|Tuesday, 28 November 2023|
Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-08-29
From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>
August 29 1999
 Local politics will get worse, warns GalanosBy Charlie CharalambousCONTROVERSY over political parties involved in shady deals during Louis' private placement offer compelled Alexis Galanos to quit politics after 23 years of distinguished service."We seem to have lost our sense of proportion. We consider things to be normal which can never be normal," Galanos said in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Mail.Ruling party Disy and Galanos' former Diko party reportedly obtained £150,000 each of Louis Cruise Line shares on the private placement scheme in July.This type of ‘back door’ share buying has raised ethical concerns and conflict of interest jibes over the behaviour of the parties.The 59-year-old Galanos walked out on politics two weeks ago saying he had become tired and disillusioned.And in his "warts and all" he holds out little hope for the future of local politics. "Don't be too sure we've reached the lowest rung on the ladder of evil... things will get worse," Galanos warns.The one-time Diko deputy and House of Representatives president says the current crop of dyed-in-the- wool political leaders will spurn a new generation in their lacklustre image: "Dinosaurs give birth to baby dinosaurs."Although Galanos says that during his years as a career politician he feels he made a positive contribution to the country, he is relieved to have stepped off the patronage treadmill."Every week it was 15-20 weddings all over Cyprus. And how many funerals and memorial services and christenings!" lamented Galanos about the downside of being a mover and shaker.But the round of public appearances a local politician must clock up is an endless, strength- sapping cycle."How many exhibitions opened, and insipid ceremonies, and how many speeches to listen to at anniversaries, 25 different people saying the same things over and over again for the past 30 years!"That, to a large extent, is a politician's life."Not any longer for Alexis Galanos, who can now devote his newly found spare time to football, backgammon and his impressive collection of detective books.
August 29 1999
 Akel stokes the fires of protest within DisyBy Charlie Charalambous
AKEL refuelled the reshuffle row within Disy yesterday by claiming the ruling party will back George Vassiliou in the 2003 presidential elections.
Disy rank-and-file members are up in arms because they feel their party sold out during the recent cabinet reshuffle in which the United Democrats did surprisingly well.
Senior Akel member Nicos Katsourides said last Tuesday's reshuffle had more to do with an election power play than serving the immediate needs of party and country.
Katsourides claimed that Disy and United Democrats boss Vassiliou had done a deal which would see the ruling party support his presidential election bid.
He said the fact the United Democrats secured the government spokesman's position (Michalis Papapetrou) and the health ministry (Frixos Savvides) at the expense of Disy candidates was proof of an election pact.
The United Democrats also held on to the agriculture ministry (Costas Themistocleous) in the reshuffle, and Vassiliou remains the island's EU negotiator.
But Eleni Vrahimi of Disy's political office yesterday dismissed Akel's interpretation of the reshuffle as "pure fantasy".
She also said the party was satisfied with the reshuffle and "not disappointed" over the choice of candidates.
Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades has come under fire from party dissenters angered at the number of cabinet seats junior coalition partner UD secured.
"Mr Anastassiades is running the internal politics of the country while George Vassiliou is making decisions on the Cyprus problem and Europe," claimed Katsourides yesterday.
Prominent Disy deputies such as Prodromos Prodromou and Demetris Syllouris described the bartering over cabinet posts as a sham and undemocratic.
Panayiotis Demetriou, the Disy vice president, has taken on the role of mediator in an effort to prevent further rifts within a party currently finding it difficult to present a united front.
Opposition parties have been quick to make capital from the reshuffle, portraying President Clerides as a man who has lost control and influence at the seat of power.
Clerides has been accused of taking too concessionary an approach to the Cyprus problem, an accusation he himself levelled at his predecessor George Vassiliou when he ousted him from office in the 1993 presidential election.
August 29 1999
 ‘Surprise’ revealed: missiles on paradeBy Martin HellicarTHE ‘SURPRISE’ Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades promised for the October military parade will be the appearance of TOR-M1 short-range missiles, further reports suggested yesterday.In a recent speech to the Disy youth wing, Anastassiades said those who doubted the potency of the joint defence pact with Greece should watch the October 1 military march-past.The ruling party's leader was keen to prove that the decision not to bring the S-300 missiles to Cyprus did not mean the island's defence was going to the dogs.Military sources have now revealed that the weapons Anastassiades spoke of are Russian-made TOR-M1s, Politisnewspaper reported yesterday.There was no official confirmation of the reports, but this is not the first time stories of TOR-M1s coming to Cyprus have made the headlines.Politissaid six of the missile systems would be arriving as part of a deal struck with Greece when the long-range S-300s were redirected to Crete.The decision last December 29 not to deploy the Russian- made S-300 ground to air missile system, bought and paid for, was a humiliating setback for the government.President Clerides had won re- election in February 1998 on the back of promises to deploy the £200 million missiles despite Turkish threats to destroy them if they arrived.But mounting pressure from the UN, US and EU -- who feared deployment of the S-300s could spark a war in Cyprus -- finally forced Clerides to swallow his pride and have the missiles sent to Crete instead.The S-300s had been ordered to provide air defence cover for the Paphos air base so that the airstrip could be used by the Greek Air Force as part of the joint defence pact.Opposition parties claimed the pact had been dealt a severe blow by the missile redirection.Politissaid yesterday that Athens had agreed last January to provide the Cyprus National Guard with six TOR-M1s as recompense for S-300s going to Greece. The missiles will reportedly arrive early next month and will be put on show for the traditional October Independence Day parade.<p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">
August 29 1999
 Paphos site yields evidence of St PaulEXCAVATIONS in Paphos have yielded important finds including new information on the visit to the island by St Paul, the Apostle.The government has confirmed reports that the Italian archaeological mission uncovered a fragment of a marble inscription which supports the scriptures on the Apostle's links to Cyprus.Site director Filippo Giudice, Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Catania in Sicily, said that the site at Toumballos was one of the most important monuments of Hellenistic and Roman Paphos.He said the inscription they found confirmed that Paul had preached in the area of the Christian basilica which the site later became.Giudice said that the basilica was established by St Hilarion from Palestine who, after a stay in Sicily, came to Paphos to preach and may even have carved the inscription himself.Tradition says that it was St Hilarion who drove demons from the basilica which was previously been a pagan temple and sanctuary to Apollo sanctuary, Giudice said.Paphos mayor Phidias Sarringas hailed the find as very important. "Archaeologists from all over the world will be interested in the find, because it changes current beliefs on the path of Christianity and the presence of the Apostle Paul in Paphos," he said.Similar inscriptions had been found at the Vatican in Rome, he added.Archaeologists had previously thought that the site was a Roman military camp, and they were surprised when their findings indicated that St Paul had also preached Christianity there.The archaeologists have been working at the site for eleven years and this year they also uncovered an ancient 72-metre length of road and two chambers which have been partly explored.Previous finds at Toumballos include a staircase, a circular chamber and a long corridor on to which three chambers open.
August 29 1999
 Police hunt father who kidnapped sonPOLICE are still searching for an eight-year-old boy abducted from England by his father, and thought to have arrived on the island three weeks ago.Police said yesterday they could not rule out that Savvas Stylianou, a British national, and his son Anthony had somehow left the island by sea.They said that their investigations had established that the two had arrived from Rhodes on August 7 but did not show up at the Limassol hotel where Stylianou said they would be staying."The father was allowed to see his son but he broke a court order and basically kidnapped the child and left England without the mother's permission," said an Interpol officer said at the time.The Metropolitan police in Barkingside, London, sent a message to Cyprus Interpol for assistance on realising the father had fled to the island on August 7.Stylianou, 35, breached an English court order by leaving the UK with his son Anthony after a scheduled visit to his former wife's home.The two divorced in 1996, and since then Anthony has been living with his mother Helen but remains a ward of court.Police describe the boy as suffering from "serious medical problems" with a history of epilepsy and asthma.They have been investigating whether he visited a private clinic on the island because of his illness."What we are trying to do is locate their whereabouts to facilitate the father's appearance in court. It's really a judicial matter," police spokesman Glafcos Xenos said.
August 29 1999
 Man killed in moped crashPOLICE were searching for a teenage Briton yesterday after the death of a Sri Lankan man in a traffic accident on Friday night.Police said Don Tilanka Rajapaska Mohottige, 25, died of his injuries at about 5.30am in Nicosia General Hospital yesterday after suffering severe head injuries.The accident occurred just before midnight in the Limassol village of Erimi when Mohottige's moped collided with another driven by two British youths.Police say they wanted to question the 16-year-old son of a British Bases serviceman stationed on the island. The two youths were believed to have escaped unharmed.Mohottige was taken to Limassol general hospital and then transferred to Nicosia. He had been working as a farmhand at Kolossi.
August 29 1999
 Peace cruise sails into political stormBy Charlie CharalambousA PEACE cruise designed to bring Israelis and Arabs closer together on board ship is heading back to Cyprus after becoming a victim of the region’s bitter politics.The Black Knightarrived at Larnaca port last week after being denied access into Gaza, after which it tried to re-enter a zone between Palestinian and Israeli waters.But a tricky political stand-off has seen the boat set sail once again for Cyprus in total frustration.It is due to arrive at Limassol sometime today.The 140-foot yacht had planned to moor on the edge of Palestinian waters and have its international crew disembark and meet a crowd of 3,000 young people for a peace event in Gaza.Political wrangling has plagued the peace cruise ever since it set sail from Alexandria on August 9.Apart from twice failing to enter Gaza by sea the vessel has also been barred from Lebanon, where it was due after a stop-off at Larnaca.Some 10 Lebanese youngsters were refused permission to join the crew on board.Twenty-seven people from scouting and other youth organisations from Israel, Egypt, the Palestinian territories, Morocco, Greece, France, and Jordan are involved in the unique experimental mission.From Limassol the Black Knightwill sail to Antalya in Turkey before touring the Greek islands and ending up in Istanbul on September 10, where the crew will help in the Turkish earthquake disaster relief effort.
August 29 1999
 Two remanded after cannabis find in carA TURKISH Cypriot man and a Greek Cypriot woman were yesterday remanded for six days on suspicion of being involved in drug trafficking.Converted Christian Andreas Eftychiou, born Raif Hassan, 45, and 30-year-old Maria Georgiou were arrested late on Friday night following a tip-off to police.In requesting their remand yesterday, the investigating officer told Limassol District Court that police had 10 days previously received information that a Turkish Cypriot had been selling drugs from a one-kilo batch of cannabis.When police stopped Eftychiou's car, in which Georgiou was also travelling, they found 10 grams of cannabis under one of the seats, he said.Both Eftychiou and Georgiou denied any involvement in drug trafficking and the Turkish Cypriot told the court that he was not a drug user.The investigating officer said that police had a witness's testimony saying that Eftychiou supplied drugs to Georgiou who then sold them on to customers at the Limassol bar where she worked.The officer said that police were searching for the reminder of the amount but were concerned that it had already been sold or disposed of.
© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999