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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-08-21

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

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Saturday, August 21, 1999


  • [01] CY to slash Athens fares
  • [02] Cyprus to channel Turkish quake aid through UN
  • [03] Nurses warn of action after attacks by patients
  • [04] EAC says company takeover will delay power plant construction
  • [05] Turkish grocer held after straying into Athienou
  • [06] New US ambassador pledges commitment to just solution
  • [07] Greens take Anassa protest out to sea

  • [01] CY to slash Athens fares

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS Airways (CY) yesterday announced plans to reduce fares to Greece to under £100 from next month.

    CY Chairman Takis Kyriakides, who announced the decision, said passengers would be able to travel to Athens all year round on the reduced fares.

    The move appears to have been prompted by the government's threat to liberalise air links between Larnaca and Athens in an effort to induce more Greeks to travel here and to help reduce fares for Cypriots.

    Talks are expected to begin soon between the governments of Cyprus and Greece, whose state carriers CY and Olympic Airways operate on the basis of a bilateral agreement.

    Four private Greek airlines have expressed an interest in operating flights to Cyprus.

    The Larnaca-Athens route is one of only three profitable airlines for CY. The other two are London Heathrow and Tel Aviv. Flights to the three destinations brought in a total of £9 million last year.

    A return fare to Athens currently stands at around £130. Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis said earlier this week that moves towards liberalisation of the route could see fares fall to as little as £50 by the end of the year.

    Full liberalisation of air transport in Cyprus had not been expected about until the island's tentative EU accession date in 2002, giving CY time to become more competitive.

    But clashes between pilots and management in June led the government to announce plans for early liberalisation, which could spell disaster for CY.

    Kyriakides said the doors to full liberalisation should not be opened at a time when Cyprus was not yet a full member of the EU and when CY itself could not enjoy the benefits of deregulation.

    He said CY was "all for" liberalisation, but at the "right time".

    Kyriakides said the new fares would be worked out over the next few days and announced at the beginning of September. "I'm sure they will satisfy the travelling public," he said.

    Other special fares for students, families and night flights would be introduced, he added.

    The announcement was welcomed yesterday by Rolandis, one of the strongest advocates of air liberalisation.

    "It's a good move," he said. "I believe that by the end of the year Cypriots will be able to travel to Athens at a much cheaper rate."

    It would also be an incentive for more Greeks to travel to Cyprus, the Minister said. Some 70,000 Greeks visit Cyprus every year, but Rolandis believes this figure could be dramatically increased with cheaper fares.

    "We are entering a period of deregulation and we have enquiries from other companies interested in operating the routes with cheaper fares," Rolandis said.

    "I believe that in the context of a new millennium, Cyprus Airways must adjust to the realities and be able to face the competition."

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    Saturday, August 21, 1999

    [02] Cyprus to channel Turkish quake aid through UN

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS has asked the United Nations to assist the government to send aid to Turkish quake victims, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

    The government on Wednesday promised to send aid in the wake of the devastating earthquake which has so far claimed more than 10,000 lives.

    Andreas Pirishis, the Ministry's Permanent Secretary, said yesterday the government had already taken the first step by contacting the UN through its Geneva office.

    "We informed them of our readiness to send assistance and we are waiting to see what they would like us to send," Pirishis said. "Anything they need," he added.

    However, he said he did not yet know whether aid from Cyprus would be accepted by Turkey.

    On Wednesday, President Glafcos Clerides sent his condolences to his Turkish counterpart Suleyman Demirel.

    Meanwhile, a Cypriot medical delegation was due in Turkey late yesterday to join rescue efforts.

    Doctors of the World representative Neophytos Xenofontos said yesterday that two doctors and a nurse from Cyprus were expected to travel to Turkey on a Greek transport plane from Athens which is carrying aid to the quake- hit area.

    The Cypriot delegation visited the Turkish embassy in Athens where they managed to finalise the arrangements.

    They were only able to travel there because they held foreign as well as Cypriot passports.

    The local branch of Doctors of the World has also launched a fund-raising campaign on the island to finance the mission and another one at a later date.

    The Cyprus Union of Journalists yesterday sent a message of condolence and $1,000 to go through the Journalists Syndicate and the Progressive Association of Journalists in Turkey.

    According to yesterday's edition of the Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said he would do everything possible for earthquake victims who lost their homes to be rehoused in the occupied areas.

    He said the 'TRNC' would provide shelter to the homeless for as long as necessary.

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    Saturday, August 21, 1999

    [03] Nurses warn of action after attacks by patients

    By Athena Karsera

    NURSES yesterday warned they would take industrial action if nothing was done to improve their security in the wake of a series of attacks by patients on hospital staff.

    A patient last week bit off and swallowed a nurse's finger while a doctor and three nurses were on Wednesday attacked by two casualty patients.

    The President of the Nurses Branch of public service union Pasidy, George Flourenzou, yesterday told the Cyprus Mailthat the nurses planned to stage on-the-spot work stoppages when and wherever the next episode occurred.

    Flourenzou recounted how a nurse had been attacked in Paphos last week:

    "Last week, an ambulance was called to a hotel in Paphos. There was only a young nurse -- a temporary one at that -- in the ambulance with the driver. The patient turned out to be a mentally unstable tourist, German I think, who actually bit off one of the nurse's fingers and swallowed it."

    Flourenzou said legal action had been taken out against the tourist and against the government for not providing adequate protection for the nurse.

    He also believes that the protection provided by private security companies at casualty departments was not adequate.

    Two men were yesterday officially charged and released after being remanded for two days in connection with Wednesday's incident at casualty.

    The men had been arrested on Wednesday after allegedly attacking staff at Paphos general hospital's casualty ward.

    Police told the court that George Nicolaou, 32, and Christoforos 'Blackie' Christoforou, 30, had been taken to the hospital by ambulance shortly after midnight on Wednesday.

    The two then allegedly attacked a female doctor and three nurses, two male and one female. Police said the alleged assault took place after an argument broke out and Christoforou began to swear at one of the male nurses.

    The Health Ministry yesterday issued a statement expressing its sorrow at the event and said that it had given instructions for an investigation to be carried out into security measures at hospitals.

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    Saturday, August 21, 1999

    [04] EAC says company takeover will delay power plant construction

    By Athena Karsera

    THE ELECTRICITY Authority (EAC) yesterday confirmed widespread speculation that construction of the new Vassiliko power station would not be completed on schedule.

    Work on the power station suffered a blow this week when the Austrian company manufacturing its steam turbines was taken over by a German rival.

    Government sources said the first steam turbine had been due to be delivered in November, but would now not arrive before February 2000.

    The second turbine should have been delivered by then, but will now be delayed until next July.

    The delay will cost the EAC millions of pounds, for which it will be seeking compensation, sources said.

    An EAC announcement yesterday, however, denied that the delays would cause a power shortage, as had been suggested in some quarters.

    The statement also noted that the delay was "relatively small in comparison to the complexity and size of the project."

    The EAC board has already met with Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis to discuss the issue.

    It will continue discussions on the delay and on general progress on the project on August 27.

    When construction began in April 1998, the EAC said the new power station would tackle all the island's increasing electricity demands for the 21st century.

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    Saturday, August 21, 1999

    [05] Turkish grocer held after straying into Athienou

    A TURKISH grocer was remanded in custody for illegally entering the occupied areas in 1975 and the free areas yesterday.

    Father of three Yakyp Ugar, 47, was arrested in the Athienou area after police spotted him driving a Mercedes van with occupied area number plates.

    Requesting Ugar's remand, investigating officer Theodoros Sergiou said police would be investigating whether the car belonged to a Greek Cypriot who had abandoned Famagusta during the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    Ugar, a Turkish national, said he had come to Cyprus in 1975 through occupied Famagusta port -- an illegal port of entry.

    Sergiou told Larnaca District Court that the possibility that Ugar had been smuggling goods to Greek Cypriots would also be investigated.

    The officer said the van had only contained empty boxes. Ugar told police he had lost his way after picking up a load of groceries.

    Ugar said he got lost after leaving the occupied village of Louroudjina. "I am innocent, I didn't do anything, I lost my way, please tell my family," he told the court.

    Ugar was remanded for four days.

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    Saturday, August 21, 1999

    [06] New US ambassador pledges commitment to just solution

    NEW US ambassador to Cyprus Donald Bandler arrived in Cyprus yesterday promising to do everything possible to encourage a just solution to the Cyprus problem.

    On his arrival at Larnaca Airport, Bandler said he was looking forward to "getting to know better the people and the rich culture of this island".

    "You can be sure that I will do all in my power to encourage a just and durable solution to the Cyprus problem and to build upon the already excellent relationship between the United States and the Republic of Cyprus, " he said.

    Bandler also said he intended to approach and conduct his mission in a spirit of friendship.

    "There is so much to know from an ancient country like Cyprus," he added.

    Bandler replaces Kenneth Brill who left the island in July.

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    Saturday, August 21, 1999

    [07] Greens take Anassa protest out to sea

    GREENS yesterday took to the sea to protest against a luxury hotel complex built within an area earmarked for National Park status.

    The Anassa hotel, built on the Akamas peninsula by the family firm of former Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides, has become a bÍte noirefor local environmentalists.

    Members of the Green party and the Ecological Movement jumped into boats yesterday to stage a protest off the hotel's crowded beach.

    Thanos hotels built the hotel after securing planning relaxations from the cabinet. The relaxations allowed the firm to build the hotel bigger than planing zonation in the area permitted.

    Environmentalists, including international pressure group Greenpeace, staged repeated protests during construction of the five-star hotel.

    Greens fear the Anassa represents the thin end of a development wedge that will "destroy" the Akamas before the government gets round to implementing a promise to declare the area a National Park.

    Michaelides lost his cabinet seat following the public outrage over the granting of cabinet relaxations for his family firm's hotel.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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