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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-09-01

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, September 01, 1999

CONTENTS

  • [01] Tourists flee after racist attackBy Charlie CharalambousFOUR BLACK British tourists have left Cyprus after being badly beaten by a racist gang of Cypriot bikers in Ayia Napa.Tourism sources say the attack, which happened last Friday, was not an isolated incident: there has been an increasing number of reported episodes involving black British nationals on holiday here.This is a worrying trend which the British High Commission in Nicosia is monitoring closely."We are aware of reports of racist attacks against British nationals in Ayia Napa," High Commission spokesman Jonathan Allen told the Cyprus Mailyesterday."We take all reports seriously... officials from the High Commission have discussed these reports with the Cyprus police and will continue to do so," he added.One of the Britons ended up in an Ayia Napa clinic -- where he arrived unconscious and spent two days recovering -- following the vicious assault.Once he was able to move, the group fled the island on Sunday, saying they feared for their lives. They paid an extra £100 each to leave Cyprus several days earlier than expected.Earlier, their tour company had moved the frightened tourists to another hotel.One of the men phoned the British High Commission in Nicosia claiming local police did not take their case seriously."When the men went to register a complaint they were treated more like criminals than victims," said the tourism source.When their tour rep checked with Ayia Napa police she was told that no official complaint had been made, said the source.The High Commission has expressed its dissatisfaction with the way British nationals are treated by police."We always follow up complaints with Cyprus police but we don't always get a satisfactory answer," said Allen.Police HQ in Nicosia told the Cyprus Mailthey had no record of an incident last week in Ayia Napa in which British tourists were beaten up.The tourists were walking back to their apartment when they were set upon by a gang of around 20 bikers and were told to "leave our country or we'll come back for you tonight," informed sources said yesterday.An eyewitness told the Cyprus Mailthat the tourists were badly beaten and chased back to their hotel while two local policemen "just stood by and watched".The local police force has already been complained to by the British authorities for its "rough treatment" of tourists who report thefts in resorts like Ayia Napa."If tourists are unsure about police procedures or treatment we urge them to speak to the British High Commission," said Allen.In this latest case, however, the High Commission has received no written complaint -- which makes it difficult for it to investigate police handling of the attack.The fishing village turned night club mecca is attracting more black British holidaymakers because of its kudos as the ‘new Ibiza’.It earned this reputation because of the number of top London DJs playing their exclusive mix of the best underground garage sounds made famous by a UK bestselling CD, `Ayia Napa'.
  • [02] Clerides to meet Disy leadership in damage limitation exercise
  • [03] Share prices dip after record ascent
  • [04] Edek suggests better protection of Muslim heritage sites
  • [05] Lung cancer on the rise among women
  • [06] CoLA meeting fails to achieve consensus
  • [07] Unemployment up as recession bites in construction and manufacturing

  • [01] Tourists flee after racist attackBy Charlie CharalambousFOUR BLACK British tourists have left Cyprus after being badly beaten by a racist gang of Cypriot bikers in Ayia Napa.Tourism sources say the attack, which happened last Friday, was not an isolated incident: there has been an increasing number of reported episodes involving black British nationals on holiday here.This is a worrying trend which the British High Commission in Nicosia is monitoring closely."We are aware of reports of racist attacks against British nationals in Ayia Napa," High Commission spokesman Jonathan Allen told the Cyprus Mailyesterday."We take all reports seriously... officials from the High Commission have discussed these reports with the Cyprus police and will continue to do so," he added.One of the Britons ended up in an Ayia Napa clinic -- where he arrived unconscious and spent two days recovering -- following the vicious assault.Once he was able to move, the group fled the island on Sunday, saying they feared for their lives. They paid an extra £100 each to leave Cyprus several days earlier than expected.Earlier, their tour company had moved the frightened tourists to another hotel.One of the men phoned the British High Commission in Nicosia claiming local police did not take their case seriously."When the men went to register a complaint they were treated more like criminals than victims," said the tourism source.When their tour rep checked with Ayia Napa police she was told that no official complaint had been made, said the source.The High Commission has expressed its dissatisfaction with the way British nationals are treated by police."We always follow up complaints with Cyprus police but we don't always get a satisfactory answer," said Allen.Police HQ in Nicosia told the Cyprus Mailthey had no record of an incident last week in Ayia Napa in which British tourists were beaten up.The tourists were walking back to their apartment when they were set upon by a gang of around 20 bikers and were told to "leave our country or we'll come back for you tonight," informed sources said yesterday.An eyewitness told the Cyprus Mailthat the tourists were badly beaten and chased back to their hotel while two local policemen "just stood by and watched".The local police force has already been complained to by the British authorities for its "rough treatment" of tourists who report thefts in resorts like Ayia Napa."If tourists are unsure about police procedures or treatment we urge them to speak to the British High Commission," said Allen.In this latest case, however, the High Commission has received no written complaint -- which makes it difficult for it to investigate police handling of the attack.The fishing village turned night club mecca is attracting more black British holidaymakers because of its kudos as the ‘new Ibiza’.It earned this reputation because of the number of top London DJs playing their exclusive mix of the best underground garage sounds made famous by a UK bestselling CD, `Ayia Napa'.

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    Wednesday, September 01, 1999

    [02] Clerides to meet Disy leadership in damage limitation exercise

    By Charlie Charalambous

    DISY'S political office -- including expelled deputy Prodromos Prodromou -- will meet President Clerides as part of the healing process after bitter reshuffle skirmishes.

    Prodromou was deemed persona non grataby party boss Nicos Anastassiades following his very public criticism of Disy's poor showing in last week's cabinet reshuffle.

    Another high-profile dissenter, deputy Demetris Syllouris, also joined the vocal attack over the party's loss of key cabinet posts to junior coalition partner the United Democrats.

    Even though Prodromou was absent from Disy's political office meeting yesterday, it seems he will have his say come Thursday.

    The party announced that Syllouris and Prodromou were invited to the Presidential Palace on Thursday to put forward any questions or suggestions that they see sit fit.

    This surprise concession to the rebels comes amid rumours that dissatisfied Disy rank-and-file are discussing mutiny and the possibility of establishing a breakaway party.

    Disy's very public washing of its dirty linen has done little to inspire confidence in the party that forms the backbone of an already highly unpopular administration.

    Although the row has turned into a personal tussle between Prodromou and Anastassiades, the Palace move is seen as a damage limitation exercise.

    Earlier in the day, government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou revealed that a request from Prodromou to see Clerides had been diplomatically turned down.

    He said the president was ready to meet a collective body of any party who wanted to discuss policies, but "it is not his wish to meet individual politicians on a matter of internal party politics."

    Papapetrou said it was "unclear" why Prodromou had sought an audience with Clerides.

    Political insiders believe the party's wounds are unlikely to heal so easily, and the next parliamentary elections could see Disy face open warfare among its faithful.

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    Wednesday, September 01, 1999

    [03] Share prices dip after record ascent

    By Hamza Hendawi

    SHARE prices came off their dizzying highs yesterday, but -- to the delight of investors -- only just.

    The all-share index, which soared by an astonishing 26.72 per cent on Monday on a record volume of £117.48 million, fell 2.82 per cent yesterday to close at 463.70. Volume was £81.14 million, the second biggest since the market opened in March 1996.

    "We expected prices to drop, but they did not drop by as much as we thought they would," said Koullis Panayiotou of CLR Stockbrokers Ltd. "There was some profit-taking, but not as much as yesterday (Monday)," he said.

    Bank of Cyprus titles, whose return from a three-week break to allow for a 2-for-1 split set the market ablaze on Monday, lost heavily. The share shed 55.50 cents to close at £10.39, while the 1999-2003 warrants slimmed by 12.50 cents to close at £8.47.

    Trade in the bank's shares and warrants attracted a volume of £31.01 million, or about 40 per cent of the day's entire transactions.

    "We expect the share to stabilise somewhere between 10 and 11 pounds for several weeks before it resumes its ascent," predicted Panayiotou, whose said such a scenario could change if new data became available or fresh positive new was announced by the group.

    The Bank of Cyprus, the island's largest, and the Popular Bank, the runner- up in terms of size, are scheduled to announce their six-monthly results later this month. The Bank of Cyprus is expected to trade in the Athens Stock Exchange by the first quarter of 2000 and its rival is expected to follow suit soon afterwards. The prospect of trading in Athens is one that is deeply cherished by the two banks' investors.

    The Popular Bank, whose titles benefited from the euphoria which greeted its rival's return to the market on Tuesday, also finished in negative territory yesterday. It closed at £12.05, down by 57.50, the heaviest loss from among the banks' blue-chips, on a volume of £14.75 million. The bank's warrants closed up 33.50 cents at £19.83.

    The small Universal Savings Bank also finished lower yesterday, closing at £7.05, down by 31.50 cents.

    Continuing its skyward rise in the run-up to the 4-for-one split scheduled for later this month, Hellenic Bank rose yesterday by 80 cents to close at £16.10 on a volume of £ 7.39 million.

    The contrasting fortunes of bank shares left the blue-chips' sub-index adrift by 4.12 per cent on a total volume of £49.01 million, some £20 million below Monday's level.

    The banks' sector was joined in negative territory by those of approved.

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    Wednesday, September 01, 1999

    [04] Edek suggests better protection of Muslim heritage sites

    By Jean Christou

    EDEK deputy Takis Hadjidemetriou has suggested that the House take up the issue of the protection of Turkish Cypriot monuments in the government- controlled areas.

    In a letter to House President Spyros Kyprianou, Hadjidemetriou suggested a discussion on the protection, preservation and restoration of mosques and other Muslim monuments in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    His comments came after the weekend arson attack at the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque in Larnaca. The House is expected to condemn the attack when it reconvenes this month at the end of its summer recess.

    Hadjidemetriou said he would also inform the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly's Education and Cultural Committee on the government's measures to protect Muslim places of worship.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry has condemned the attack.

    According to the Anatolia News Agency, a statement issued by the Ministry expressed regret at the incident.

    Anatolia also said that Turkish Cypriot officials contacted the UN, urging that the culprits be found and punished as soon as possible.

    Turkish Cypriot press yesterday again quoted Religious Foundation leader Taner Dervis saying he would take the issue to international organisations.

    Dervis said the Cyprus government's condemnation of the attack was insincere and that they should apologise to the Turkish Cypriot people.

    'Deputy Prime Minister' Mustafa Akinci also condemned the attack and warned that these kind of incidents would fan the feeling of hatred between the two communities and negatively affect the Cyprus peace process.

    A written statement from the 'Foreign and Defence Ministry' said Cyprus government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou was trying to cover up the attack by saying it was the work of provocateurs.

    The statement also accused the government of not taking enough measures to protect the Turkish cultural heritage in the free areas.

    Meanwhile, investigations were continuing yesterday into the weekend fire which damaged carpets and tapestries before burning itself out.

    Larnaca police chief Savvas Lardis said yesterday several people had already been questioned but no one had yet been arrested.

    Arsonists struck late on Saturday night at the shrine, which is sacred to Muslims. The fire damaged a tapestry and part of the mosque's carpet.

    A previously unheard of group, the Patriotic Organisation of Cypriot Fighters, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    The government has pledged to beef up security at the mosque, which is already guarded by police.

    A meeting is due to take place today to decide on possible extra measures, which are said to include a possible alarm system and additional lighting.

    Patrols have already been increased in the wake of the attack, Lardis said.

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    Wednesday, September 01, 1999

    [05] Lung cancer on the rise among women

    By Athena Karsera

    THE NUMBER of women contracting lung cancer in Cyprus in recent years has grown in line with a worrying trend across Europe.

    The official in charge of the Health Ministry's Cancer Registry, Dr Michael Boyiatzis, said yesterday that although specific figures were not available, there had been a definite rise in the number female lung cancer patients.

    "Incidents of lung cancer in general have been rising year by year, and that includes figures for women."

    Boyiatzis, an oncologist and radiotherapist, said a previous shortage of staff at the Registry meant that completely accurate figures were not available.

    He said he believed that 19 women had been diagnosed with throat and lung cancer in 1998, up from 12 in 1997.

    "There may very well have been more instances in 1997 that were not reported or that we did not have the facilities to compute, but there still would have been some increase."

    Boyiatzis said the rise cold be mostly attributed to culture changes resulting in an increased number of female smokers. "Women in Cyprus did not smoke before, or at least not as much. Now many do, even starting at a very young age."

    A World Health Organisation (WHO) report published last week said the increase in lung cancer among European women had reached epidemic proportions.

    The report said the number of women developing lung cancer had doubled since 1955, rising from seven per 100,000 to 14 per 100,000.

    Like Boyiatzis, the report attributed the increase to the rising number of female smokers, adding that the percentage of cases had increased most quickly in the last ten years.

    Ironically, less men have been dying from the disease in recent years and women are now less likely to die from other major cancers.

    The number of fatalities form breast, ovarian, intestine cancer and leukaemia have fallen for women, while prostate cancer was the only type to be increasing for men, the report said.

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    Wednesday, September 01, 1999

    [06] CoLA meeting fails to achieve consensus

    THE GOVERNMENT'S controversial decision not to include increased tobacco duties in its calculations for the Cost of Living Allowance (CoLA) was the subject of separate meetings yesterday between President Glafcos Clerides and union and employers' representatives.

    President Glafcos Clerides' two morning meetings ended without any agreement on the issue, except that the they would meet again in a bid to reach consensus.

    Representatives from Sek, Peo and public servant union Pasidy, declined to comment on leaving the first meeting, while the president of employers' association Oev said it was too early for an outcome to be predicted as he left the second.

    Both Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Keve) president Vassilis Rologis and Oev president Andreas Pittas said they would continue negotiations with an open mind.

    Finance Minister Takis Klerides said the final decision would rest with Clerides, who would take into account the opinions of the trade unions and the advice of the Council of Ministers.

    Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas also attended yesterday's meetings and is set to take part in future discussions.

    Opposition parties and trade unions are furious at the government's decision to exclude higher cigarette prices from CoLA, claiming this was the first step towards a total abolition of the allowance, which supplements monthly salaries.

    The government denies any broader designs on CoLA, but argues that staggered rises in VAT in line with European Union harmonisation requirements could send the allowance through the roof. Ministers have promised full consultation over any further moves.

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    Wednesday, September 01, 1999

    [07] Unemployment up as recession bites in construction and manufacturing

    UNEMPLOYMENT in the first six months of the year rose 0.3 per cent to 3.6 per cent, Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas said yesterday.

    Unemployment in 1998 was 3.3 per cent, but Moushiouttas told reporters the upward trend -- which began at the end of last year -- was slowing down.

    He attributed the rise in the jobless figure to the recession in the manufacturing and construction industries and to the illegal employment of foreigner workers.

    The minister was speaking after a meeting of senior Ministry officials to review the latest developments in unemployment.

    Asked about the sectors and population groups most vulnerable to unemployment, Moushiouttas said the figure in the construction sector had risen to 6.5 per cent, while women's unemployment stood at 4.7 per cent.

    Commenting on suggestions that Cyprus could face massive redundancies due to its European Union course, the Labour Minister admitted that the island's future accession to the EU was expected to have a negative effect on employment.

    He said the government was looking closely at the issue and was working on legislation to safeguard workers' rights.

    Cyprus started substantive accession negotiations with the EU in November 1998.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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