to keep their faces covered," he told the Cyprus Mail. "Is this the way we are going, or are we going the way of Europe?"

    "The Church has a lot to clean up in its own house," he said. "For instance: the $10 million which is owed by Amiandos Mines, which we have never recovered for 12 years, but for which the Church is responsible. Also... the various feuds between the various bishops, who are fighting fiercely with each other."

    "The Ministry wishes to believe, with all respect to the Church, that the Church will try to clean up things that have to be cleaned up, and not try to upbraid shows like this one, which are internationally accepted, and which occur in 182 out of 185 countries in the world," Rolandis said.

    The island needs to take stock of itself, he said, "if a beauty contest scandalises us, and we are not scandalised by what we see on the screens of our televisions, and by the night life in Cyprus, with the hundreds of bars and discotheques in evening places."

    "This is an international super-show that is connected with Cypriot Aphrodite, and by projection, with the history, tradition and mythology of our country," he said. "We plan to utilise (this) for the tourist upgrading and projection of Cyprus in the international area."

    Rolandis has said he expects the pageant to benefit Cyprus tourism by being seen on television by some 2.4 billion people -- nearly half the world's population -- in over 100 countries.

    According to Rolandis, the several million pounds it will cost the government to stage the pageant will be dwarfed by the money made in selling the broadcasting rights.

    Additionally, he noted, Cyprus could not afford to buy the international TV advertising for the island that broadcasting the contest around the world will bring, considering that an advert only a few seconds long on prime- time US television costs some $300,000.

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    Thursday, August 05, 1999

    [04] Minor offenders freed to relieve prison overcrowding

    By Martin Hellicar

    NINETY-THREE minor offenders are getting a Presidential pardon in an effort to relieve chronic overcrowding problems at Nicosia's central prison.

    "They will be released in stages. Twenty-three have been let out already and the rest will be free by the end of the month," acting prison chief Theodoros Petasis said yesterday.

    The 93 have the acting President of the Republic, Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades, to thank for their freedom.

    "The main reason for the pardons is overcrowding, we currently have 295 inmates in the prison," Petasis said.

    The prison was built to hold 120 inmates and could "manage" with up to 200, Petasis said.

    But the current situation is impossible, he said, with cells designed for one convict sometimes holding four or five.

    Two more wings are currently under construction at the prison, an open prison and a fifth high-security wing. The prison governor said that with the new wings the prison would be able to hold 300 prisoners. But he added that he did not know when construction would be complete. "That is up to the public works department," he said.

    There are an unspecified number of foreigners among the 93 to be let out. They will all be deported after release.

    Petasis said none of the 93 had committed serious crimes and all of them would in any case have served their sentences by the end of November.

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    Thursday, August 05, 1999

    [05] Ministers seek clampdown on sex trade

    By Charlie Charalambous

    TOUGH measures controlling the running of cabarets will be ready when the House returns from its summer recess, ministers said yesterday.

    Coming out of yesterday's ministerial committee meeting on the issue, Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou said a bill setting out a more "realistic control of the situation" would be submitted to parliament in the autumn.

    In the meantime, temporary measures to restrict the number of foreign girls working as strippers will be put in place.

    "The number of foreign artistes employed at cabarets will be sufficiently reduced," Christodoulou said.

    Not only will a six-month limit be slapped on strippers, but no new cabarets will be able secure permits for foreign lap dancers, while pubs and bars will be restricted to one foreign artiste instead of the two currently allowed.

    The authorities have blamed the mushrooming cabaret scene for gangland turf wars and rising crime levels.

    "We must bring the situation under control because it's causing huge problems," said Justice Minister Nicos Koshis.

    He said the real aim was to prevent Cypriot getting rich on the so-called white slave trade in which foreign dancers usually find themselves caught up.

    "Prostitution is not a new phenomenon, it's an ancient profession which, whatever we do, we cannot stop. The issue is preventing girls from becoming victims," said Koshis.

    Many of the women, hailing from the former Soviet Union, come as "dancers" but then find themselves forced to have sex with the clientèle or face the threat of deportation.

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    Thursday, August 05, 1999

    [06] Skai asks for money back in new twist to Logos saga

    By Athena Karsera

    THERE was a new twist in the Logos TV saga yesterday with reports emerging that Archbishop Chrysostomos had returned a £500,000 downpayment to one of the candidates seeking to take over operation of the ailing Church-owned channel.

    Both Skai and Mega channels of Greece are vying to lease Logos, while an unnamed third company's lawyer last Friday revealed that Chrysostomos had already signed an April 26 agreement with a certain Lila Karkoulakou -- a member of the party he is representing.

    According to Skai, Chrysostomos had made formal arrangements with the company, with only a few details remaining before a final contract was signed. But informed sources said yesterday that Skai on Monday demanded that its downpayment be returned.

    The sources said Skai had made the demand in a letter to the Archbishop accusing him of violating the spirit of good faith between the two sides.

    The Archbishop's lawyer Aris Hadjipanayiotou has denied that any agreement was made with Skai, while confirming that Mega had submitted a second, higher, bid.

    Mega has promised to keep 70 per cent of the station's current staff and fully equip the channel for the full ten-year rental period.

    But Karkoulakou's lawyer George Kolokossides is threatening to take the Church to court if a final agreement is signed with Skai or Mega.

    The party's agreement comes into effect on September 1, Kolokossides said in an announcement last week.

    Chrysostomos is resting after suffering a sprained ankle on Saturday while on holiday in his native Paphos.

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    Thursday, August 05, 1999

    [07] Government lashes out at jet-ski operators

    THE COMMUNICATIONS Ministry yesterday hit out at protesting jet-ski operators, claiming they had tried to use a swimmer's death to publicise their grievances and score points.

    On Monday, the jet-ski owners alleged the government's insistence on limiting their sea corridors had cost a Norwegian tourist her life.

    Had they been allowed access to all parts of Larnaca's Pyla beach on Saturday then they would have been able to save 45-year-old Anna Lisa Efstathiou, the jet-ski operators claimed.

    The ministry did not mince its words in an official statement issued in response to these claims yesterday.

    "It was not expected that a human tragedy, like the recent drowning of a woman in the Pyla area, would be taken advantage of, and that events would be twisted in an effort to impress and mislead the public for the sake of promoting the narrow personal interests of a small group of professionals," the statement read.

    "The protection of bathers from dangerous areas is not achieved with the creation of boat corridors," the ministry stated.

    Jet-ski owners are at loggerheads with the government over its decision to limit sea corridors for their craft. They went down to the site of the fatal accident on Monday to toss flowers into the sea in Efstathiou's memory, sporting placards condemning state restrictions.

    They claimed the government had repeatedly ignored their warnings about how treacherous the area where the tourist drowned was.

    The ministry insisted that the area in question was marked with a red warning flag.

    It added that its sole aim in restricting boat corridors was to protect bathers and limit noise and other pollution.

    The jet-ski operators protest that limiting boat corridors will drive them out of business.

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    Thursday, August 05, 1999

    [08] Photographer jailed for fraud

    A LEBANESE photographer was yesterday sentenced to 28 months in prison for using forged credit cards to go on a £40,000 spending spree.

    Larnaca District court heard that 43-year-old Abdoul Naser was a member of an international credit card fraud ring based in Britain. Naser had pleaded guilty to using a forged credit card in Larnaca, 10 times, Paphos, 31 times, Limassol, 43 times, and Nicosia, twice.

    He was arrested at Larnaca airport as he tried to leave the island on May 11.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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    Thursday, August 05, 1999

    [09] A white goat in a scarlet coat

    By Athena Karsera

    WHO WEARS white fur, has handsome horns and is called Myfanwy? The Welsh Gunners' new mascot.

    The female goat was last week given to the 22nd Regiment of the Royal Artillery, known as the 'Welsh Gunners', by a friendly buffer zone farmer, Captain Vicki Walker told the Cyprus Mailyesterday.

    Goat raiser Yiannis Massouris presented Myfanwy to UN civil affairs personnel last Thursday after hearing that the Welsh Gunners traditionally kept goats as mascots.

    Unficyp spokesman Sarah Russell said that the farmer from a village east of Nicosia had excellent relations with UN personnel in the area and had been keen to help out when he heard they were on the look-out for a new goat.

    She said the Gunners' last mascot, called Bad Attitude, which was kept at the regiment's headquarters in Lancashire, died of old age at the end of last year and that the Gunners were delighted with the gift.

    Captain Walker said Myfanwy would this week be undergoing a veterinary examination and join another herd belonging to UN civilian employee Marie Casey.

    "Quarantine laws mean it will be complicated to take her with us when we leave in December," Captain Walker explained -- also adding that in the herd the mascot would not feel lonely.

    Until Myfanwy joins Casey's herd, she will remain in a comfortable pen, befitting her position as mascot.

    Captain Walker said the enclosure had been built by the Welsh Gunners' engineering attachment.

    She said Myfanwy was being given a mixture of special goat food, fresh vegetables and leaves. Care was also taken so that the pen was built on hard ground to prevent foot rot, which goats are susceptible to, Russell noted.

    It gives Myfanwy plenty of room to walk around and shelter from the sweltering heat.

    The mascot will return from the herd to the squadron to carry out her "official duties", including taking part in the squadron's end of rotation medal parade in September.

    Captain Walker said Myfanwy was a mature goat and had had at least one litter of kids.

    Animals have been kept by army squadrons for hundreds of years, said Bombardier Christopher Pike, dating back to an age when soldiers took animals into war for good luck.

    He said that the Welsh Guards and the Royal Welch Fusiliers also kept goats as mascots and that an English squadron was known for keeping a ferret as its official mascot.

    Sergeant Major Peter Syrat told the Cyprus Mailthe Welsh Gunners were formally recognised at the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969 and had had a goat as mascot ever since.

    Like her predecessors, Myfanwy wears a red gold embroidered and tasselled coat on official business, featuring the Prince of Wales' feathers symbol.

    The 22nd Regiment of the Royal Artillery will return to the UK at the end of their term in Cyprus for training purposes before moving on to their next posting.

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